Just under five feet tall, Jenn Lozada demonstrates to her Brazilian jiu-jitsu students how good body mechanics can fend off potential attackers twice their size.
“It might seem like magic, but it’s just physics,” Lozada said.
Lozada is a Port Angeles local who opened her Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) program Solarte BJJ in Sequim on Sept. 1 at Bob Stacey’s Karate Club at 1600 Carlsborg Road and is offering classes for mixed groups of men and women, women-only and youth.
She has been training in martial arts regularly since 1999 and started BJJ in 2012.
In BJJ, Lozada is a purple belt — a level where a BJJ practitioner is going from the intermediate to advanced level — and said it is more rare for women to attain upper belts. The belt rankings start at white, then blue, purple, brown and finally black.
Lozada said BJJ was a relatively obscure martial art until the rise of UFC and MMA televised matches. She said it is based on martial arts in Japan that was popularized and further developed by the Gracie family in Brazil.
“The main thing you are doing is using good body mechanics and leverage in order to defeat bigger and stronger opponents,” Lozada said.
“That’s why a 106 pound, almost five foot woman can do this martial art effectively.”
Lozada said she focuses on a fun, engaging and concept-based approach using the same methods as her instructor Rob Biernacki — a BJJ black belt and world-renowned instructor based out of Nanaimo, Canada.
“His method of teaching jiu-jitsu is really very streamlined so that you can understand the concepts behind how you actually make those body mechanics and leverage work,” Lozada said.
“I really believe in the system of jiu-jitsu he is teaching and that’s what I want to make available to people.”
Lozada said BJJ is a very male dominated martial art and there aren’t a lot of female instructors with their own schools. She said part of the reason she wanted to create a women’s-only class at her club was to provide a space for both men and women.
“I’m really happy to be able to offer an environment that’s welcoming to both men and women,” Lozada said.
She said the name and logo of her program “Solarte BJJ” — a combination of her mother and father’s first names — is a representation of the kind of working relationship that can be established between men and women in BJJ.
“That’s part of why I designed the name and the logo that way because I wanted it to speak to the idea that men and women can work together to help each other train and become better and stronger,” she said.
Not only does she offer a women’s only class, but she also offers youth classes for children ages 9-14.
When Lozada is not teaching her BJJ classes, she is working as a graphic designer for InsideOut Solutions in Dungeness.
Lozada said she is passionate and excited about sharing BJJ with a wide-range of people of all ages and experience levels.
“I love this and I want to share it,” Lozada said.
“I believe everybody has something worth while to give to the world and I want to do this, she said, I want to help my clients in my work life and likewise with my students; I want them to be as good at jiu-jitsu based on what their goals are as they possibly can and be happy.”
Lozada also said she is grateful to hold her classes at Bob Stacey’s Karate Club, where he has been offering martial arts for 20 years, and also share the space with Neilu Naini’s Clallam Aikikai.
To view Solarte BJJ’s class schedule, visit https://www.solartebjj.com or for more information about club prices and membership email Lozada at firstname.lastname@example.org.