In just a year and a half, Ocean Hay has proven she deserves to be taken seriously as a jiu-jitsu competitor. Since she started, she’s entered four matches and made it to the podium twice, taking gold at her first white-belt match and silver in her blue-belt match. What sparked this swimsuit model’s interest in jiu jitsu? Love. “When my boyfriend, Kyle, started doing jiu jitsu, he was spending so much time training, he wasn’t hanging out with me,” Hay (laughingly) admits. “So I finally decided to give it a try and ended up loving it. I even train when I travel to Japan for modeling work.” Going to the mat for her man was Hay’s incentive for entering the sport, but, along the way, she’s learned a lot about herself and her capabilities. “Self-growth comes along with training; I’ve learned how to be more aware, respectful and confident. It’s empowering to feel that I have the ability and the technique to defend myself in any scary, unwanted situation.” She’s also coaching younger girls, instilling in them a sense of courage and security.
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