Name: Destiny Julia Javier
Age: 15
Rank: Blue Belt
Number of years training: 2 years

“Time and attention.” Easily overlooked, the battle for our individual attention wages on, as our “focus” becomes the most valuable modern day commodity. And as if living in a world driven by ever-advancing tech and screen-based entertainment wasn’t distracting enough, try being a young adult.

Relationships, conflicts, hormones, emotions, academic demands, social anxieties, peer-pressure, developing identity, the list could go on. Life stressors continuously assault the average teenager. Adeptly negotiating these transformative years should come with a playbook.

Fortunately for Destiny Javier her attitude, perspective, and approach to life is anything, but average. At fifteen, Destiny, a homeschool student who is raising the bar for the next generation of youth, has learned the importance of focus.

Where her peers are routinely being tugged in multiple directions, Destiny has been diligent to develop and hone an appreciation for things that we used to hold dear: values, morals, hard work, and physical effort.

As an avid exerciser and health enthusiast with a passion for challenge it wasn’t long before she discovered the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Maintaining a life philosophy that, “If you stay positive, you can accomplish anything” Destiny quickly took to the competitive martial art. To date her biggest accomplishment has been taking home a championship belt in the No-Gi expert division during this years’s NAGA Virginia Beach Championship.

But beyond any temporary satisfaction the flash of new waste-line adornment could bring, Destiny appreciates the practice. “Jiu Jitsu brings me so much joy and positivity! The people I have met in the BJJ world are absolutely amazing.”

In the eyes of a teen where “fitting in” seems to be every highschooler’s assumed priority one, finding a community of quality people is priceless. “Kids now-a-day seem to be focused solely on new trends, inappropriate relationships, drugs, sex, social media, technology, and so many more unnecessary things in this world, that I just can’t and don’t relate to any of it.”

Although her contemporaries may be fixated on their IG threads, Destiny has found solace in Jiu Jitsu providing an environment where she can relate to and share with like-minded individuals. Furthermore, DBA’s class dedicated to serving a women-only warrior tribe opens the door for deeper connection and greater bonds. “I love how almost all females can relate on certain things and how we can share our stories with one another.” On the mats Destiny also appreciates rolling with other females, where strength is more equally matched affording the benefit of a fair fight.

With her eyes set on a future, where she envisions herself as a world champion black belt competitor, the excitement of testing how far she can take her BJJ potential is a continuous motivator.

However, translating this dream into reality is no “Post Malone overnight sensation.” Keen on the requisite dedication, Destiny attributes her past success to her applied work ethic toward drilling as much as possible and keeping her conditioning on point with near daily exercise. Physical exercise helps her clear her mind and motivates her to continue to improve. “I workout to stay strong and increase agility. Exercise greatly benefits my movements in Jiu-Jitsu.”

In less than two years, Destiny picked up the rank of blue belt (usually reserved until age sixteen). Yet the road traveled has not been without obstacles. One of her biggest challenges with BJJ is keeping up with an opponent’s faster pace. “I have trouble with reacting quickly when rolling. It’s mostly just hesitation and being cautious.” In effort to eliminate any hesitation Destiny often observes the technique of higher belts and seeks to emulate.

In alignment with her goal of rapid response, her only game plan when competing is to always get the first takedown. From there her favorite “go-mode” is to smash-and-pass and hammer home the pressure.

Constantly seeking to improve, she recounts that the best advice she was given in BJJ is to, “Always keep moving while rolling. Never pause and sit there. Refrain from hesitating or being fearful; just shoot your shot.”Taking this to heart she shares with other women and those leaning on the fence nervous about Jiu Jitsu training, “Do not be hesitant.You only have one life to live. So live your life without any hesitation or fear, always looking forward. Try new things and live everyday like it’s your last.”

Despite her young age, Destiny has recognized early on that even though we all make mistakes the best path forward is to learn from these hiccups. Equally commendable she is quick to point out the importance of not focusing on other people’s lives. In BJJ this translates to understanding that although you may be struggling with a specific technique, or guard style, or maybe your partner keeps steam rolling you – you have to remember that everyone starts at the beginning.

Keeping her focus in check like this on the mat has paid dividends in her ability to out maneuver opponents and crush opposition when toeing the line. Nevertheless, Destiny remains a humble and grateful competitor. “I am in love with this sport called Brazilian Jui Jitsu; it has been such a blessing to my life.

You can bet that with continued focus in the right direction Destiny will one day reach her dream of being on top. But more exciting is the fact that she will most-likely serve to be an inspiration and encourager to others in life and the sport.“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has brought me so much happiness, confidence, and just overall greatness! I have truly grown from BJJ in so many beautiful ways that it truly shocks me. Everyone at DBA is so loving, caring, and uplifting. I honestly do not know how I would be if I hadn’t found this incredible art! It has changed my life for the better and I am so blessed.”

Join Destiny in this community of hard-charging, yet humble warriors.Stop by the gym! We have classes for ages 3 y/o through adult, 7 days a week! See you on the mat! OSS!