Katherine Shen is a purple belt in the 10th Planet system and trains at the San Diego Combat Academy under the watchful eye of Richie Boogey Martinez. Fresh out of high school she accepted the challenge to compete in the EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational) qualifiers tournament and WON! Get to know a bit more about Katherine and her martial arts journey and watch for her on EBI 12, representing Fight Chix and 10th Planet Freaks.
When did you start training in jiujitsu and what led you to the martial arts?
Before I was old enough to start training, my dad put my older siblings in a jujitsu class for self defense. I watched on the sidelines, imitating the exercises, enthusiastically awaiting the day I could join. Shortly after turning four, the instructor let me join earlier than most and I quickly fell in love with the sport.
Did you start with 10th Planet or did you eventually move over to no-gi?
In the beginning I was only doing gi. I actually didn’t start focusing on nogi until I was 16 and the tenth planet system came to my gym.
How has training effected your life in a physical, mental and spiritual way?
I’m definitely a lot healthier and happier thanks to jiu jitsu. Not that I’m the most humble person, but there’s a lot of humility that comes with training and being beaten up on a daily basis. I think that jiu jitsu has endless ways of helping a person grow.
Can you share a story where you were met with a serious challenge in life and you overcame it?
The night before the USSGL OC Tournament which I had signed up to compete in, I fell asleep at the wheel driving home from working late and crashed head on another car. This was definitely one of the more scary things to ever have happened to me, especially considering the fact that I could have gotten a lot more injured than I did.
Who do you look up to—who are your heroes?
I come from a big family packed with individual talent and drive. I look up to my parents and siblings more than anyone else and have an abundance of knowledge to dip into from all of them whenever I may need. My coach is also a big role model for me and seeing his path helps me to see how hard work can really pay off.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Being a jiu jitsu coach would definitely be fun, but in five years I have no idea where I’ll be. I’m not worried though. I do know that I’ll be alright wherever I am in life and with whatever career I choose.
Take us through a typical training week. How do you balance life, school. work, relationships and training etc.
As of right now training is one of my biggest priorities because of Ebi prep. I’m currently not in school because I just finished high school this past spring and haven’t started college yet. This has been super nice because it allows more time for jiu jitsu and seeing friends, family, and my boyfriend, Keith “the hunky heartthrob” Krikorian, who is an absolute beast on the mat. After Ebi is over I’ll probably only be going to one or two classes at the most a day, so I’ll have more time to work. As of just this month, training time has to be made the priority.
What does your diet and exercise look like outside of jiujitsu training?
I try to get either a half an hour of running or swimming in every day especially before a big competition like ebi where good cardio is going to be crucial. Eating healthy and drinking a gallon of water a day is also a key part of my physical prep… although I can’t say that I always stick to these habits because I love to bake and always have some type of cookies in the oven.
Music: Super Freak Rick James/ Little Drummer Boy
Movie: Boss Baby/The Lego Batman Movie
Book: Sesame Street Coloring Book Edition/ John John by John John
Submission: Japanese Necktie
Tell us how you found out about Fight Chix and what you think of the brand or your favorite item on the site.
I heard about Fight Chix when I noticed a few of my teammates wearing the gear regularly. I definitely love the spats and shorts. It’s pretty hard to find bottoms for jiu jitsu that aren’t too thick, don’t fall down, stretch well, are easy to put on, and actually look good. I’m thrilled to be able to rep this brand at EBI!