Just like many kids growing up in the 90s I had an affinity for the Power Rangers. I always hoped of growing up to be Tommy. Remember Tommy? The green ranger who was bad and then became the good white ranger. He was awesome. I took my first Tae Kwon Do class at age nine. I never felt nearly as cool as I did then.
Fast-forward 20 years and I have a philosophy degree, did a stint in the wine industry, and have watched too many old Kung Fu films, and I am still doing martial arts. I have competed in Muay Thai, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have also trained in JKD, Kali, and Silat. These days I spend my time running the kid’s BJJ and Thai program at Master Pedro Sauer’s headquarters. I am now a brown belt under Master Sauer, a Kru under Ajarn Chai, an Apprentice Instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto, a Full Instructor under Guro Bryan Mossey, and a 2nd degree black belt under Master Kreimer.
I still want to be a super hero. But now I help kids and adults become their own super heros. Martial arts are my life and teaching is my passion. I don’t always know everything but I try to approach everything with humility, respect and lots of self-deprecating humor.
Q&A Session Between Kristen Debruycker and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about BJJ? MMA?
Answer: One word: Truth. The beauty of BJJ is that if it works it’s right, its problem solving with your body. What inspires me about MMA is that I love the blending of the different arts. What works for me may not work for you. I always say now that I study the martial sciences but how I express it is my martial art.
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: The people that inspire me the most are my instructors, training partners, and students that I have had over the last 20 years. With out them I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. They have all had a huge influence on my life and I wouldn’t be able to do what I love to do everyday without them.
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: My goal for this year is to grow the kid’s BJJ and Thai program at Pedro Sauer’s headquarters. The next 3 years I would love to be looking to test for my black belt under Master Sauer. In the next 5 years I hope to spread my love of martial arts through seminars, teaching, my website, YouTube Channel and possibly a podcast as well. My main goal for the future is to travel around and do seminars so that I ay share my love of martial art with others.
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: I have been training martial arts since I was 9 years old, but I have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the last 11 years.
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: I am on the mat 6 days a week. Between teaching, training and conditioning I try to stay on top of all the different martial arts that I train including BJJ, Muay Thai, Kali and JKD.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Answer: Between all of the different arts that I have trained and competed in, my biggest accomplishment is actually seeing my kid’s that I teach go compete and reach their dreams.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: THROAT PUNCH! …Just Kidding. My favorite submission in BJJ is probably the triangle.
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: It takes someone who embraces the grind, who works when no one else is looking. A person who takes what they have and makes the most of the situation and doesn’t let set backs get in their way.
Question: What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days?
Answer: Well of course I have my Elite Sports Gym Bag. I usually have everything with me every day because of all the different martial arts I train. My Elite Sport’s Gi, rash guard, spats, shorts, bag gloves, sparring gear, mouthpiece, sports bra, training blades, sticks, focus mitts, Thai pads, etc.… You get the idea.