My name is Claudia Henriquez and I am 30 years old.
I grew up in a tough neighbourhood and was a victim of bullying due to my heavy weight. I weighed 195lbs in my early childhood all the way till I was about 18-19 years old.

It affected me immensely and built so many insecurities deep within myself and caused me to become depressed and pretty much hate life in general.
I battled with my depression for many years and wanted to end my life everyday. Until I had a rude awakening in 2011 when I was diagnosed with appendicitis that had already reached Gangrene stage.

I survived the incident but it caused me to reflect on life and take better care of my health. I turned to Martial Arts and started with a Brazilian dance fight called Capoeira.
Capoeira changed my life for the better and it pushed me to try harder even if I felt like quitting. The music, the energy, the people, and the movement of Capoeira added so much positivity into my life, I never thought was possible. 

A year after practising Capoeira it had opened more doors in the martial arts community… Later on, I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu managed my insecurities and made me more aware of myself.  My confidence has shot through the roof compared to my mindset at the age of  15.

I now feel better, eat better, and I can apply what I am being taught in Jiu Jitsu to my daily life struggles and also how to respect others. Patience is key and always, always trust  yourself and believe in yourself. No one else is going to be able to make changes to your
life except you.

clawOverall, Capoeira and Jiu Jitsu completely changed my entire life for
the better because without it I wouldn’t be able to get up every day
hoping I can continue doing things I love to do.

Through Capoeira I
was able to assist kids classes alongside amazing Capoeiristas and
help our youth community to inspire them to be great and strong people
for life. Through jiu -jitsu I am learning to become comfortable in
uncomfortable positions. Both are moulding me into a stronger person my 15 year old obese self never thought would ever be possible.