Although born and raised in California, Shawn recently found out her mother’s biological family was originally from Bend, OR. Before BJJ, Shawn’s primary sport for over a decade was soccer. She played two seasons for Southern California’s District 5 Olympic Development Program Team and then two collegiate seasons. Shawn’s first jobs were in coaching local club teams and refereeing.
Shawn has 20 years of martial arts training and over a decade of teaching experience. In 2015, she received her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under World Champion Lana Stefanac. She has competed in mixed martial arts in the U.S., Japan, and New Zealand. In addition to training and teaching, Shawn is currently a board members of Traction Project which is a nonprofit that provides free martial arts training to at-risk members of the LGBTQAI+ community.
Shawn’s approach to coaching is a bit unique in that she believes that understanding the “why” is just as important if not more so than the “how.” If students understand the “why” it allows you to experiment, play, create and innovate on the “how.” She likes to explain this and ask students to think about it while they are exploring the “how.” Shawn wants students to get the most out of the time that they are able to spend on the mats even if it or the number of reps they can perform are more limited.
Playing sports has always been a critical component to Shawn’s mental, emotional and physical health. It is why teaching is so important to her, because it allows her to share what she has learned. Shawn’s hope is that others can also benefit from these things as well as hold gratitude for what these experiences provide them with.
Shawn attended undergrad at the Claremont Colleges in Southern California and has an art degree with a focus on film-based photography. For work she do “business jiujitsu,” providing data analysis, strategic planning, revenue and organizational growth in the e-commerce space for social impact driven organizations.
Shawn teaches our Friday night All Levels Jiu Jitsu class and also fills in teaching other classes if other instructors are out.