Hillary Vanornum / Jiu Jitsu Coach
Classes: Women’s Jiu Jitsu
Hillary started training BJJ, Judo, and MMA in 2005 with her brother as a way to get back in shape and to try something new. She quickly fell in love with all of the sports, and started training more on her own without her brother. When she first started, very few women were competing in MMA, and she never thought she would have any MMA fights, let alone three. She toyed with the idea of competing in BJJ or Judo, but never imagined that she would end up becoming a BJJ World Champion as a brown belt, 2015.
Hillary and her brother started training in Virginia outside of Washington DC; but when they moved back home to Portland it took her two years to get enough courage to start training again. She started back at a big MMA gym and was intimidated by the number of UFC fighters who trained there. She was also without her brother, so she was worried she wouldn’t have a partner to train with. In hindsight, she wishes that she hadn’t waited that long! This experience is a big reason why she emphasizes creating an intimidation-free environment for women to try out BJJ for the first time.
Now Hillary trains 6 days per week, mainly in BJJ. About two and a half years ago she finally got her husband, Brian, to join her doing BJJ. They spend most of their “free time” doing something BJJ related. They also own a nano brewery at their house and have fun hanging out with their pug Bella.
Hillary’s biggest goal with Jiu Jitsu is to get more women trying it (and training!!!). She tries to ease people into it and also give the ladies some real life self-defense/practical applications of BJJ. She also encourages her female students to try competition as early as possible. She wasn’t able to compete much when she first started because there weren’t many women training let alone competing. She values competition as an opportunity to test our skills against other females of similar size and experience.
IBJJF World Champion (2015: brown belt superheavyweight)
IBJJF Master’s World Champion (2015: brown belt superheavyweight and open)
3x IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Champion (2013: purple belt heavyweight and open, 2012: purple belt heavyweight)
17 total IBJJF medals
A perfect 3-0 amateur MMA record (two TKO’s and one unanimous decision)
Hillary holds a 1st degree black belt in Jiu Jitsu and brown belt in Judo.