Her name is Natasha Quiza. She is a 26-year-old Miami girl – of Cuban descent. She works a 40-hour-a-week job and is “normal” by all standards. But what sets Natasha apart from the every day woman on the street? Her title as Brazilian Blue Belt National Champion 2012.
As a young girl, Natasha wasn’t athletic. But as a teenager she found a passion for dancing and did so until her college years when she realized there weren’t as many “adult” dance competitons for her to enter. She eventually started training in muay thai.
“I trained in muay thai for about two years under Eduardo ‘Ferrino’ Silva, and during a class, Denis Mitchel (my first BJJ coach) offered me a free week to take jiu-jitsu. I really had no interest in it, but he convinced me do a class. After the first day, I fell in love with it and ended up stopping muay thai altogether and turned my focus to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I entered my first tournament with less than one month of training. I haven’t stopped training since.”
Natasha started BJJ in November of 2010 and is currently a blue belt under Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. She currently trains at Fight Sports in Miami.
Despite having a full-time job, Natasha competes as often as possible, having entered tournaments in New York, Phoenix, Chicago, California and Brazil.
Natasha said her family supports what she does, despite have never seeing her compete.
“It’s the one thing I would love for them to experience, me competing live,” she said.
As far as future plans:
“I want to get my black belt and someday move to Brazil to train and work.”
De la Riva Cup Champion October 2010 – Gold
De la Riva Cup, October 2010 – (Blue Belt) – Bronze
De la Riva Cup, October 2010 No Gi Absolute – Bronze
Grapplers Quest, January 2011 – Silver
Grapplers Quest, January 2011 No Gi – Silver
NAGA World Cup, February 2011 – Silver
IBJJF New York International Open Champion, April 16, 2011 – Gold
IBJJF Phoenix International Open Champion, April 30, 2011 – Gold
IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu Championship – June 2-5, 2011 – Bronze
Fuji Open Champion – July, 2011 – Gold
IBJJF Rio International Open Champion, July 21-24, 2011 – Gold
FLBJJ Florida States Champion – August 2011 – Gold
FLBJJ Florida States Absolute – August 2011 – Silver
IBJJF Chicago International Open Champion – August 2011 – Gold
IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu No Gi Championship – October, 2011 – Bronze
FJJBPR Puerto Rico Nationals Champion – November 2011 – Gold
IBJJF Houston International Open Championship – February 2012 – Bronze
BJJF Chicago Winter Open Champion – March 2012 – Gold
2012 IBJJF Brasilian National Champion – April 2012 – Gold (Currently)