Chattanooga’s Ann-Marie Bernitt Becomes First Female in Tennessee to Earn Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Dalton, GA-(WDEF) Unless you’ve seen MMA or UFC fighting, you’ve probably never heard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

But Chattanooga’s Ann-Marie Bernitt has become a master of the sport.
She is the first female in the state of Tennessee to earn a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
We caught up with her at Veritas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Dalton.

  Said Bernitt,"Well I always wanted to take a martial art. My dad was an FBI agent. He was like, I’m not going to pay for that because they don’t work in the street. And so my boyfriend at the time, who had just gotten out of the army, he was an Army Ranger. He told me about Gracie Jiu Jitsu and how they had trained that. He showed me some moves, and he showed me a book. I was like, this is it."
Reporter-"What’s people’s reaction when you tell them that you practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?"
Said Bernitt,"Well most of them are like, what is that? Is that like karate? And I say no, it’s based on ground fighting. So if somebody grabs you, how do you get away? Or if they take you to the ground, how can you defeat them as a smaller person against a bigger person."
Said Kevin Bruce who grapples with Bernitt,"As a bigger guy, it’s frustrating sometimes going against smaller people because you think you have an advantage being bigger, but their technique is so much better that it’s nullified."
Said Bernitt,"Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a huge part of MMA and Ultimate Fighting. You’ll notice they’ll close the distance and get what we call the clinch and go for the take down, and then try to defeat their opponent on the ground."
Said the owner of Veritas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Jason Finnell,"Ann-Marie is the first female black belt in the state of Tennessee. That’s an amazing accomplishment. Like I said, we’re thrilled to have her. We’re very proud of her."
Added Bernitt,"I love the sport. I love the self-defense side of it. I just stuck with it. Was blessed to receive my black belt." 
Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News

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