Featured Female Fighter: Nicole Whissell, the rise of a top class competitor


 This Week, We have had the Pleasure of Interviewing one of the top female grapplers in Ontario: Nicole Whissell.

Nicole has been winning on a competition level regularly. Every competition she enters, she seems to get better, faster and stronger, making it tough for the competition to keep up. Not only that, but she has a very kind and strong personality. We wish her the Best.

Here are the questions GP asked while we interviewed her:

1) GP: How long have you been training in BJJ?
NW: Feb. 26 2010 is when I started

2) GP: When and how did you get your Blue belt?
NW: I received my blue belt at the Abu Dhabi trials in Montreal. After winning the whole event un-scored upon, as a two stripe white belt. My blue belt, to my surprise, was awarded to me right there on the podium. I was the only white belt on the podium.

3) GP: How often do you compete?
NW: This year in comparison to last year’s competition schedule, I decided to stay more active in the competition scene. I look to do 10-12 tournaments per year.

4) GP: Why is competing important to you?
NW: Competing is important to me because not only does it help measure my progress but it helps maintain the intensity and focus of my practices.

5) GP: What titles have you won so far?
NW: White Belt: Ontario Open 2010 gi & no-gi; Renzo Gracie Invitational, OJA Provincial Championships, Abu Dhabi Trials – Montreal -63kg white/blue combined. Blue belt: Ontario Open gi & no-gi blue-black medium weight class, Absolute bronze medalist.
Abu Dhabi silver medalist; Grappler’s Quest absolute & weight division champion in no-gi advanced and blue belt gi division.

6) GP: what do you love about BJJ?
NW: I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for so many reasons. One is because of its efficiency. I have done many things and the effectiveness of BJJ just continues to boggle my mind. I love how it challenges the thought process. A sheer chess game on the mat. Secondly, I love BJJ because it allows me the opportunity to compete all over the world and meet wonderful people along the way. I appreciate the friendships I have developped that would have been non-existant otherwise and truely enjoy this journey I am on right now. Of course as competitive athletes we are all results driven people but its important to put more value into the journey than the result because in the end what do you choose to have? A box full of medals tarnishing away? or do you have a group of people who you’ve developed strong friendships with. People who in essence, become your family.

7)GP: Have you trained in other martial arts before BJJ?
NW: I did wrestling back in high school. I pioneered womens wrestling here in Northern Ontario and was the area’s first national champion and got the MVP at nationals. (in my rookie year-never really did anything in my life half-fast!)

I wrestled from 1993-1996. (that’s where the addiction to combat sports came in!)
in 2002 I did a bit of Judo… for one year to be exact. Did a couple of competitions. Did so well that I was skipping belts. Went from white to orange to blue. At the provincials I received 3rd place (blue to black category).

Being a mom, (one daughter in 1996 and the other in 2006) I stayed in the wrestling scene by ways of coaching off and on through out the years.
Even though I dabbled into the Judo, I prefer the BJJ over any other art because a grappler is who I am at heart.

Thanks so much for your time and great answers Nicole. We look forward to seeing you win more competitions!

GP management.


Nicole Whissell the big winner at absolute blue belt

IBJJF World Championships 2011

by Nicole Whissell on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 12:08pm

Thank you everyone for the kind words! It has been a short and exciting journey thus far. I am also baffled myself at what i am accomplishing in such a short of time. This can only be accomplished via a great team of people. A heartfelt thank you to my family for their support. At times it’s not easy, but i appreciate all the love and support!

Thank you Yves Charette for not only the training obviously but helping me ground myself mentally during my training while I was dealing with a couple of injuries that seriously affected the intensity of my training for World’s. NOt every training session will be perfect and you’re not always going on the mat 100%. Thank you for being a greta source of support.

Thank you Michel Gagnon for constantly testing my limits during our personal training sessions. You’ve helped me see there’s nothing I cannot do. I appreciate all the advice and look forward to working with you again and again… can’t wait to see what things will look like in a year!

Thank you George Murphy for pushing me during our rolling sessions, your quality instruction and your commitment to me to constantly make me a better BJJ practitioner.

Thank You Mike Woodcock for your awesome take down classes on Mondays. Also thank you for all your support and correcting my technique with your constant attention to detail. I appreciate immensely all you and George have done for me to not only advance my technique but correct it as well.

Thank You Professor Dan Moroney for keeping tabs on me while at Worlds and giving me advice from a distance on how to tackle to absolute division.

Obviously, a big thank you goes out to The Fight Company BUT!!! Thank you Graplers Planet for being such a wonderful source of support during my journey. I am so happy to have met you guys! A huge thank you goes out to my girls Mary Hatcliff and Elizabeth Tran from Easton BJJ Denver for a wonderful time together during World’s, for thinking of me while making travel plans and being there for me during my fights! Was nice rooming with you both and great to have you both as a source of support while being here! Miss you both! Was nice training with you guys last summer and looking forward to training with you guys again this summer!

Last but not least, thank you Lisa Marie for our training sessions together outside of our class schedule. you got heart girl! Thanks for supporting me in such a manner!

I have always said and 100% convinced: It takes a team of people and community of people to develop world class athletes. So once again, thanks to everyone! On my way home later on tonight and can’t wait to get back home to my team and my family!

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