Whitney Miller interview: from tiaras to takedowns


Simply two years after being topped Miss United States in 2012 Whitney Miller competed in her first Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) event. Miller took away a gold and silver medal (for no-gi and gi disciplines, respectively), was immediately hooked and commenced coaching with a few of the world’s finest fight sports activities opponents to work in the direction of a world championship.

You’ve been a TV presenter, magnificence pageant competitor {and professional} wake surfer. What led you to start out doing BJJ?

I’m at all times trying to problem myself. One evening I used to be watching the UFC pondering it might be enjoyable to do, however I didn’t actually wish to get hit within the face so I made a decision to get into the bottom recreation. I went to lessons however for the primary two months I hated it. It was simply so tough bodily and emotionally, however it slowly received simpler and I began getting hooked on the tactical side of it. BJJ is a psychological recreation as a lot as a bodily one, and I really like enjoying a type of live-action recreation of chess with my opponent.

What precisely did you hate about it?

It harm. Getting thrown down is not any enjoyable in any respect and I used to be coaching with a bunch of fellows and perhaps one or two different ladies within the class. I used to be getting wrecked daily, both choked out or arm-barred and in addition to being painful, it was so irritating. Now, I’m higher at controlling my feelings and never getting so irritated after I get beat.

We take it no-one was going straightforward on you at first then…

No, under no circumstances. I imply, come on – it was Miss United States, so all of them wished to knock her round somewhat bit, for actual.

You’ve grappled with UFC featherweight Cub Swanson. Who’re you coaching with now?

Cub and I are each sponsored by Onnit so we nonetheless practice collectively typically. A variety of athletes come via our coaching centre and I’ve been fortunate sufficient to practise with quite a lot of folks, together with [UFC middleweights] Andrew Craig, Tim Kennedy, [UFC bantamweight champion] TJ Dillashaw and [UFC commentator] Joe Rogan. They’re all superior, alpha-male fashion guys, so it’s at all times unbelievable each time I managed to return out on high.

Of all of the folks you’ve skilled with, who left you feeling probably the most destroyed?

It was truly the women. [Invicta MMA champion and new UFC signing] Michelle Waterson stayed with me for per week or two. We’re about the identical measurement so I believed I’d stand an opportunity, however she’s been coaching BJJ for a lifetime and she or he crushed me that day! I received the higher hand a number of instances, however after hours of going at it I used to be shot. I stored crying and was even swearing off of BJJ.

Once you’re feeling like that, what makes you choose your self up once more?

The problem. And lots of people look in the direction of me as an inspiration. Individuals are like, ‘If she will be able to do it, then I can too’ and that doesn’t even have to use simply to BJJ. I get inspirational messages from my followers that pump me up and make me assume, ‘Screw this. I’m going to return on the market and do higher.’

What’s scarier, strolling out at a magnificence pageant or preventing BJJ?

There’s no comparability – preventing BJJ, 100%. Strolling up on stage in a fairly costume and throwing on a smile is actual straightforward. Standing nose to nose with any person who may severely injure you shouldn’t be. Each combat may finish with me getting choked out or having a limb damaged. It’s terrifying, however what makes it so rewarding is the one one who can cease that from taking place is me.

Comply with Whitney Miller on Twitter @Miss2Jits

Strikes like Miller

Do these unconventional workout routines Miller makes use of to get in preventing form one after one other, with a two-minute break between strikes.

Battle rope hip toss

Units: three Reps: 15 all sides Relaxation: 1min

‘I take advantage of battle ropes to assist construct the ability I must throw folks,’ says Miller. ‘Maintain one in every hand and pivot out of your hips, slamming the rope down as arduous as you’ll be able to.’

Kettlebell windmill

Units: three Reps: 10 all sides Relaxation: 1min

‘This hits stabilising muscle tissue that assist you keep in your ft. Maintain a kettlebell up in a single hand and level the foot of your reverse leg out. Slowly lean down, then rise up once more, working your free hand alongside your leg.’

Mace 360

Units: 2 Reps: 10 every course Relaxation: 1min

‘Maintain it up in entrance of you, after which swing it round behind your head and again to the beginning.’ No mace in your health club? Choose up a sledgehammer from B&Q.