Coach Marissa Fernandez is currently a Purple Belt under the instruction of Professor Evandro Campelo Junior.
Coach Marissa’s BJJ career started after a career ending basketball injury to her right knee. She had been a competition level athlete her whole life and in a matter of minutes when at the collegiate basketball level, she was told she would never play another game of basketball. This led to many months of physical therapy and in the end she was only able to barely squat & was not stable enough to lunge. However, BJJ saved her in all the ways the doctors told her she wouldn’t be able to be mobile again. For that reason alone, she believes that BJJ can be a catalyst to change in anyone and everyone’s life.
BJJ for Coach Marissa is a form of therapy to help keep her physical, spiritual, and emotional being all intact. Not only does she hope to accomplish big titles in her BJJ career but she hopes to grant as many students as possible the passion of the BJJ lifestyle. Marissa is a firm believer that it is and can be for everyone. Many people start this lifestyle much younger but Coach Marissa is proof that it is not when you start that it is important.
As a coach to all age ranges, Marissa knows she can be a foundational person who not only inspires all but leads by example.
Coach Marissa is excited to share her passion for life both on and off the mat. Although she is an avid competitor, she understands that there is much more to this sport and within the walls of a gym than being the best or winning titles. Which only fuels her more to give her best to the community she is leading.
Outside of the mat Marissa holds a BSE in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an emphasis on child psychology. Marissa has a strong passion for kids and children as she was previously a K-8 Special Education Teacher. She hopes to be the voice of reason for kids to do great things for as many children as possible.
Marissa Fernandez has been an avid competitor since the time she stepped onto the mat. Competing in her first IBJJF championship just months after starting. Marissa has competed all over the midwest and has brought home hardware every tournament except two in her competitive career, one of those being her first tournament ever. However, Marissa’s biggest pride is in being able to bring together the community to truly embody the philosophy of the Gracie Barra way.