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Born to Be a Badass

Jul 5, 2021

Cindy Villanueva is a memoirist and an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women achieve lives of strength and joy. She’s the author of a terrific book called “Don’t Fight Mad: A Black Belt’s Quest To Recapture Joy” and she is the co-author of “Finding Our Wings: Seven Entrepreneurs on Reclaiming Hope and Power”. Cindy is a seventh degree black-belt master instructor and the owner of Ernie Reyes’ World Martial Arts. Her love of teaching led her to be an adjunct professor at Concordia University of Texas where she teaches undergraduate marketing and graduate marketing management and leadership. She speaks regularly on leadership and women in business. Cindy has four children and two grand-children and she splits her time between Austin, Texas and New Smyrna Beach, Florida. 


In this episode, Cindy and I discuss:

  • Difference between progression in girls and boys when learning self-defense 
  • How to set healthy boundaries and how to communicate effectively
  • Navigating through fear and dealing with it healthily 
  • Warning signs of an unhealthy or a potentially dangerous relationship


Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t be afraid to change. Be the person who you’re designed to be, that person can change and that’s okay.
  • To learn self-defense quicker, be comfortable with getting hurt and be ready to hurt. Sometimes violence is appropriate. Not all kinds of violence are evil. 
  • Think about the upside of embracing that fear vs capitulating to that fear. If you choose the latter, you would be less than who you are designed to be and who you’re capable of being. 
  • Don’t instantly dismiss yourself when you feel something is wrong. Trust your intuition and make an informed decision. 


"As soon as you hear or start saying the word ‘should’, run the other direction… there shouldn’t be a should, everyone is different. Figure out who you are… and what brings you joy." —  Cindy Villanueva


Connect with Cindy Villanueva:


Website: | 




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