Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Born to Be a Badass

Mar 2, 2020

About AJ Clingerman: AJ Clingerman is a No-Gi World Champion Purple Belt. She is an ambassador for Women’s Jiu Jitsu and has run multiple Women’s Only Grappling Camps and Open Mats. AJ also sits on the board and is an advocate for My Bruises Are From – a women’s domestic violence charity. AJ is very active in teaching and competing. She teaches 4 women’s only classes and 4 co-ed classes each week between Indiana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy and Endurance BJJ. AJ is the author of the Instructional Dare to be Fearless; the Everyday Woman’s Guide to Self Defense. She is very active in spreading Jiu Jitsu and Self Defense, teaching seminars for police departments, private companies, and one-on-one sessions.


In this episode, AJ and I discuss:

  • Transitioning from Dance to Martial Arts and teaching self-defense.
  • How AJ got started in self-defense and how it compares to martial arts.
  • Learning how to breathe, learning to fall, and training in muscle memory.
  • Paying attention to the people around you and reacting accordingly.


Key Takeaways:

  • Play games to develop your sense of awareness of your surroundings.
  • Breathe! Your self-defense skills will not save you if you pass out from lack of oxygen in the meantime.
  • Notice those around you – both good and bad. There are those around you that need help, need a friendly gesture, and may just need a smile.
  • Having the knowledge makes a difference. It’s all about what your body can do, more than the number on the scale and what you see in the mirror.


"I am a huge believer in making eye contact with everyone. People are not getting the wrong idea when I’m making eye contact. People who are doing bad things don’t want to be seen. People who are having a bad day and need to be seen, it can change their whole day." —  AJ Klingerman

Connect with AJ Klingerman:


Facebook: AJ Clingerman

Website: &

YouTube: AJ Clingerman

Instagram: @ajclingerman

Roll Model Women’s Only Grappling Camp

Book Recommendation: The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker



If you'd like to chat with Cynthia, sign up for your Personal Safety Preparedness Consultation with her today!

Remember to subscribe to "Born to Be A Badass" so that you don't miss a single episode, and join us in the "Born to Be A Badass Collective" group on Facebook. While you're at it, won't you take a moment to write a short review and rate our show? It would be greatly appreciated!

If you work in the self defense world, are a survivor, a healer or otherwise BADASS woman and you would like to be interviewed by Cynthia, reach out at

To learn more about previous guests, listen to past episodes, and get to know your host, go to Apple Podcasts or here.

Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin