Brenda Castillo - Jiu Jitsu Blackbelt, Gym Owner & Mentor

For some people in the jiu jitsu community, jiu jitsu is more than just training, competing, and winning. For people like Brenda Castillo, jiu jitsu is more about bringing a community together and that’s exactly what she’s been doing with her school ENZO Jiu Jitsu in McAllen, Texas.

Brenda has been training for about 11 years and received her black belt under Presa Jiu Jitsu. In her 11 years being involved with the BJJ community, she became inspired by the great Leticia Ribeiro to begin her own female competition team. “It was successful for the exposure that Jiu Jitsu needed for the female community...” says Castillo.

Despite Brenda believing in herself and with what Leticia had instilled in her, she had doubters about how far she could go. “Most on the outside saw this as a waste of time and that my team was not going to amount to much, but I kept pushing” said Castillo. She added, “My relentlessness was able to push me through to opening up my own school, ENZO Jiu Jitsu...a place where my students and I can call home.”

With being a school owner, Brenda has had to overcome a variety of obstacles which has also helped her be an active competitor. “I hold my head up high knowing that I have stayed determined and done away with all the naysayers and negativity. I am the only black belt school owner in the Rio Grande Valley and I can confidently say that I am proud of that” says Brenda. Brenda has done an amazing job of bringing together a BJJ community in an area where the sport is not as well known. Going forward, Brenda says that she’s never finished or fully satisfied. She takes the ENZO symbol to say that, “the unfinished circle means that there is always room for improvement and the beauty of imperfection will always keep us chasing for higher things.”