Valerie Worthington
United States, New Jersey, Princeton
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Sport Psychology

Valerie Worthington has been moving her body since before she was born, for many reasons and with many outcomes. She really started to pay attention to how, when, and why her body moves when she began training in Brazilian jiu jitsu in 1998. From then on, she became hugely invested in educating herself about how to optimize her body movement for BJJ and how to support it in doing so. She has observed that these endeavors require her to invest herself not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and psychologically, fueling a particular interest in the influence on her life of these dimensions of athletic activity.


Valerie has developed as a BJJ practitioner via her own training and competition preparation, teaching and coaching other practitioners, and writing about her life as a jiu jitsu devotee through the lens of her education, personal experiences, and professional background. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University. She is a first-degree black belt in BJJ, as well as co-founder and proprietor of Groundswell Grappling Concepts. She trains at Princeton Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Princeton, New Jersey.


Most recently, Valerie is the author of How to Love a Grappler: A Guide for People Who Love People Who Love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She can be reached through her email.