Contributor - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Educational Psychology
Author Specialty: 
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Sport Psychology
Valerie Worthington has been training Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) since 1998. BJJ has had a profoundly positive impact on her life; it has enabled her to learn technique and strategy from myriad elite and world champion athletes, travel to far corners of the world, and learn important home truths about herself.


Valerie holds her black belt from New Breed Academy in Santa Fe Springs, CA. She is co-head instructor for Women’s Grappling Camp, which gives women who train BJJ the opportunity to learn together, given that BJJ is still a male-dominated sport, and to help them optimize their training with both men and women.


An experienced competitor, Val began CrossFit in 2007 to supplement her BJJ training and increase her competitive edge; her CrossFit experiences have only magnified the positive influence BJJ has had on her life. Subsequently she has earned the CrossFit Level I, the CrossFit Basic Barbell, and the CrossFit Football certifications.


Valerie earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Dartmouth College and her doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University. She teaches college and doctoral level courses for several universities. Her courses include Program Evaluation, Qualitative Research Methods, Leisure for Well-Being, The Teaching of Psychology, and Writing for Research.


Valerie spends most of her time training BJJ, picking up heavy things, and writing, but she also prioritizes family, friends, snacks, and self-deprecating humor.


If you would like to contact Valerie, email her at