Team Texas: Priscilla Eckhardt

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Name: Pri Eckhardt

Rank: Purple Belt

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Where you train: Pablo Silva BJJ Team

How long have you been training? 
It’s been 5 years since I started, but I took off about 6-7 months this year when I found out I was pregnant with twins!

Favorite Gi?
My Albino & Preto is my favorite gi! It fits like a glove and the roughness of the weave makes it tough for others to grab.

What’s in your gym bag?
I love being prepared for anything so, I always have extra chongos and scrunchies, tampons, an extra pair of Nike Pro shorts, tape, socks, and deodorant!

Favorite submission?
My favorite submission since I started training has always been a triangle,I just see them everywhere!

Favorite thing about the Jiu Jitsu community in Texas?
My favorite thing about the Jiu Jitsu community here in Texas is how fast our city’s athletes are catching up to athletes around the country and around the world. Every time someone from our team goes out of town to compete my teammates always say, “It’s not PSBJJ vs. The World, it’s TEXAS vs. The World”.🤠 I love the fact that I have friends from almost every single team in Houston.

What’s one thing you would change about the Texas Jiu Jitsu community?
I wish the Texas Jiu Jitsu community was a little more tight-knit, I’m not one for cliques or drama, I could care less. I make friends with everyone and anyone!

You’ve recently had twins! Congratulations! How has life/training changed since then?
Thank you so much! So, Addison is currently still in the NICU, but since  Ayla got home not much has changed except for the amount of sleep I get!😂 Some days, if me and Ben are tired we take turns training and taking care of her to get some naps in but, for most classes she comes with us and chills mat-side! I am blessed though, because of what we do it makes it really easy for both of us to be able to stay home with the girls and fit in training/gym time wherever we can!

Did you train throughout your pregnancy?  If so, what was the hardest part of training?
I did at first until I was 20 weeks because that’s when I found out I was having twins. I was automatically labeled a high-risk pregnancy and was told I couldn’t necessarily train much or work out as much anymore. up until that point though the toughest thing was dealing with how bad my cardio had gotten from not rolling as much or as hard as I was used to and not working out as much either.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Honestly, my daughters. I recently had twin daughters prematurely at 28 weeks pregnant. They were tiny at 2lbs 6 ounces and 2lbs 12 ounces. I can’t even begin to explain how it’s changed me. Having kids was always something I wanted but, did I ever expect it to happen so soon? No. And did I ever expect it to happen like it did? Definitely not. I always imagined it up in my head to be picture-perfect, unfortunately for me, things never happen that way. I am so proud of myself physically for what my body has gone through and endured. However, most of all I’m super proud of myself for what I’ve toughed out mentally. After I had my girls and found out they both had a set of complications different from each other, I was broken. When I found out they’d have to both be in the NICU for months, it tore me apart. These little creatures, that I created and that resided in my belly for 6 months, were hurting. They were in pain. And they wouldn’t be able to come home with me just yet. Fast forward to almost two months later, and they’re now 6 pounds each and getting healthier and better by the day.

What has been your biggest struggle in Jiu Jitsu?
My biggest struggle in Jiu Jitsu has been my anxiety. I don’t talk about it often because I don’t want to give it that power or let it control me. I don’t want it to become this bigger issue when I’ve found my own ways to manage it.

If you could give any advice to your white belt self, what would it be?
If I could give my white belt self advice it would be to find a gym that more suited my needs in Jiu Jitsu faster. I would’ve like to be told that there are more gyms out there than just the one I came from. I wish I would’ve known faster that there were gyms specializing in all kinds of different things. I’m so happy I ended up where I’m at now but I wish it would have happened faster. My goals in Jiu Jitsu are very competition-oriented, and that’s not every coach, gym, or teammates goal so I’m glad I’m at a competition based gym!

What motivates you to train on days when you just don’t feel like it?
I always have a tournament coming up so that definitely helps me get off the couch when I don’t feel like it. I simply think of all the things my opponent must be doing right now to beat me. It doesn’t take a lot to get me motivated, I naturally strive for more all the time and know that to make it happen it takes hard work.

If you could take a private lesson with any Jiu Jitsu practitioner who would it be? Why?
If I could take a private from anyone it would either be Nathi de Jesus or Rafa Mendes! They are both amazing competitors and I love watching them.

Who is your favorite competitor to watch?
I’ve always loved watching the Miyao brothers, and I always wanted to have a guard like theirs since I’m more of a top player.

Who is your favorite TX competitor to watch? (outside of your current affiliation)
Currently, I really enjoy watching Patricia Machado, she has a very explosive passing game and a very technical guard.

What’s your perfect Jiu Jitsu playlist?
Mine changes all the time but my current top favorites that I HAVE to listen to before Jiu Jitsu are:
1. Eazy Duz It - Eazy E
2. Quicksand - SZA
3. Ocean Drive - Duke Dumont
4. Isis - Joyner Lucas
5. Ambitionz Az A Ridah - Tupac
It’s definitely all over the place but these are my current favorites.

What do you remember about your first day of Jiu Jitsu?
I remember wearing a gi that was a little too awkward on me, a belt that was too long, and rolling with Lucy Martinez! I remember recognizing a few things from when I had done Judo when I was 8 or 9 years old.

What do you remember about your first tournament?
I competed just 3 weeks after I started Jiu Jitsu and my very first white belt tournament I fought a girl and was stuck in her closed guard the WHOLE match. Then, I had to fight a boy in no gi and I, surprisingly, won the match.

What is your post-competition meal/restaurant?
Saltgrass simply because of my favorite dessert! Brownie skillet with extra caramel 🤠 OR, Thai Gourmet which is one of my top favorite restaurants of all time. My family has been taking me there since I was 3 or 4 years old.

When you’re not training Jiu Jitsu, where can we most likely find you?
Currently, either at the hospital visiting the NICU, at home taking care of one of our twins, at clinicals, or at the gym! Busy schedule!

Anything exciting coming up?
I’m competing at the San Antonio Open on December 8th. I also just started my nursing classes this month. I’m so excited about this because I’ve always wanted to go into the medical field! Most importantly, however, my second twin should be coming home soon. Things keep popping up but she’ll be strong enough to come home in November for sure.❤️

2020 is quickly approaching, What changes did you make this year and what are your goals for the new year? A major change I’ve made recently is the way I eat. I loooove my snacks and tasty foods but am definitely trying to be more disciplined! Also my goals for the new year include becoming a World Champion and a Pan Am Champion, being the best mommy I can be, and get accepted into the RN program!