To find a family where every member trains in Jiu-Jitsu is somewhat rare. Maybe there are siblings who train, or a dad and a couple of kids who do, but generally, to find a family where mom, dad and all the kids train and compete together is really an extraordinary thing. At the 7th AZ State Championship, that family was found. Mom, dad, and their three kids all train together and compete under Gustavo Dantas Jiu-Jitsu. They are as follows: 34-year-old blue belt Tynysha Trun; her husband, Mark, also a blue belt is 36; Coree is an 11-year-old yellow belt; 9-year-old Sierrah is a gray/yellow belt; and 7-year-old Liam is also a gray/yellow belt.
“We do Jiu-Jitsu as a family,” Tynysha says. “Mark and I both grew up doing martial arts, and so, we wanted our kids to be in something self-defense related. We moved to Arizona of couple years ago and met Gustavo, and liked him. We decided to pursue Jiu-Jitsu. The kids started first, and then Mark and I followed.” Tynysha says the draw for her is that she loves choking people out! C’mon, mom… really? YES! “I’m a small person,” Tynysha laughs. “I’m 118 pounds. It’s very empowering to be small and to be able to hold my own on the mats.”
In the family, Coree, at 11 years old, has been the most successful competition-wise. She’s earned six gold medals and two silver in the eight tournaments she’s competed in since starting in 2010. Seven-year-old Liam is next, with six gold medals and two bronzes, but he’s been undefeated in all of the tournaments he’s participated in since 2011. Then there’s 9-year-old Sierrah who has won four gold medals, three silver and one bronze. “The kids love Jiu-Jitsu,” Tynysha says, proudly. “Sierrah always says she doesn’t really like it, but then when she rolls, it’s like a light gets flipped on and she loves it!”
As for Mark and Tynysha, they both love to compete, time and money willing. As one can imagine, paying entry fees for five people can be a little on the expensive side, but whenever they get the chance, they go for it. At the 7th AZ State Championship, Mark and Tynysha did not compete, but all three kids did, and all three won gold medals in their divisions!
So, what are the overall benefits for the Trun family being in Jiu-Jitsu besides it being just plain fun? “We’ve all bonded with our coaches and other team members,” Tynysha says. “Steve Rosenburg teaches a great kids class! As a family, we’re all so close, we wouldn’t want to do anything else. We’re harder on ourselves than on each other. We watch each other’s matches and we all know what it’s like to compete and win and lose, so we don’t pressure each other. We understand what it’s like to lose, and we don’t need to tell each other what we need to focus on. Each individual person already knows what that is. So, we are all just proud of each other for being on the mats and competing. We love each other no matter what – win or lose. I think parents put too much pressure on their kids to win. It sets them up for failure. I want my kids to want to do Jiu-Jitsu, so we make it fun. After every tournament we all go somewhere special, win or lose, to celebrate. Jiu-Jitsu has really brought us all closer together.”