Hillary: “I would fight Roger if I had to”

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Hillary at the last Pan, in a photo by Mike Pesh.

Brown belt Hillary Williams does all she can to keep busy. Class at Westside JJ Academy is not enough for the 21-year-old fighter and she, along with Pablo Popovitch, now prepares to teach the inaugural class at Hermes França’s new academy in Oregon, and the Pan in Irvine, among other adventures.

We’ll let her tell it, in these 4 questions from GRACIEMAG.com:

How did your participation in the Arnold’s Jiu-Jitsu tournament, the grand event of Governor Schwarzenegger in Columbus, Ohio, go?
It was this weekend, I entered the no-gi tournament and won my two matches with relative ease. At brown belt in the gi, however, there were no competitors, so I signed up for the male one. I lost 4 to 0 but took a beating!

Jeez. How was that?
I fought this brown belt from Michigan, I forget his name. He’s good, and won using technique. In the end I thanked him just for having fought me, after all he had guts doing a match he had nothing to gain from. As for me, I was there to learn some more. I would have gone against Roger Gracie if he were the only competitor there (laughs).

And how about for next Saturday? How are your preparations for the seminar at East West Combat Club, Hermes’s gym in Portland, going? (See more here)
I’m excited but nervous! I’d be thrilled just to participate in a seminar with Pablo Popovitch and Hermes Franca, you know. So teaching with the two of them is an honor. I already planned what I’ll teach, and I hope to show the students Jiu-Jitsu techniques from the perspective of a smaller and lighter person. I don’t do fancy moves with funny names, you know, but the basics that I know, I do well, and it’s these finer details in positions that I’d like to show. I really love teaching Jiu-Jitsu, so I’m stoked to be there next weekend.

And how are your preparations for the Pan going, alright?

Of course, I can’t miss this Pan! I’m doing lots of prep work. I know that to beat these girls I have to have the best technique, the most gas and be in better shape. A tiny mistake is all it takes to lose to them. Oh, and after the Pan, I go to Rio again in May. I bought my ticket yesterday and I’m overjoyed!

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