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Age: 13

State: TX

Gym: True Jiu Jitsu Academy | BJJ Revolution Team

Belt: Yellow and Black

Instructor: Shane Zeringue

Accomplishments: PAN KIDS 2020 Bronze Medalist, NAGA No-Gi Gold Medalist, Submission Fight Club Gold Medalist, 12x Silver Medalist

Goals: My Black Belt, the Air Force Academy, and Law School. From there, I intend to positively shake up the world through a career in politics.

Instagram: #matdogbg

“I am Bella “Matdog” Burgan. I began my BJJ journey in 1st grade and have been in love with it ever since. For me, Jiu Jitsu is my safe place…it is where I can let go of everything else going on in the world. It is where I can compete against others or compete against myself. It is where I can work my tail off and win or work my tail off and learn. Either way, I get back up and back out on that mat and thrive. I have so much gratitude for my coach, Professor Shane Zeringue, for the way he invests in me and believes in me. Off the mats, I work tirelessly to create and right-size common sense animal welfare bills and laws inside of the State of Texas. This advocacy has landed me with the role of Texas Humane Legislation Network’s District 52 Ambassador which allows me to lead other animal welfare advocates in effecting much needed change through citizen advocacy. Powerfully standing for those without voices is part of my inner make-up; it is how I grew up and how I intend to live the rest of my life. With public service at the center of my heart, I also serve on a youth advisory board for Texas House District 52, appointed by Representative James Talarico. But connecting with nature is where I breathe and find my calm — and in this space, I have come to enjoy working with horses, both on the ground and in the saddle. In 2019 I began the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program and just like belts in Jiu Jitsu, we move through levels of training and mastery that come with time, dedication, blood, sweat, tears and experience. I am a member of the National Junior Honor Society and academics are extremely important to me. I love reading, learning and pushing myself beyond any self-imposed limits (the part I truly love about BJJ!). I love quiet time on the beach with my mom (my best friend). I love Jesus Christ. And my goodness, I love Jiu Jitsu. It is with great honor that I get the opportunity to represent SicChic on the mats as I believe that role modeling grace, grit and determination for girls across the globe needs to remain top priority for today and all of our tomorrows.”

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