If you are a fan of martial arts such as boxing and jiu jitsu, you may have already discovered some of Hosanna Rull’s work. She is a skilled purple belt in BJJ, a high-level designer and branding expert that’s done wonders for important martial arts events such as Submission Hunter Pro, Fury FC MMA, Third Coast Grappling, Battleground BJJ and much more!
This special interview shares the benefits of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and her experiences as both a martial artist and an entrepreneur. Discover Hosanna’s insights as she captures the most meaningful moments on the mats and become inspired by her story.
Submission Shark Community | Instagram: @hosannarull
Full Name: Hosanna Rull
Belt Colour: purple 4 stripes
Professor: Prof. Travis Tooke
Short Term Goals: incorporate more Judo and wrestling into my game
How long have you been training BJJ for?
Where do you train BJJ out of?
Team Tooke in Houston, TX
Do you prefer gi or no-gi?
Have your instructors helped you in other aspects of life other than jiu-jitsu?
Absolutely! My professor, Travis Tooke, has been a huge influence in me starting my business. He encouraged me, taught me about customer service, people skills, and the importance of business values.
What are some lessons you learned from jiu-jitsu that apply to everyday life?
I’ve learned confidence is key! I truly believe insecurity is a silent killer. Learning to be confident and that I have the ability to push through any uncomfortable situation has helped me tremendously in everyday life.
How often do you train?
3-4xs a week.
What made you want to start training Jiu Jitsu?
My dad was a boxer and I grew up loving combat sports. I wanted to learn something new so I signed up to try Jiu-Jitsu. The plan was to train Jiu-Jitsu for 6 months then go back to boxing. After the first week of training I signed up for private lessons and have been training ever since.
Do you plan on training your whole life?
What’s it about jiu jitsu that makes it so addicting?
I love the puzzle and the problem solving required to advance position! And every roll is a different puzzle!
What has jiu jitsu done for your physical health?
Before Jiu-Jitsu I was on beta-blockers to treat my heart problems. I am now medication free and I don’t remember the last time I had a chest pain or shortness of breath. My whole lifestyle has changed and it motivated me to make healthier choices, learn how to properly fuel my body and to let my body rest when needed.
Has jiu-jitsu benefited your mental health?
100%! Jiu-Jitsu has taught me how to manage my stress, learn how to push through my fears, and be relaxed in tense situations. I’ve learned to be more level headed by understanding every problem has a solution.
Jiu-Jitsu has made me bolder and gave me the confidence to build a business and a brand in a male dominated industry. I think Jiu-Jitsu gave me a subtle, quiet confidence. I don’t have the need to prove to anybody how tough I am. I know that I am capable and that is enough for me.
If you could restart your BJJ journey, would you do anything differently?
I would have started sooner for sure. I would have told myself to not take competition so seriously and have more fun with it.
What’s your advice for someone that’s never tried Brazilian jiu-jitsu before but is interested in trying it?
Go for it! My advice to them is to just try a class and to remember to have fun with it. Be patient and trust the process and know whatever bad day you are having on the mats we have all been there. Don’t be afraid to voice your questions or concerns to your coaches and teammates. We are all there to help each other!
Do you have any aspirations in jiu-jitsu?
Of course I aspire to earn my black belt one day. I also strive to get back in the competition scene and become world champion. But honestly I just want to roll forever and share the benefits to training Jiu-Jitsu.
What’s your favourite BJJ moves?
I love passing the guard to mount. I enjoy solving the puzzle to clear the legs to pass. I have pressure passing, heavy mount game. My favorite submission from there is cross choke or arm bar.
If you didn’t discover BJJ, where do you think you’d be now?
Oh man … I have no idea. My business wouldn’t be without the love of the Jiu-Jitsu community and the whole combat sports community. I know I would still be involved in combat sports, like boxing. But I still think I would have crossed paths with Jiu-Jitsu because it’s grown so much in the last couple of years. Actually my boxing gym, Main Boxing Gym, added a Muay Thai program and recently a Jiu-Jitsu program.
Would you like to see the sport of jiu jitsu become more mainstream?
I think it’s getting there but absolutely!
Have any of your jiu jitsu training partners pushed you to reach your full potential?
I’m 4’10” and I have the best coaches and teammates who treat me like I’m still a force to be reckoned with and I appreciate that so much! Also the first time I trained with my boyfriend (brown belt) was just after Master Worlds 2017. I was in shape and still in competition mode, but he still showed me I can take it one step further.
When you were first starting, what was the most difficult concept of jiu jitsu that you had trouble getting?
Learning when is the right time to let go and move on to the next technique or to keep working for it.
If you could roll with any practitioner, dead or alive, who would it be?
I think my dad. After he passed away I found photos of what looked like him doing Judo throws and overhead sweeps. I’ve only seen him box. I would have liked to see what ground game he had.
If you had to describe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to someone that's never heard of it before in under 5 words, what would those words be?
Self defense with aggressive hugging. Lol!!!
What has been the most memorable moment you've had on the mats so far?
Competing in Abu Dhabi trials in the blue belt division as a white belt is one of my favorite Jiu-Jitsu memories and also one of my favorite competitions I’ve done! I placed 2nd.
What makes you want to inspire and motivate others?
Jiu-Jitsu has just done so much for my physical health, my mental health, my relationships, and my business that I just want everybody to have a piece of it. Especially for mental health because I think mental illnesses are one of the most untreated illnesses around. Peace and sound mind is one of the greatest gifts of life we can have.
Was there a difficult moment in your life where jiu jitsu helped you get through it? If so, please explain.
Jiu-Jitsu has given me a community I can depend on that has been there for me when life gets tough. My coaches and my teammates have always been there to celebrate my wins and to push me through the tough times.
What is Third Ward BJJ and how can people connect with them?
Third Ward BJJ is a non-profit providing affordable self defense in the Third Ward Community. It is truly a safe place for anybody of all backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs, lifestyles to come together and learn self defense. I heard about their mission and I knew I had to be a part of it. I launched their website and design their promotional flyers.
How can women benefit from BJJ and what can the martial arts community do as a whole to be more inviting for women to step onto the mats?
All females can benefit from Jiu-Jitsu. From young girls, to adults, to single moms, to grandmas can gain so much by learning self defense and becoming part of the Jiu-Jitsu community. There are already so many women-only programs to bring together more women to the mats.
The martial arts community can bring women who have never trained before to the women-only training, invite them to superfights and tournaments events, and keep sharing how Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts has helped them on and off the mats.
What would you like to say to all the women out there doing what they love in combat sports, whether it be athletes, coaches, event workers, or entrepreneurs like you?
Thank you to all the women already doing their thing in combat sports. I’ve had my fair share of not being taken seriously, being told I should just be a ring card girl, and pushing through training sessions when we are the only females in class. Leaving a mark in a male dominated sport has its challenges but women in combat sports has already grown so much, I’m excited to see where it will be in a few years.
Roxanne Modafferi and Hosanna Rull
What got you interested in creative work?
It all started when I joined Main Boxing Gym. Owner and promoter, Lou Savarese, found out I was a designer and asked me if I could design the flyers for his next boxing event. Then a few years later I started training at Team Tooke and Eric Garcia, who also trains there, was promoting his upcoming MMA event. He asked me if I could design posters for that event. I did photoshoots with fighters at Main Boxing Gym that got me noticed by bigger boxing promotions. It just snowballed from there. I created an LLC and a brand and now it’s my full time business creating graphics and photography for combat sports promotions, athletes, and gyms.
How has your experience been offering your skills to the BJJ and martial arts community?
Being able to make a living combining my love for art and photography with combat sports truly is a dream come true I envisioned back when I was only 17years old. I used to collect boxing posters and I remember thinking “It would be so cool if I could design something like this one day”. It really is crazy to me how I spoke it into existence!
Which organizations have you worked with in the past?
I work with Garcia Promotions, owned by my teammate Eric Garcia. I do all the design work for his events for Submission Hunter Pro and Fury FC MMA. Other Jiu-Jitsu promotions I also work with by doing their graphics and photography are Third Coast Grappling and BJJ tournament, Battleground BJJ.
I’m currently working with boxing promotions Next Fight Up, El Tigre Promotions, and Pueblo Boxing. I’ve had the pleasure to do photography and/ or graphic design for a lot of local fight gyms as well like Main Boxing Gym, Heritage Muay Thai, Baby Bull Boxing, Third Ward BJJ, Team Tooke MMA, and TX 3rd Coast MMA.
Which organization/athlete would you love to work with one day in the future?
My heart is in the local combat sports community. I would love to continue to grow with the local promotions I work with now. I love capturing the growth of boxing athletes like Miguel Flores, Pablo Cruz, and Regis Prograis. I was ringside for their amateur fights all the way to their world championship title fights.
I remember capturing Jiu-Jitsu phenoms like Roberto Jimenez and William Tackett back when they were just orange and green belts.
But if I had to pick someone new, I would love a chance to work with former boxing champion, Christy Martin, with her boxing events. Having the opportunity to work as one of the pioneers of women in combat sports would be so awesome!
What types of services do you offer and how can people reach out to you for more information?
I offer everything design wise to promote a combat sport event or combat sport gym. I design promotional flyers, website design, photography, social media content creation and management. You can reach me at email@example.com or DM me on my IG at @hosannarull.
What would you like to say to everyone that has supported you on your journey?
I am forever humbled and grateful for the love I have received! Thank you everybody who has been a part of my journey! Building a business that gets me to work with my training partners, my coaches, and some of my favorite people in the combat sports community has been so rewarding!
When the journey is over, how would you like to be remembered?
As an entrepreneur I would love to be remembered as someone who valued and care for my clients, that customer service is my #1 priority and I always go over and beyond to deliver.
As a training partner I would like to be remembered as someone who was never intimated and was bold enough to never give up. Someone who was inviting everyone to the mats and making them feel comfortable.
As a person I would like to be remembered as an ambitious woman who always went for it. Who created her own opportunities to do what she loved day in and day out to be more present for her family.
Do you know anyone that could benefit from working with Hosanna? Feel free to contact her for all of your branding and photography needs. If you’ve enjoyed this BJJ interview make sure to visit the community section for more interesting reads or learn how to improve your jiu jitsu and martial arts abilities by exploring the School of Sharks. You are free to discover articles such as:
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