February 7th 2017
Name – Shinju Nozawa Auclair
Nickname – Juju
Weight – 125 Pounds
Amateur Record – 1 Win 0 Losses
Team – Scorpion Fighting System
Where are you from ?
San Francisco, California. Fighting out of Brighton, MI.
How long have you been training ?
I began MMA when I joined team SFS about 9 months ago.
How did you get in to MMA ?
My ex used to watch a lot of UFC when we were together. The exact fight that got me interested in giving it a go was Paige VanZant vs. Felice Herrig.
Tell us about your nickname and how you got it ?
My real name is Shinju, but my family has called me Juju ever since I was little.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
The first time I sparred, I got popped square in the face. Instead of shutting down, I came to life. I was in a rocky relationship at the time and had very low self worth along with a crippling lack of confidence. I felt strong for the first time and I was hooked on that feeling. I haven’t stopped since.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to compete in MMA ?
They are always supportive, but they didn’t take me very seriously in the beginning. They probably thought I was picking up another hobby and didn’t realize how hard I planned to pursue this. Now I have their full support and I could not be more grateful.
What is your current record ?
What is your favorite strike, submission, or combination to use in a fight ?
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
Michelle Waterson. I am a huge fan of hers in and out of the cage and hope to be able to carry myself as she does one day.
What team do you train with ?
Scorpion Fighting System.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
What does being fighter mean to you ?
Mental toughness and constant growth as a human being.
What weight do you fight at ?
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
My background in Ballet gives me a physical advantage. Dance requires a complete understanding of your body.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
My little sister, for old times sake.
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
My one and only, Larkyn Dasch.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
I had my coach talk me through the fight multiple times. Constantly visualizing and staying relaxed.
Who are you fighting next ?
I am fighting Chelsea Lagrasse March 18th in Cleveland Ohio.
What holes or weaknesses in your opponents game will you be looking to take advantage of when you step in the cage with her ?
I’m on the taller side of my weight class so I am always looking to utilize my reach against my opponent and keep the fight on the feet. However, if she takes it to the ground, I’ll immediately look for top position as I have been working a lot on my BJJ control.
What promotion will you be fighting for ?
I will be fighting for the RFO
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want to inspire young people to take charge and not accept the situations you are put in. Never ignore your dreams, embrace your passion. I want kids to look at me and say, “if she can do it, so can I.”
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
My coach, Brian Fornasiero.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
Coaches all around the world. The people we turn to for guidance, leadership, and instruction. The collective group of coaches who are getting their athletes ready everyday, mentally, physical and emotionally–that’s who has the biggest impact on the sport.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
I love to stand and strike.
What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
My desire to grow as a person. For me, this journey is mostly a mental one.
What is something people might not know about you ?
I am more afraid of losing than getting hurt in the cage.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
Finishing nursing school.
What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
Constant visualization of how my fight will play out.
Do you have any rituals that get you ready to go to step in the cage ?
I wrote a checklist of some key details I wanted to focus on during the fight while I was backstage.
Your backstage about to walk out your music hits what’s going through your head as you walk to the cage ?
Show time, baby!
Who is your favourite fighter ?
Tiffany Van Soest, Joanna, Michelle Waterson.
When you’re not training what do you like to do with your free time ?
What free time?! I work full time as a bartender and train when I’m not at work.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Admitting for the first time out loud how badly I wanted this. Like I mentioned earlier, this journey is a mental one. I was afraid to enter the scary world of combat sports, but when I decided to embrace my fear and use it as my motivation.. something changed for me.
What do you think the biggest challenges are for women in MMA ?
Being taken seriously. I can’t tell you how many times leading up to my debut that I was brushed off and counted out. I worked hard for this, but people like to judge a book by its cover. There’s a lot more to me than what people see, but I guess I’ll just have to prove it over time to get others to believe in me.
What advice can you give to young female fighters ?
Create the world you want for yourself. Take charge of your own life. If you end up unhappy because you let others dictate your decisions, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. And always always always, kick ass!
Where do you see women’s MMA in the next 5-10 years ?
Exponential growth in women’s MMA is to be expected. More weight classes, more respect, more high-level competitors.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?
Representing Scorpion Fighting System on a big stage.
What are your goals within the sport ?
To encourage others, especially girls, that it’s ok to feel empowered. If I never win a title or never make it big but I’ve inspired a handful of people, I’ll be ok with that.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
James Gray and Brian Fornasiero for taking me in and believing in me. The entire coaching staff at Team SFS who are nothing short of amazing. My highly skilled training partners who push me everyday. Joe Donofrio for allowing me to debut on his fantastic card. Brad and Rochelle at Undercard for their generous sponsorship. My family and friends who have shown full support and are backing my journey. And finally, my dog Kuma I’m doing this for you baby!
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