Jenna "Harley SoCal" Bernick
Hey Jenna – thanks so much for agreeing to this interview – I really appreciate your time!
KB: It appears you’re very involved in grappling in Southern California; I assume you train in the martial arts? Tell me, where do you train and in what martial arts systems?
JENNA: Well actually Jan 9, 2011 was my first ever grappling tournament. I thought it looked fun and it was. I want to try and stay active between fights so I figured doing grappling events would be a good way. I don't have a lot of training in BJJ but I'm learning. As far as training goes I love to stand up. As a teenager I was in Tae Kwon Do got to a 2nd degree brown. As a blue belt I was fighting black belts in tournaments and winning. I got out of that due to other sports in high school. Over the last few years I got into kickboxing and Muay Thai.
Image via Wikipedia
KB: Looks like your favorite MMA fighters include Chuck Liddell, BJ Penn, Miesha Tate and Bas "El Guapo" Rutten…what do you like about these fighters?
JENNA: Yes they are some of my favorite fighters. What I like about them is thier passion they all have for the sport, how they handle themselves outside the cage. They all train differently and fight differently so I enjoy watching them all.
KB: Have you ever met any of your favorite fighters, and if so – what was that like for you?
JENNA: As a matter of fact I have met all four of them. Couple years ago BJ Penn was out in Ventura, CA promoting his DVD. Some friends and I went up there, got to meet him, take pictures and chat for a minute. He was really cool.
Bas Rutten I've met a couple times because he used to come into the store I work out in Westlake, CA. I also trained at his gym for a short time. Recently he had a new grand opening of Elite MMA in Westlake Village. I went to the grand opening and that is where I met Miesha Tate. We had chatted a bit online and when she told me what was going I wanted to go meet her.
She is very down to earth and just an awesome fighter.
As far as meeting Chuck Liddell was the best. He has alway been my favorite fighter and I always told myself I would meet him one day and well I did. I was invited by CA Fight Syndicate to tryout for a local reality show, it was being held at West Coast Jiu Jitsu in Oxnard. Half way through the tryouts Chuck comes walking in and yes I was starstruck lol. He was really awesome to meet and so nice to everyone who wanted pictures or autographs. I finally got to meet him so now I can mark that off my bucket list lol haha.
KB: Can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself? For example, it looks like you’re initially from North Carolina, but you live in Moorpark, California now – how did that happen?
JENNA: Yes I'm originally from Fayetteville North Carolina & proud of it. How I ended up out here in So Cal, well I was adopted at an early age and my parents who adopted me were out there because my dad was based at Pope Air Base. So when I was about 5 years old we moved out to Moorpark, CA and been in the area since then. I also have an older brother who was adopted from Fayetteville as well.
KB: How did you get involved in MMA and what is your current involvement?
JENNA: I actually have been through a long road to get to where I'm at. A couple years ago I had back surgery. What brought it on was I threw my back out working at Sportsmart. Since 2004 I've had 2 back surgeries, many hours of phsycial therapy, couple hospital visits, had 3 epidurals in a 2 1/2 month period and now have 7 screws, 2 rods and 2 cages in my lower back. My doctor told me I wouldn't be able to do hard workouts anymore or any of that. Well i proved him wrong.
Three days after I got the screws put in I was up and walking, a week later I was out of the hospital and at my parents house going up and down the stairs. I wasn't going to let this stop me from doing anything it just pushed me more to get healed and get back to working out. I then got into kickboxing and things just went on from there.
I got into watching UFC on TV and thought it was really cool. I was starting to take an interest in it MMA and got in contact through Facebook and just sorta’ went on from there. My current involvement now is I became a pro fighter quickly and have had two fights. After that I was hooked, no going back just forward. I just wished I could of had some ammy fights before taking a pro fight but I was so new to the sport I didn't even really know what I was doing but we learn from our mistakes and move on.
KB: How about stepping into the ring – is that something you’d like to take on?
JENNA: I've been in the cage twice now, and can't wait to get back in the cage. Once in AZ and in June 09 I got to fight down in one of my favorite places, down in New Orleans area. I was so taken in by everything when I was there, I hope to make it back there to not only to fight again but take in more of the city.
KB: You’ve said you hope to mentor girls in MMA – tell me about that; how will you mentor them?
JENNA: When I was growing up I was big into sports but my favorite was Field Hockey. I played for many years and ended up coaching a team of under 9 kids. Being able to teach them the sport I love and I hope to do that same with MMA. It's a differnt world with MMA and I hope that one day to help girls get to where I am today. I guess I would tell them to live their dream, if being involved in MMA is your dream then follow it. Don't give up, train, and stay positive. Sometimes it is a slow process of getting fights but it will and does happen. Live your life, it's the only one you got!
KB: Do you have any plans to act as a trainer, coach, matchmaker, finding sponsorship for fighters or anything similar in the MMA industry?
JENNA: Well right now I'm just focused on getting fights, getting licensed to fight in CA in front of my friends/fans and family. I would love one day to maybe help some younger fighters find sponsors and stuff like that. I have been doing most of finding sponsors and fights all on my own. It's not the eaisest but I have been making it happen. I have some awesome sponsors and made some really good friends along the way. I hope it continues.
KB: What advice do you have for upcoming female MMA fighters who are interested in either learning to fight, or have been training already and want to now step into the ring?
JENNA: I honestly would say get some ammy fights in, I wish I did but I rushed into it because I didn't know any better. Get to know people in MMA wheather it be trainers, coachs other fighters. Keep up with training, good diet and being positive.
KB: Hey Jenna – is there anything you’d like to discuss or share with your fans, such as sponsors, companies your work with, information on your training center, any fighters we should be watching or anything else you want us to know?
JENNA: I want to thank all my friends and fans without all your support through ups and downs. I'd like to thank my team, MMA MostWanted, My Coach Tony Villalobos of Katana-Fitness, another trainer/nutrionalist Rob Haro of Forever Fit, Divolic Gear, TrauMMA.net for putting up my a profile for me. Also some local sponsors from where I live that are also some close friends of mine. They are 805 Pong and Bad Action MMA. With out all these people it wouldn't be possible to do what I do.
KB: Hey Jenna, this is awesome – I really appreciate your willingness to share this information about yourself! I do have one more question for you – should we call you “Harley” or “Jenna”? ;-)
JENNA: That's funny you ask me that because I think a lot of people actually think my first name is Harley lol but it's not. It doesn't bother me at all that they call me Harley instead of Jenna so feel free to use either or. But just for the record my real name is Jenna Bernick! I also want to say thanks to you Katrina for asking someone like me to do this interview. I'm really honored and stoked you asked. Thank you!!!!
Please watch this interview video of Jenna!
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