Penny Thomas is South African Jiu-jitsu star has been competitively involved in sports since she started Gymnastics at age 5. She was part of the SA Junior Olympic Team at 12 years old when she had to stop training to undergo spinal surgery. Penny went on to compete in a variety of sports, including swimming, sprinting and life-guarding. She started Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in South Africa more for the Self Defense aspects but after her first class, BJJ became a big part of Penny’s life – from traveling to Brazil each year to train and compete, to managing South Africa’s first Brazilian Jiu-jitsu out of her garage, to eventually resigning from her full time job as a software developer to go on tour and become South Africa’s first BJJ World Champion.
Penny believes that having a balanced life is the key to being healthy and she has always worked to maintain the academic and artistic aspects of her life. She has won awards for artwork she created, won an Advanced Mathematics Tournament and has had a successful 8 year career in software development.
Penny also believes that as a sportswoman, it’s important to maintain a feminine image, so she practices yoga regularly to maintain her flexibility and posture. She is also conscious about how she fuels her body and has been a vegetarian for the last 6 years. She also loves being outdoors in nature and in the ocean and trains Stand-Up Paddling and Capoeira for her cardio cross training.
# Team: Maui Jiu-jitsu & Gracie Humaitá
# Nationality: South African
# Height: 5’8”
# Weight: 150 lbs