top of page

Happy Mother’s Day: A Look at Moms Who Are Martial Arts Champions & Masters!


mother's day
Black Belt Plus

It wasn’t so long ago that it was considered rare that a woman would train in the martial arts, specifically in the West. Even rarer are the women who became masters, champions, and mothers. This article is to honor all the women who’ve accomplished both. While there are simply too many extraordinary mothers to name, here is a shout out to some of the legends - moms who are martial arts champions.



Graciela Casillas 
Daughters Selena and Alexandra

Undefeated boxing and kickboxing world champion Graciela Casillas did it all train, win, teach, and raise two amazing daughters Selena and Alexandra, all while earning two masters degrees in her spare time.

Graciela Casillas 




Malia Dacascos
Sons Mark and Craig
Malia Dascacos Bernal


Malia Dacascos Bernal was a world champion in forms and fighting in the 60s and the first woman to compete in the men’s division, Her 1974 cover marked the first female competitor ever to grace the cover of Black Belt magazine all while raising two sons, Mark and Craig.


malia and marc dacascos




Cynthia Rothrock 
Daughter Skye

The Queen of Karate, Cynthia Rothrock has stood the test of time as a relevant figure in the martial arts world of entertainment and teaching. The former Scranton Pennsylvania native made her way to the Silver Screen in the 1980s and never looked back at one point was the most successful female martial arts film star in the world with a list of hundreds of credits she paved the way for women today her work includes movies television books and of course a claimed career is a five-time undefeated world champion and black belt Hall of Fame all hail the queen.


Mother to her daughter Skye, she’s balanced many roles as wonderfully as she has mastered forms. 


cynthia rothrock





Cat Zigano
Son Brayden

Cat Zigano is an American mixed martial artist. She is signed to Bellator MMA, competing in the Women's Featherweight division. Zingano also competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and on April 13, 2013, she became the first woman to win a UFC fight by technical knockout (TKO). She’s notable for another first: being the first mother to compete in the UFC!


Cat Zigano




Cris Cyborg
Daughter Gabby

Undefeated for 13 years in a row Cris Cyborg is one of the greatest ambassadors for MMA male or female.  The former Brazilian handball athlete turned professional fighter, she continues to compete at the highest level and now even ventures into boxing.  Beyond that, Cyborg is mother to her daughter Gabby, surely continuing to inspire future generations of girls and women. 


cris cyborg and daughter


bottom of page