Although only 18 years old Jessamine Jada Khan, commonly known as Jessa Khan is already widely regarded as one of the brightest jiu-jitsu competitors in the global fight scene.
As we stand the Corpus Christi, TX native and brown belt competitor has conquered 7 World titles (4 gi, 3 nogi) with the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) as well as 4 Pan and 3 European titles, making her one of the most accomplished colored belts of all time in our sport, something Jessa has strived for from a very young age – “ I knew when I was about twelve years old that I wanted to do jiujitsu as my career,” Khan explained in an interview given to BJJ Heroes on May 2020.
Although born in Corpus Christi, Jessa lived all over the United States while growing up, given to her father’s career in the US Navy. Due to the frequent changes of residence, Khan looked for a variety of athletic activities to keep up with her competitive drive: “I have done many sports” she explained. “I did ballet, tee-ball, karate, soccer, jiujitsu, wrestling, and judo. (…) I was most competitive at soccer; which I did for a few years. I really enjoyed it, but it was either that or jiujitsu. I did wrestling; I started the same time as jiujitsu. I did some wrestling tournaments for my wrestling club and I also did wrestling in middle school and won city’s and placed at states. I also trained judo for six months and fought one judo tournament. and of course jiujitsu.”
The calling for jiu-jitsu took place in Hawaii, at the age of 8 “I was doing karate, which at the time I really enjoyed, but we moved to another state“. The break from karate compelled her to try grappling as per her father’s advice, with the young Texan’s first steps on a BJJ mat being taken in Aiea, at the O2 Martial Arts academy with the Onzuka Brothers and Shane Agena as her tutors.
As the family moved away from Hawaii, Khan’s development as a grappler was supervised by a few different instructors, namely Kevin Watson at KWBJJ in New Hampshire, as well as Gustavo Machado in Virginia, before her more permanent situation at the Art Of Jiu-Jitsu academy in California with the legendary Mendes brothers.
It has been while working with the Costa Mesa based team that Khan’s hard work started bearing fruit on an international level, with her first world title debut happening in 2016 as a juvenile – double gold no less! The continuous good form of the talented athlete has only grown stronger since then, and we, the fans, we’re very hopeful for another victorious year in the young American’s career. Unfortunately, 2020 has been a disaster for every sportsperson (and most working people in general), but once this is all over, expect Khan to be back, terrorizing the roosterweight division.
The goal is simple – “to win a few black belt world titles. after that, we will see. I have something in mind that I would like to do after jiujitsu, but things and plans are always changing in life.” Jessa explained and when you have the talent and the work ethics of Khan, you can bet on it.
Jessa Khan NoGi Pans Highlight by FloGrappling