Rylah Lenford

Rylah Lenford (middle) recently won a gold medal at the U.S. Open.

Local resident Rylah Lenford, 34, decided two years ago to get into martial arts to learn how to protect herself. Today, she’s fallen in love with the sport.

Not long after she got involved, she started training an average of three times a week and competing.

The work paid off for her at the recent U.S. Open in Santa Cruz. The mother of one snagged a gold medal at the event, which featured 1,400 participants of all ages. She was joined by 44 other competitors from Brentwood’s Crosley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, which garnered 12 gold, eight silver and 16 bronze medals to finish sixth as a team, out of 120 West Coast schools.

Crosley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu will host a free rape-prevention seminar this Saturday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. For more information, call 925-634-6958.

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