Mackenzie Dern, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, began learning the martial art when she was just 3 years old. Her training started under her black belt father, Megaton Dias in Phoenix, Arizona and continued in kid’s classes, taught by her stepmother, Luka Dias, also a black belt competitor. Mackenzie competed in the juvenile division and then moved to the adult division at 14 years old. This past June, at 17 years old, after winning her division and the open division at the 2010 World Championships, Mackenzie was awarded a purple belt by her father while receiving her gold medals on the podium. Mackenzie divides her time training in Arizona under her father with time also spent in San Diego training under Leticia Ribeiro as well as at the Gracie San Diego Academy, and in Brazil at the Gracie Humaita Academy. In order to dedicate completely to the sport of jiu jitsu, Mackenzie graduated early from high school. This affords her the ability to continue traveling, competing and training as much as possible.