Eight years ago Kola Shippentower, a member of the Umatilla tribe, was in the news for learning to dig roots in the traditional way. She told a reporter it was important to her to learn the old ways. Today Shippentower is becoming a leader for starting a new tradition.

She learned to fight after escaping an abusive relationship and now wants all her relatives to learn the sport.

MMA teaches women to be active and strong, she says. Growing up on the Umatilla Reservation outside of Pendleton, Oregon, she got used to low expectations from people in the area. Now she's holding herself and her family to high expectations.