Updated: Jul 23, 2021
I started my martial arts journey learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Boston when I was 25. I won’t lie, it was very intimidating. Just the thought of walking into a martial arts gym made me nervous. I knew no one and I’m not someone who tries new things often, so this was huge for me. However, within a couple of classes I knew BJJ was the sport for me.
What initially got my attention about Jiu Jitsu was the self-defense aspect, wanting to feel confident that I could protect myself if I ever had to. After training with more women, I realized this was definitely a common reason that women started training. The other reasons were more obvious, it looks really badass when a woman can toss a man over her shoulder and make it look easy.
When I joined class for the first time, I thought that I would be the only person not knowing anything and that I would be holding everyone back. This was the farthest thing from the truth! The students were so welcoming and so excited to have a new student join the class that I immediately regretted thinking anyone here would judge me. Everyone was in the gym because they were training to better themselves so no one even thinks to judge the new guy. So far, the students I’ve interacted with all just wanted me to grow and learn more because that means they can too. The more you build up your training partner the better the training is for everyone. It’s a really exciting balance of give and take that teaching new students can aid with.
Jiu Jitsu ended being exactly what I was looking for, a fun new hobby that keeps me in shape and feeling empowered.
As a female being able to walk confidently walk around Boston or out to my car late at night has been incredible. I have grown quite a bit since I started Jiu Jitsu in Boston and feel more comfortable being who I truly am. I find myself taking a step back in situations and trying to look at the whole picture because that’s what I have to do to succeed in Jiu Jitsu. I never thought a sport would be so applicable to real life because there’s no other sport like this. It’s taught me it’s okay to take time to be great at something whether it’s in real life or in the sport that I have come to know and love.