Updated: Aug 22, 2021
And my new favorite workout, Jiu Jitsu in Boston
My father had tremendous discipline to exercise and keep fit. From a young age I followed his example. By contrast, my mom never learned to swim or ride a bike. In her later years she tried golf for its social benefits.
So how did I break out of the mold? I had my wallet stolen walking to work. I had an attempt to steal my purse while at lunch. Something had to change so that I felt confident out in public. How could an admittedly petite, mild mannered woman learn to protect herself as well as feel secure during the course of a day? For me that answer was martial arts.
I quickly found that my two favorite martial arts were boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Learning how to strike in boxing and how to use positional control and leverage in Jiu Jitsu helped me round out my self-defense training. While I am certainly no UFC fighter I do feel more confident that I can stay safe and take care of myself.
When it came to learning BJJ I admit to being intimidated by the Gi as well as a group of mostly men old enough to be my son. To my surprise, the coach and the students checked their egos before getting on the mat. I was able to warm up at my pace and learn the rituals of jiu jitsu clumsily. The senior belts were patient with someone who saw herself as a terminal white belt. I felt extremely lucky to find a Jiu Jitsu school with a fun and welcoming environment.
I was hooked, I loved learning the names of positions. Closed guard, side control, arm bar, posture up and sweep became my new language. I watched videos of the Gracie family defeating far larger opponents through the tactics of jiu jitsu. Thank you coach! And I have one stripe on my white belt. I’ve never felt more confident than I do now, walking down the streets of the Back Bay in Boston at any hour my dog Gracie and I want!