Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why I love Jiu Jitsu...



Whenever I tell someone I train Jiu Jitsu, I tend to get the same surprised and skeptical reaction. I suppose this is due to the fact that I’m a small female, 5’2″ if I round up, a presumed academic, with a relatively quiet demeanor and a frequently pointed-out “baby face”. But despite the hasty assumptions, I always attempt to persuade them with my view on the subject. I’m not always successful in convincing them that it is indeed possible for a girl like me to be successful at a sport like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but that’s okay, luckily these aren’t actually the people I’m trying to convince. So, for those of you who can understand, here are my views on the subject…

For me, Jiu Jitsu is the most dynamic and mental sport I’ve ever encountered. Since it’s so multi-faceted, the sport has a unique way of adapting to the strengths and weaknesses of the player. Being short or compact in this sport is not a disadvantage, while neither is being tall or lanky. Instead, each player must continually develop skill and style that works best for them. For example, I take a somewhat defensive and relaxed approach when I roll. I need to be able to clear my head and just observe my opponent’s actions in order to best react. However, many of my training partners take a more aggressive and offensive approach. For me, The adaptability the sport offers is a large part of its appeal. The consistent mental engagement required by the sport is the other big pull for me. I love how much awareness and quick-thinking BJJ demands. Each person must constantly process their opponent’s every move and immediately translate that into an effective and well executed reply. This takes place over and over throughout a single sparring session, making every roll distinct and unrepeatable. The ever-changing circumstance of a single roll is what keeps the player actively thinking and rewards the observant and thoughtful.

So, next time someone acts surprised that I do Jiu Jitsu, I will simply tell them that all the reasons they assume I am incapable, are actually all the reasons why I am meant for the sport. Well, maybe not the “baby face”…

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