Three years ago, I stepped foot in a gym that is now my second home and met strangers who have become my family. Though, I’m a ‘newb’ in my Jiu Jitsu journey, this is the second most dedicated I’ve ever been to a sport since high school drill team. But the most dedicated to my physical and mental health I have ever been. High school drill team was a huge commitment, morning and afternoon practices, camps and workshops all year round. But with Jiu Jitsu, it is much more of an individual journey than it is a team one. You only get better by the amount of time and effort you put in to your training, in and outside the gym. Which then builds up your team. But you as an individual must make decisions in order to better yourself or else your game won’t grow. Where as in MY high school experience, camps and workshops were required to be part of the team vs you had the option to better yourself. Jiu jitsu you have to CHOOSE to be better rather than to skirt by.
Though I live in a larger city in North Dakota, Jiu Jitsu in ND is still a fairly new sport. The next closest gym we have is in Fargo, at the Academy of Combat Arts. Where if you lived in California or even went to Minneapolis, MN; there are quite a few more gyms to choose from to train at. So living where I live takes a little more effort and money in order to travel to train with some more popular higher level Jiu Jiteiros and Jiu Jiteiras where in larger cities they might visit more frequently. I am fortunate to have amazing instructors at my gym and am able to travel an hour to train at our sister gym. I have also been fortunate to have taken seminars from some of the most well known practitioners like Rafael Mendes and Tom DeBlass. I also have been so fortunate to have met the love of my life through Jiu Jitsu, my husband Josh. It has been a blessing to be part of his Jiu Jitsu journey. I have been lucky to be able to travel a little for Jiu Jitsu, I took a class at Pedro Sauer in Virginia. I hope to be able to travel more and drop into other gyms as well throughout my journey.
Everyone’s journey will be different. Some people advance slower or faster than others. In my personal journey, I have been doing Jiu Jitsu for 3 years, and I am currently a 4 stripe white belt. For the past 2 years I have missed probably under 10 days of class. However, that definitely doen’t meant that my mental was 100% there. I struggled tremendously between 2 stripes and 3 which I sat a year in between. But during that year, I was planning a wedding, started a new job, and moved in with my husband, I had many many life changes. I learned so much mentally that year and I am thankful for that time in between. I still struggle mentally with my confidence, but it is something that I will always be working on to better. As we should always be working towards bettering our mental and physical health. I have been dabbling about competing again, and we will see what December has in store for me. If you’ve been reading with me before, you know that I have some hefty weight loss goals to meet the bracket weight for IBJJF. I believe their highest weight bracket is 180 lbs. Though, I know that I can compete at any weight…the last time I competed I was quite a bit larger than my opponents and a lot of people really didn’t like that. I can see where they would come from, having to compete against someone larger than them puts them at a disadvantage even though Jiu Jistu is meant for the smaller person… Anyway, I digress- I want to be within a weight bracket with the IBJJF so that no one can harass me about being larger. I know that this can be a tricky thing, because technically no matter what, I could always be larger than someone and them be upset about it if I beat them.. but anyway, I could possibly make it there by December, we will see. ❤
Stay tuned loves, more to come!