“Why would I want to roll around with a bunch of sweaty people?” If you’re anything like me – I questioned the appeal of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before I started training. My husband is obsessed with BJJ, but I struggled to see how it would benefit me. One day, I decided to join him on the mat and try out a class. As a woman in BJJ, you are often the minority and it can definitely be an overwhelming experience… I was lucky to be surrounded with helpful leaders who honored the integrity of BJJ and were people I could trust. After my first class, it felt like there was a whole new side to me that I had been neglecting for some time. Maybe it was my inner-child that was so excited to “rough house” in a padded room, the endorphins from the stellar workout or the feeling of truly being empowered by my mind, body and soul. If you’re looking for Jiujitsu for women in Kalamazoo, Lightning Kicks is the place for you!
Even though I had great experiences during my early days of BJJ, it had always seemed to be my husband’s activity that I just tagged along to. I started to find my own style of rolling and gained confidence in my abilities after journaling often, drilling techniques and competing at tournaments. Being one of the only women in my school didn’t overwhelm anymore, but made me excited to be challenged by the upper belts. I learned so much in the classes that left me exhausted with crazy hair and my face bright red. Now, I love BJJ for me, not for anyone else – and it has become a pillar in my identity as a person because of how it has impacted my life.
Now, we have a growing group of badass women who I am so proud to train and grow alongside. We are a family from insanely different backgrounds who empower each other and share a love for Lightning Kicks. You don’t have to be a certain age or in perfect shape to start jiujitsu; but please do yourself a favor and just get on the mat. Sure, I have learned many techniques and take pride in my ability to survive rolling with higher belts; but the most important lessons are the ones I’ve learned from our leaders about compassion, patience and grit.
So, if you find yourself questioning, “Why would I want to roll around with a bunch of sweaty people?” try asking yourself “Why not?” because if it could change my life for the better, maybe it could impact your life too. Lightning Kicks doesn’t just offer Jiujitsu for women in Kalamazoo; make sure you check out the kids’ martial arts program as well as the women’s self-defense workshops.
by Paige Carrow