I first tried BJJ for a reason lots of other women try BJJ – to impress a guy. To my surprise, I discovered almost immediately there was more than just sweaty people wrestling on mats but a great way of getting fit, making friends and discovering yourself.
I’ve been doing BJJ for almost two years now and it’s hard to imagine my life without it – I train 2 to 4 times a week, for 1 to 2.5 hours each time, depending on my work schedule. That’s a decent amount of hours for someone doing full time work, part time study, and wants to see her family and friends on a regular basis. I learnt there’s nothing quite like BJJ to make sure I stay organised and efficient in order to attend training.
Yet wanting to go training and actually going is two very different things. The hardest part about training is actually not talking yourself out of attending. I speak to a lot of other women at my gym and we all experience the same anxiety. When I watch AFL on TV and the player is the lining up for a goal kick, the commentators say “whether he makes this kick is 10% physical, 90% mental”, I’ve often thought that’s a load of bull. But I found that goes around in my head has such a big an impact on my actions. Often before going to a training session (especially a mixed gender class), I would have a self-debate as to whether I should go. I think about whether I’m going to make a fool of myself, whether I will hold back other people in their development because they have to stop to re-coach me through the technique again and again, whether guys will want to train with me when there are an abundance of other more robust looking guys to choose from? It’s so easy to find other excuses to not go because you’re tired, or too busy, or you’re running late and everyone will be paired off already or just having a bad day period. The fact is, once you actually show up to train, the hardest part is done – it all gets easier from there. I’m better at not listening to my anxiety these days – it just takes time to break your own mental hurdles.
BJJ turns discomfort into confidence and empowerment. When you start BJJ you are so far out of your comfort zone, you don’t know which way is up. Being such a close contact sport, getting squished and being stuck on the bottom is common (it still happens to me all the time) and being sub-49 kilos training against bigger people, it’s easy to feel claustrophobic. Yet over time, your threshold in accepting discomfort increases significantly and its allows you to think more clearly or be more patient assessing your options. Realistically, should I ever be in a real life situation where someone is in my personal space and my safety is threatened, I truly believe I will not just freeze but will react with the self-defence and groundwork skills I’ve acquired in BJJ. That is to not the say I am more keen to walk through a deserted park at night, but I am a more confident person for BJJ.
Yet BJJ is truly humbling. You doubt whether you’ve really earned your belt/stripes. Fact is, you’re probably the last person to notice your own progress. While your coach might see how you’re improving, you just see yourself just tapping over and over again. There will always be someone more skilled, quicker, younger and stronger than you, someone who has more time to train. And you will have bad days where nothing you learn sticks. And that’s ok. I don’t do BJJ for the glory. In between getting tapped out, now and then in rolling, I find myself executing a technique for the first time that I learned months ago in class. And I realise I AM improving, I AM getting better than I was yesterday, again I just needed more time to believe it for myself.
Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.
"ICC is such a fantastic martial arts centre. It provides the kids with such a caring environment and a place where they feel truly excepted no matter what their ability. My eldest son is autistic and the instructors have all
gone out of their way to help him and make him feel included. They also have a wide variety of different classes and for all ages. I would highly recommend this centre to anyone that wants to give martial arts a go."
"An exceptional mixed martial arts centre led by a team of dedicated, highly-experienced, qualified and friendly martial artists, who are extremely passionate about teaching their students to embrace the form of martial arts.Their support and guidance has helped their students grow both personally and professionally. It has allowed them to build confidence, show respect towards others and themselves and most importantly to have fun doing what they love most.I highlighy recommend this centre if you’re looking for a family-orientated centre that prides themselves for continuous improvement, encourages their students to reach their full potential and is guided by
highly-motivated, skilled martial artists."
"As a doctor and a physiotherapist this is a great place for anyone looking to learn self defence as well as developing strength, agility, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. ICC is a friendly, family oriented gym without any over-inflated egos, they cater for a variety of martial arts across all ages and skill levels from beginner to competition. My wife, 3 children and I all train here and you should too :)"
"My experience with these people has been nothing short of brilliant. There is a high quality of training provided by dedicated instructors who provide the support needed to excel in your martial arts journey. I would recommend giving this place a try, and guarantee you wont regret it"
"Attending a martial arts gym as an "older" novice student can be quite daunting. I found ICC had a very professional and welcoming atmosphere. Having attended other martial arts gyms over the years its great to attend one where ego is left at the door and all students are treated with respect, be it the novice who takes the plunge to learn a martial art all the way through to the high level competitors. In conjunction with the atmosphere having highly technical and detailed instruction by Professor David and Steven make learning really enjoyable. Fantastic place to learn and train."