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.
"Really helpful and friendly marital arts centre. Hi guys I'm a taxi driver and have had instances where I've been THREATENED I was after a place where I can learn some helpful life skills that if in case needed will save me from bad guys. I have just recently started with training with David and Steven they are really friendly and helpful and understood my requirements to configure a self defence course for me. Im really glad that I m now part of this incredible martial arts centre everyone at the centre is really friendly and helpful I was made feel very comfortable by everyone I highly recommed joining this centre for anyone in a likely situation thanks guys"
"Dave is a skilled, and super friendly instructor. He runs an awesome program at ICC. You'll be safe, and happy to train here. Highly recommended!"
"Our oldest son Patrick has been training BJJ under Mario for 2 years and our middle boy Jack has just started Karate Jitsu. I cannot speak highly enough of him, the difference he has made in their lives is enormous. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to get their kids into martial arts."
"A place that is welcoming and warm. My child loved it from day 1. Professional warm instructor's. Thank you for your kindness and professionalism."
"The instructors at ICC are competent, friendly and professional but that’s not entirely why I chose to join and bring my 3 kids (2 girls and a boy) along. There are plenty of martial arts gyms with disciplined instructors but very few with the right culture and family oriented approach that make it easy for a parent to entrust their children with ICC in teaching them such an important life skill. For an old man like me and for any anyone else for that matter, the senior students have gone out of their way to pass on their skills without any condescending ego, it’s part of their journey to learn and to give back. I feel like the ICC philosophy rings true in that everyone is welcomed at ICC irrespective of their background and/or athletic ability. One final stand out for me is the large membership of girls and women in the club. As a father of 2 teenager daughters and a Girls Development Officer at a local football club it's very important for me to see the right culture is established to encourage female participation. Highly recommended."