So I am not that “old” really in the grand scale of life, but when you reference any sport, old is anything over 25 most of the time. In some cases like gymnastics, 20 might even be called a seasoned veteran. So when I started Jiu Jitsu in Sept of 2009, I had just turned 38. Not exactly a spring chicken in a sport setting. Fast forward to 2017, come Sept, It will be 8 years in the sport at 46 years young. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, I don’t know.
How far do you plan on going in your Bjj experience, was a comment question that was asked of me on a Gracie jiu jitsu video that was posted in a forum . . . Hmmm . . . you see it’s a lifestyle, a way of life . . . My husband put it best when had do his Instructor Certification videos for becoming a Gracie Certified Jiu Jitsu instructor through the Gracie Academy in Torrence in Jan 2012. In one video he had to sit down as answer questions about why he wanted to teach Jiu Jitsu, and more directly Gracie Jiu Jitsu. His answer was that the Gracie teaching methodology and the message that they have infused into their system is not unlike our message as Christians. I have something that is important that everyone could benefit from if they only gave it chance . . . the learning doesn’t really stop, the message doesn’t really ever stale . . . we will always have to have an answer to defend ourselves and our Family and we want to share that message.
I may have to back up a bit and start more at the beginning. You see, my journey actually started because of my Family . . . My Daughter started jiu jitsu first in Sept 2008. My Husband then started in March of 2009, then I started in Sept 2009, and last but not least my son in Nov of 2010. I suppose you could say it became a family affair. We also feel like we have a mission as a family and Jiu Jitsu is a part of that mission.
As an “old lady” practitioner, I’ve competed in three tournaments coming home with 9 medals, participated in seminars with a list that includes some of the biggest names in the sport . . . Kyra Gracie, Mackenzie Dern, Marcelo Garcia and the Gracie Brothers Rener and Ryron Gracie . . . have attended over 15 Girls in Gi’s events and am now an Ambassador for such organizations as Girls in Gis, She-Jitsu, and BreakPoint Gi Company . . . I went through the Gracie Combatives program to receive my blue belt, which I found out I passed the day after Christmas 2011 . . . Passed the Gracie Women Empowered program to receive my Pink belt in Jan 2013 . . . In July 2016 I was promoted to Purple belt by My coach Ty Gay, owner of Redline Jiu Jitsu . . . I guess you could say I am all in at this point in my life, much like my life as a Christian.
The short answer to the question of how far I plan on going . . . til the day I die, at least that is my hope.
What benefit do I have in doing a sport at my age, that involves chokes, wrist locks and arm bars? Let me tell you, it’s physical, which keeps me moving. Yes, I have aches and pains . . . pretty sure I have rotator cuff damage in both shoulders, meniscus and ligament damage in both knees, and I am pretty sure both ankles roll better than me in most matches, But I am keeping my muscles and joints moving, which in the long run is better than being sedentary. It’s mental, Jiu Jitsu is problem solving to the core. Often referenced as a Human Chess game. As we know we when we age, keeping our minds active is important. One of my all-time favorite things about Jiu Jitsu is actually related, but not exclusive to the tournaments and ambassadorships I am involved with . . . It’s the community aspect of Jiu jitsu . . . it keeps us connected with others. It’s important as we age, to stay connected. I have meet some of the most AMAZING people in this sport, some of whom I would consider as lifelong core friendships . . . Whether it be people I have competed with or my daughter or family has competed with. The Jiu Jitsu community is like a web of interconnections and partnerships. It’s not easy to explain, but once you are in you know what I mean.
Although we are no longer a “Certified Training Center” we still follow many of the Gracie Philosophies at our Academy, one of them being Keep it Playful movement . . . it’s with this movement that has allows many of us “older” ones to continue jiu jitsu where we many not have continued if involved in different environment.
Maybe this turned into more of commercial for Jiu Jitsu than a testimony of sorts, but when something has permeated your life this much you feel the need to share. God Bless and may God grant you the blessings of finding your passions and calling in life. Thanks for listening to a not so old lady talk about her story . . . it’s not over yet