Growing up I was in karate. I was actually scared of being in karate everyday. But once I got to class, I forgot what I was afraid of. After getting out of karate, I tried other sports. I tried volleyball, dance, and running. I so badly wanted to join martial arts again. It’s where I felt like I was supposed to be. I’ve always had strong anxiety when it came to being out in public. I would get anxiety when I have school. I would have anxiety when I would go out with friends. I would have anxiety when I needed to do simple things. I still have anxiety everyday. But I’m learning to deal with it. But when I’m at jiu jitsu, I have lost that anxiety and I can simply just be. Nothing has had the power to help me fully forget my worries. Not art or music or friends or family. Now that I’m blessed enough to train jiu jitsu, I honestly don’t know what I would be as a person if jiu jitsu did not come into my life when it did. About 9 months ago, I got out of a really bad relationship. It was hell, and I’m proud of myself for walking away. Even though I’ve wanted to be in martial arts for years, the anger and hurt I have from that relationship is was fuels my fire to be the best I can be in jiu jitsu. Here lately I’ve been trying to think of why I am so passionate about jiu jitsu and being at Elite MMA. I’m there religiously, and I was starting to worry that maybe I’m only going to get out of my head. If I’m avoiding what’s in my head, then I need to tend to my mind instead of avoiding it. But the thing is, I haven’t been avoiding my mind. So what is it? Why am I always at Elite MMA? And I’ve come down to a few answers.
1) I want to be there for my team mates. I’m only a white belt. And I’ve only been there for a few months. But I truly love supporting the new people who come in. For kickboxing, I enjoy cheering them on and singing/dancing to the music to help them feel more comfortable. For jiu jitsu, I’m still learning a lot. My teammates actually hold me up well. Elite MMA does a good job of being supportive when someone is lost. But when someone is trying out class, especially a female, I grow so happy inside when I get to help them with the smallest things. Seeing them learning and understanding and realizing that they too are able to do what we do is so beautiful.
2) my goal is not to be better than anyone. My goal is to do what I can and grow on my own time. Now I do like to challenge myself in kickboxing. I like to push my limit to see what I can really accomplish. But I’m still trying to better myself. Everyday I’m in class, I see improvements. I see things that I didn’t see the day before. And I have a moment to myself of “wow, Jamie! You go girl! You really can do it.” I don’t know if I’m great, or good, or just okay at jiu jitsu. But I know that I’m growing and that’s all I ask for. I owe all that to my teammates and coaches for helping me out. Because without them, I wouldn’t be at the level of where I’m at now. And I’m apart of a team that knows how to be a team of respect.
3) this reason is a bit personal. And before you read this reason, just know I’m not asking for anyone’s pity. I’m not saying this for attention. I’m saying this because I’m finally ready for people to know what I have struggled through. And I want people to be able to have hope for themselves who have been in similar situations. I want to be a voice for those that are silent. I was in an abusive relationship (mentally, emotionally, and physically). It sucks that it happened but I learned a lot from it. Instead of staying down in the dumps, I (with the help of my family and close friends) picked myself up and made something of myself. I have come so far. I made it a goal to simply join jiu jitsu. I wanted to know proper self defense, and I wanted to do it for myself. If I were to ever be in a dangerous situation again, I want to be able to defend myself and not have a rerun of what I went through. And I want to be a voice for those girls or guys who are suffering as well. I want them to see that they can get through dark times. Maybe they don’t need jiu jitsu to do it. Maybe they need music or out doors or friendship. Whatever it is that they need, go get it and don’t let anything or anyone stand in their way.
4) I train jiu jitsu because it’s what helped me realize my worth.