Maggie Moo Does....Jiu Jitsu?

11:01 AM Moo 0 Comments

On September 5th, 2013 I made one of the best decisions I have ever made. I decided to try Jiu Jitsu. I know! I can hardly believe it myself. My whole life I have been surrounded by people who say "I can't believe you don't do any martial arts" or "you should try Jiu Jitsu," my father included. It wasn't until a team mate of mine (who had been pestering me for months to try it) used a little reverse psychology and told me "yeah you might not be right for it anyway." And there I was.

My first class was terrifying and exciting, a bit like rolling with my brother as a kid, but less swearing, more focused and restrained and no crying this time. I felt so out of my element. I was used to rugby where I knew exactly what to do. I understood my body and how it worked. I could crash, pass, kick and catch like it was second nature but being aware of all of my limbs and what they were doing as well as my training partner was quite the challenge. "You mean I have to know what my upper half and lower half are doing at the same time?" The struggle was real. Quite early on I was injured and questioned whether I even wanted to continue. Playing rugby, I am no stranger to injuries, but the idea of participating in a sport where people actively try to submit you, causing enough pain to injure you was really nerve wrecking for me. My father promptly reminded me that he hadn't raised a quitter and the higher belts around me, who had been in these same situations before encouraged me to continue. I am so glad that I did.
My first class: The struggle was real....

Just recently I discovered my first (for lack of a better term) asshole on the mat. A person who was way more concerned about looking cool and not being embarrassed by a girl than actually progressing as an athlete. I was able to keep calm and put myself in a place where I didn't feel that I was in any type of danger. This was a huge deal for me. It made me realize that the majority of people I train with are just so ridiculously positive, supportive and genuinely concerned about me, not only as a training partner, but as a person. I never thought I would have the same level of trust or enjoyment with another team, that I experience with my own rugby team. It's refreshing.

Jiu Jitsu has definitely given me much more in the short time I have been training than I ever imagined:

1. Solid training partners and supportive folks who help me progress on my journey.

2. Excellent instructors, particularly, Kris Kim, who is a talented as he is kind and patient.

3. More faith in myself

4. A sense of accomplishment when I finally stick a move I have been working on for weeks.

5. A challenge of trying a sport I am not inherently good at. Rugby has always come rather easy to me and regardless I worked my butt off, but Jiu Jitsu isn't natural for me in the slightest. It takes me longer to learn moves, I forget easily and often can't remember everything I've just learned...which leads me to..

6. Patience with myself.

7. Excellent training for the off season.

8. A constant desire to be better.

9. Proving to myself that I am capable of doing the things that terrify me.

10. Confidence that I can keep myself safe and the feeling that I am in control.

Just recently I took my first Jiu- Jitsu- Cation to Guam where I was able to train at 3 different gyms. In each gym, I discovered the spirit of Jiu Jitsu was so much greater than many other sports I've been involved in. I was never made to feel like an outsider or as if there was an "us" and "them." I was welcomed with open arms and had some of the most successful training sessions to date!
Training with Stephen Roberto at Purebred. Too bad I clearly missed the "Belt Tying" tutorial! Haha
Spike 22 Outdoor Gym

Training at Figo in Guam
In February I will be heading to Madison & Dubai to train and I genuinely cannot wait. I think I may have found something I love just as much as rugby and more importantly, something that constantly challenges me to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. Interested in BJJ in Seoul? Here are a few links!

Korea Jiu Jitsu Facebook Group
Kris Kim BJJ