A new, suprising hobby
As you may remember, we tested out a sport called jiujitsu when I was in New York. I have a habit of falling madly in love with new sports I try, wanting to start training them asap. Usually this mad love dies as quickly as it’s born. After I got back from New York, I checked out the jiujitsu opportunities in my home town of Vaasa. Since it was summer vacation season, the options were close to none. If I had gone my typical path of trying out new sports, I would have forgotten about jiujitsu and moved on. But something about this particular sport had caught my attention and I kept a close eye on the local jiujitsu school’s website all summer.
When the news about the beginners’ class finally came, I signed up immediately. And finally, in mid-September, the long-awaited course started. I feel like my love might not be mad and quick to die this time. I would have never believed that rolling around wrestling on the floor all sweaty or practicing choke holds and arm bars would be my thing. I never in a million years thought I would even be capable of it. But look at me now, blending in with the rest of the group and doing fairly well. A warrior has awakened inside me!
One of my friends happened to read my post about New York and the Renzo Gracie Academy and messaged me that she had an extra gi in her closet. She didn’t need it at the moment, so she asked if I wanted to borrow it. We happen to be around the same size, so I gladly grabbed on to the opportunity. I have yet to test the gi in action, but I’m hoping I get to do it soon. I also just went and got myself a mouth guard. We are starting sparring in our training next, meaning that in addition to learning the techniques, we will also do a bit of actual wrestling, too. I’m so excited for this transition, but also a bit horrified. I’ve never wrestled or fought in my life, so we’ll see how I hang in there.
I think jiujitsu is a very empowering sport, because it uses technique instead of size or strength. That means that even a small person can do well in jiujitsu. Even though jiujitsu is a very physical sport, it also has a mental side that fascinates me. The values of the sport resonate very well with my own: respect, kindness, humanity, confidence, integrity, self-development and strength. All of these are qualities I want to pursue in my life and that I appreciate in others. The empowering effect of the sport is also present in every class when you learn a little bit more about defending yourself. You do things you never thought you could, which makes you feel more confident. You leave every class with your back a little straighter and your mind balanced. I’m so excited about this course and training further in this wonderful sport!