BJJ: Bridging Diversity on the Mats PT 2

A couple of weeks ago I spoke of women on the mats, training together, stripped of title and degree; of finding a place where all are equal due to starting BJJ toeing the line wearing white belts. I highlighted how we come from all walks of life, and how being on the mats brings us together in a way not many other activities will. The same is true for kids and men… I simply speak from experience and wanted to share with others what we already know- jiu-jitsu bridges the gaps of communication, diversity, and ability. It changes the community for the better.
In continuing with my previous theme, I’d also asked the women to express their favorite thing regarding jiu-jitsu. Why do they continue coming back to the mats?
So without further ado:

* the camaraderie, the unspoken fraternity/sorority
* pushing my body to the limit, and then pushing even further
* the intensity
* it forces you to step outside your comfort zone. I don’t make friends easily, but there’s something about choking someone, it really works as an ice breaker
*the mental and physical challenge
*the stress release
*the continual evolution and learning
*it’s truly for EVERYONE
*it helps you conquer fears and feel confident in other areas of your life
*it makes me feel self-assured and strong
*I overcame addiction, depression, and suicidal thoughts. jiu-jitsu literally saved my life
*I’m in the zone; I’m not worried about work, kids, family, today’s troubles or yesterday’s problems
*I always have something to aim for
* I’m never bored, it’s always a challenge
* I’m a survivor of rape and abuse. jiu-jitsu restored my confidence. It makes me feel safe.
* I’m improving mind and body
* I’m competitive by nature. I can compete to fulfill that need, or compete with myself every day on the mats; to push a little harder, go a little longer, learn a little more, be technical VS using strength. The benefits are endless.
*my family is my training partner, my team, my coach; these people are my brothers and sisters.

As different & varied as the people of the world, these answers show BJJ transcends the invisible
Lines which divide us. We may train for different reasons, we may have different beliefs or life experiences, but jiu-jitsu erases all that and makes us one person. A Person who took the initiative to train, who continues to do so and because of this will continue to grow, in jiu-jitsu and also in other aspects of life.

Thank you, ladies, for sharing and for trusting me with your information.

Happy Rolling!

Andrea Harris

BLACKBELTS for BUTTERFLIES

MISSION22

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