“I could take you in a fight”, or “Come on, just fight me!” are both things I commonly have people say to me in the hallway at school or in other social settings. Other kids know that I train in jiu jitsu and they automatically assume I want to fight them. When they say those things, I just smile and keep walking.
Being in jiu jitsu has given me confidence in so many areas of my life. From confidence in being able to protect myself, to confidence in myself, it has changed me.
As I run alone I don’t have to fear being attacked. As I run the trails I don’t have to grip pepper spray in fear. Because of the technique I have learned in jiu jitsu I know that I can protect myself. As I leave a sporting event at night I don’t have to clutch my keys between my fingers as a makeshift weapon as I walk to my car either. Although that doesn’t mean I go down the dark alley at night while I’m running nor do I park next to the windowless van, just because I think I’ll be fine. Being aware of your surroundings is always important and that’s another thing I have learned from being in BJJ and from helping with women’s jiu jitsu self defense seminars.
Self confidence is another thing I have gained from being in jiu jitsu. As the quote goes, “Jiu jitsu teaches man that their strength doesn’t mean as much as they thought it did and it teaches women they are stronger than they think.” And it is so true. I never realized my body was as strong as it is, nor did I realize all the thing it could do. From holding my own at class against men that are quite literally double my size to competing at tournaments and getting my hand raised, jiu jitsu has raised my self confidence.
I wasn’t joking when I said I get people asking me to fight them all the time, but jiu jitsu has given me the confidence to be able to just smile and walk away. Because of this sport I don’t need to prove my strength or self worth to anyone else. I don’t except when people ask me to fight and I definitely don’t go out looking for them. I know what I can do and I have nothing to prove to them.