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Read: How Women’s BJJ Healed Her Body Image

Sam Yang recently posted an amazing story of how jiu jitsu dramatically improved one woman’s self image.

“Part of the jiu-jitsu experience that is probably unique to women or less common in men is how body image changes. Women often carry a sense that they are objects, that their bodies are sources of power only insofar as they can attract a man or generate attention. . . .In my gi, my body was for fighting, for power, for using, for moving.”

“It moves me to tears. Suddenly my body was a powerhouse of defense and strength. It had utility. It was fascinating and deep. My body was capable of things I had never considered or explored. These experiences started the first month. I was strong. The gender-neutralizing nature of the gi emphasized the experience and helped make it possible. (‘Gi’ is the uniform, similar to what they wear in judo.)”

“I was and still am constantly shocked at what I’m capable of and how effective it is. I am small, 5’3” and around 120, and I was not used to feeling power ripple through me. . . . When I learned how strong I am, I fell in love with my body, and I am full of pride now. Not to show it off but to use it for me because it is fascinating and fun. What a simple and beautiful experience, almost childlike.”

Read the full article http://www.musttriumph.com/entry/body-image

This is a sentiment that I am happy to hear frequently at Akiyama Martial Arts, in Londonderry, NH. While many women begin training in our KAPAP Krav Maga self defense program, many eventually migrate over to to our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) class because of the great atmosphere and stress relief that the class provides. The best part is that you can do ‘both’ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Self Defense at AMA because they are scheduled on complimentary days!