Girls in Gis is back in town, H-town that is! June 28th Maribel Ramirez of Team Tooke MMA will be hosting her first Girls in Gis event and sharing some of her wisdom with us on the mats. After attending several GIG events we are very honored she will be hosting this event. We caught up with her to pick her brain and see what she had in store for us. Hear why Girls in Gis events are important to her, and why all girls should take advantage of this opportunity every chance they get.
How long have you been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Why did you start training?
I’ve been training BJJ for four years now. I started in 2011 and was actually introduced to MMA before jiu-jitsu through some old friends I knew from wrestling in high school. I was very curious about the ground aspect of MMA since I had a wrestling background. I decided to finally give it a try, so I looked up the nearest gym to me, it offered both BJJ and kickboxing, so I figured I could eventually do MMA. Although I did try both classes, I was instantly drawn to BJJ and I’ve been hooked ever since.
What motivates you in BJJ?
I believe that when you have a passion for something and invest in it, it helps you grow as a person. There are a lot of sacrifices to be made when you choose to dedicate your life to something you love. It’s not convenient at all, but I can’t picture myself doing anything else that keeps me this grounded. It keeps me fighting both on and off the mat because I have goals that are going to become a reality. I know I can’t stay out on a Friday night because I have practice the next morning or I know I can’t eat all these unhealthy foods because it will slow me down in training. Everything I do, I do it with the purpose of improving my jiu-jitsu. I have a lot of younger family and students who I try to be an example to, and I want to show them that through hard work and perseverance, anything is possible.
What benefits do you think BJJ training can have on someone’s life? Why?
A huge aspect of BJJ is patience. No other sport teaches you about being comfortable in an uncomfortable situation the way jiu-jitsu does. You won’t be able to hit a submission or a sweep if you don’t know the proper technique, and you won’t know the proper technique without constant practice. You learn a lot about yourself and just how far you’re able to go. You have your good days, and then there’s the days when you feel like nothing is working and you want to give up. You have to get this 200 pound man off of you and get to a dominant position before he gets to you first, all while remaining calm and keeping your composure. Once you overcome all those things, it gives you a feeling of empowerment and it keeps you humble because that’s something you worked hard for and nobody can take that away from you. Not to mention all the great people you meet from this sport. We’re all a family and everyone is so supportive, it makes you grateful and want to give back so we can all improve together.
How often do you get to train with females your size and skill level?
It’s pretty rare when I do, so it feels like Christmas whenever I get the opportunity to do so. Girls in Gis is something every girl should take advantage of for that reason.
What is your favorite part of Girls in Gis events?
I love that it motivates the women who’ve always been curious about it to go ahead and give it a try. They see you getting beat up by these bigger men or they see you doing these crazy moves that might look impossible, but this gives them that extra push because they’ll be in a more comfortable environment. It’s just us ladies, so there’s less feeling of intimidation or concern about getting hurt. It makes them a lot more relaxed and all the girls are always super helpful with one another. All of us are excited to be around each other because we hardly get to train with nothing but women, so it’s a great experience if you’re trying out BJJ for the first time.
We are excited to have you be our host instructor. What do you have planned for the girls? What do you hope the girls walk away with from this experience?
I’m excited as well, it’ll be my first time hosting such a big event, so really I hope everyone enjoys it. I plan for all of us to have fun and that the girls walk away learning something new. Especially for the beginners and the kids, I want them to know they are not alone in this crazy jiu-jitsu journey and that all of the higher belts were once in their exact same spot. BJJ is so complex that you won’t ever be able to fully understand every move from every situation, but that’s exactly what keeps you coming back. The more you train, the better it gets.
Join us for this event, get more info and register at: www.girls-in-gis.com/blog/girls-in-gis-texas-houston-june-28th