Once you become a parent your life is forever changed. You take on a life-long job of loving, protecting and supporting your kin. Our influence as parents encourages our children, but often they end up inspiring us as well. Christy Synan’s daughter Hailee did just that. Ten years ago Christy was motivated by watching her youngest daughter Hailee train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“I remember thinking ‘Wow! She’s really a tough little lady!’” Christy said. “The more I educated myself about jiu jitsu, and watched a few other women train, I decided I must try it. Once I hit the mats, I never turned back.”
Fast forward 10 years later and Christy and her husband Kevin, who is a Roberto Traven black belt, now own Fighting Chance Fitness in St. Augustine, Florida. Jiu jitsu is a family affair. After taking some time off, her daughter Hailee returned to training regularly and competed for the first time in nine years at the Atlanta Winter International Open. Her other daughter, Aubrie, also trains occasionally to keep up on her self-defense skills. And her son Julian is a partner in the academy.
“I believe that people become complacent with their lives and accept limitations,” Christy said. “Jiu jitsu will open doors that most people don’t realize were even there — let alone closed. It allows a person of any age to push through and past the most difficult of mental and physical barriers.”
Christy says she has become healthier, happier, and more confident and focused through jiu jitsu. Although Christy is a firm believer in the benefits of jiu jitsu, she says the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for all females. She believes that you have to listen and learn what each female is looking in their training.
“Everyone’s journey is different and a lot of the time people don’t even realize they are missing something until it is introduced to them,” she said. “I always address that the camaraderie of your fellow jiu jitsu family is unparalleled.”
Girls in Gis staff writer
Shama Ko is a brown belt with Gracie Humaita out of Austin, TX. She has been a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner since November of 2003. She is a photographer, writer, community organizer and activist. She heads the Girls in Gis organization or as she calls it the “movement”. She describes herself as both a lover and a fighter. She loves to laugh and not take life too seriously.