girls in gis


From the Darkness to the Light 1

There are only few paths to follow for those that love Jiu Jitsu so much that they want to make a career of it. Among the most common are you either to teach or you transition to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Although there are more opportunities as a Jiu Jitsu […]


How To Be Your Own Coach

In any sport having a phenomenal instructors and coaches can make all the difference. An athlete with just raw talent can only get so far without guidance. Having someone that believes in you can shape the course of your entire life.  A strong support system builds confidence and will create […]


Knowing When To Hold on, Let Go or Move on

One thing you learn early on in training is holding onto a grip too long can end you up in a worse place than where you started.  We’ve all been there in the early days of competition.  We are convinced if we just hold onto that sleeve grip of our […]


The Sacrifices v.s Rewards of Being A JiuJiteira

When I started jiu-jitsu, my goal was simply to be able to defend myself, but it quickly became much more.  My journey begins with the purchase of my first home.  I lived alone and thought it would be best to learn to defend myself.  I signed up for self-defense classes […]


The Evolution of Female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Competitors 3

It was only 32 years ago, in 1985, that women were allowed to compete for the first time at the Rio de Janeiro federation thanks to Yvone Duarte, the first ever female black belt. Later in 1998, women’s divisions were added to tournaments at the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation, […]


Inspired By The Next Generation 1

 

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.”

 

Author:

shamako3

 Shama Ko

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.