women


Break Outside of your Pretty Little Box

While the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community is undeniably diverse and broad-minded, we must also understand that, on an individual level, our culture, belief, and upbringing may be tested.  We are but fragments of the human race schema.  Celebration of our differences is not an attack against our own beliefs but […]


It Was Never Going to Be About the Sparring…..

When I started jiu jitsu, I saw women’s cross training as a way to get better at competition (our bodies have a different center of gravity than guys, other women are less likely to “take it easy” on another woman, someone in the same weight class, etc).  I didn’t go […]


It’s My Party I’ll Cry If I Want To

My jiu jitsu has not been a bed of roses this year. In fact, it has pretty much sucked and I admit I have been in the depths of a raging pity party. This year it seems like it has been filled with injuries, health issues, losing my favorite training […]


Train Until Your Idols Become Your Competition

Coming up the ranks we all have a few black belts that stick out in our mind that we dream of becoming like. But when that day comes that a black belt is tied around your waist you are faced with the reality that you are now among the ranks […]


Crushing Fears One At A Time

When it comes to being shy most of us would hide in a corner and hope to be invisible, but not Amy Daugherty Davis. She has conquered her fears head on.  Davis has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for almost five years at Olympic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  She says her son […]


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, […]


Coming to America-Pri Bispo 1

Things don’t always turn out how we expect, but sometimes when life takes us on a detour, we end up finding just what we are looking for. Case in point: Pri Bispo and her family, who immigrated to America to seek out a better life. In her search for better […]


Inspired By The Next Generation-Christy Synan 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.