On September 27, 2015 in Oklahoma City Girls in Gis held it’s second event at Academy of Martial Arts. The event was nothing short of extraordinary. Females from all across Oklahoma came together to learn from the very talented and generous blue belt Kathleen McClatchey (or Kat). Of the twenty-five females that participated in the event the majority of women were brand new. For some it was their first time and some girls have only been training for a few days. The several repeat attendees at this event who got to share the experience with those that where taking their first step on their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. Relationships where strengthened between the girls only making the community stronger in Oklahoma.
The event began with what we call sharing and caring. It is a unique opportunity for participants to share their stories, their experiences with one another and show that we have a lot more in common than we think. Everyone had an amazing story to tell. Some were brought in through trauma experienced in the past and they were seeking self defense training. One woman said she wants to train because she wants to show her son that women are strong. Being able to see the beauty and positive impact Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has made on the lives of the ones that shared their stories is something that everyone benefited from whether they are new to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or a seasoned purple belt.
Next up it was time to get busy. The event began with warm up that consisted of pummeling, shrimping, cockroaches and moved into drill to prepare the girls for the technique to come. Among the drills were the standing armbar, standing guard retention, tornadoes and swim guard pass. For some the movement was unfamiliar, but was a great introduction to how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can teach body awareness.
The technique was equally beneficial for females of all skill levels. Kat confidently shared some of her favorite moves which include the closed and open guard scissor sweep to armbar combinations. The more experienced females worked with beginners one on one to ensure that no wo-man was left behind. The group worked cohesively and united.
It was a day for mothers and daughters. Denise and her daughter had joined us before for a Girls in Gis event. Denise like many mothers we see at events she started training after her daughter. The other set were Bridgette & Samantha, both brand new to jiu-jitsu and but both experienced in tae kwon do. Together they shared their first experience with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A memory they will share for the rest of their journey.
Do these events make a difference? Judging by the response after the event it was apparent that these events are not only beneficial in uniting existing females in the community but inspired newbies to start their journey. Together we can do anything. “Strength in Solidarity”.
Big thanks to Academy of Martial Arts, Kat, Jennifer, Elaine and everyone that participated in GIGMW-OKC. This was an amazing event because of all of your contribution. Check out some of these amazing photos by Elaine: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1032269576804864.1073741899.223743377657492&type=3