In Search of Balance 3

I recently read a great post over at Breaking Muscle by Valerie Worthington, “Merging Selves: My Continued Development as a Grappler and Its Larger Meaning”.  It really made me stop and think.  It made me realize that what I hope for is to find that perfect balance between training and self and family.  If you have trained jiu jitsu for any length of time, or even if you are new to training, you know that it can be hard to find the right balance.  At times, I know that I have become more focused on my training and neglected other areas of my life.  Then there are other times I’ve had to put jiu jitsu on the back burner and focus on my family.  Sometimes my job can be demanding, and I have to work late to finish a project.  Other times, I’ve found myself physically and mentally broken down, and I’ve had to take a step back and let my body and my mind heal.  To keep things in perspective, for me anyway, it’s good to have some kind of training philosophy or blueprint to go by.  I keep mine written down somewhere handy.  I refer to it as often as I need to.  I refine it as my life and my family and my training evolves.  Because we all know that change is the only constant and that life has a way of throwing a wrench in things on a regular basis.  As women, we can handle it, but it’s always good to be prepared.  If you are curious, you can check out my BJJ training philosophy below.


Photo by Ember Solis Photography

Mrs. Ibarra’s BJJ Training Philosophy:

  1. Attend two BJJ classes per week
  2. Attend at least one open mat per month
  3. Drill, drill, drill to become proficient at each move
  4. Continue to educate myself on and off the mat (with GIG and women’s only seminars)
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help
  6. Keep a positive attitude
  7. Smiling and laughing and hugging and high fives are always allowed on the mat
  8. Always give my best effort on the mat
  9. Never say “I can’t do that”
  10. Anything is possible
  11. Position before submission
  12. Take care of my body because it’s the only one I’ve got to work with
  13. I am a work in progress and I will continue to train BJJ as long as my body allows me too

I would challenge you to create your own.  It can be simple or complex, you can add goals and timelines, make it colorful and fancy or plain and simple, but do make it fit your life and your personality.  Mine used to a simple quote by Aristotle – “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  It was appropriate for me at the beginning of my journey.  What does your BJJ philosophy or blueprint look like?  Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas on women finding that perfect balance.  I would love to hear what you all have to say.  Until we meet on the mats, I wish you all peace, love and great jiu jitsu!  :)

About the Author:

Debra Ibarra

I am a 45 year old wi385543_307736172577894_366853316_nfe and mother. I have a terrific husband and two great teenage kids. I work full time as a paralegal. My kids are actively involved in football, marching band and track. When we aren’t at a football game or a track meet, my daughter and I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing. I have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since June of 2010. I currently train under the direction of Vincent Serrano at Dirty Bay MMA in Baytown, Texas (an affiliate school of Solis Martial Arts Academy). I received my blue belt on September 19, 2012 from Roy Davis (Solis Martial Arts Academy Black Belt). I love Jiu Jitsu and I train as much as my body and my schedule allow it. Out of this love that I have for Jiu Jitsu my blog was born. I love to write and share my personal experiences as I walk this Jiu Jitsu journey.

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3 thoughts on “In Search of Balance

  • Kelly

    Thank You so much for this blog. I have been training BJJ for 6 months now. It has been so hard as I am only 1 of 3 girls who go to the class and I am the only one of the 3 who go somewhat regularly. It is incredibly intimidating. Not only am I new to it, but often the only girl in class. My husband is so supportive and found this site for me. I look forward to the encouragement I may find here as even getting to the gym each week is nerve racking. I truly enjoy BJJ and I am excited about my practice and finding a fellowship with other women in the sport. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • girlsingis Post author

      Hi Kelly! Thanks for +contacting us! You are not alone. That is what GIG is all about Strength in Solidarity! You can also find us on Facebook, instragram, Google+ and Twitter. We’ve got a closed group just for the ladies on FB so feel free to join and ask any questions. Where do you live? We are expanding and will most likely be coming to a city near you! Thanks again and keep on rolling! Hit us up anytime with anything!