On April 10th 2016 Girls in Gis is venturing up to Kansas for yet another event in the Sunflower state. The event will be held at Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club 110 S Walnut Wichita, KS 67203 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. This event is free of charge and open to females of all ages, skill levels and from all affiliations. No experience is required. This is sure to be a great time with amazing instruction, prizes and giveaways. We had a chance speak with our host, Amber Oxford-Haines an inspirational women who knows first hand how Jiu-Jitsu can change your life.
Amber has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) for four years and is currently a purple belt at Wichita Jiu-Jitsu Club. She is the owner of Bombshell Studio Salon, a nurse at a hospital in a cardiac ICU and she also helps her husband with their gym Wichita Jiu Jitsu Club. She has started to help teach some of the classes and hopes to start teaching women’s class or running women’s open mat soon. Most of her spare time is spent training BJJ, which is one of her favorite things to do while not working. Amber also loves going to find antiques, driving and exploring out in the country with her husband in his jeep.
She began her BJJ journey while working out in fitness classes at Wichita Jiu Jitsu Club. She kept watching the classes and began to want more out of her training in the gym. As much as it feels good to run and lift weights to get in shape, at the end of the day she still felt she wanted something more mentally and physically challenging. Her husband Chris Haines just opened his own school and Amber says watching him teach BJJ is very inspiring and is what motivates her to keep training. When Amber started training there was not many women in the sport in Wichita. She wanted to spread the love for BJJ among women and show that BJJ is a sport for women just as much as men. Amber started competing at tournaments and grew to the love the sport even more. As much as she love to win the gold some of her favorite competitions are the ones she walk away from not winning, but learning what she needed to work on for the next one. That is what keeps her coming back and hungry for more.
According to Amber, “females benefit from BJJ by gaining confidence, increasing self-esteem, and creating a sense of discipline to stay committed and focused. Of course BJJ also creates a way for women to learn self-defense to protect them in any bad situation they may need to get out of. The sport was created for the smaller to defeat themselves against the bigger and stronger person with technique. Most of all I believe we all benefit by becoming a physically and mentally stronger person on the inside and outside. Being a part of BJJ you also gain a family and friendships in the gym and other gyms in the community. I can promise you its more inspiring to talk with my BJJ ladies about positive things happening on the mats rather than what I saw in the latest Kardashian show, The Bachelor, TMZ etc.. LOL!”
Amber has faced a few challenges in her journey. She says time management is one of them. Balancing her training, helping to run the business, and work is one of her ongoing challenges. Amber is no stranger to the excuse “I don’t have time to train”, but she says even making it to class a couple times a week still puts you above anyone that doesn’t step onto the mats. Amber says she just make sure to tell herself Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is always going to be here. If she can’t make it one day, then she will attend classes the next day. She has made it through earning her Bachelor of Nursing school program, owning two businesses, working full time as a nurse and still make it to the mats. So if Amber can do it, so can you.
The biggest challenges in Amber’s journey was being diagnosed with Breast Cancer (March 2015). As many would worry about so many other things Amber cried the most knowing that her training would have to be put on hold for some time. She went through four months of chemotherapy and an extensive reconstruction surgery to remove the cancer. She had to take some time off from training, but still made it to the mats to watch her teammates and motivate them to keep training. After a rough year, this February Amber returned to the gym and is back on the mats continuing her journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She says she couldn’t be happier and more grateful to have beat Cancer. Through this experience she was able to come back stronger than ever.
According to Amber Jiu-Jitsu has played a huge role in helping her overcome the ups and downs of life. She can honestly say Jiu-Jitsu has saved her life in more than one way, She truly believes that Jiu-Jitsu creates a fighter inside us that helps us to keep pushing through tough times. She doesn’t believe she could of beat cancer and recovered so well without training Brazilian Jiu-Jtisu.
“It helped me mentally push through knowing I was gonna win the fight and being in good physical shape was very beneficial. The doctors had a positive outlook on my treatment plan because of how healthy I had become.”
Amber is a prime example that their is no excuse as to why you shouldn’t start. She says never be afraid to try something new and that just stepping on the mats you have more courage than most people have. She also says don’t be afraid to make a mistake or ask questions. After all that is how we learn and better ourselves on and off the mats.
“It is most important to let your BJJ journey be yours, whether you want to train at a level to compete or just train to be involved in something for better mental and physical health. BJJ will change you in a positive direction.”
Join us and this warrior at Girls in Gis Midwest Wichita Kansas on April 10th! Info and registration: www.girls-in-gis.com/blog/girls-in-gis-midwest-witchata-kansas