Has someone ever told you that you could never do something? Did it make you back down, or did it ignite a will to succeed? Meet Megan Hutchings. This 33-year-old martial artist from Allentown, Pennsylvania is making goals and crushing them and letting Hemiplegia stand in her way. I had the privilege of listening to her story and how she uses perseverance and the desire to challenge herself to grow in martial arts.
How did you get into martial arts (specifically Jiu Jitsu)?
I started martial arts as a child because I couldn’t play sports like my twin sister. I trained for 4 years before quitting when I was a teenager. I started training again in my mid-20’s because I had a desire to learn a new type of martial art. Five years and earning my 2nd degree black in a mixed martial arts dojo. I saw online that a Jiu Jitsu gym was opening nearby. I decided to join before it was even open to try something new. This decision led to the next part of my journey in martial arts. My favorite quote is “Your life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” by Neale Donald Walsch.
Training with limited use of one side of my body is difficult. Training no gi is especially challenging, but I have to find out what works for me and use that to my advantage. I don’t always win, but I won’t stop trying to get better at Jiu Jitsu.
Where do you train now and what is your BJJ rank?
I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu in Allentown, Pennsylvania under Jon “Thor” Blank. I am a white belt and 33-years-old. I have been training since it opened in 2019. I split my time training time between Jiu Jitsu and continued training in the mixed martial arts dojo I started at 6 years ago.
Do you have any advice for other athletes that are engaging in adaptive sports?
My advice to other adaptive athletes…Step out of your comfort zone because overcoming obstacles is a part of life and super satisfying when you do!
Any advice for women in general when it comes to training?
Don’t be afraid to try something new like a new style or martial art or a new training partner. I train with mostly men in Jiu Jitsu and it can be challenging when they are bigger than me, but it just means I have to work harder.
Thank you for sharing your story with me as well as the Girls in Gis readers! Your dedication is inspirational! Megan’s enthusiasm for the sport and desire to push herself will no doubt take her far. Remember her name, friends!
Danielle is a blue belt at National Martial Arts in Norman, Oklahoma. She is a veteran and military spouse and LOVES that she gets to meet so many different people on the mats! When she’s not training, you can find her working on her Master’s in Social Work and trying to keep up with her two energetic boys. She hopes to one day start a non-profit program using BJJ to help people work through the effects of trauma.