Show and Tell
The most common question I get after someone watches one of my ju jitsu matches on youtube is "How do know who wins?" To most people the match just looks like two people rolling around on the ground, then they abruptly stop and one person is proclaimed as the winner.
To be honest, I didn’t understand the strategy behind a match or even just the basic fundamentals of what was going on until I started training. Then I finally began to see how a winner was determined.
In 2007, after training and competing for four years, I finally got the opportunity to compete in my home state of Hawaii. My childhood friends, close family friends, and my entire family, (except for my sister), witnessed me in action for the first time. Never before did I have such a huge cheering squad. After I won gold in my division, my Dad said to me, " I never realized how athletic you were...and scrappy". And I bet you can guess where both of those traits come from?
In 2009, I won my first gold in a major championship and nothing brought more joy to me then having my sister and best friend there to share that moment. When my Mom watched my matches online a few weeks later, she called me and said, "Watching you compete brought tears to my eyes to know that I have such a strong and powerful daughter". Having the support of my family and friends (even though they still get the positions and submission confused) is priceless and crucial to my success.
Until jiu jitsu becomes a household word, I will probably find more creative ways to explain it. No matter what, it is a sport that I have come to love. If I can get someone excited about the martial art or to even become a participant, it’s all worth it to me.