Thursday, September 8, 2011

Girls in Gis-Houston & Two Year Anniversary Celebration


 
I've always had an obsession with collecting quotes and finding ones that are most relevant to the phases of my life.  When I was in high school I was always running around with a pen and pad or a voice recorder asking everyone to share a quote. One of the most inspirational quotes I've recently found was from the great words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail". 
Perhaps that is one of the many unique qualities I love about Jiu-Jitsu, because it is truly our own personal journey.  No two people will have exactly the same experiences, goals or challenges to overcome.  Although our experiences will be unique, there is always comfort in knowing that we are not alone.  

Programs like Girls in Gis provide so many opportunities for women and girls in the BJJ community.  Not only is the group a great place to pick up some new technique or grapple with other women, it's the friendship and unity that is built at each and everyone of these events that make them truly special.  How often do we as women get to share our jiu-jitsu experiences, perspectives and outlooks with other like  minded women?  Unlike most women in the community, I've had a truly unique experience in BJJ.  I've never been the "only" woman in the academy.  My first two instructors were women.  Needless to say, I never experienced a shortage of women to train with over the past eight years. I have been extremely fortunate to have learned the long-term benefits of training with other women firsthand.  Perhaps that's why I strongly support the vision of Girls in Gis, because I know how important it is as a martial artist and competitor to be able to train with women and share our passion with each other.    

There is no doubt that the Girls in Gis Houston event was a smash hit!  Prior to the event, Fighter Girls did an excellent interview with Ashley Nguyen, the Girls in Gis founder, on what exactly Girls in Gis is all about and where it came from.  Ashley Nguyen did an outstanding job hosting and instructing!  Everyone loved it!  To get a full recap and see photos visit TXMMA!  More articles include fightergirls.com, bjjlegends.com and megjiujitsu.com.  Additional photos I took can be seen on Shama Ko Photography FB.

As I sat on the sidelines taking photos of the forty women and girls on the mats, I realized just how unique and  special this moment was.  We are on the verge of something monumental!  Change is coming and it's our unity and support that will strengthen our efforts as a whole.  Jiu-Jitsu means a lot of different things to different people and people train with different motivations and purposes.  Hear some of the stories from Debra Ibarra on Grappling Girls Guild, Lana Hunter on The Fightworks Podcast and Jodi Lynn Baughan on Combatsportsreview.com!  Great article ladies!  I enjoyed reading all of them! 

Each and everyone of us are trail blazers in our own ways.  I am extremely grateful for the strength and generosity of women like Triin of Fenom Kimonos/Women's Jiu-Jitsu Championships and Ashley Nguyen of Girls in Gis.  Their revolutionary visions have manifested into extremely successful enterprises that have continually touched the lives of so many and have brought together the community of women in jiu-jitsu in a way it never before seen.  Thank you to both of you for leading the way for so many of us and offering inspiration to all of us.  Keep up the great work! 
 
The next Girls in Gis event is on September 25th in Austin at Trainers Elite MMA!  Hope to see you there!

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