Today I had the opportunity to visit a new gym, 5th Dimension Academy. It is my first time venturing outside of my own school, so my anxiety was pretty high. But I can do this.
Again with the stairwells…why do these trigger me so badly? As I stood at the reception desk speaking with owner JJ, we discussed how he has taught self defense classes for women in sheltered homes, so although he personally doesn’t understand the anxiety that these stairwells can cause a gal, he pointed out how he learned that anything can be a trigger for anyone regardless of their circumstances.
I met Danni – 9 year old Jiu Jitsu girl – who showed me how to tie her belt. I told her I am a brand new white belt and that I just can’t get the hang of doing it. She instantly obliged with a grin from ear to ear. I loved how she wanted to roll with JJ but he and I were speaking. She was told to wait 5 minutes, which she respectfully did, but boy did I absolutely get a kick out of watching the spunk in her when she very openly told him that the 5 minutes were up and he had to hold his promise to roll with her. I graciously stepped aside of this mini-female warrior in training.
As I stood there, I realized yet again, I was the only woman (apart from the young girls). I was prepared to put on my Gi and practice my frontward rolls but got to enjoying watching the others grapple. I find the more I watch, the more I am able to catch the different techniques. Where at one time it was just all arms and legs flailing, now I see Americanas and Kimuras.
I also met Esther. She is one of the academy’s poster ladies. She showed up as I was standing borderline in the doorway. Instantly I felt drawn to her friendliness. We chatted about what she does here – Mauy Thai – definitely not for me, but I will for sure go watch her in a match or two.
All in all, I felt the inclusivity that the Jiu Jitsu online community talks about. 5th Dimension Academy, like Pura Atos, also harbours a family environment. So if you have a significant other, Jiu Jitsu is definitely a place where you can both hang out and share a common interest.
It’s also a place that welcomes you individually. I love that I can find places like these that allow me to grow as a person.
Thank you Coach JJ for making me feel so welcome at your academy. I’ll definitely take you up on your offer and return one day soon.