The one thing I am finding it difficult to locate are Jiu Jitsu technique resources that include women who are in their 40s and up. I did however find this very inspiring page of women who changed the look of Jiu Jitsu – thank you for posting this.
It is true, Jiu Jitsu is a male dominated arena but weren’t so many other arenas also solely male dominated at one point?
As I enter the year 2017, I did a little historical background on women who broke the mold.
The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada – is the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice of Canada and the longest serving Chief Justice of Canada in history.
Viola Desmond – the first woman to be gracing the face of our Canadian bill, thriving entrepreneur and defender of human rights and social justice
Ronda Rousey – first woman to break the glass ceiling in MMA, earned olympic medal status in Judo and is currently the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion – all under the age of 30. A survivor of domestic violence, you should read her massive list of accomplishments, instead of allowing the media to focus on her last UFC fight loss.
Madame C.J. Walker – first black american female self-made millionaire as a hairdresser. (She is definitely my idol!) As an entrepreneur, she has led the way for what the hair industry looks like today.
Valentina Tereshkova – first woman in space; Manon Rhéaume – first woman in NHL; Hedy Lamarr – invented the original hopping technology theory now known as bluetooth; Stephanie Louise Kwolek – discovered liquid crystalline polymers, which resulted in the product Kevlar; Mary Anderson – invented the windshield wiper
There are also some very empowered women that are not listed in Wikipedia and they would be my amazingly strong girlfriends. Amongst them a medical technologist who runs 15-20kms almost everyday, a vice principal who earned brown belt in Judo, a nurse whose leg has been amputated and is waiting for it to heal so she can go back to Jiu Jitsu, a stay-at-home mom who has a tumor in her brain but doesn’t give up, a high school hospitality teacher who trains in Circus Aerobics, my mom who fought cancer for 17 years lived life to the fullest until the end and so many more, a very long list to name individually but definitely not forgotten.
These are the women who give me the most strength. Women who don’t judge me for my sins. Will put me in my place if my bullsh*t gets out of hand. Who raise my spirits in a glass with ice & lemon slices, will hold my hair when too many spirits have been ingested.
But never once will these amazing women ever crush my will to strive to advance myself.
These are the types of women I look up to….especially in those moments that I feel defeated.
My way of making it through life is all fire and spit – not always by choice and most often exhausting but how else can I move ahead especially when I have a set of young eyes that watches my every move. If I stop striving to be better each day, then don’t I teach my daughter that it is ok to just give up?
So ladies, it matters not what your walk of life is or what your choice of training shoes are….always strive to be better than you were yesterday. Never let anyone tell you that just because you are a woman that you can not do something.
I was not raised that way – remember wanting to go to university so badly because I wanted to be an interpreter – i was 16 and able to easily speak 5 different languages without formal study but being told that girls don’t go to university. That it is a man’s priority to become educated so that he can care for his family. Women get married, stay home and learn to cook, clean, iron, sew, raise babies….I learned it and I am proud that I know how – it is simply not what defines who I am.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame my parents for this way of thinking. I blame society.
Now I speak out. I tell my daughter, my students and any adult that listens….go out there and conquer what scares you most. Achieve everything you have been told you could never achieve – female or male, young or old, never let anyone make you feel less than what you are…ever.
On that note, I am going to keep searching for videos that include women rolling in Jiu Jitsu and if I cannot find them, I’ll bet I can find women that will help me record them so we can post them. Pura Atos Hamilton is very inclusive of women, men and children in their programs. I am sure they would love to help women empower women.
Thank you Pura for introducing Jiu Jitsu to me and providing an arena where I can succeed.