In a bid to come up with some exciting new blog posts, support our local community and continue our fitness journey together, I decided that we should try a new fitness class every week. In doing so, we would expand on our fitness knowledge, learn what classes we wish to pursue and meet other likeminded people. We kicked off with a Jiu Jitsu class at Pedro Bessa’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School ‘BJJ academy’ on Gloucester Road in Bristol. I was keen to try Jiu Jitsu after my brother Sebastiaan Roest (Instagram @SebastianRoest) had raved about the martial art and coincidently I found out that he used to train with Pedro at The Sweatbox in Bristol. Furthermore, I was interested to learn more about the healthy living ‘Jiu Jitsu lifestyle,’ but most importantly I think it’s imperative that women empower themselves and are able to defend themselves in a hostile situation.
So, what is Jiu Jitsu?
What an amazing class to take up as it is appropriate for almost everyone: ‘technique is everything and although it helps to be fairly fit, you do not need to have done any other martial arts, be larger than anyone else, nor have large muscles, to use these strategies and defeat your opponent.’
In the class we learned a number of techniques, crawls and holds to neutralise our opponents including the Americana and the Iron Bar. Most of what we learned was ground fighting/ grappling and there was minimal combat/striking. It was very interesting being the only women in the class to learn ways in which to defend ourselves, take down an attacker and stay safe. When reflecting on the class, Georgie shared the opinion that self-defence techniques should be taught to everyone at school as a key life skill. Jiu Jitsu is excellent for eliminating anxiety and stress and it was great for teamwork too.