Some people take martial arts to learn discipline, or develop self-esteem, or increase their physical fitness. By studying Ju-Jitsu, girls and boys can accomplish all of these goals.According to the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation, Ju-Jitsu means “gentle art” and was designed as a combative system in which a smaller person can defeat a person of greater stature.It was the primary unarmed combat method of the Japanese Samurai. All techniques are taught to be done with proper form, control and responsibility.
At BJJ Conquest, Maryland’s premiere Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts training facility; people of all ages and genders pursue their own personal goals.In addition to mixed martial arts training and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Conquest offers traditional boxing, Fight Fit, striking, and children’s wrestling. There are classes specifically for women that teach form and fitness, as well as hard core training for male professional fighters.
Fight Fit is one of the women’s fitness programs currently being offered at Conquest. Their website says, “If you want to train like a fighter but not get punched in the face while doing it – Conquest fitness programs are for you.” This class provides a place for women and girls to fit into this often masculine environment and have the chance to partner with other women during their workout. According to owner Kail Bosque, Fight Fit is an intense, women only class where there is no judgment.”It is not a competition” says Bosque, “everything is scaled to your own level of fitness.” Coming soon, Conquest is developing a new fitness class similar to Fight Fit. It will feature a new name and will be geared towards men and women participating together.
Conquest welcomes people of all ages to their training programs and classes. “Children as young as four years old can train at Conquest,” says BJJ’s owner, instructor and amateur mixed martial arts fighter Kail Bosque. Bosque says for confidence, Jiu Jitsu is the best choice for children because there is more contact than with other martial arts. The children gain discipline and the willingness to be aggressive (in a self-assertive way) which helps them overcome fear and shyness.
According to http://www.usabjjtournaments.com, the tournament rules for age division and gender are clearly stated. “Kids” are ages 6-15 (male and female) and “Juniors” are ages 16 -17 (male and female). These age groups can compete across gender, but each child is placed according to weight, age and experience. They try not to mix girls and boys if there a suitable same sex opponent, but it is sometimes necessary. Adults are divided by age and then gender after they reach eighteen years old.
Jenna Sattler, fourteen years old, of Pasadena, Maryland, can hold her own. Whether it is with children her own age, either gender, or the adults, Jenna is a competitor. Sattler began learning karate at age 7, now she attends classes at BJJ Conquest in Millersville, Maryland at least four times a week. She takes a variety of classes, including Jiu Jitsu, and competes in grappling which includes grabbing and controlling your opponent. I asked her if she participates for fitness or as a sport, and she replied “Jiu Jitsu as a sport”, but she trains in Fight Fit classes for fitness. As a young women, I asked her how she felt about competing against males. Sattler says, “at 14 years old, boys are getting stronger, but I would rather go against a boy my age than a woman.” When asked why she enjoys this sport and these workouts she says, “I want to get better.” She is self driven and does it for herself, to be her personal best, even if she is “always sore!”