Brazilian Jiujitsu at Matrix Martial Arts

Let’s imagine December 2021. I am sat in a weight loss clinic mid-therapy session trying to uncover the magical reason as to why I’m struggling to lose weight (as though the answer wasn’t obvious). Some of my excuses were that I suffered the results of a sit-down, office job with very little movement and a swift ‘when I was 10 years younger’ comparison to my fast paced, farm-life childhood.  

There I was, moaning away (as one often does in therapy) reminiscing about all the sports, activities and classes I used to do when I was a teenager which kept me so fit without me ever having to watch my food. Ballet twice a week, carriage driving competitions, quad bike races, even walking the dogs every evening added more daily movement to my routine. Then, my psychologist cuts in an asks that golden, oh-so-obvious question I couldn’t manage to ask myself; ‘Why don’t you do any sport classes now?’ …I honestly did not know.  

Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.
Mary Kay Ash

After a quick Google search, I find various options in my area – one of which is a Martial Arts gym offering adult Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) classes. I’d previously done a couple of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes whilst I was living in Leeds at Leeds Cage and although I’d enjoyed them, punchbags and potential whacks to the face ruled out kickboxing or MMA for me. My knowledge of BJJ was limited to what I learnt from personal trainers James Smith and Diren Kartal with their wholesome and utmost enthusiasm for the sport.  

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Two weeks after my epiphany, I’ve managed to convince Christian this will be a great couples’ activity and we’re both stood on Matrix mats for our first class together wondering what a Gi is. We’re practising takedowns, self-defence, submissions, grappling – so many new skills and all so exciting. Now, I’m challenged not just physically but mentally as well. I’m motivated, slimmer and I have new goals to focus on. Christian and I have become closer as a couple (who’d have guessed I’d be talking romance on a martial arts post?!) and we can’t help but be immersed in this fun, engaging sport. Did you know BJJ can help with anxiety, self-confidence and handling pressure? No, seriously. 

I did not know in December 2021 that, 10 months later, BJJ would be helping me in all aspects of life and not just a bit of weight loss.  BJJ has become the long-term therapy I did not know I needed. Maybe we’re just lucky to be living so close to such a great school or maybe BJJ is something you should consider adding to your routine as well. At the very least, give one class a try. The dedicated support and encouragement given by Professor Steve Newman and all other members at Matrix school brings this whole experience together – from beginners to black belts, everyone is welcome and you never know, BJJ might change your life too.  

Get rid of all the hesitation, it’s time for you to seize the day.
Greyson Chance
Painting by SUEX

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