Find Your Jiu-Jitsu

10 June 2010
Find Your Jiu-Jitsu

Simply put, martial arts can change your life. I am proof; it changed mine and continues to do so every day.

A few years ago I decided to take a Brazilian jiu-jitsu private lesson with a friend. I had long been an avid spectator and supporter of martial arts. But I had neither put on a gi (uniform) nor learned a single formal technique. I couldn’t even figure out how to put my white belt on. But today was the day and I was so excited. I remember being so nervous that I was sweating and I hadn’t even done anything physical yet. For anyone who has worn a jiu-jitsu gi, you can understand that this is not a surprise because my gi was a gold weave. Our instructor was so gracious and friendly, I started to think to myself, “Why did I wait so long to try this?” I had talked myself out of it a hundred times – just fear of the unknown and not making a firm commitment to try.

I was so surprised at how much information the instructor was willing to share and that even though two hours had passed, he wasn’t kicking us out anytime soon. His enthusiasm was intoxicating and I found myself scheduling many more lessons. A real change had begun in my life at this time. I had recently been laid off from my job of 10 years and I was trying to decide where to go from here. Looking back, I was proud of the work that I did but I never really got the hang of balancing work and life. The more I began to train, the more I realized that I had found something to study passionately that was nurturing a part of me that I had been ignoring for a long time. I wanted this feeling to continue, without a doubt.

I often say to people that martial arts are a lifetime of study. In case you’re wondering, you can’t learn everything in 5 minutes. Trust me; it’s supposed to be this way. Simply by understanding this concept, you know something really important about martial arts. It’s like a friend who is there to constantly support you and only asks for your equal support in return. The enjoyment of training is that you continue to learn. Even if you do the same technique 1000 times, you will learn to do it better and to appreciate it more each time.

If you had asked me five years ago, would you ever own a martial arts school? I could not have told you yes with certainty. The path to opening my school has come into my life because of events which I could not have predicted. That is life and you need to go with it and trust that everything will work out. Over the last couple of years, I have lost 20 pounds, I feel great, and I have more patience and overall confidence then I could have imagined. This is a real lesson in “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re …” too old, young, big, or small – or that you’re a girl – and you shouldn’t do the things that you love. I am blessed to be the co-owner of my school. I am so grateful to own a business in my home town and to be able to support my community. I would like to thank Sensei Paulina for going with me to my first martial arts class and for going into business with me and Master Luigi for being my first instructor. Your support has made all the difference in my life.

If you get a chance to come by and visit us, please do, even if you just want to hang out. Everyone is welcome here.

Regards, Denise Discepolo (I’m pictured in the white gi.)

Co-owner, The Center Martial Arts


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