Life Lesson from Fighting The Big Boys


I think I know how it feels like to fight against something bigger than myself.

When I first started Jiu-Jitsu, and got smashed by the bigger opponents (they still do by the way), I blamed my size for it, or worse, I blamed their sizes for it. Then I stayed on the mats longer, and witnessed how the small-framed professors smashing all the big boys, only to realise it was not about the size. So, I stopped whining about the bulk difference (because come to think about it, the big boys never complained about my flexibility anyway) and started to be determined to be like them, small but fearless. I made it a point to learn the techniques correctly and write them down everyday and have a revision session before bed time. It was the techniques, and the strong will to overcome my own weakness that I started to be better. When I am less fearful of my weakness, I am more confident to move with my best potential.

However, it was a pity I could not see this in my life for so long. For all I know I was fighting this gigantic monster in my head for the longest time. I blamed the size of this monster and its aggressiveness. It consumed every part of my life and imprisoned me in my own head. I wasn’t free. At times, it fed me false happiness that I gullibly received. Then it bit me again and again, waited for me to get better just to bring me down even deeper. I could have fought this monster damn well, but I did not, I was too busy blaming on the unfair fight. I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t believe that I could have done it. So, I gave up. I gave up on me. I let the monster creep into my brain every time there was an opportunity.

Now, it is time I stand up to it. For the time I have been fighting it, it was not my strength, it was the strength coming from my loved ones, (special thanks to mom, sister, MinLi, Menty, Michelle and you), they put me up on my own feet and like controlling a puppet, they tried hard to make me fight. They believed in me while I did not believe in myself, and it was hurtful. They wanted me to be better, while I unwittingly gave up fighting. To the ones who have been there for me, though your names are not mentioned, especially my professors, and my rolling partners, you guys have helped me in one way or the other. Every laugh, every smile, every “good morning!” counts. It’s about time I gather my strength and have a plan fighting this monster. And SUBMISSION is the only way to not let it consume me further. Because HIP ESCAPING is just not good enough. I need to be on top. I need to be ahead of myself. I need to find that BALANCE on top so I will not be toppled over by its sweeps anymore.

To my loved ones, family and friends, I feel loved by you guys. I feel the need to get up on my own and lighten your burden of carrying me, you guys have done more than enough. I have been doing my best. But I need to be even better.

And this is another way Jiu-Jitsu saves my life.

Oss! Keep on rolling!

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3 Struggles Every Female Jiu-Jitsu Knows To Be True (Our Brothers, Please Take Note!)


I would like to dedicate my first words to the bravery, strength and courage that all female Jiu-Jitsu practitioners have invested in this uncomfortable sport. We are awesome! Without being the self-catalyst, we could not possibly have overcome the struggles of being a female partaker on this journey.

  1. Our Size

Let’s us now recall the first 6 months on the mat… Have you been literally swept off your feet, floated entirely in mid air for a split second and dropped back on the floor like a sack of potatoes? Have you wanted to tap out in a tight full guard? Have you felt so helpless being flat on the floor in side control and yet could not have done anything to improve the situation (even when you knew your theory well)? Having a smaller frame means we have shorter reach, lower strength, more disadvantage in weight distribution and when our partners (especially the bigger guys) deposit their pressure at any points, we become vulnerable or defenseless. For all that, female Jiu-Jitsu partakers learn to transform our weakness into strength. Mobility is fully utilized and flexibility is appropriately turned to account. The petite anatomy has in fact become more a challenge than a hindrance when it comes to improving the game. As advised by many seniors, trying out a wider variety of positions would help figure out which setting(s) is/are most comfortable and suitable to one’s preference.

  1. Our Hair

It almost does not matter how neatly every strand is kept in place at the beginning of every session, by the end of drillings, it will still be a mess. Being fully aware of our appearance, it is noted that by certain undesirable events, one might pull or step on it. And it hurts. So if unfortunately, you do, just apologize, and we let it go like nothing happened. Losing a few strands of hair is surely not a big deal. From time to time, if you hear “Hey, let’s pause here for a bit”, please freeze for a second, let us adjust our chaos and we can continue from where we come to a standstill.

  1. Our Hormones

Here comes the most difficult battle. After all, female Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, despite not being the most epicene ladies, are still genetically created with higher estrogen level. Thus, there is a higher tendency for some emotional involvement. Once in a blue moon, tears are seen, either out of pain, or frustration. For such situations, please don’t freak out, for it is absolutely normal. An immediate pack of ice for the pain is very much appreciated. If it were out of frustration, all female partakers would be grateful for a little space and soon they would bounce back.

Being on the mat as a female takes a lot of endurance and determination. The passion for the sport is admirable, in order to sustain this exciting adventure. It is indeed an adventure because everyday on the mat is a new lesson learnt.

Despite all hardships, remember that you are awesome and KEEP ON ROLLING! Oss!

Jiu-Jitsu Girls Are Awesome!

We are absolutely proud to belong in the female Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) community, to learn and practice this amazing martial art, which has changed many lives. It is amazing to know a girl who does BJJ, to date one, and best of all, to be one and here are some reasons why.

A girl who does BJJ is comfortable with people around her. Because rolling on the mat means she is okay being in close proximity with another human, and in contact with sweat and sometimes, blood (yes, blood!) Being on that mat has taught her to be kind to her partners, to assess her partners’ strength and weakness, so she could work on their strength and at the same time, be tactful with their weakness. The mat has also empowered her confidence in interacting with people, and with that, a girl who does Jiu-Jitsu carries with her the vibrancy in conversations, and a generous camaraderie.

She knows what she wants. Aren’t we all sick of the phrase “Women don’t know what they want” already? A girl who does Jiu-Jitsu knows how to make quick and pertinent decisions. The randoori sessions equip women to be strong, to know prioritizing well and react relevantly depending on various circumstances. Our lives are better organized because situational awareness has become a habitual activity.

These girls are patient. The art of Jiu-Jitsu lies in balance (leverage), space and time. She knows waiting for the right moment is important and so she would pace herself suitably to the events that happen in her life. That said – she would not wait indefinitely to any ineligible delay. A girl who does Jiu-Jitsu also takes actions where applicable and is responsible with any repercussion that comes with it.

A girl who does Jiu-Jitsu is also happy… with herself! More often than not, women live in the battle of self-consciousness, and self-confidence. Jiu-Jitsu girls are just contented. Maybe, the only time they are concerned about their weight is when they need to be in certain weight class divisions for competitions. Otherwise, most of us are jubilant.

Jiu-Jitsu has transformed many women in many other ways that with just a concise article, it is impossible to elaborate. To all the girls who do BJJ, remember the first time you stepped on the mat? Your courage was amazing, and you are awesome! And to the ladies who are yet on the mat, we look forward to meeting you and seeing Jiu-Jitsu continues doing incredible things to your life.