My husband started his SOCP (Special Operations Combative Program) certifications in mid-2017. At the end of his training, he was invited by one of the instructors to have us come out for a women’s self-defense class. That was my first real introduction to self defense and martial arts…personally, that is.

Shortly after the training, Joe decided to start Krav Maga classes, and for the first time since leaving Ranger Battalion, I saw him come to life. He was excited again about something other than dirt bikes and guns…


He started training and telling me I should pick up some sort of martial art form. I wanted to, but how could I with the kids? He finally asked me around November 2017 what I wanted to train: Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or American Tang Soo Do. I told him “Jiu Jitsu”. He asked me why, and I shrugged my shoulders and told him because it looked like fun and the name sounded cool.😂 He then explained that there were not many women (if any in the class) and that BJJ puts you into some “interesting” and very close positions. Now normally Joe wouldn’t want me doing something like this because if you get into the wrong class, you could really get hurt, but he trusted Jerry (the instructor). I told him that I didn’t care about the things he told me, and that if I felt uncomfortable at any time that I would just quit.

So I started in December 2017 on a whim. I’ll never forget how awkward and nervous I felt my first day. My plan was to just go on Saturdays…

Within a couple of months I was training three times a week. (I’ve had to go down to two because of the kids’ homeschool co-op falling on one of the mornings I used to train. But that will change soon.)


I don’t know what it is about it that I love so much, but I think it’s because it challenges me both mentally and physically. The physical aspect causes me to use my whole body and while it takes a lot out of me, Jiu Jitsu is supposed to be an equalizer. You’re not supposed to use your strength. Still a complete body workout.  And mentally, it always has me thinking…how do I get out of this position? How can I gain a better position? How can I make this better?


It also serves as self defense. The school that I train at focuses heavily on self defense. I love that! In an era of #metoo instead of complaining about how awful men are, just be prepared for anything. (In fact, it’s my husband who’s taught me to be more aware of my surroundings. I wasn’t concerned about self defense until he drilled it into my head.)


And while we’re on the subject of men and a growing idea that somehow manly men are pigs (and believe me, I do know these types of men exist)…I train predominantly with men. I like this, and this is why: if someone ever attacks me, it’s most likely not going to be a woman my size and my strength. It will be a man bigger and stronger than I am. The men I train with are amazing. They don’t talk down to me or treat me like I’m less even though I’m a brand new white belt. They help me get better every time I train with them. At no time have they EVER made me feel weird or uncomfortable training with them even in the “weird” positions my husband warned me about before beginning. (It’s only weird if you make it weird. lol)


Every single person I train with has been supportive and encouraging since the start. I’m grateful for my school, my instructor, and the men and women I train with each week. It’s like a tribe of people who have the same love of training BJJ and getting better. We all have something to learn about each other and from each other.

There I am…low chick on the totem pole…last one on the right. It’s okay though. 🙂 I love it all.


So my recommendation to you? Get some self defense if for no other reason than to make sure you’re prepared. That goes for both women AND men. (Not just women get attacked, though we tend to be an easier target.) You might just find a love in a martial art you never even knew existed until you start.

If you’re local to the Savannah, GA area, I highly recommend trying out Carson Fortner’s Pooler Karate where they offer Tang Soo Do, Krava Maga, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The staff are top notch and it’s like a home away from home. (Our whole family is there multiple times a week.) I’ll also begin teaching women’s fitness classes there once the new building is up an running. Stay tuned for the schedule.


You need help just to get going? I totally get it. I don’t know if I would have started right out of the gate training…though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Need help with fitness and nutrition? I’m your girl. Set up a FREE consultation with me today. Until next time.


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