The benefits of training Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai are vast and they are varied. For some of us, it is the thrill of competition that keeps us coming back; for others it’s the endorphins. One of the seldom discussed benefits of martial arts, especially for practitioners of the female variety, is the fact that you always have a great conversation starter. All it takes is one mention of MMA, BJJ, or Muay Thai from a woman and people are enthralled.
I have been in classrooms, job interviews, and seminars where the mere mention of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu garners so much excitement that my first impression leaves an indelible mark. For instance, in my volunteer position I have met several people that hear my name and immediately ask, “The fighter?” My reputation proceeds me, in spite of the fact that I am not actually a fighter, and I have never made that claim. I’m not saying it is a forgettable fact when men divulge their martial arts hobby, but it is especially unforgettable for most people when they meet a woman who trains.
My admission that I train Muay Thai is usually met with questions of, “Do you spar?,” and “Do you train with the guys?” The fascination seems to be less about the sport itself, and more about the fact that I’m a woman in the sport. I’m not offended by this line of questions. In fact, I love answering them, it gives me the opportunity to evangelize about the sport, and brag about Absolute MMA. These questions are just one more perk from training, because after all of my blood, sweat, and tears, why wouldn’t I want some recognition off of the mat?
Written by Chelsea Kilpack