As a kid, I loved wrestling and action movies. My brothers and I would play Power Rangers or do our own backyard wrestling on the trampoline. We'd sometimes get into fist fights with each other or our cousins.
I also liked anime, like Dragonball Z, Inuyasha and Naruto. In these shows, the main character would overcome adversity and hardships through training & discipline. I didn't really think much about the training and discipline in these shows, but I was inspired by the art. So I took up practicing the art in my own way.
This art led me to the Wichita Jiu Jitsu Club. While doing a live graffiti painting for the Seed House with Armando Minjarez, I had my first encounter with the gym. We started to set up our canvas (a wooden frame with some plywood screwed to it) for the night in front of the Walnut Street Gallery. That's when Aaron came out and told us to move it away from the door because of the fumes from the paint. About three months before this, I had started training in MMA with someone from work and had already fought in my first smoker fight set up by Andy Zerger. So I knew what a trained fighter could do and advised my fellow artist to move our set-up to avoid any conflict.
In my first fight, I trained for a mostly stand-up fight, but my actual fight did not go that way at all. So about a week after the painting, I returned to the WJJC with my trainer. We happened to run into Chris outside and inquired about some spars. He said we could come in for the three day trial.
The following week, I went up and met Joe, LJ, Justin and Aaron (again) to join in on a no gi beginners class. After class I stuck around and watched everyone roll. I was instantly fascinated by their skill. The following week, I purchased my gi and have been hooked on Jiu-Jitsu ever since.
When I started wrestling my freshmen year in high school I really had no idea what it was even about. However, after the first week I was addicted and the kid who talked me into going out with him had already quit. I wasn't the greatest wrestler and never made the medal stand at state but I did well enough to get a few letters from Jr. colleges and one division two school but more desk work wasn't in the cards for me.
I started really missing the mats not long after finishing school so my old coach would let me come in to help with practice and workout with his team when my work schedule permitted. After a couple seasons of this he helped me start a kids wrestling program that I was the head coach of for about five years before my wife got pregnant. After which I chose to walk away from the coaching commitment to make time for my new family.
During these years of coaching wrestling I also chose to broaden my horizons and took up karate as well. Although a stark contrast from wrestling I still enjoyed it and the people I got meet and learn from. Karate is one of those martial arts that has earned a spot amongst the "McDojo's". Most of these schools rightfully earned that title as well. Mr. Roger Carpenter's school is anything but that, he spent a lifetime in law enforcement and as a military contractor in war zones. His training philosophies reflect this and my time there was well spent. However, a spot in my soul was still left vacant.
A young kid that also trained at Mr. Carpenter's was also training bjj down at the only jiu jitsu school in town at the time. I knew it was a wrestling style but that most of it was done in a gi, which as a wrestler I didn't care for but signed up anyway.
The rest for another day.
My name is Tiara And I started jiu-jitsu about four months ago and so far it has been great!
I learned about Jiu-jitsu from a friend that also trains at WJJC. I knew that I had been wanting to do something self-defense related for sometime. However, I struggled to find something close enough to home that was also cost effective. I then found Wichita Jiu-jitsu Club and I've felt at home ever since.
I chose Jiu-jitsu so that I can protect myself whether it be when I start college, or at a place of work or when I'm able to live on my own. I feel that Jiu-jitsu is a practical self defense that allows me to defend my self intelligently at all times. I have enjoyed the classes and the instructors at Wichita Jiu Jitsu Club.
I look forward to gaining more knowledge in Jiu-jitsu, as well as growing and learning self discipline, gaining more self confidence and developing a healthy active lifestyle along the way!
Here is Tiaras blog just tweaked a few things for her here and there. She had it set up like she was answering questions on a test in short answer so I changed it more to like paragraph writing.