I was 15 when my dad said that I had to take up self defense in order to be allowed to drive.
I was soooo reluctant to do so and nervous because it was new territory for me. But it was my dads orders.
So at 15.5 years old, when I was dating a guy who was into ju jitsu, he introduced me to his sensei chris depalma of bishopo martial arts who he trained with out of his garage.
I decided to start training with him. I did combat defense 1:1 sessions with him after school and learned the core fundamentals and ultimately my blue belt requirements (without knowing it).
I started to LOVE training and looked forward to it. So much so that when he told me I should consider trying ju jitsu after working ground combatives I decided that I totally should.
So I kept training. I even started training with him at 6am and definitely wouldn’t miss it for my birthday or any other obligation.
He moved to a new studio outside his garage and I grew so much with the whole bushido family since I started doing classes rather than just 1:1 and it became such an amazing outlet for me and awesome cross training.
I felt so confident knowing I could handle myself in tough situations. But this whole journey hasn’t been easy.
I cried at an excess of 70% of all the sessions I went to.
I broke my ribs when a new kid threw me and cracked me right onto his knee.
I had bruises which covered my body and had to get used to mat burn.
I reluctantly wore the GI even though i prefer to roll no Gi.
I rolled with only guys, some of which were over 100 pounds heavier than me and some who were really rough and some who treated me like a frikkin lame-o.
I did train with more than just guys but barely, it was with the exception of 3 girls at random but never consistently!!
(One of which was an ex champion and she scared the hell out of me like she literally would growl and act like an animal and I’ll never forget that).
I had many heart to hearts with Chris because some days it’s not about the physical work and struggle but the mental and emotional ones.
Eventually I tested for my blue belt which was an intense process and huge accomplishment. I even had to roll with one of our better guys and surprised myself and everyone when I got a super legitimate tap on him w an arm bar (see video).
I met so many amazing people and really would consider this another family.
Which is why it makes me sad to say that after almost 6 years, I’m hangin up the GI for a little to put all my focus into becoming a nationally qualified bikini competitor and then compete for my pro card and of course the ultimate goal of becoming a pro.
While I could train, it is too much of a risk and takes away from my main focus right now.
My sensei understood and something he said stuck with me, something along the lines of; “you still do ju jitsu, you’re just not practicing/training right now but you’re still a student of ju jitsu because it is paralleled to life”
So, I take with me many lessons, lots of love, way more mental toughness, and a shit ton more confidence and badassery with me on the next journey of my life. I plan to return and go here and there but I am no longer committing so much time and energy.
This is bittersweet for me but I know everything in life has a reason...it doesn’t feel real yet, the emotions haven’t fully sunk in, but it’s starting to hit me and I already know how tough it will be.
Thank you for an amazing ride.
Maybe I’ll be able to come back for a purple belt some day after re-perfecting my blue belt artistry. 🤗
Love and appreciate every moment of everything you do, honor every investment you make into it, acknowledge how far you’ve come, and recognize yourself for the growth you’ve made and see the person you have become because of the commitments you have made.
p.s. Have you ever had to do something like this? would love to hear your story
|Celeste Rains-Turk; Celestial_Fit International and Building More than Just a Body||