When Rebecca Blair made the decision to open up a Brazilian jiujitsu academy in Westmoreland County final year, she knew she was creating waves in a largely male-dominated activity.
What she didn’t know was the effect her academy, Gracie Allegiance Jiu Jitsu Academy in Hempfield’s Westmoreland Mall, would have on women across the area.
“I’ve worked with numerous girls in the spot who have been in abusive relationships,” explained Blair, 37, of Slickville. “Teaching them self-protection with jiujitsu, it has empowered a few of them to go away those people associations and greater them selves, find professions for by themselves. It is truly fascinating to see that happen.”
Blair opened Gracie Allegiance Jiu Jitsu Academy in February with her spouse, Jeramy, 41. These days, the academy has 65 pupils, 50 % of whom are women, a rarity in the sport.
Brazilian jiujitsu is a martial artwork that makes use of principals of force, leverage, angles and time to accomplish a nonviolent submission from the opponent.
The martial artwork has Japanese origins, and battling kinds change across practices.
In Hempfield, courses middle on nogi and gi, the two of which use grappling and rolling approaches. A women’s-only self-defense course is held on Saturdays.
“I’m really passionate about aiding gals and training them self-defense,” Blair stated.
Blair initial started schooling in jiujitsu in 2007, when she and her partner have been browsing for a martial artwork that would support with self-protection.
“I was pregnant with my son at the time, so I went to lessons and watched my husband practice and sort of fell in really like with it just viewing it. And then I began just after I experienced (my son), so I have been instruction ever due to the fact,” she said.
Considering that then, Blair has participated in a number of competitions and has been promoted to brown belt, the fourth of five belts.
Hunting forward, Blair mentioned she hopes to achieve extra gals in the group while undertaking various outreach plans. The target is to continue to keep the academy community-based.
“That’s possibly my most important goal is just far more group outreach and receiving folks in below that actually could use the self-defense and jiujitsu to advantage them,” she mentioned.
She also hopes her young children — Xavier, 14, and Gabriella, 9 — will go on schooling in jiujitsu as a sort of self-defense.
“Seeing the two of my children do it is superb, but certainly observing my daughter do it and realizing that she’s getting the competencies at these kinds of a young age, that she can protect herself and guard herself, and just come to feel harmless being aware of that she can do these factors, that’s truly vital,” she stated.