I was 29 years old with 8 years of martial arts experience when I walked into a BJJ gym for the first time. A 16 year old girl beat the tar out of me and I knew that BJJ was something that I desperately wanted to learn. That girl became one of my main training partners. We had great fun training for three years until she hurt her back, stopped training BJJ and moved to Europe.

And that was the last I heard of her. Until last weekend.

She was at the competition on the weekend. She had moved back to Perth just before the covid lockdowns started, but this was the first time she ventured back into the world of BJJ. The same reason she moved to Europe was the same reason she was avoiding BJJ. She could no longer train, and the thought of that was so incredibly painful.

It made me realise how fortunate I am to train, and how grateful I am for it. Grateful to her, for being the reason I started BJJ. Grateful to all my training partners, who helped me develop my skills. Grateful to our older members, for demonstrating to me that I’ll still be able to train as I also get older.

We take our health and our opportunities for granted. Being reminded of this makes me want to make the most of every training opportunity I get. Who knows what the future brings, and so I will live for the day. To all those who have been with me on this jiu-jitsu journey, thank you.

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