“It’s definitely something everybody should at least try.”
So says Farhana Khatun, an amateur Jiu Jitsu fighter who took up the Japanese form of martial arts after signing up to a club at a university freshers’ fair.
“After attending the taster session I was completely hooked”
Khatun, 21, believes that Jiu Jitsu is not just a hobby but more a way of life which has helped her overcome personal issues and gain confidence.
“I have lost weight, grown tougher and more resolved as a person. I used to be a very emotionally charged with mild depression,” she explained.
“With Jiu Jitsu I feel like I’ve got a handle on things. It has taught me to be patient with hurdles and transition smoothly between each one.
Khatun enjoys the combative nature of Jiu Jitsu and believes it teaches students discipline, kindness, tolerance as well as patience which are skills useful in all walks of life.
“I have lost weight, grown tougher and more resolved as a person. I used to be a very emotionally charged with mild depression”
“The sensei at the club (Saeed Jbr) always teaches us to take care of our partners whilst training and even though it is a contact sport with a risk of injury, being there for someone and knowing how to deal with people is an invaluable experience.”
She went onto say that knowing and keeping an observant eye out for human behaviour is definitely something that comes in handy when dealing with people away from the mat.
Recently Khatun competed in her first in-house tournament where she won half of the bouts she was involved in. It was the first time she fought in front of anyone besides her class partners.
“I don’t want to say I am a sore loser, but lose I did. Winning two out of four matches wasn’t bad, but I let the nervousness get the better of me. I was filled with so much adrelanine, I feel like I maxed out. Intimidation was one of the key factors as well.”
“It was nerve wracking. Even fighting in front of a small crowd at Kings for a friendly match definitely felt intense”
But she insisted she loved it and getting pumped on the excitement and pressure was a good feeling.
“It was nerve wracking. Even fighting in front of a small crowd at Kings for a friendly match – infront of my sister and brother – definitely felt intense”
A few minutes prior to the tournament Khatun was entered into the heavyweight category, although she’d been prepared as a lightweight.
“I fought against girls that were a lot larger than me and shifting from lightweight to heavyweight at the last minuted derailed me. But in the end, I’ve taken it as a learning experience and hopefully next year I win gold – or at least silver!”
Khatun feels self-defence is an essential life skill and doesn’t necessarily need to be violent or involve fighting but more importantly the ability to engage the mind, gain agility.
“Self defence teaches you how to defend yourself in public, but it also teaches you important values,” she told me.
The student who’s in her final year of university says there’s no greater thrill than rolling with someone who wants to submit to you.
“The best part of training is the ground work. It engages more of my mind and physical attributes.
“You build a bond with your team-mates, you strengthen and condition your body and with regards to emotions, you let the stress out on the mat.”
Khatun says there are no negative aspects regarding the Jiu Jitsu but frustrates herself when she doesn’t execute a move properly “with the right form” which could lead to injury.
She is next planning to take up a different form of jitsu known as 10th Planet Jitsu which is a non-traditional Brazilian style.