A good friend asked me to come and watch her grade in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I couldn't say no, as this is a sport I had heard of, although did not know much about.
Climbing the stairs to the second floor training room in Braddon, I didn't really know what to expect. When I opened the door, I was instantly welcomed by Ben Langford and all the members of the club. Ben is the co-owner of ELEMENTS MARTIAL ARTS with Eugene Van Leest, specialising in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Self defence and Personal training.
Click each photo will lead you to the album of the grading.
I was amazed at how many females were participating in the class, as most people would think that BJJ would be a male dominated sport. Many women start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the fitness and self-defence aspect. Having the technique and confidence to be able to defend themselves if they need to.
'It can be a little daunting stepping into a martial arts gym to learn an art that is male-dominated and often associated with more extreme forms of fighting like Mixed Martial Arts. But that's not what it's like at Elements Fitness. I ended my first lesson sweaty and exhilarated!'
'I knew from my very first phone call with Ben that this club was friendly and supportive. I was nervous walking into my first class, not sure what to expect from the art or the club. I was greeted by Eugene van Leest, one of Element's coaches and the instructor of the women's class. He was so warm and approachable, I relaxed right away'.
Eugene Van Leest
'I love the culture of Elements Fitness, they are so supportive and welcoming. The training is hard - you get a really good workout and learn how to fight - but the whole time you have an amazing team around you. Elements competes regularly and performs really well, but there is never any pressure to compete if you don't want to. This supportive culture means a lot.'
The women who train at ELEMENTS are all shapes and sizes and have a large variety of lives. There are students, business women, mums - and everyone is there learning something new, pushing themselves, and hanging out.
'I'm not here to break you, although I have to take you to the extreme limits'. Ben mentioned during grading to teach his students not to give up when things get tough.
Thank you ELEMENTS MARTIAL ARTS for the opportunity to capture these awesome women on the matts. It has definitely opened my eyes to the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Click the link below for more photos from the Grading