Seven years ago, four women attended the annual North East Region Spring Clinic together. Being inspired by their wonderful Professor, Tom Ryan, they decided to travel to Pennsylvania to gain a different perspective on the art of jujitsu. Equipped with their “Fight like a Girl” shirts, they were excited and ready to go. Little did they know that this journey, as well as their love of jujitsu, would forge a friendship and bond forever. This year they decided to continue their journey by attending the 2017 annual North East Region Spring Clinic.
Upon arrival, we checked into our beautiful venue. Throughout the clinic, Sensei Schoener, along with his wife and daughter, provided a positive and open atmosphere. While we were waiting for the event to begin, we took a walk down a path adorned with wildflowers to get our minds centered and ready for jujitsu.
While one of us had their first experience calling a test, the rest of us took a class working different problem techniques. It was great to see the upper belts providing support and input to the ones who were just beginning their jujitsu journey. Everyone in the class remained open to trying the different and unique style that all the different dojos brought to the table.
The next day, we ran into Sensei Halligan at breakfast. We had a very positive conversation in which he encouraged us to engage our minds in the most productive state, so that we could get the most from our jujitsu training.
For our first class, we chose Professor Brzykcy’s introduction to Daito Ryu I. In his training, we took many of our DZR jujitsu techniques and adapted them so that they would be softer, yet more powerful. By working with many different people, we figured out how to implement this new style into our DZR techniques.
Next on the list was “Women in Jujitsu” taught by Sensei Stevens. Her quiet, yet powerful command presence is an inspiration to all women. With her knowledgeable insight, we gained valuable information on a women’s perspective to the art of jujitsu. In this way, we could better adapt our techniques so that they would be more effective in any given situation.
After lunch, it was back to work again. Professor Hill, Professor Colton, and Professor Brzykcy helped provide useful solutions to problem techniques. As always, their valuable insight was greatly appreciated, and we felt more confident in our techniques.
We ended our day at Black Belt Class. Thoughts and struggles were shared in this class. Again, the common bond we all share by our love of jujitsu was discussed and understood by all. This class renewed our spirits and reminded us of the reason we got on the mat in the first place.
A wonderful time was had by all at the AJJF North East Region Spring Clinic 2017. We would encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity for growth next year. As friends, we continue our jujitsu journey with the support of all the incredible people who made this event possible.