Twice a week after work, nurse Idaye (30) sneaks off to the jiu-jitsu dojo. It’s been seven years since she started practicing jiu-jitsu, and she’s already earned her purple belt (the next step up from white and blue).
When we meet in the middle of a sweltering August day, Lee is sweating and breathing heavily at a jiu-jitsu dojo in Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. “When you look at it, you think, ‘It doesn’t look like much,’ but when you actually do it, you’re covered in sweat after just 30 minutes. It’s a lot of work,” he laughs.
Mr. Idaye’s path to jiu-jitsu began in an ordinary way. He saw a “jiu-jitsu” sign on a building on the side of the road he passed every day and thought, “I’ll give it a try as a stress reliever,” so he went in.
“At first, I didn’t even know what jiu-jitsu was, and I didn’t think I’d stick with it this long,” he says. “In fact, when I started, I thought about quitting several times because my job was so hard. “In fact, when I started practicing, I thought about quitting because my job was so demanding,” he says, “but the vitality and energy I gained from practicing jiu-jitsu has allowed me to focus more on my work.
Jiu-jitsu is a practical martial art that allows people of small stature and lack of strength to overpower larger opponents. Idaye is a petite woman herself, and she says she’s lost count of the number of times she’s sparred with women shorter than her. “There was a woman who was about 10 centimeters shorter than me who applied a choke, and I had to tap, and it gave me a bad feeling, so I kept trying, and a year later, I got the tap.”
It was by setting small goals, like “I’ll try to beat that guy,” and achieving them, that Lee got into jiu-jitsu and started having fun.
A sparring training scene.
In jiu-jitsu, the sensei determines the rank. For the average student, it takes about two years to go from white belt to blue belt.
“For girls, it’s very awkward at first because they don’t have the experience of playing with their friends and bumping into each other when they were younger, and the idea of subduing an opponent with strength and skill is very daunting. “When most women start jiu-jitsu, they’re afraid to practice techniques properly because they think they’ll hurt their opponent,” she explains.
“But when you actually get hit, you realize that it’s not that painful, and then you realize, ‘Huh? It’s okay,’ and then you start practicing techniques and sparring. In jiu-jitsu, you’re often sparring with men, regardless of weight class, and even if you think it’s awkward and weird at first, you get used to it,” she laughs.
The training process is not without its pain. “In the beginning, I didn’t know how to use my body properly, so I was just throwing myself around and getting bruises all over my legs, and I had to wear braces. But as I got used to it, I realized that it doesn’t hurt if you use the right technique. It’s not a short-term exercise that you do to lose weight, but it’s a part of your life and the process of achieving your goals is more enjoyable and serious than anything else.
Mr. Lee said that jiu-jitsu’s “mental therapeutic effect” is amazing.
“After sweating it out in the dojo, you can leave all your stress and anger from work behind. The people you train with are not your competition. If I get stuck on a technique, they’ll ask, ‘How did you do that?’ and we learn from it. There’s a sense of camaraderie. “When I was younger, I didn’t think I’d be a ‘martial arts girl’ at the age of 30. But as I worked my way up through the ranks and got promoted, I realized that when I had a tough moment at work, I could overcome it with a sense of pride that said, ‘Oh, I’m pretty cool doing jiu-jitsu.메이저사이트
Idaye’s favorite jiu-jitsu technique is the triangle (a leg choke). “When I was a white belt, my purple belt sisters looked so cool, but after I got my purple belt, I had a new goal: to get to black belt,” he says, his eyes shining.