In recognition of International Women’s Day, Brazil-021 School of Jiu-Jitsu hosted a special event at their Arlington Heights location on Sunday. This event celebrated empowerment of women, the growth of female presence in the jiu-jitsu community, and supported 3 of the school’s own female competitors. I attended to support women athletes and learn some new Jiu-Jitsu self defense trick of my own!
These brown belts (pictured above, left to right) Kristin Mikkelson, Kristen Martin and Sharon Gosun will be competing at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship in California. How did these three women become so good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? They received their training under the guidance and inspiration of Professor Hannette Staack, Black Belt 3rd Degree and world champion (above right), and her husband Professor Andre Terencio, Black Belt 4th Degree at Brazil-021 in Chicago.
You may be familiar with Brazilian Jui-Jitsu if you have watched any mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. That’s the part of the fight where opponents throw each other down to the mat and appear to be locked up in a ball, with their legs and arms wrapped around each other. Often the art of Jui-Jitsu fights ends MMA with with a choke out. This martial art is used as a fighting sport but is also an excellent form of self defense!
Hannette made us laugh (about the weird positions) and also get comfortable as she taught us several important techniques. I never though I could learn so much in only two hours! Each of the three instructors came around to give us useful tips to help us to remember the moves and do them correctly. We learned how to break away from an attacker both standing and on the ground, how to fall properly and how to get up and stand in a defensive position.
The class was a great workout too – and we were not going at it all that hard either. No wonder Hannette and the brown belts are in such excellent shape! What a fabulous way to get fit and also learn important safety skills.
Haneette Staack’s goal as an instructor is to empower women through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The art has had a profound effect on her personally and she has made it her mission to teach it to others in order to better their lives. She works non-stop in developing programs to support other women and help them develop self-confidence – especially those who have suffered from abuse.
— Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style
Tags: Andre Terencio, Brazil-021, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carol Calacci, Chicago, fitness, Hannette Staack, Heatlt & Fitness, International Women's Day, Jui-Jitsu, Kristen Martin, Kristin Mikkelson, Martial Arts, Sharon Gosun, Women's Self Defense