A trip of a lifetime:

When I first started my Jiu-jitsu journey, through Social Media, I became aware of a group of women, who In my opinion, personify what it means to be a resilient woman in today’s world.

Enter Leeann Morris of Josei Heishi Jiu-jitsu.

I first joined Josei Heishi as an ambassador and was so excited to be a part of such an incredible movement of women in sport.

When it comes to jiu-jitsu, some days are easy, some days are definitely not, but the biggest challenge is to just keep turning up. Without Leeann and the ladies of Josei Heishi, I think many times – I probably would have given up. I do believe that the connections I have made through social media hold meaning and this was most certainly proven to me on my recent adventure to America.

As I progressed in the sport, my husband made me a bet, ‘get my blue belt before the next Josei Heishi Jiu-jitsu camp, and he would send me to America to attend’. He didn’t think I would do it and then out of the blue, my Professor presented me with my blue. It was one of the proudest moments in my life, but also one of the most exciting as it meant I got to go to the camp.

The only problem was my anxiety. My fear of the unknown. What would they think of me? Was I good enough? Would they like me? Anxiety has come to play a big part in my life and this trip to America was about to push me to every  mental limit I know.
What I didn’t expect was the sisterhood I would discover at this camp. I was a stranger in a strange land and panicked upon arriving in Philadelphia, as I had no idea where to go or what to do. Within minutes of arriving I was whisked away from the airport by two of the girls attending the camp. These ladies came to my rescue and that not only set the tone for the camp, but also defined almost every aspect of what Josei Heishi represents to me. Support, friendship, kindness and love.

On our first day I was absolutely starstruck. The lineup of female black belts for the camp was mind blowing, but not only that, here in front of me, in the flesh, stood the woman I had gotten to know over the past two years, only through social media.

For me personally, I know I won’t remember the techniques we were shown in detail, but I most certainly remember smaller details and in jiu-jitsu, its those details that make the difference. What I do know though is that there is something to be said about the women of America, and the women of Josei Heishi Jiu-jitsu. As I told Leeann, she has successfully brought together some of the most selfless, generous and strong women I personally have ever met. The camp was structured in such a way that we were able to get one Gi and one no Gi session in per day, each thereby followed by Q & A. It was so awesome to hear these women share their stories and to be a part of such an incredible gathering. The venue perfectly suited the number of woman in attendance and overall it was flawlessly run. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone in a heart beat.

I can never thank Leeann (or my husband) enough for the opportunity to attend. I truly hope that I may be able to attend the next one. This was life changing for me. I walked away more confident, not only in my jiu-jitsu, but also in myself. I walked away with friendships that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Josei Heishi is more than just a brand. It’s a community and sisterhood, and I am so proud to be affiliated to it.

Cheryl Bennett
Sorriso BJJ, New Zealand