On November 23, 2014 Calvert MMA Academy (Team Relson Gracie – Lineage BJJ) hosted a Ladies Self-Defense Seminar taught by Coach Jim Thrift. 37 ladies attended and enjoyed two and a half hours of various Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense techniques. All proceeds raised by this event went to End Hunger of Calvert County, and Coach Jim along with event organizer Coach Aimee Reynolds presented them a check for $1,600.
Coach Jim took the ladies through several wrist lock escapes and gave us the opportunity to practice with partners. I recognized several of the moves because my girls learn them in the Youth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, and I realized that they are more difficult than they look. Coach Jim and Coach Ray both offered help and direction when we had trouble with a move, and by the time the class was over, we felt more confident.
Coach Jim and Coach Ray also demonstrated some escapes from a mounted position which is important for women to learn. It was helpful to practice these escapes since many of us found it hard to think when we were “trapped.” Practicing with a safe partner gave us a chance to think through what we needed to do to get away.
In between moves with my partner I was able to look around at the other ladies as they practiced. Everyone seemed to have a good attitude about the moves they were learning, and no one was afraid to ask for help when something didn’t feel right. My partner and I needed assistance with several moves because my brain had a hard time translating what I was seeing into action.
The seminar allowed me to once again see the benefits in the classes offered at Calvert MMA Academy. My girls are all so comfortable with wrist and mount escapes because they practice them all the time. While I hope they never have to use them, I am confident that they would know what to do in an attack.
Not only did we gain some useful self-defense knowledge, but we also gave back to our community. Each woman paid just $40 for the seminar, a real bargain considering the amount of information Coach Jim shared with us. The representatives from End Hunger of Calvert County were so thankful for the donation and shared that Calvert MMA Academy’s donation was enough to feed 80 families for one week.
You’ve probably seen the End Hunger donation boxes in stores throughout the county, but you may not know what their mission is. They support local food pantries and work to raise awareness about hunger in the county. 100% of the money donated to End Hunger stays in the county, so if you drop some groceries in a box or provide a monetary donation, it will stay here in Calvert County to help a neighbor in need. End Hunger of Calvert County also has training and support programs to help people gain their independence. They have training and job programs with Project ECHO and with Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, the College of Southern Maryland, and Calvert Memorial Hospital to help the unemployed learn new skills and find jobs.