Q6: As a high-achieving woman in martial arts, are there any women you’ve looked up to over the years?
This is a tough question because there were no female role models in my early training years. The few that I knew of had retired. Ju-Jitsu was a male-dominated martial art, but this never deterred me. I trained mostly with men who supported and encouraged me. I admired UK female Judoka like Nicola Fairbrother and Karen Briggs, but Ju-Jitsu had few notable figures back then.
My peers and regular training partners, many of whom are men, have pushed me to excel, and I am now the highest-ranking active female jujitsuka in the UK (not my words). While I didn’t have female role models, I hope to inspire other women and girls to achieve their goals through dedication and determination.
Q7: What advice would you give to other women in martial arts who want to start teaching and open their own academies?
Follow what ignites your passion. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and through support, we can adapt and overcome challenges. It’s important to try different things and give it your all. Don’t fear failure; it’s a natural part of growth. Resilience is crucial, and martial arts teaches us to never give up. Be your own hero and do your best.
At Mushin, we support each other regardless of gender. Stay focused and driven; only you can achieve your goals, even if it means going it alone. I’ve been called the “black sheep of Ju-Jitsu” and the “jack of all trades,” and these labels have fuelled my journey. If I can do it, so can you. Follow your dreams!