Ana Yagües BJJ

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I, on the GracieMag #158

Hi everybody!

 In the GracieMag issue #158, an article (inclusive a big pic of me) was pusblished about BJJ and pregnancy. I wrote it two months ago and sent it to the newsroom. They liked it, edited a bit and published it on this month issue.


Since it is not available online (yet) and many people asked me about the text, I will transcribe it here. I hope you like it.

" I am 30 years old, a Doctor in Physics in Germany and I have been practicing Jiu Jitsu for 3 years at Gracie Barra Hamburg under Professor Carlos Eduardo "Chalita". I met my husband during the Christmas holidays in Spain, while training for the European Championship 2008. He was an instructor during those days, and we met, fought and fell in love. We got married in Las Vegas after the 2009 Worlds. my life has been completely influenced by Jiu-Jitsu since the first day I decided to try it. I wanted to get as much out of what was left of my youth as possible, so I went on to train six days a week, mostly with men, and I never miss a training session. My Jiu-Jitsu improved accordingly and I have had relatively good success in competitions, nothing peculiar in my story... until I got pregnant.
I realized something was wrong with my body when I woke up one Sunday morning for a competition and felt too sick and tired to compete. That was unthinkable to me. I admit that the first thing I thought of when I discovered I was pregnant was: what's going to happen to my training during the pregnancy? Will I have to stop fighting once the baby is born? But when you go to the doctor to reconfirm what the pregnancy tests already told you, and you listen to the hearbeat of that tiny creature inside you, there's no turning back. At that moment, you, your life, Jiu-Jitsu and all change forever. But as Darwin once said, it is not the strongest of he species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. One should apply that to BJJ and life in general.

So, why should BJJJ and pregnancy not be compatible?It´s about adapting to the new condition. Stop?? Never! Hence ove tehse nine months, I learned that Jiu-Jitsu is about much more than fighting.

Up until the seventh months, given the fact that my pregnancy was not at risk and the baby and I were perfectly healthy, I did the whole conditioning training and practiced the technique of the say just like everybody else, only reducing the frequency to three, four times per week. I also did light rolling with advanced people who I was sure woudn't hurt me or my baby in any way. I watched more training sessions, matches and videos than usual and I learned a lot, but not just new techniques. I learned from the mistakes of others what to avoid and a lot of new details, that, as I read in one of the latest GracieMag is what separates the average fighter from the champion. Obviously, I didnt train with anyone mounting me, I avoided takedowns of all kinds and guard passes pressing on my belly.
After the seventh month, my belly was so big that I coudn't do most techniques. I also had some pain during the warm-up, so I stopped doing it. The secret is to listen to your body. I trained when I felt healthy, stopped when my body told me to. I carry one practicing some "easy" techniques like the Ezequiel (forearm choke) or Kimura. There are always new details to learn.
Thus, I was able to keep up my technique and physical conditioning, and I feel Jiu-Jitsu rewarded me with not pregnancy troubles: no stretch marks, no back pain, no varicose veins. Sometimes I even forget that I'm pregnant! That's why I recommend that you not let Jiu-Jitsu keep you from starting a family, but nor should starting a family keep you from practicing Jiu-Jitsu. Both are compatible, babies and Jiu-Jitsu go hand in hand"

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