A couple months ago, I was sitting in a hallway at a local dojo while my daughter was taking a karate class when the owner walked up to me and asked, "Have you ever thought about trying out Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?"

My immediate response was, "Absolutely not!" but after hearing him talk for a while, I decided to give it a try.

Now it's been almost a year and a half that I have been training, and I honestly love it. I'm still not all that good but have come a long way since my first days there. On Saturday, I got a chance to test my skills at a tournament at The Defensive Arts Dojo in Hamburg.

I had no expectations going into it. I just wanted to get a little experience and a tournament under my belt.

Unfortunately it was a short-lived tournament for me. I was up against the guy who took home five gold medals that day. I lasted out the round but wasn't able to beat him. He was really good! But I was proud to say that he didn't submit me and he didn't score more than a couple points on me. Because of the way the brackets were set up, that turned out to be my only match of the day, so I didn't get a chance at second or third.

All in all, I'm glad that I did it.  It's a great way to get yourself in shape and an even better way to build confidence and learn to defend yourself. I would absolutely encourage anyone who has thought about trying martial arts out to go for it. I can't say enough about how great it has been to be in this program!