5. Discover new talents and passions

Marge Sambol, a black belt in jiu-jitsu, explores the benefits of martial arts for women in this 10-part series.

When I joined martial arts, I thought it would be a cool thing to do. I really had no idea that I would be good at it. It was a surprise to me as a white belt, when John Therien came up to me after a class and told me I was doing a good job. That affirmation really helped me persevere when regular life got busy and getting to the dojo to train was tough.

I also found a new outlet for my competitive side by joining in friendship tournaments for sport jiu jitsu, grappling and mixed martial arts. It turns out that I’m not a bad grappler and I’ve even won a few trophies and ribbons.

Later I discovered a new passion in teaching others and now enjoy passing on my knowledge to new students. I love crafting a lesson plan to ensure my students learn the material well and have fun doing it.

I would never have known that I possessed this skill if I hadn’t been willing to try new things.