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6. Self-image

Marge Sambol, a black belt in jiu-jitsu, explores the benefits of martial arts for women in this 10-part series.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many women have been in abusive relationships and view themselves as a “victim” even long after getting out of the relationship.

When I first signed up for jiu-jitsu I wouldn’t have been able to articulate changing my self-image as a goal, but I did know that it was the first step in a “never again” attitude. Martial arts training makes me feel strong, tough and capable. I’m aware of my physical abilities and limitations and I’m confident enough to say “no” to situations that make me feel unsafe. I feel like a champion when I’m on the mat and that transfers to my time off the mat as well.