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Highline High School
615 S 200th St Des Moines, WA 98198

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Highline High School
615 S 200th St Des Moines, WA 98198

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Women's Empowerment Club and Jiu Jitsu

A Highline High School student wrote the following article. The views expressed here do not reflect the views of Highline Public Schools or Highline High School. 

Women's Empowerment Club and Jiu Jitsu
Ifrah Hudle

Every seventy three seconds an American is sexually assaulted. From the age of twelve and above you are at a high risk to be assaulted in the U.S. 

This is an interview with Ms.Peteri Faletogo.Advisor of the Women’s Empowerment Club going into depth about the importance of jiu jitsu and information on the upcoming field trip.

Ifrah: What is the importance of jiu jitsu for girls?

Ms.PJ: I think the biggest importance of jiu jitsu for girls is to show how much power they have. Jiu jitsu is not dependent upon strength although its a male dominant sport a lot of women tend to shy away from it because they think you have to be strong to do it. Jiu jitsu actually depends on things like leverage and knowing how to use your weight. Knowing how to use that against your opponent. A lot of times the techniques don't require strength. With these skills you have the upper hand against your opponent.

Ifrah: How can this help women fight against sexual assault?

Ms.PJ: One of the biggest things is that you get put into these positions if you are sexually assaulted. Like one of the things is fear of being overpowered by a man which happens all the time.1 and 3 girls are sexually assaulted everyday. So, if you’re mounted in jiu jitsu you can actually turn a powerless position into a position of power. You have so many submissions off your back so you don't have to be on top, you don’t have to be stronger, you just have to know what techniques you can use off your back which jiu jitsu has so many. So many ways you can break somebody's arm from your back, you can choke someone out from your back and they teach all these things. All these techniques are so useful for women.

Ifrah: Why did you get into jiu jitsu?

Ms.PJ: I became a fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). I started watching UFC and the women's division joined the UFC, which happened recently. They were showing these women who could do all these things and throw down just as hard as the man if not harder. They were also using these techniques like a judo throw and I was talking about how women have naturally wider hips and we can use it to our advantage which men can’t do. Seeing that made me want to feel just as strong as they look and I wanted to be able to throw down like that. Once I started deeply getting into jiu jitsu I realized every woman needs to know some form of self defense. So far I've dabbled into different fighting types like boxing and karate. 

Ifrah: It's nice to hear that there are things that girls can do that guys can't because that's not normalized in society.

Ms.PJ: Yea, it’s crazy because Jiu jitsu used to be a male dominant sport but its growing now and in fact the field trip I’m planning, i'm not teaching the class, I just gave the demonstrations. The woman teaching the class, Sonia Sillan, is an amazing woman who has the largest woman following out of the Pacific Northwest for jiu jitsu. A UW graduate who opened CAA(Combat Art Academy) on her own. A typical gym will have only seven to ten women in the gym, that's the average number. She has 25 to 30 women following her. They call themselves the Murder Mom Squad and I am apart of that squad. Not only do they follow her, they compete. They're all moms and they are beasts. On the field trip you will actually be able to meet some of those women because they're going to be helping. 

Ifrah: Does your size,weight or age limit you in Jiu Jitsu?

Ms.PJ: Well, that's another reason why I stick with Jiu Jitsu and I've said this in the demonstration that Jiu Jitsu is kind to people from all walks of life. You don’t get to be a young girl, and I've gone up against many teenagers all the time in competitions. We’ve had women who have kids and come in to learn self defense. It frees you to be rough and get out of the social norms of what is expected of a woman. So it's welcoming to women of all ages and sizes because it's so accommodating.

Ifrah: Why do you think the girls should go on this field trip?

Ms.PJ: I believe especially with the high rates of child sex trafficking that is going on along with the sexual assault against women, I believe every girls need some kind of basic knowledge of self defense. As I've said before, Jiu Jitsu has a great way of showing girls that they have power.The girls can learn different techniques they may have to use to defend themselves.

Talking to Ms.PJ was eye opening for me. She provided me with so much insight on Jiu Jitsu and  its importance for women. It was refreshing to hear that there are things a girl can do just as good as a male because we don't see that a lot in today's society. The field trip may be an awesome opportunity where you can learn new things about your abilities and the art that is Jiu Jitsu. 

Make sure to go to Ms.PJ in Room 1408 for more information on the field trip.