Why you should try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Jui Jitsu is valuable for all us, even if you never want to fight in a ring, says Karen Miller, a pro-fighter who's teaching a free women-only class on Sunday.
Karen Miller Jiu Jitsu
Karen Miller proves women kick butt at Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sounds pretty hardcore and does tend to conjure up testosterone-fueled images of Jean-Claude Van Damme going ballistic in the ring.

But Jui Jitsu is valuable for all of us, even those who never want to fight in a ring, because it teaches that a smaller, weaker opponent can successfully defend herself against a bigger, stronger assailant using proper techniques.

That’s the gospel according to Karen Miller, a pro fighter who also teaches the martial art and self-defense system that began in Japan and evolved in Brazil into what it is today.

Wanna give it a shot? Miller is teaching a free grappling session for women only on Sunday, April 3 at Clockwork Jiu Jitsu (39 West 14th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Aves., 212-675-0300, www.clockworkbjj.com). You can RSVP to her Facebook event page here.

Miller looks pretty tough—and she is—but she’s also hilarious and fun to be around. She began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2004 and is currently competing at the highest level with several major victories already under her (brown) belt, including first place at the Pan American Championships in 2009, and she’s looking forward to the World Championship in June.

If you go on Sunday, prepare to kick butt (and have yours kicked a bit in return). —Ashley McCullough

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