Learn self-defense with the jiu jitsu club

Ben Honsinger and his coach from the new jiu jitsu club battling it out in an intense match on the mat.

Are you looking to get more confidence, to even learn some self-defense? On top of that, to join a community and have fun? If so, the Jiu Jitsu club is just for you. The club is looking for more members and would love for you to join. 

“I felt like there was a need for a good combat sports club here. Jiu Jitsu is something that everyone can train in, it means a lot to me personally, and I kind of just wanted to share that with other people,” said President Ben Honsinger. 

He said that they are always recruiting and open to anyone willing to learn. Beyond teaching the skill, their team and coaches offer community and connection. 

Honsinger is a blue belt himself and has been doing Jiu Jitsu for about a year and a half. 

“It gave me discipline, it gave me something to focus on,” he said, adding how cool it is to see his progress overtime. 

Not only did it help Honsinger become more disciplined, but it made him a lot of like-minded friends. 

“It’s also the community aspect too, I have made a lot of friends training, and have met a lot of really cool people and I do not think I would have met them if I did not train,” he said. 

Luca Mele, a senior at Castleton University, shares this passion for Jiu Jitsu. 

“To anyone that might be interested in partaking in a new physical activity, martial arts, or self-defense, Jiu Jitsu is the way to go. “It is really chill, we all enjoy doing it, it’s very unlikely you will get injured, we all know how to control ourselves and how to teach people how to control themselves. It’s a great way to get into physical activity and have fun, make new friends and be part of a community,” said Mele. 

The club provides an outlet for Mele’s lifelong passion for the sport. He has been grappling since he was a young child, as his brother used to grab and would show him some tricks. He has been consistent with it for the past three years, but as he has not been able to stay at one specific gym he is just a white belt, even though his skill level is above that. 

He also talked about how being a college student and being able to be in the club is a great asset to his life. 

“As a college student I lack funds to pay for a gym membership and previously I was paying for my own membership at a gym, and this club gave me an opportunity to be able to save my money and still partake in an activity I love to do,” he said. 

Jiu Jitsu is a great place where people can work on themselves, as Mele explains. “It allows me to be physically active, which is good and healthy for me. I always feel very rewarded after a good jiu jitsu session, and you know overall it gives me something to work towards, work on myself and overall, it’s just a really fun activity” he said. 

Secretary Jeff Watkins finds the club to be very rewarding in many ways when it comes to working on one-self. 

“One of my big goals is to become a person that fights in MMA, so any chance I can grab to be able to get another step closer to that goal, I am immediately gonna grab at it with no hesitation. So, when I heard there was a jiu jitsu club I figured I should join as fast as possible. I love it, it has made me extremely happy, I have been believing in myself ever since I started,” he said. 

Watkins then talks about how everyone can do Jiu Jitsu, that it can be scary but is worth it. 

“At first it is going to be a little hard, you are going to be confused. But as you get into it you start to grow a little more confident and start to get less afraid of things you think may hurt, but in reality they don’t…Anybody can do it, I suggest everyone try it out,” said Watkins. 

They meet at 6pm on Wednesday in the campus center to discuss the club, then Tuesday and Thursday they go to the Rutland Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym from 5:30 to 6:30. After the class ends at 6:30 they usually stay an extra hour to go over rolls, and some more self-defense moves. Everyone carpools, so on Tuesday and Thursdays pick up for the class is wherever you need to be picked 

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