"Good. Straighten your leg! Nice.” Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, Kelley Farrell coaches Lindsey Boston through a live round of rolling. "Leg goes in, pull in him to you. Let's try that." Lindsey, a petite athlete, has studied the martial art with Kelley, who owns Conviction Martial Arts & Fitness, for two years now. Despite her size, Lindsey is mighty on the mats. "So even being 115 pounds, I can go against a man more than twice my size on my own or be able to control them."
Jiu Jitsu is technical; it is not just based on size and strength. However, learning submissions and holds can really test you. "It's a very close and intimate sport. You definitely find yourself out of your comfort zone." She feels empowered when she come out on top though, as she's experienced many times in competition.
Long before her life of competing, rolling and grappling, Lindsey found herself in a dark place. It was 20 years ago, but the memories are still vivid. Lindsey was just shy of 16 and went out with four guy friends - or so she thought. They went to what was then the Reno Hilton to go bowling. She says she never felt unsafe with them - until they pushed her into their van. "One person assaulted me, while the others held me down. It changes you. I remember there was a moment where it was literally too much. I couldn't take it anymore and I was praying for it to be over."
She suffered in silence for decades. She felt it was their word against hers. However, when the now mother of three stumbled upon jiu jitsu, she says everything changed. Kelley was one of the first to learn what happened and uses jiu jitsu to help Lindsey heal. "I know she came to jiu jitsu for a reason. I know that she's going to make a difference in this world because she's strong enough and brave enough to share her story," says Kelley. Not just in the gym, but online. Lindsey started a blog called Jiu Jitsu Freedom, where she's taking her power back by not only guarding herself but fighting to help others. Her blog offers hope, encouragement and inspiration to other women. "It's never too late to change how your story ends."
To read it for yourself, log onto: http://jiujitsufreedom.com/
Lindsey hopes to one day run a women's only jiu jitsu program and Kelley plans to start a women's only class in the fall. To learn more, call (775) 828-2515.