I’ve been practicing Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) for over three years now, earning me the rank of second degree blue belt. This means that I can defend myself against a small framed man and that I can submit/ “tap out” men and women who are my size (but then again, almost nobody is- I’m 5’2 and 46 kilos) or bigger. After spending quite a considerable amount of time rolling around with sweaty men, it only seemed natural that I would want to try something more.. feminine. Enter pole dancing
I was first introduced to pole dancing almost a year ago and attended as many classes as I could. I was hooked, yet other commitments (moving countries and getting married) got in the way. Months later, I relocated to Singapore and I found myself back in the studio once again. I never thought I’d fall in love with another the sport the way I fell for BJJ . And here I am today taking two levels at a time at Acropolates Singapore, attending pole practice at least once a week and a proud owner of my very own X-Pole.
The longer I do pole dancing, the more confident and feminine I feel. Spinning around a pole and pointing my toes are starting to feel more natural to me. Using my strength, all the pushing and pulling we do in pole class are the same concepts we learn in BJJ. In fact, the longer I dance, the more similarities I see! I love how pole dancing has given me an edge in my game. Balance, flexibility, a strong core and a firm grip are definitely an asset in BJJ. In turn, the strength I get from doing techniques and sparring in BJJ helps me with pole. It allows me to lift myself with ease and become used to the pain and bruising, which is also a normal occurrence in BJJ. It has also made me more aware of how important details are and how they make a big difference in the way you perform tricks or spins. And very much like the other, repetition is the key to getting the move perfectly.
Not only has pole benefitted my BJJ and vice versa, but it has also brought out my girly side. I am able to wear cute, sexy pole outfits and giggle with girlfriends when a move proves to be too tough or downright crazy. I am glad that I’ve found a sport that not only supplements BJJ but enhances it as well. Both sports have brought out the best in me not only as an athlete, but as a woman as well.
About the Author: Jana Blanco regularly rolls with her husband and other sweaty men at Juggernaut Fight Club, Singapore. She is also currently enrolled at Acropolates Singapore, where she is doing Level 5 and 6. She hopes to take part in a pole competition someday.