“I love training Jiu-Jitsu! I love competing. I love that I am a small woman learning how to defend myself, that I as an adult can play-fight with my friends on the mats, and hopefully pass this on to my daughters!”

Hanne Mårds

My background is in Capoeira, which I started training in 2001 and was my main focus for about 15 years. I remember being taught some Jiu-Jitsu at Capoeira practice, maybe 2002. I didn’t understand it, it felt claustrophobic and I definitely didn’t like it. People around me kept talking about Jiu-Jitsu and training moves, but I kept avoiding it.

The first time I saw a Jiu-Jitsu class for real was in 2009 in Brazil. I was intrigued. Then I saw a good friend of mine in a competition and thought it was exciting! But still it wasn’t “really my thing”.

My first Jiu-Jitsu class was in 2013 at Frontline Academy with Eduardo “Teta” Rios, who is still my main teacher. I went as moral support for a friend who had trained a bit in Brazil, and was looking for a place to train in Norway. Having already been taught some Judo I thought I knew what Jiu-Jitsu was, but quickly realised I had misunderstood. I loved it, but I was afraid to commit. I was afraid of what my Capoeira friends would think. And what would my Judoka husband have to say? No, I couldn’t. But I kept thinking about it and envying my friends who were already deep into the Jiu-Jitsu rabbit hole.

Hanne Mårds

Then in 2015 I decided it was time to immerse myself. I decided that all the time that I had dedicated to going to the gym lifting weights and running would be substituted by rolling around on the floor and being choked out. And it felt so so right. I was already 29, but luckily I didn’t think that it was too late, because it truly never is too late to learn something new!

I got pregnant shortly after, and was depressed about not being able to train and learn more on the mats. Then when I got back a year later I was overcome with happiness!

Now I have a few years of learning, training and even a handful of competitions behind me. It’s humbling and painful at times, I have been injured, there are times that I feel that it’s too hard, and I lose matches that I feel I shouldn’t have lost, but all in all I feel like a winner. I am successfully learning and doing something that the majority of people think is too difficult or too scary or too late to start doing.

Hanne Mårds
Because of the pandemic martial arts gyms have been closed since March 2020 here in Norway. As I quickly realized it would take some time for the gyms to open again my husband and I took advantage and decided to have another child in the meantime. I gave birth to our second daughter almost exactly a year after the gyms closed, and since they are still a while from being able to open I’ll be back on the mats at the same time as everyone else! Could I have timed it any better?
 

I love training Jiu-Jitsu! I love competing. I love that I am a small woman learning how to defend myself, that I as an adult can play-fight with my friends on the mats, and hopefully pass this on to my daughters! Oh, and my Judoka husband also trains Jiu-Jitsu now!