This week, we have the pleasure of getting to know our copywriter Jonelle Larouche. She’s vibrant, friendly and creative, but little did we know she’s also a Jiu-Jitsu fanatic. Yes! We’re talking martial arts, combat fighting and self-defence. Talk about one tough lady. For those who don’t know, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art focused on grappling and especially ground fighting. Let’s take a look into this growing sport.
Can you tell us a little more about Jiu-Jitsu ?
Jiu-jitsu is unlike any other martial art – as much as it’s growing in popularity as a sport, it’s more importantly the most effective form of self-defence. Any striking art like karate or kickboxing relies heavily on strength, athleticism, and accuracy, which does not make it practical in a self-defence scenario. Jiu-Jitsu relies on leverage and natural body movements. When you’re on the ground it doesn’t matter how big or how strong you are, you have leverage on your side – which means anyone can do it. And that’s the beauty of Jiu-Jitsu.
When did you begin Jiu-Jitsu and how many times a week do you practice?
I started training Jiu-Jitsu 7 years ago. I train at 10th Planet in Verdun. Lately I haven’t been training as much as I have in the past, but now that spring is here, I’ll get back into it.
What motivated you to learn Jiu Jitsu?
I had always wanted to learn a martial art, and one of my friends told me about the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu, and once I tried it, I was hooked.
You talked about being an instructor, can you describe your experience?
Jiu-Jitsu has given me more confidence on and off the mat. It has made me a better person, because it has taught me to persevere in the face of adversity. As a woman it’s very empowering to know that you can physically defend yourself, and that confidence transcends into everyday life. You truly learn what self-respect means and how to properly deal with any type of conflict or problem that may arise (work, home). Some training sessions are so demoralizing, since when you’re training Jiu-Jitsu as a sport, no matter how good you are, there is always someone better. And there are times when you walk out of a training session extremely humbled, yet happy to have survived through it. Just like in life, it’s never perfect, ups and downs happen all the time, and you just have to learn to deal with it. I started teaching because I wanted empower other women. I wanted to pass on to them that same confidence, and take-on-the-world attitude that I had developed through learning Jiu-Jitsu.
What would you recommend to someone who is interested in beginning classes?
It’s going to be a little uncomfortable at first since you’re not used to being so close to your training partners. Once you get passed that, you will see that every technique has a lot of moving parts and it’s hard to remember everything. You will get frustrated and you will want to quit. But I promise it will get easier. Go with the flow, and stick with it! Rome wasn’t built in a day.
1. Who is your go to person for advice at Laura?
We are a team of 6 copywriters and we each bring something different to the table. So I can’t really say that I only have one go-to person.
2. What is your favourite colour?
It’s a tie between black & white.
3. Who is your favourite martial artist?
I would have to say Georges St-Pierre. He’s such a well-rounded fighter. He has heart, he works extremely hard, he’s respectful, and he’s a great role model. He carries himself like a true champion.
4. Your favourite clothing item from Laura?
Their statement-making floral print dusters & bombers. I also really like their essential pieces.
5. Who is your style icon/biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is my mom. I truly admire her as a person.
6. Where are you going on your next vacation?
Portugal in the spring.