We’ve all heard the phrase that jiu jitsu changes lives. This is one woman’s story, in her own words, about how nearly 11 years ago, her life was changed forever when she was violently assaulted while on duty as a law enforcement officer in Texas, which led her to seek out a way to empower herself and her life. Mayra Velasquez-Cardenas found her way through jiu jitsu.
“No one thinks they need self defense until they are assaulted.
No one thinks they need to stay in shape until their health fails them.
No one realizes they have to much stress until they have a nervous breakdown.
Jiu-Jitsu will help with all of the above among much more.
No one realizes how great Jiu-Jitsu is until they try it.”
–Tom DeBlass (Facebook Post from March 9th 2016)
Mayra Velasquez-Cardenas’ story, in her words:
“2926 I have two resisting!” That was the last radio traffic I was able to get across to my dispatch on August 6, 2005.
I was a 2-year and 2-month rookie at my police department. I did not have any training in self defense or pain compliance, much less in controlling another person. The lack of training almost cost me my life.
“..jury convicted a Meadows Place man of 3rd-degree felony assault on a public servant Wednesday, stemming from an August 2005 incident in which a police officer was pulled to the ground and choked..”
I arrived at the call and things escalated quickly. At some point I reached for the man’s hands to get them out of his pockets. When I grabbed his hand, he grabbed me by my shirt and ballistic vest and pulled me to the ground.
When I fell, he began choking me. The struggle only lasted 5 minutes, but I ended up with a concussion and other injuries. I was kicked, punched and choked.
I tried Krav Maga (which is great), but it felt like I was going from one extreme (of no training) to another (very aggressive striking and violence).
Two friends, both police officers as well, kept telling me to try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I searched for a place for a long time and was anxious to try it. I started at Gracie Barra Sugar Land with Professor Brian Marvin 17 months ago.
I immediately liked it, and now I love it. I’ve learned to control individuals using the least amount of force (strength) necessary, resulting in no injuries for them or myself. I’m very confident in my skills when it comes to making contact with individuals at work. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also helps me with stress, especially work-related stress. I am a better mother, officer, and person because of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Along with the skills I’ve learned, I have also lost 35 pounds. I feel strong and healthy. Every officer should practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; not just for the safety aspects, but for the emotional and mental health we all DESERVE.”
Mayra Velasquez-Cardenas is a 12.5 year police veteran and a blue belt at Gracie Barra Sugar Land
You are truly an inspiration Myra; so proud to know you.
Good for you. I have used my training several times making arrests. My only regret is not having started my training alot sooner. I now train with Wolfpack (South) under Professor Craddock.