As much as I love this character, it also reflects a different time and attitude. Truth of the matter was at the time, females training Jiu Jitsu were not the common. To be fair by 2008 there were even a few dozen or so female black belts scattered about the world, but in my experience women who trained on a consistent basis were rare. The mascot was a great idea
For the first few years of Heroes we would have one women come in and train, MAYBE we could get two women on the roster but they literally would never be in at the same time. It’s not that we didn’t want women training at the academy and we certainly racked our brains trying to figure out how to market to get more women to train.
After YEARS of trial and error we finally came to a novel conclusion: Women certainly do have a few extra concerns coming into training because of the close contact nature of the art, but beyond that they pretty much want the exact same thing that everyone else: To train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in a safe environment, to grow and expand their abilities and limitations, and have fun and make friends doing so.
Heroes Martial Arts has grown in a lot of ways over the last 11 years or so, but the amount of women training now is something I am especially proud of. Not only are their usually multiple women on the mat on every class, there have been some instances that their outnumber the men!
Honestly, everyone has some concerns and looks for the same thing in a training environment, to be respected, be safe (within reason), to grow and expand their abilities and limitations, and to have fun and make friends. Not everyone is going to be equal on the mat but we pride ourselves in the equality of opportunity.
As such, with the opening of our second gym on the Eastside it felt like it was time for an update to our charter as well to reflect our gym and culture better. So 11 years later we posted another craigslist ad looking for an artist and after wading through a lot of responses we found Brandon Palas, who responded to our without knowing it was for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school, but as it turns out is actually a purple belt and assistant instructor himself!