Valley instructor touts benefits of martial arts classes

4 months 5 days 2 hours ago Friday, January 27 2023 Jan 27, 2023 January 27, 2023 12:46 PM January 27, 2023 in News - Local

Martial arts, like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, require a lot of time, effort, and discipline.

The close contact martial art can put people in uncomfortable situations, but can also make them feel empowered when they get out of it.

Lorena Balli, a jiu-jitsu coach at Koulikov Grappling Academy in McAllen, is encouraging others to take part.

Balli recently graduated with her master's degree and all while working, training and raising her son. She even found a way to balance it all while competing in grappling tournaments.

"We have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others," Balli said. "Even if that meant training at 5 a.m., so I could get my own training in aside from coaching and then going back home, sometimes taking a power nap or something, scheduling my homework around my son's schedule,"

Balli said jiu-jitsu is not just beneficial in a physical aspect, although it does help you get in shape. It can also help you gain confidence and release stressors that people might encounter throughout the day.

One way jiu-jitsu helps is it teaches people how to problem-solve and think quickly in a difficult situation  — something Balli said can be applied to any issue people may face.

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