BONNERS FERRY — Bonners Ferry Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been a welcome asset for local residents and those from around the area that are interested in learning, or have already begun. The discipline teaches self-defense utilizing submission techniques through grappling and ground fighting.
People of all ages and walks of life participate in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), as it is not only a line of defense, but also a workout. Local resident Shahannah Bushnell is one of the people that attend the classes. At 14 years old, Bushnell has been participating in the sport for roughly a year and a half.
Speaking about what attracted her to Jiu-Jitsu, Bushnell said, “I have always loved MMA type of sports; sports with fighting in it.”
When she finally got the opportunity to attend classes in Bonners Ferry, after finding out about it through the internet, her mind was made up.
“It helps me a lot with self-defense. It is extremely good for that as they teach a lot of it,” Bushnell said. “It’s good exercise and the people there are very amazing.”
Competing in two tournaments so far, with plans to attend more in the future, Bushnell has gotten hooked. After her first tournament, she brought home gold in her division, and two in her more recent second tournament.
There are two divisions, Gi and no Gi. In the Gi division, contestants wear traditional uniforms and are unable to grab their opponents’ clothing, whereas in the no Gi division, they don’t wear the uniform and the grabbing of clothing is allowed. Most well-rounded players are trained in both disciplines — Bushnell is also learning both.
“My team says I did pretty OK, but personally, I don’t think so,” Bushnell said. “I got two silvers in the two divisions.”
Outside Jiu-Jitsu and schooling, Bushnell enjoys roughhousing with her siblings and making art, among other things.
“I think more people should go,” Bushnell said. “It is extremely fun, and if someone is wanting to get in shape, it is a very good way to do that. People at this particular gym are all amazing people, like secondary family to me. Coach Sam Brown is one of the most talented men that I have met for this.”
For more information, visit www.bonnersferrybjj.com or visit them at their location by 3 Mile Corner Store.