I Trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's BJJ Story

Submission Shark BJJ Interview

I think the title of this article says a lot about the type of person Amber is. From a loving mother to a fantastic sister and a member of the jiu-jitsu community, her passion for the sport/art is one of the many reasons why I believed she would fit perfectly into this community.

For those that may worry about rolling while pregnant, make sure you read the full article as she explains how to train the right way while pregnant. Amber is a part of a martial arts family with her mother being in karate her whole life! Her bright personality is quite evident in her Instagram profile as it is full of happiness and cheer. 
The love she has for her daughter is evident and the support she shows for both her immediate family and jiu-jitsu family is amazing. She is an excellent example of a role model through her healthy habits and kind gestures. Make sure you read this whole article because her aspirations will shock and inspire you. 

Scroll To The Bottom For An Audio Transcription of This BJJ Interview.

Submission Shark Community | Instagram: @ambslackbjj
 
I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story
 
Full Name: Amber Jordan Slack
Age: 26
Belt Colour: Blue
Professor: Brandon Walker at Pure Jiujitsu in Longview Tx
Short Term Goals: my short-term goals are to compete as much as possible and figure out my game! I also cannot wait until my daughter Bonnie can join me on this life journey of Jiujitsu! 
  

How long have you been doing jiu-jitsu for? 

Since March of 2015 (a lil over 3 years)
 

Where do you train out of?

 

Do you prefer BJJ in the gi or no-gi?

I like both but def prefer gi
 

Have your instructors helped you in other aspects of life other than jiu-jitsu?

I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story

He's an all-around great person and if I or my brothers have needed, has been there. We have been extremely blessed by the people God has allowed jiujitsu to put into our lives. Our instructor amongst other individuals at our gym has helped my family more than they can imagine. Our jiujitsu gym is like a second family. 
 

What are some lessons you learned from jiu-jitsu that apply to everyday life?

Have patience! Something I'm always trying to work on but I feel jiujitsu has helped me with and also temperament for sure. I use to get worked up over things a lot easier than I do now and I def owe that to jiujitsu.
 

How often do you train BJJ?

I try to train at least 3 times a week but if I can do more I do. And when I can make open mats or seminars I do those also. 
I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story
 

What made you want to start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

My mom was told about it from a friend and was looking into it for my brothers and asked if I wanted to try it. I didn't think it would be something I liked as much but told her id give it a try. I was hooked after the first class! I had fake nails on the day we started and realized real quick that those needed to come off. Lol!
I was a hairdresser so in between clients and after work I would come when there was any class, I was working in Longview so it was easier being I was their already. I went to the day class and brought my brothers to kids, then we all did adults and of course rolled after. It's safe to say we got addicted quickly.
 

Do you plan on training BJJ your whole life?

For sure. I plan on my daughter also training and starting early. And any other kids I may have. I feel like Jiujitsu is just my life now and will always be. It's a necessity

What’s it about jiu-jitsu that makes it so addicting?

Aside from the physical health benefits I get, it helps me mentally. If I don't go for a couple of days I feel like I get anxiety more and just feel like I can't handle stressful situations as well. I guess being able to choke people gives me peace lol

What has jiu-jitsu done for your physical health? 

I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story

I feel healthier than ever since being in Jiujitsu. I am below pre-baby weight and am in better shape than ever before. 

Has jiu-jitsu benefited your mental health?

Without it, id goes insane. So id say so! 

If you could restart your jiu-jitsu journey, would you do anything differently?

Start earlier if I would have known about it before! 

What’s your advice for someone that’s never tried jiu-jitsu before but is interested in trying it?

You will move mountains. Your dreams will become reality because, through the blood sweat and tears of training, you realize you have so much more potential than you ever allowed before. Confidence in yourself builds every time your technique does.

Example ( true story)...when I first began, a month into training, one night after class, walking to my car, I started believing all my doubts about myself, my ability to have what it takes to be like the others (higher BJJ belts) in class, as I felt like I was the weakest link in class and humility set in.

Then I went to class the next day, and I feel that s when I could claim to be a true martial artist. I did not give up, ego, fear, exhaustion did not win. I was not in competition with any rank...just with myself. Improve me, and I will prove myself. The productivity of that is EARNING the right to be an example.

Do you have any aspirations in jiu-jitsu?

To become a black belt and continue to train for life. 

Would love to go to worlds one day.

My brothers and I would love to be able to give back by teaching foster kids jiujitsu so they could be equipped for the uncertainty life throw at them.

Jiujitsu gives confidence along with self-defence and I think the kids would greatly benefit from it!

What’s your favourite BJJ move?

Submission: I love chokes and the kimura and baseball bat choke

Position: id have to say side control 

If you didn’t discover jiu-jitsu, where do you think you’d be now? 

I honestly cannot even imagine life without Jiujitsu. I feel like it gave me a passion and made me a happier person all around so in return it also helped strengthen my marriage. So who knows where id be. 

Would you like to see the sport become more mainstream?

Yes, I think so. Bc, I would have loved to know about it sooner so I'm sure others will feel the same. But also I hope it doesn't ever lose its authenticity the more people do it. 

Have any of your training partners pushed you to reach your full potential?

I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story

Yes, all of my training partners do. But I would def say there are certain ones (the higher belts that were there since I started) that push me even more bc they believe in me and see what I need to do to improve. 

When you were first starting, what was the most difficult concept of Brazilian jiu-jitsu that you had trouble getting?

The pressure was bc it just felt awkward at first being so close to strangers lol. 

After coming back to train 8 weeks after giving birth via C-section it was hard to do things that required a lot of core strength but I was determined to do my first competition and did so 4 months postpartum.

Everyone at my gym is very respectful and made me feel comfortable pretty quickly. 

What makes you want to inspire and motivate others?

I want others to know that just bc u want to also be a mommy doesn't mean u can't still be you and have dreams of your own. Doing so will teach your children that they too can achieve all they want in life. 

God has blessed me tremendously and I want others to see what his love does! 

Was there a difficult moment in your life where jiu-jitsu helped you get through it? If so, please explain.

I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story

There were plenty but one of them was when my sister had her lil girl early at 28 weeks she had to be in Dallas for about 6 months and it was a very stressful time for my whole family not knowing day to day if my niece would make it. (She is a miracle) I would go and stay with my sister a lot and when I was home jiujitsu would help me recharge. It helped me and my brothers get our minds off of it for a lil while.

I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story I did Jiu Jitsu When I Was Pregnant! | Amber's Story

Happy Birthday to my sister and best friend! This past year was so many changes and obstacles and you handled them extremely well. U make it look easy when I know its far from! I'm so proud of you! Ever since we were little we were pretty much inseparable and I know it will be like that forever! Love u so much and I hope u have a great Golden Year Birthday

Also, our pure jiujitsu family is so supportive they all have helped us through life since we have started training with them more than they can imagine. 

What's it like training BJJ with your brothers? Is there a lot of sibling rivalry? 

We honestly get along great and help push each other nonstop, whether it be jiujitsu or working out or just anything in life. I love training with my brothers. Watching them improve and dominate at tournaments makes me extremely proud. They are amazing and I love it when I hear people talking about them after watching them roll. 
 
We go extra hard on each other during training at home or at the gym. My 13 and 15-year-old brothers have done adult class since starting and they are extremely tough rolls for everyone! 
Most of my busted lips and black eyes have come from them lol. All three of my brothers are amazing in Jiujitsu and it has honestly been one of the biggest blessings in all of our lives. We have such a great connection and bond bc of it.
It's nice to know we have each other for life to continue to push each other bc we believe in each other so much and only want the best for one another. We have had the best memories made through jiujitsu and I know there will be tons more for us.
Amber Slack's Community Jiu Jitsu Blog Article | Submission Shark
Brothers:
David Ford Jr. 19 blue belt 
Michael Ford 15 yellow belt
Brayden Ford 13 yellow belt 
 

Congratulations on being a mom! Has having a baby changed your outlook on life?

Yes. Martial Arts have no boundaries. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and all but since having her I just want so much for her in life. I get way more worried about things now and try to take better care of myself so I can be around as long as possible and so she knows its important to take care of her self also. I have PCOS and a small tumour on my brain(Its clumped up veins). So I try to do what I can to know what's going on with myself health-wise to prevent an aneurysm and such. 
 

Do you plan on introducing your child to martial arts as your mother did for you? 

Yes, my mom was in Shotokan Karate since she was 11 years old and Martial Arts became her way of life, including the way she raised us. I loved hearing about her passion for it. She stopped competing soon after having me, but still trained privately. I def plan on teaching my daughter Jiujitsu and sharing my love for it with her! 

What would you tell someone going through pregnancy right now and they are nervous about the situation?

Listen to your body. Just watching a class and taking notes is better than not training at all. But if u feel comfortable training totally go for it. When I was pregnant I did the technique and only the moves I felt comfortable doing without harming the baby. 
 
My instructor made sure everyone was careful and knew I was pregnant. I mostly worked with higher belts so I was comfortable with them knowing to use control. 
I would tell my training partner what I could and could not do and I think communication is key for sure.
Training while pregnant taught me a lot and one of them was control and to take movements slow and take the time to really understand what movements I was being taught. I learned so much during the time of being pregnant from drilling and also on days later in my Pregnancy that I could no longer drill, just watching and taking notes and recording!
There is always learning to be done in jiujitsu from any situation and that's what I love about it! NEVER ENDING JOURNEY! No matter what life throws at me, Jiujitsu will always be there. 

Submission Shark BJJ Article Interviewer:

Wow! You have such an outgoing and bright personality it's hard not to pay attention to your philosophies and thoughts on jiu-jitsu and family life as well. I think it's amazing that you are so positive in such an intense sport. I hope you keep finding happiness in jiu-jitsu and I wish you and your family nothing but the best! Keep up the good work and I am happy to see positive role models in the community doing their part and leading by example. You are a great advocate for jiu-jitsu and martial arts in general, thank you for sharing your story and thoughts on this incredible sport. Welcome to the Submission Shark Community :)

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