Humans of LSE: Jade Matulka

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Humans of LSE: Jade Matulka

Ashley Cole, Design Editor

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Many students have their own ways of de-stressing, of relieving the everyday pains they face. For some that may be running, taking a nap or painting. For senior Jade Matulka, she finds catharsis in Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting. 

“In January, I moved out of my parents’ house and moved in with my cousins,” Matulka said. “They watch a lot of MMA and Bellator [MMA] (fighting broadcast company) and Fight Nights and I was like ‘Hey! That looks like fun, I want to do that!’”

Jiu-Jitsu is a Japanese system of unarmed combat and physical training. It is an intense form of wrestling and grappling that a multitude of people take seriously. Matulka had stumbled into this art form in early April and instantly fell in love. 

“I started going to Lincoln Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center and the coaches told me that I was a natural talent,” Matulka said. 

On top of being a novice fighter, Matulka finds herself standing out due to her gender. She is one of only three girls doing Jiu-Jitsu. Matulka finds it weird sometimes because although everyone is welcoming and supportive, there is still a lot of wrestling so she has to grapple with a lot of guys. She found this uncomfortable at first, but has grown accustomed to after time. 

Over this past summer, Matulka had the opportunity to train in California. “It was a vacation and I got in contact with North Park [Brazilian] Jiu Jitsu there,” she said. “The coach was super nice and really supported me and told me to come back.” 

Matulka is proud of the progress she’s made in just a mere five or six months. She is able to compete with the older people in her gym even though they’ve been doing it for years. She is currently waiting to do competitions to better herself, but she is sure to show up and win when she does begin.

“I absolutely love Jiu-Jitsu. It is a good outlet for me because I have super bad anxiety,” Matulka said. “I enjoy what I’m doing and a lot of people tell me that I’m going to get hurt, but I get that; I signed up to do this and understand the risk.”