The first time I remember meeting Sara is also the first time I sparred anyone. We were doing free-sparring in karate class, and I, as a white belt, was paired up with brown belt Sara. When the Sensei said hajime, she stepped forward and quickly punched me in the stomach three times, then she said “Three points, I win.” I responded “So you can beat up someone who doesn’t know anything, I’m so impressed.” She stopped, smiled, and said “Hey, I like you!” Thus began the chronicles of Sara and Gina.
I don’t think I can explain the phenomenon that is Sara better than Conan did in his post I fight like a girl. My friendship with her has existed from that first meeting on the floor, and it grew even stronger when I started jiu-jitsu. She had already been training for a few months, and her presence in the class helped me to feel more comfortable joining.
The women’s jiu-jitsu teacher Amy was the first woman in the dojo to receive a colored belt in jiu-jitsu, and Sara and I were the second and third. Amy is unable to come to regular classes right now because of her job, so most of the time Sara and I are the only women attending. You almost have to be friends in a situation like that, but luckily Sara and I really care about each other. We sometimes butt heads, but at the end of the day we still support and love one other.
I think women who train jiu-jitsu are probably the coolest women on the planet, and Sara is no exception. We’ve laughed together, cried together, fought and danced with each other. We are both better women for having met, and outside of martial arts that probably never would have happened. I’m lucky to have her on my side and she will always be my girl.