A takedown for the new year


If your New Year’s resolution includes getting outside your comfort zone, step onto the jiujitsu mat.

The term “jiu-jitsu” is derived from the Japanese “Ju” meaning “gentle” and “Jutsu” meaning art. Put them together and you have the gentle art. But don’t let that fool you. It’s not flower gentle; it’s power gentle.

A power couple

With an almost dizzying array of successes in competitive martial arts, jiu-jitsu black belt Val Astraverkhau and his wife Jenia, who sports a purple belt, own the Mizu Studio in Montreal. Seeing its success in the city, the pair brought their passion for this gentle art to Mont-Tremblant, opening the NORD jiujitsu collective.

Located in a clean and cosy studio on the ground floor of Gym OxyClub, the NORD jiujitsu collective offers a free introductory session to anyone who wants to give this sport a try.

Never one to resist a challenge – or a free fitness session – I gathered some friends and booked a class.

Human chess

After I shed my shoes and stepped onto the mat, I quickly learned that jiu-jitsu is not Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan kung fu martial arts.

Watching Val and Jenia demonstrate the basic moves of this sport was like watching an intricate dance.

It’s a bit like human chess. It exercises the body and the mind – and every movement counts.

The sport is a combination of dynamic and explosive movements with pressure-based isometric pushing, pulling, and holding. Because it is practised with a partner, it heightens one’s body awareness and improves one’s balance and reactive ability.

Mentally, it requires the individual to think quickly and remain calm and controlled.

If you are looking to exercise both your body and your mind, the welcoming atmosphere at NORD jiujitsu collective is where you want to book some time.




More from this author by clicking on her photo below.

Cathy Bergman


Cathy Bergman93 Posts

Cathy Bergman est devenue athlète de façon inopinée à un âge relativement avancé. Elle nous montre qu’il n'est jamais trop tard pour retrouver la santé et la forme. Cathy Bergman is an accidental athlete who found health and fitness late in life. She shows us that is never too late to get healthy and fit.

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