THE INFLUENTIAL WOMEN SERIES, PART FIVE-ANISSA SCOTT
Anissa Scott is the definition of a strong and powerful woman. She has used an experience from her past to become a world champion in her art, and teaches self-defense to women and helps them realize their own strength. Prepare to be inspired as you get to know her!
How would you describe what you do for a living?
Professionally, I work as an executive assistant for a state senator. Most of my free time involves training and teaching martial arts. I am very passionate about teaching women Brazilian JiuJitsu (BJJ).
How did you get started in your profession?
I began training Martial Arts about 10 years ago. I finally became comfortable enough to start teaching women’s jiujitsu a year and a half ago. Brazilian Jiujitsu is perfect for women to learn to help them defend themselves. This specific art allows for a smaller, weaker, less athletic individual to use the strength, athleticism, speed of one’s opponent against them.
What challenges did you face along the way, and what did you do to overcome them?
BJJ is a very male dominated sport. It was very difficult to adjust to the discomfort of being so close to another individual. When I first began training, I was immediately reminded of a time when I was held down and assaulted. I had been training in stand-up for several years and felt comfortable in my self-defense, but once on the ground, I had no idea what to do. That moment I realized how completely vulnerable I was and was determined to be comfortable on the ground.
What motivates you to keep showing up for the people you serve?
I show up to help women learn how to defend themselves and to become comfortable in uncomfortable situations. My goal is to give my students enough skills and confidence to keep themselves safe. I do not want any of my students to end up in the same situation I found myself and as teenager and “just lay there and take it.”
What advice would you give to women who are just starting out going after their dreams?
Keep up the grind. The blood, sweat, and tears are worth it all. Especially if your goals are to better others. For me, I had a personal goal to become a World Champion in BJJ. I trained extremely hard every day for 2 years, and finally got that title last August. My training allowed me to accomplish my goal, but it also taught me so much more about myself and gave me the knowledge and confidence needed to pass information along.
What does it mean to you to be seen as a strong woman?
Strong women are women that want to empower other women to be the best version of themselves.
Why you do think it’s important for women to embrace themselves where they are right now?
Everyone has to start somewhere. It is vital to love yourself exactly where you are currently. No one is perfect. We all have areas in our lives we can better. Remember, the only person you should strive to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.