~ Lashley Training Center ~
By Matthew Gottermeyer + Sarah Elise
Big pups jiu jitsu class four nights a week …
Tournament class every Thursday night …
Intro to Adult BJJ on Monday and Wednesday nights and open mats on Saturday mornings … Family Fight Nights and Pizza Parties every three months …
No matter what’s going on with the jiu jitsu program at Lashley Training Center, you’ll find The Sheller fam front and center.
Ten-year-old Matthew - future superhero adventure author, and seven-year-old Makayla, aspiring head chef of her very own restaurant, comprise two of three members of the month. This sibling duo started on the mats exactly one year ago, and as Makayla said, “It’s fun, it’s good exercise, we play fun games, and we learn self defense.” Matthew agreed, but where Makayla loved it from day one, it took some time with her big brother. Dad also pointed out that jiu jitsu has had two different effects on his son and daughter:
It confirmed what we already knew about Makayla…she’s strong willed. The girl has no quit in her. It’s not as easy when it comes to Matthew; what you guys have done for his confidence is night and day.
Levi specified that it’s not just on the mats, but in everything he does. From panic attacks en route to the gym to an excited anticipation for class, Matthew’s character is stronger because of the Lashley jiu jitsu program. His coaches have noticed the difference, too. The timid, hesitant boy who barely spoke is now answering questions in class, raising his hand to volunteer, and earning his first “W” in a Family Fight Night match three months ago.
These enriching personality traits he’s gained from grappling is not even his favorite part though. The opportunity to roll with his little sister is by far the best aspect of taking classes together. It’s even transferred to a fun pastime at home as well, utilizing their trampoline for the most effective takedowns and rolls. “The winner,” Matthew stated, “depends on the day, and if one of us is mad at the other … but usually ‘Kayla.” (At least he’s honest. :) )
Rounding out our third member of the month, Dad F.K.A. Levi has a different perspective. “Jiu jitsu is something we can do year round. There’s no off-season like in volleyball and soccer (Makayla and Matthew’s other sports), and it’s something the three of us can do together.” With their mom homeschooling during the day, and Levi at work, the evenings allow for family time, and jiu jitsu is the perfect family bonding activity. After learning jiu jitsu in the army, Levi has returned to the mats; and, any downtime between classes, they can usually be spotted rolling together.
Three of four in the family isn’t bad, but why doesn’t mom throw on a Gi, we asked. Though Makayla doesn’t believe her mom could handle the sport, Brittany just might be a secret super Ninja mom in hiding. Regardless of her interest or ability in jiu jitsu, she, along with both sets of grandparents and family friends, are the grappling trio’s biggest fans and can be found in the crowd at every match. “She also wants to get on the mat and protect us from the other kids,” Matthew added; and rightfully so, as any fierce Mama Bear would.
Of all the benefits of martial arts, they’re all represented in the Sheller family. Matt has gained confidence and come out of his shell. It gives Makayla another place to thrive. Levi has lost 30 pounds so far and has a quality outlet for family bonding that will forever instill respect, discipline, strength, and confidence. They’re all having fun, learning an important life skill and spending time together. That’s why the Sheller family are our Members of the Month of May.