Ochoa raring to resume mat training
The global scourge that the coronavirus has caused forced jiujitsu world champion Meggie Ochoa to pour majority of her efforts into her advocacy of fighting sexual violence against children.But the persistent itch to return to the mat and train physically is still there, almost a year after Ochoa’s submission skills have been restricted.
“I keep myself busy on the advocacy side with the rising cases of sexual violence amid the ongoing lockdown,’’ said Ochoa, the founder of Fight to Protect, an organization that aims to fight child sexual violence through sports, during the Philippine Sports Commission’s People Sports Conversations.“But to be honest, I’m very eager to get back on the mat and fight,’’ she added.
Nowadays, the 2018 Brazilian jiujitsu world champ stays in some sort of shape through online training that is anchored more on strength and conditioning. The physical grappling aspect of her sport is the one that she needs to have.
It was supposed to be a super active year for her sport, with the Asian Championships and Asian Beach Games, the regional championship, grand prix and qualifying tournaments for the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, shelved because of the global health crisis.
With those cancellations, the closest tournament for Ochoa and the national jiujitsu squad have now become the 2021 World Combat Games in Kazakhstan on May 3 to 9, and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on May 21 to 30 in Thailand.“We have been training online as a team with assignments and fitness tests, but I would say that it’s still different if we are physically training together,’’ said Ochoa.
Not only is jiujitsu a full-contact sport, it’s a discipline that requires nonstop grappling, submission holds and ground fighting to gain a dominant position throughout the duration of the match.
Ochoa ruled the women’s 45-kilogram class in the Asian championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year in Manila. She also won bronze in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I hope we can train together soon,’’ added Ochoa, who will continue to use sports as a platform to raise awareness for her growing advocacy.