Words by Vivianne LG.
Throughout the years, we met all kind of people in this awesome jiu jitsu community. I travelled Europe, California, and here, our home, Canada. Everywhere and all the time, it was a fun, pure connection. Seems like the people practising this beautiful martial art (the people we met through the years for sure) all have those four points in common;
They are passion driven.
They are grateful.
They are humble.
They live this life exemplified by abundance, happiness, purpose, health and joy.
This article is about one of them, Rasha Khatib.
When you visit her Instagram account, her almost 22k followers can’t be unnoticed. But it’s when you observe and dig in a little more, that you find out why she became such a sensation and so quickly.
Ladies and gents, she keeps it simple, humble and joyful. That’s all. Strictly or mostly jiu jitsu related, her account is opened to everyone. She remains kind, a bit mysterious, yet always friendly approachable. She takes the time, and I went pretty much through every single of her posts, to reply and give respect back to her “virtual friends” (We dislike the words followers or fans). Down to earth, she is true to herself and to others, so people want to connect and show their support. From Russia to Dubai, passing by Mexico and Italy, we counted over 20 different countries commenting how inspiring she is. Yes, Rasha Khatib is beautiful inside and out, she is a strong young women moving thousands of people through her words and pictures, but mostly, by simply sharing her passion; jiu jitsu.
Like all of us, she is also a busy woman, having responsibilities, goals, friends and family. To balance it all is never easy. Which is why we decided to help her out through this quick Q&A. Couple nights on the phone, many messages back and forth, we finally rolled it all up, and are hopeful it will help you guys to get to know her better, and if you want, connect with her.
Rasha told us; “I am so appreciative and thankful for all this support and demonstration of love, I’d like to give back and open up a bit more”
So we researched what seemed to be the most popular questions she’s been asked, and chose 10 out of them. We also asked Rasha to pick her top 3 questions through Instagram. The 3 winners will be shouted out on our GrapplersPlanet Facebook Page, GrapplersPlanet Instagram account, and obviously on her own Instagram account.
On and off the mats, she is inspiring through her consistency, hard work and dedication. Here are the total of 15 questions Rasha kindly took the time to answer…
JIU JITSU RANK: Blue belt
FROM: Beirut, Lebanon
LIVES IN: Vancouver, British Columbia
TRAINS AT: KTB Jiu Jitsu Academy
– 2014 Western Canadian Jiu Jitsu Champion (Gold and silver medallist)
– Mentor and motivator for female athletes.
GP: Hi Rasha,thanks for sitting with us… Let’s start with this, how long have you been training jiu jitsu and how did you get introduced to it?
RASHA: Hi! Thank you for interviewing me!! So, a bit more than 2 years ago. I started jiu jitsu at 24 years old. My 2 older brothers were training, and one day I just went to watch, out of pure curiosity and looking for a new challenge. It didn’t take me long to want to give it a try, and wow, I was so amazed and impressed… That’s the day I fell in love with jiu jitsu.
GP: So your background is Lebanese, but you were born and raised here in Canada. Is there a message you would like to send to Arab girls regarding the beauty of this martial art?
RASHA: Yes. I would like to tell them, that they should be proud of trying something new. And if jiu jitsu makes them happy, they should push their limits and represent their country by getting out there, share it, compete, and mostly, not be shy nor afraid to do so.
GP: Very well said, and that actually applies to all the women around the world… Speaking of, what do you think about the general evolution of women practising jiu jitsu?
RASHA: I think that if we keep on fighting for what we love, we are on a good path of getting out of all those stereotypes and definitely be taken seriously. I’m very petite, and love to wear cute dresses and high heels. You don’t have to be super muscular, you don’t have to live your life in sweatpants. In fact you don’t have to be anything but yourself. On the mats we are all one big happy family.
GP: So are you supporting all these groups and pages that support and applauds women doing jiu jitsu?
RASHA: Absolutely!! Amen to @womensemporingotherwomens @girlsingis @sophiadrysdale @martialartsgymgirls @girlsdoingguythings … and they are just a few i can quickly think of… But there’s so many more!!! So many girls, organizations created and joined this big movement where girls finally feel free, AND PROUD to scream and demonstrate their love for jiu jitsu. I also want to applaud any other pages, groups, men or women, that support us through our journey. Like you guys at GrapplersPlanet. Thank you.
GP: “ Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”. Ryunosuke Satoro.
Just like most of us, it is our pleasure, to see and help and see our awesome community keep growing.
RASHA: Yes, words to live by these days when some still remain so focused on their own success… I am such a private person, but to practice jiu jitsu made me come out of my shell and think more as a team, instead of individually … and I am so busy, but my passion and love for jiu jitsu made me want to make, and take the time to share it, and work hard spreading the benefits of it”.
GP: Yes and you are greatly using Instagram for it and thank you for a fresh motivational and inspiring page… And this brings another topic; You said earlier as a message to other women bjj practitioners, that they should get out there and compete… Why do you think this aspect is so important??
RASHA: In my opinion, competing is essential as it allows us to test our Jiu Jitsu in a realistic environment. Testing your physical, emotional and mental abilities. It also speeds up your learning and technical focus. All around, it’s about getting out of your comfort zone and push your limits, always!!
GP: I totally agree with you on that. But for those who don’t have the time, or/nor the money, because for all of us, and for so many different reasons, jiu jitsu takes a different place in our lives, what would you recommend??? Are open mats a great alternative?
RASHA: Yes it’s true. Not all of us can spend the same amount of time training and rolling. And yes, to show up at these open mats sesh will for sure get you out of your comfort zone, and in such a fun and friendly environment! I encourage everyone and everywhere to at least give it a try once! Because its true, you do not need to compete to be a great BJJ athlete. Sometimes people are just too busy in life with their families, busy with their work schedules, have limited funds, or even injured which limits them from competition but are still extremely passionate about the sport and eager to learn new techniques. Showing up to class and training Jiu Jitsu in general allows improvement in their mind, body and quality of life. This is a skill on its own. So at the end of the day, DON’T GIVE UP, AND NEVER QUIT NO MATTER WHAT!!!
GP: Words of wisdom, we believe also that if you put the time, and the effort, no one can judge your path… Another very frequent question was regarding your diet, pre meal, pre work out plan…. What could you tell us about your own everyday jiu jitsu girl lifestyle nutrition plan?
RASHA: Well to be honest I actually never used to take pre-workouts before until I got sponsored by Inspired Nutra. They actually hooked me up with a supplement that helped boost my energy level in Jiu Jitsu by, I would say, 50%. I don’t feel as tired, and I have much more energy to move, making my rolls and submissions a lot faster. I encourage both men and women to do their own researches and find the pre workout that fits their needs. For Pre-meals, both nutrients and proteins are really important. My diet consists mostly in super light foods with little or no carbs before training, such as a tuna salad, or a small piece of chicken with yam 2-3 hours before class. But this is very personal and different to each athletes…. What I actually highly recommend is to find out what really suits you, discuss it with your professor and let him guide you!
GP: Will do! And by the way, you sure had noticed, strength and conditioning became very popular during those past 2 years… For you, is it a yes or a no?
RASHA: An absolute yes. Well to me it was such a great and important addition to improve my game… whoever can, I suggest at least try, go for it!!!
GP: Agreed!!! Speaking of addition, do you, or will you include MMA in your daily routine?!
RASHA: Would I ever do MMA in the future?
Possibly, I would love to get into Muay Thai in the future I tried a few classes and loved the positive energy. I’m still not sure if I would compete in MMA in the future but would definitely train in it for fun, I’m too hooked on Jiu Jitsu at the moment ….
GP: Who’s your biggest inspiration in MMA?
RASHA: Definitely Ronda Rousey, not only is she a world champion at what she does best but she is definitely an outspoken feminist that is working respectively towards her goals in becoming the best there will ever be in the women’s MMA world. She sets a positive example to females and female athletes around the world. I hope to accomplish half of what she has done in her life to inspire….
GP: And to finish this segment, yes they all want to know, Rasha are you single?
RASHA: Well, yes i am, and ready to mingle hahaha!!
GP: Well you sure deserve your prince charming wearing nothing but a gi heheh
Rasha Khatib, this young woman of 26 years old has some drive, character and inner strength that will lead her to accomplish anything she wants.
It was such a pleasure to get to know you better, and from GrapplersPlanet to you, we wish you nothing but the very best! Keep on representing women in jiu jitsu and pursuing both passion and career, you will go far no doubts!
Here are her Top 3 Questions she selected on Instagram, CONGRATS to those selected, but anyway, always keep supporting your jiu jitsu athletes no matter what! They deserve it, but mostly, they appreciate it. So, so much…
Rasha’s Top 3 chosen questions:
Savage_Perrin23 asks “I am a huge x guard player. What is your favourite guard to play with and use when rolling??
My answer: I just started playing x guard myself and love it, but my favourite guard overall is the butterfly guard, it’s my favourite set up for the sweep
Rafael415 asks “Do you think that someone starting jiu jitsu should start with gi training or is no gi acceptable?
My answer: everyone is different, but for me personally, I think someone starting jiu jitsu should practice gi first, because it’s a little bit more challenging than no gi, with the gi, you have to carry extra weight with you when you are moving around, also it’s more technical with grips and advanced techniques jiu jitsu fighters use like lapel chokes, lapel sweeps, take downs and submissions. I been practising gi for a while now and when I tried no gi I found I was much quicker with my movements.
Sbg-belfast asks “what was the first move, that ah hah ha move that made it all click for you?
My answer: to answer your question, it wasn’t just one technique or move, it was a combination of moves, techniques, drills and knowledge that made it all click for me. But mostly it was feeling the flow of a roll and using my opponents leverage against them. My goal is to get on top of my opponent, as soon as they enter my guard, all I think about is how am I going to get on top, so I think of sweeping them depending on the position they are in. I hope I answered your question ! ….
GP: Until next time GP readers, if there’s anyone you would like us to interview, any event you would like us to cover, or any topic you would like us to highlight, please feel free to send us your suggestions. We are so thankful for your support and loyalty, anytime we can give back, please let us know…
Because don’t forget. Individually we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.