It was a chance introduction that drew Ruba Sayegh to a sport in which she has become one of the best in the world. In 2010, the talented Kickboxer was starting a fitness training session with her coach, Sami Al Jamal.
Along with her good friend Rana Qubbaj, Ruba warmed up with other athletes who were all doing a Ju-Jitsu class.
It has led to a journey that saw her take up a sport in which Jordan has become one of the most competitive nations in the world.
“We were both doing Kickboxing but decided to give Ju-Jitsu a go and haven’t looked back,” said Ruba, who has recently won medals at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan, as well as Open Championships held in Thailand and Switzerland.
“It was difficult to start as at the beginning there were no girls in class. Rana and I were the first two to try out the class knowing that it was a male dominated sport.
“But two weeks later, two more girls joined and then from there onwards, the atmosphere changed.
More girls would join in and the guys got used to having us around with them and training.
Thankfully, the numbers are increasing every year which means more growth for the sport.
“Convincing my family and friends that I wanted to train and compete in Ju-Jitsu at the very beginning was the first hardest obstacle.
Luckily, I have their full support now and I’m truly thankful for that.”
The pair have gone on to shine in the sport. Rana has reached the very pinnacle of the sport with world titles and Ruba has continued to establish herself as a top 10 fighter in the world.
But it hasn’t been easy. Injuries consistently hamper progress but each time she returns stronger and even more ambitious. “Ju-Jitsu has helped me to become more focussed and stronger,” she said.
“I even feel braver as a person and now I have a target which is to be the best in the World.
“I want to win the world title in black belt which takes place in California each year, and if Ju-Jitsu becomes an Olympic sport, the dream will turn to that and trying to be there, hopefully in Paris 2024.”