|By: Anat Rozen
My sister, Maayan Rozen, 16 years old, started training Jiu-Jitsu when she was eight years old. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, a combat sport, and a self-defense method that focuses on ground fighting. It started as a hobby but gradually it became a central part of her life. She became very good and participated in every competition in the county. Eventually she got into her club's team and trained five days a week. For the past two years the Israeli Non-Olympic Sports Union followed her achievements and progress. Six months ago the Union decided to give Maayan the opportunity to win the European championship in Sweden. The deal was as follows: If she wins, the union will pay all the expenses. If not, travel expenses will be divided between the Union and my parents. This was a great opportunity for my sister and we had faith in her. On May 23, 2013 she flew with her team to Sweden. The pressure was tremendous. It was her first flight and her first international competition, and she was alone. Maayan had three battles and she won them all and came back as the first Israeli European champion. This extraordinary achievement is her ticket into the forthcoming World Championship on March 13, 2014, three months from now. The Union has taken her under its wings and she has been awarded a scholarship. The Union even financed an Instructors course for her in Wingate. Her future looks promising.
About a month ago she participated in the 2014 Israeli Championship. During her first battle, she was injured. She twisted her knee and the battle stopped. Apparently she tore her ACL straps. This injury jeopardizes her chances to compete in the World Championship. Now she is facing two choices: the first one is to have an operation as soon as possible and maybe give up the championship. Her other option is to postpone the operation until after the championship. I trust my sister to make the right decision for herself. My sister is an amazing child. She is beautiful, sweet and gentle. She is smart and friendly. She is focused and she is a fighter. She has the ability to disconnect herself from everything around her, listen only to her corner man's voice and apply his instructions during the battle itself. She is highly efficient in managing her time, and besides school and training she runs a full social life. I really don’t know how she does it all, and she is only 16 years old. I admire her for who she is and I am very proud of her. She is my hero.