Every person gets an intense feeling of satisfaction every time an achievement is accomplished. And this is very true in martial arts. Whether it be a new belt or medal from a competition, every accomplishment reassures a martial artist of their improvement and dedication to one’s art.
As a 41-year old mother of three and mixed martial arts fighter, Laura Elder-Hill must have felt the same way upon winning a gold medal at the World Pankration Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in November of last year. She expressed her feelings towards this win on an interview with Chicago Sun-Times.
“Winning the gold was amazing. Even though there is a lot of people in the world who don’t really know what pankration is,” said Elder-Hill, a member of Team USA Pankration, which brought home the silver cup.
Pankration is a form of mixed martial arts introduced to the Greek Olympic Games in the 648 BC. Similar to the modern mixed martial arts competitions, it’s a free-fighting combat sport which involves kicking and submission. Its major difference with the MMA today lies on the fact that hitting the face is considered a violation.
For someone who only started training in 2004, she has definitely come a long way. This published interview on Chicago Sun-Times summarizes how Elder-Hill started in mixed martial arts, which includes Brazilian Jiu Jutsu as her specialization, in the following manner.
Elder-Hill was watching her kids practice when she started paying more attention to what was happening on the mat. “So I decided I wanted to try it,” she said. “I was 260 pounds, and I thought maybe I should lose weight first, and one day I was like, ‘I just don’t know what I’m waiting for, I’m 34 years old.'”