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Martial Arts Inspiring Story - Margaret Hopkins - Gracie Jiu Jitsu

By Created: July, 2017 - Modified: April, 2018

Growing up, I was abused in every way, shape and form you can think of by my father - sexual, mental and physical.

He put holes in the wall with my head, kicked me in the ribs with his steal toe boots, ripped chunks of hair out of my head, dented the refrigerator with my head, held me off the ground by my throat and forced me to still speak, punched me in the stomach to where I doubled over not being able to breath and would punch again as soon as you caught your breath, beat me with a leather strap across my head and anywhere he could get to draw blood, and hit me in the head with a hammer. My final straw was when he put my head through a window as my mother watched and did nothing.

After leaving home at the age of 13, and I was found, I was moved from family to family. The last family I ended up with was an aunt and uncle. I was sexually abused by a cousin there and dealt with it on my own so I wouldn't have to move again.

After I moved out on my own, I was drugged and raped one night. There is no way to explain the feeling of never having a way to truly protect yourself.

I soon found a husband who I later found out was an alcoholic like my father, and he cheated on me with multiple women.

My turning point was when I made a friend on a local forum with the screen name OTM. His real name is Mark Stinson and is a brown belt at Gracie Jiu Jitsu of Ms. He told me about a they were having. Through his persuasion, I went to two different women's self defense classes.

Shortly after, my nephew had begun getting bullied at school. I brought him to this school so he can learn to defend himself. While watching some of the adult classes, I felt this is where I need to be. I was going through a divorce and needed the mental strength and the knowledge to never have to be in one of my past situations again.

I was extremely nervous and scarred because of my past. Mark actually came up to the school to help me become more comfortable before I actually started. Nothing can help you find your inner strength like Jiu Jitsu has. I later found my now husband through Jiu Jitsu. The people who are dedicated to this art are different in their soul. I feel happy, safe, and in control for the first time in my life. All because Jiu Jitsu fell into my life.

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Margaret Hopkins
Gracie Jiu Jitsu of MS
Hattiesburg MS 39402