Ice packs were in close proximity Sunday afternoon when Webster University student Shane Jenne competed in his first jiu jitsu competition. Once the match began, the physical contact started immediately. Jenne’s opponent defeated him by using his hip to push Jenne’s elbow back. Right then, Jenne heard his arm pop.
“ I almost got my arm taken off,” Shane said after his match.
A year ago he would have never imagined himself competing in a high-tension sport like jiu jitsu.
Ten months ago Jenne was 70 pounds heavier. He weighed 250 pounds when he told himself “It’s time to do something about this.” In January, one of Jenne’s friends introduced him to jiu jitsu. The sport quickly turned into his passion.
Though Jenne lost his match, he was proud of how he handled the situation. Jenne tapped out as soon as he heard his arm pop. He said an important aspect of the sport is knowing when to tap out. After the match, Jenne felt no pain in his arm.
“If you have an ego, you are going to get something broken or choked out often because you won’t want to quit when you should,” Jenne said.
Jiu jitsu is a Brazilian martial art. The objective is to manipulate the opponent’s force against him or herself rather than confronting it with one’s own force.
“Jiu jitsu is more of a lifestyle for me. It’s not like going to a sport or practice and only doing it for an hour or two… you have to watch what you eat and always be at an ‘I’m ready’ level,” Jenne said.
Jenne’s inspiration to stay healthy began when he found out he was lactose intolerant in fall of 2013.
“Dairy is the devil,” Jenne said.
Once diagnosed as lactose intolerant, Jenne lost 25 pounds by avoiding dairy altogether. But he wanted to lose more. Today, Jenne practices 10 to 12 hours a week, lifts weights four times a week and is on the Paleo diet, for which he also avoids grains and processed sugars.
“Once I started jiu jitsu the weight started falling off,” Jenne said.
Webster athletic director Scott Kilgallon said it is important for students to stay active, and equally important to eat healthy. He thinks eating healthy is key to good performance.
“One thing you tell the student athletes is they have to eat healthy, it is okay to have that cookie or cake as long as you are getting the powerful flavor of vegetable and those kinds of things,” Kilgallon said.
Jenne said due to hectic weeks between school and work, he makes his food ahead of time. He uses Wednesdays and Sundays to prepare his meals for the days he will be too busy to cook.
Kilgallon encourages all students to continue to be active once out of college. He uses running as personal way to stay active.
“It’s great for physical health and mental health it just gets you going for the day,” Kilgallon said. “I am a big proponent for having people workout.”
Kilgallon said he would like to add athletic opportunities at Webster for students to have more chances to become active. He has noticed more students joined the athletic department this semester with the addition of indoor track and field.
“The first thing we have to do is to have the facilities before we can add sports,” Kilgallon said.
Jenne plans to continue competing in jiu jitsu tournaments around St. Louis. He encourages the idea of making your own luck, and said his whole journey started with one step.
“So many people just stand and wait around for certain cues or things to happen in their life but we should be making these changes happen. Put down the snacks and go to the gym. Work smart; not hard,” Jenne said.