A new shop has opened up on Elizabeth Street in downtown Okotoks.

Soul Train is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym that teaches effective fighting and defense skills, but also gives you so much more.

Owner Jaclyn Madaras says she often sees women come in from a dark place, and she watches them grow into confident assertive beings, that's her favorite thing.

"The difference in the women alone is the best, the kids are great too but the women, seeing them get these little bits and pieces of confidence, and a little bit more everyday, it's just amazing."

Madaras says the martial art is not as violent as people see on T.V., and you don't have to be fit or strong to do it.

"Jiu Jitsu is designed for the smaller person against the larger opponent. So it's so technical, a lot of momentum and everything is like a lever. So you really use what you have and make it work."

But not only are you learning defensive skills, Madaras says, at Soul Train you're joining a gym and a family.

"It's like this single victory thing but you also have a team that's like so behind you in everything, it's so amazing."

Anyone can stop by the gym and try a class as they cater to varying fitness levels as well as folks with no experience or injuries.

Along with owning the brand new business, Madaras also coaches and offers yoga classes as well as strictly women's only classes catering to all levels. 

She says Jiu Jitsu saved her life, and she just wants to help others realize that they have a confident strong being inside them as well.

To check out Soul Train visit their website or Facebook page.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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