(By Charlotte Orie)
A domestic abuse victim has turned her life around by training to be an MMA fighter and is hoping to help protect other women by teaching self-defence.
Chelsea LaGrasse, 29, from Columbus, Ohio, started training in 2015 after escaping an abusive relationship. This led to her wanting to teach other women how to protect themselves from violence.
The personal health coach, self-defence instructor and MMA fighter started competing in Jiu Jitsu tournaments around the world and won her first ever MMA fight in 2016.
The mum-of-one, who is only five foot tall, hopes to inspire and motivate other women to stand up for themselves and walk away from abusive relationships.
Chelsea attends MMA classes several times a week, regularly lifts weight and has completely changed her diet to include plenty of protein, vegetables and complex carbs.
Mum Chelsea said: “I started training in 2015 because I wanted a new fitness challenge for myself and wanted to learn self-defence which was inspired by the domestic abuse I went through.
“I mostly train in Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling and Judo but have won a couple of boxing matches as well.
Domestic violence is a serious problem
“I started teaching self-defence a year ago because I felt like I had learned enough from my training to start sharing this with others. I feel it is my duty and passion to show others how to protect themselves because I want people to know that domestic violence is a serious problem.
“My daughter inspires me to continue to be a better mum and person – the fact that there is evil in this world and I can help prevent it is motivating to me.
“Self-defence is beneficial because it not only teaches you techniques you could use to save your life, it also builds confidence in yourself. I want to inspire everyone but mostly women and children because they are more prone to attacks.
“I have had feedback from one of my self-defence participants who used one of the moves I taught her when she was attacked and it saved her life – that was awesome to hear”.