Not your average fighter


Photo courtesy of Audrey Anderson

Student Audrey Anderson shows off her intimidating moves.

Imagine a petite 14-year-old girl just beginning her freshman year of high school and she’s sparring against a 22-year-old, 6 foot, 200-pound male.

Audrey Anderson beat him the first time, but he doesn’t quit. In fact he demands a rematch in which she will beat him again. And then she finds herself 3-0 and leaving her opponent with an extremely bruised ego.

Since sparring is a way to practice moves you are learning against an opponent without intent to harm or risk serious injury, it shouldn’t be a dangerous activity, besides there is the ability to tap out at any time. But it turned out not to be an ordinary sparring session.

“He got mad, so he boxed me,” referring to the term in which one, either with hand or fist, delivers a blow to the ear, “and my left ear drum sort of burst,” said Anderson, 18, who is now permanently deaf in her left ear after the incident.

“I got him in an arm bar and I almost broke his arm, but I didn’t,” said Anderson. “He was eventually banned from the gym.”

Although at the time of the incident Anderson was only a beginner, it didn’t stop her from continuing her Jujitsu training at Ground Games in Brentwood, which has since closed its doors.

Before closing, Ground Games took part in an intermural competition with another gym, in which Anderson placed third. Instructors from both gyms claimed the first and second place winning spot.

Anderson’s fighting didn’t start with Jujitsu, but with two near altercations with a group of three boys from her high school who teased a friend of hers.

“They were going to fight me,” said Anderson recalling one of the instances in which she approached the three boys. “It wasn’t a real fight since nothing happened, but a friend literally had to carry me away,”

She officially started Jujitsu after a friend dragged her to one of her classes, and Anderson said her favorite moves are arm bars and flipping opponents.

“My favorite thing to do is to flip people,” said Anderson, “it makes me happy.”

And as for arm bars, “if I can pull their arm out sideways,” she said gesturing with her arm out, “I can break it in at least six places.”

Which is probably how she was given the nickname Batman. A close friend gave it to her one day during church. Eventually others caught on, first at the church, and then it spread to Liberty High School where she was a student.

“I was walking around school and someone turned to me and asked if I was Batman, and I was like ‘how did you know that’,” said Anderson.

As for injuries, there have been bruised ribs, dislocated joints, and light sprains, all of which she has inflicted on opponents with bodies much larger than her small frame.

“I don’t let people hurt me,” said Anderson whose only injuries are bruised ribs, and two broken fingers unrelated to her Jujitsu training.

“She reminds me of David from a story I heard in church called ‘David and Goliath’,” said Priscila Rodriguez, “David was this young teenager who volunteered to fight Goliath, this huge giant. David, only supplied with a pouch full of stones, defeated Goliath and the Israelis defeated the Philistines.”

Jujitsu is only one among many passions of Anderson’s, she also enjoys art, reading, Disney, and sign language.

Anderson is finishing up her first semester at LMC, but she already knows what she wants to do with her life.

“I want to be a sign language interpreter. I learned it in elementary school and it was fun,” said Anderson.

It wasn’t until she was in high school where she saw a sign language interpreter in one of her classes that she decided that it was something she wanted to do.

No doubt sign language came in handy when Anderson lost permanent hearing in her left ear during a Jujitsu incident.

When not in school, Anderson can be seen engrossed in books, usually a mystery or a her favorite comic, Batman, or singing along to Disney’s “Frozen,” binge-watching re-runs of “Supernatural,” and attending church.

“Religion is a big part of my life,” said Anderson who is a group leader for annual retreats her church puts together.

“We were on the bus on our way to a retreat and the guys put a song on the karaoke and they all started to sing the song from the ‘Titanic.’ We were shocked that they knew it, but it was so funny,” said Anderson.

Like religion, the skills she learned while training will always be a big part of her life.

“We were like ninjas,” said Anderson recalling her time in the gym.

Since Anderson no longer trains in a gym, she still gets to show off some of her signature moves when prompted by her cousins who are brave enough to go against her.