Mixed martial arts has been in Sara Jóźwiak’s blood since she was a child.
The IMMAF fighter has been involved in combat sports for the majority of her life, but she probably didn’t ever expect to put her trade into action in life-threatening circumstances.
When she was just 15 years old, Jóźwiak was able to protect herself, her mother and passersby from a stranger armed with a knife.
During a regular afternoon out shopping with her mother, Jóźwiak was forced to call upon her fight or flight instincts and all the training she had received as a junior.
An “aggressive man” blocked the path of Jóźwiak before pulling out a knife.
The then teenager used Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques to take down the knifeman, along with the help of two other men. She was able to ground, restrain and control the man until the police arrived at the scene.
“Two men saw it and decided to help, so we all took it [the knife] away from him and put him to the ground,” Jóźwiak said. “He was trying to escape so I caught him with a BJJ grip and held him until the police arrived.”
Brazilian jiu-jitsu was first developed by the Gracie brothers in the 1920s with the ideology to aid smaller fighters in taking down much bigger opponents through the use of weight distribution.
This is how a 15-year-old Jóźwiak was able to capture, ground and control a fully grown man.
“Martial arts gave me the self-confidence to handle unexpected danger and not panic,” the Polish international continued. “Also, [through] MMA training, I’ve learned a lot of techniques which might be useful for self-defence.
“Self-defence is not about specific techniques, in training we are learning how to face an opponent in a real fight, so in some aspects it is similar to a street fight with [an] aggressor. Of course, the best solution is to avoid a clash but this isn’t always possible.”
Jóźwiak’s amateur MMA record consists of five wins and two losses out of her seven bouts.