Professor Jena Bishop, of Alliance San Diego, recently took to Facebook and Instagram to share her thoughts on performance enhancers in Jiu-Jitsu. She went on to say, “I could care less if someone uses/abuses steroids”, and emphatically continued with, not everyone competing is on steroids.
Then backed it up.
I find her statement and approach refreshing and bold. She personally paid to have herself tested ahead of next month’s ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships, and displayed the results for all to see. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe that there’s another Jiu-Jitsu athlete, male or female, that has done this to date. I’m genuinely curious to see if this spurns others to do something similar.
To play devil’s advocate, though, I’m hoping that the movement for clean athletes doesn’t automatically assume that just because an athlete doesn’t do this on their own, that they’re automatically considered dirty. This is a financial investment that an athlete would be undergoing, and we all know that Jiu-Jitsu isn’t exactly lucrative. My hope in all this, is that this public display, and those who support it, potentially urges ADCC and other companies to test their athletes ahead of major events.
Personally, I’ve always found it odd that as instructors, we tell our students that technique, leverage, and heart are all you need; then some of us will go about enhancing ourselves medically to win championships. It should go against everything we stand for as martial artist. Even more so, if you’re an instructor of a kid’s program.
I trained with Jena for a few years when her and Tyler moved to San Diego, I’m not the least bit surprised that she went this route. I would expect nothing less from what I know of her as a competitor and as a person. I understand that, Jena isn’t doing this to put other’s on notice, but instead to be an example of an athlete is competes clean. For that I applaud her.