As her eyes locked onto her target, she slowly lowered her weight and widened her stance. With sweat dripping down her face she lunged, latched on, and took down her opponent, methodically and effectively.

Brazilian jiujitsu is a martial art that requires full control of your body and emotions, making it necessary for you to be free of all distractions. It teaches you to control your situation and to de-escalate when possible.

In the time before her U.S. Air Force service, Staff Sgt. Lacey Peinado, 1st Combat Communications Squadron expeditionary training advisor, encountered many moments where she felt she had little to no control. She had dealt with catcalling, unwanted advances at work and inappropriate comments.

Due to these experiences, Lacey said she realized early in her career that she was afraid of being in rooms with only men and understood it wasn’t a healthy mindset for her to have.