When Susan and Joshua Citrak knew they were moving to Aberdeen, the first thing they did was Google local jiujitsu schools.
“When we realized there wasn’t one here we could join, that evening we decided, ‘Well, it looks like we’re starting a gym!’” Joshua said.
In January 2021, they did exactly that, opening Wolfpack Family Jiujitsu at 424 South Main Street. To date, they serve over 50 (and counting) youth and adult jiujitsu students.
Jiujitsu is a martial art and self-defense practice with no striking. Susan said a class is one of the best workouts you can get, but everyone can do jiujitsu. You don’t have to feel intimidated about your age or athletic abilities to try it out. Case in point? She and Joshua didn’t start learning the sport until they were 39 and 41, and they have students as young as six years old.
“We have the word ‘family’ in our name for a reason,” Joshua said. “Anyone can come here. They don’t have to know anyone else or have any experience in this, and by the end of class, they’ll be chatting with the group.”
Susan said for her, teaching the women’s self-defense class on Saturdays is especially meaningful. “One of the best parts has been watching the women and girls grow in that confidence and learn how to defend themselves if they should ever have to.”
Keeping with their family roots, the Citraks have youth and adults classes scheduled back-to-back so families can come to the gym together. Their lounge area gives kids a place to hang out while their parents participate in adult classes and vice versa.
The Citraks both work full time during the day, then lead their jiujitsu classes in the evenings and on weekends. They said they never imagined having their own gym when they first fell in love with the sport and are thankful for the opportunity to bring jiujitsu with them to Aberdeen. // – Jenny Roth
To find out more about Wolfpack Family Jiujitsu, or to sign up for a free week of classes, check out www.wolfpackfamilybjj.com.