Luma Murib started training at Easton at 15 years old. However, growing up in a traditional household where the idea of women wrestling with men didn’t quite fly, she had to take a different approach. She had to do it in secret. Luma asked if she could clean the mats to help pay for her membership.
Cleaning led to helping with kids’ classes and eventually Luma joined the sales team, later becoming the Operations Director for affiliate school Matrix Martial Arts and Director of Social Media for Easton Training Center, which consists of eight schools across Colorado. She runs a tight ship and fluidly keeps all of the schools’ social media accounts in sync while encouraging each school’s unique personality to flourish.
Today, Luma is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and one of the many valued women that make up Easton’s strong canopy of female leaders – a canopy that has truly become a key reason the web of eight academies operates so well and has made such an impact on the martial arts community.
Luma’s story launches a series of stories highlighting women in leadership which we’ve spent the last six months compiling in “Women of Easton.”
The first of several phases, this docu-series highlights women in positions of power who make the decisions every day that affect the life of Easton.
Women in Martial Arts
Finding any martial arts space that isn’t dominated by testosterone can feel nearly impossible, and Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai have a reputation as strongly male-oriented martial arts.
By some stroke of luck – or intentional genius – Easton grew differently. We have a unique culture of female influence in our company that starts at the top and works its way down to the mats.
“It seems to be very rare to have this many women in positions of power in any company,” says Mike Phipps, a Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai coach who has helped spearhead this project from video and production lines, “but definitely martial arts companies. You don’t see very many women, and definitely not making decisions that affect the academies.”
Around the same time that Easton decided to highlight women in leadership, some unsavory news came to light about another martial arts school which did not treat its women as well. Several women reported inappropriate behavior by men – including one in a position of power – and not only did the school’s leaders attempt to suppress the bad publicity, but they continued to let those men train.
Hearing something so saddening about the martial arts community, a space which can be so healing and powerful, spurred a heartfelt urge in our Academy to respond. In many ways, Women of Easton embodies that response; we want women to feel safe, seen, and powerful.
“For us,” Phipps says, “if anything like that happened, it would be so heavily influenced by women.”
By highlighting the women in our community, the ones who make the policies and decisions which help keep you safe (and also get down, sweat, laugh and cry with you) we hope to continue to create a safe space for women to improve themselves through martial arts forever.