So it’s been several months and well, I’ve started to get some messages about where the rest of my Pink Elephant Series went…
Well, friends, I’m just not very good at Jiu Jitsu.
That’s not to say I don’t do it, I do lots of things I’m not particularly good at. I run (slowly). I cook (occasionally). I walk and chew gum at the same time.
I also go to Jiu Jitsu class, usually at least a couple times a week, sometimes 3 or 4 times depending on my schedule. And most days when my brain isn’t full of parenting dilemmas or the last client I had at work, I try my very best.
So I guess I could tell you what I’ve learned. It’s not what you expect.
1. Whoever was worried I might get hurt should have been worrying about the other guys.
have never said “I’m Sorry” more times in my life. I have kneed people
in the face, elbowed them in the ribs, and I’m slightly concerned that
there may be a few guys left unable to have children by the time I learn
how to keep my feet to myself.
2. Hair elastics are a no-go.
They fall off within 1 minute of rolling every time. Between adjusting my Gi top/belt that I’m still terrible at tying, and redoing my hair, I feel like I spend far too much time fixing myself up in class. So I gave up.
My fight name shall be Medusa.
3. Some bruises are harder to explain than others.
No one ever tries to hurt me, but if the last person they were rolling with was a lot bigger, it can take a while to adjust the pressure needed to hold onto me and I usually have fingerprint marks on my arms a legs.
Recently Dh returned from a while away and I had to warn him: look, I know this looks bad…..
Because you could see the bruised imprint of all 5 fingers on both my hip bones.
It’s a good thing that man trusts me.
4. There’s always something I can learn.
I’ve learned something from everyone who I’ve ever been partnered with. Whether it’s the 20-something kid that talks to me about Ninja Turtles while we roll until I learned to relax a little, the other mom that is sometimes at class with me who insists she’s a terrible teacher but still manages to teach me every time, or the extraordinarily patient purple belt who I have as a partner almost once a week and is more laid back about the fact that I am constantly accidentally hurting him than I deserve.
Sometimes my partner is nervous with me. I once had a partner who each time he had to sweep me he would put his hand on my back at the last second and place me on the mat gently. He wasn’t being rude, he was being kind. That was his comfort level working with a girl half his size and I’m okay with that.
Sometimes my partner is maybe less than impressed with being paired with the new girl.
A while back I went to a class where I ended up for 3 minutes with a
guy I hadn’t met before. I could tell he wasn’t super impressed to be ‘stuck’ with me and being that I was probably close to 100lbs smaller than
him and have very little experience, I spent most of those 3 minutes
feeling a lot like the stuffed purple grappling dummy they keep in the
But most of the time my partner regardless of their size or gender, is happy to help and kind when dealing with my complete lack of ability. And everyone has taught me something because, well, I have a LOT to learn.
5. Smelling like other people’s sweat is gross.
Boys are stinky.
So am I, but I can’t smell myself, so I like to assume I smell like roses all the time…..
Though there was that time I was told I ‘smell more like a girl’.
Waiiiit a minute…. waddaya mean ‘more’?
And one last thing I learned is from an Internet troll after my last Pink Elephant post.
The one who lef tme a comment to tell me that only one type of girl wants to roll with the boys in Jiu Jitsu, and he apparently knows exactly what that type of girl wants.
In fact, he was so confident of MY intentions that he was willing
to let me know that if I was ever to walk into HIS gym, he would be
sure I would get exactly what I was looking for.
And I hope he doesn’t kiss his mother with that mouth.
Even though I deleted his comment before I even finished reading, and the beauty of the digital world means it disappeared into the ether forever, I have thought enough about it to realize something.
I wente to my first Jiu Jitsu class with experiences that had already taught me what it feels like to be overpowered, desperate and helpless.
I had been worried that those experiences would have left me unable to try, that I would panic the first time I felt pinned and that I would be unnecessarily scared and unable to continue.
But I can tell you something now, Internet Troll:
Jiu Jitsu has taught me all kinds of things you might not expect, but it’s never taught me to be afraid.
There are few places I feel as safe as I do at the gym I attend, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be there.
And while I’ve never looked at it as a form of self-defence, I do look at it as a victory, because despite people who think like you, sad Internet troll who has probably never been on a mat in your life, I am still able to walk into class every time and learn something new.
And that feels even better than the delete button did.
So there you have it.
That’s what I’ve learned this far.
You were expecting technique?
Sorry, I seem to forget that in the time it takes me to get to the car.