Someone recently commented on this blog that they wondered what our BJJ would be like if we didn’t have to worry about the social aspect, and as an introvert, I found the thought intriguing, because most of my stress in Jiu-Jitsu is centered around the fact that interacting with people can be quite uncomfortable for me. I’ve had a few bad experiences, and I have trust issues, so it might be easier if I just rolled with some kind of impersonal entities, such as robots.
Then I realized it would probably get boring really fast, because although social interaction can cause me stress, it’s part of what makes Jiu-Jitsu fun. Also, grappling with robots isn’t the best idea, since they feel no pain, and they’re impossible to choke out! In addition, they never get tired (unless their batteries die or something), so I imagine it would be super hard for me to submit them. I might be able to win by investing in some kind of electromagnetic pulse gi, but that would probably be expensive, and it might be considered cheating in a robot vs. human grappling match.
I also don’t think I would enjoy watching robots roll with each other, especially if they’re all the same. To make it more interesting, they’d have to program them with different skill levels and abilities. They’d need to have some spazzy white belt robots just flailing around, all the way up to red belts, who could shut down the other belts simply by touching them! The robots could progress in rank based on mat time, and after a certain number of hours, they would automatically level up! Then again, I don’t really trust that the BJJ robots wouldn’t become self-aware and start choking all humans, so we should probably forget the whole thing.
Dealing with my personal social anxiety when I’m training with humans may be complicated and difficult at times, but I still think it’s worth it, and it’s better than rolling with robots would be. Most of my teammates at Lincoln BJJ are awesome people who I enjoy spending time with, and I’ll take the positive experiences of grappling with humans (even with some negative ones added in) over boring robots anytime!
“Be kind to me, or treat me mean, I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine.” -Fiona Apple