My mother, daughter, and I were recently having a conversation in which my mom said that I have always been the type of person who likes doing what I’m told I shouldn’t do, and I responded that I thought it was partially a result of growing up as a child in a military family. My parents were fairly strict, but it wasn’t just their rules I had to follow, I was also subjected to the authority of Uncle Sam (more so than the average American child), especially when we lived on base.
Everyone has different reactions to their environment, and perhaps I was just born a non-conformist, but the more restrictions that were placed on me, the more I wanted to challenge them, and my mother doesn’t even know the half of it! One of the things I had to contend with as a teenager living on a military base was having a curfew placed on me by the government, so I wasn’t allowed to be outside after a certain time, and if I was working off-base past curfew, I could drive home (after I checked in with the military police at the gate), but then I had go straight in the house, or risk being picked up by the cops.
Naturally, my rebellious friends and I didn’t want to obey such obvious violations of our right to party, so we found ways around them. We would sneak out of our houses, and meet up outside on base, in a place we wouldn’t be easily discovered (such as a ditch). We couldn’t have music at our makeshift parties, because we had to be very quiet, and if we saw a flashlight in the distance, it was usually the MPs doing sweeps, so we had to lay flat on the ground to avoid being seen. It was risky, because we knew that if they caught us, our parents would also get in trouble, but we were always lucky enough to stay one step ahead of the authorities.
When I was younger, I did a lot of things that people told me not to do, and now, even though I’m not nearly as wild as I used to be, I think that same quality within myself is actually one of the reasons I’ve stuck with Jiu-Jitsu as long as I have. I believe there are some people in society who think that I shouldn’t (or even can’t) do it, and because of that, there is a part of me that wants to do it even more.
Since I started training Jiu-Jitsu, many people have expressed surprise or concern about it, and I believe there are even people I train with who think I shouldn’t be there, because I’m not a typical student (and by that I mean I’m not young or male), but I love it just as much as they do! In general, I think a lot of non-comformists (and hipsters) enjoy BJJ, because it’s not our father’s martial art, and it’s outside of what is typically seen as the norm. Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does make me a little different from most other women my age, and it helps to feed my wild side, but in a healthy and productive way, which is part of the reason I dig it!