Mean Woman Blues

A few years ago when I was rolling with Mike, he told me I needed to put more pressure on him with my crossface, and I said “But I don’t want to be mean.”, so he exclaimed “It’s not mean, it’s Jiu-Jitsu!” I was reminded of that conversation during the advanced class last night, when I was doing positional sparring from the bottom of half guard with David, and he showed me how I could frame my knee shield with a cross collar grab, then use my forearm to put pressure on his throat. As I was doing it to him, he told me I needed to use more pressure, and I responded “But I don’t want to be mean.” Danger laughed and said “I’m going to do it you when it’s my turn on the bottom, so you may as well pay me back now.”

Don't make me ginger snap!

In self-defense classes, I’ve heard that a woman’s biggest hindrance to fighting off an attacker is often her reluctance to be “mean”, but I’m surprised that after so many years of training, I still haven’t completely gotten over my own feelings about it. By the way, the fact that Tumbleweed and Danger are two of my favorite people at LBJJC has nothing to do with it, because even if I dislike someone, I still don’t want to be mean to them. Well actually, sometimes I do want to be mean, but then I feel bad about it, and most of the time I wouldn’t actually do it (unless I ginger snap! ;). It’s also curious that when my partners do these kind of things to me, I don’t typically feel as though they’re being mean (except for my husband, who is very mean ;).

One of the things that initially attracted me to Jiu-Jitsu is the idea of being able to control and subdue someone without hurting them (although I can also do that, if I choose), so in effect, I believe BJJ is the martial art which allows me to be as less mean as possible. Perhaps that’s why I struck up a friendship with Sir Conan when I started training, since he’s someone who works in law enforcement (CoCo the PoPo ;), so he was at least partially drawn to Jiu-Jitsu for the same type of reasons, and he’s effectively used his training in the line of duty (without anyone being seriously hurt).

Well, at least I don’t apologize to my rolling partners quite as often as I used to, unless it’s for valid reasons (such as accidentally kicking them in the face), but I would probably be better at Jiu-Jitsu if I was able to get over this feeling of not wanting to be “mean”. I just have to remind myself that when I “hurt” my training partners with legitimate techniques, I’m actually being nice, because it’s really for their own good!

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