Friday, 04 October 2013 05:46

I Travel In My Own Way

It's been two years to the day since I started at Ronin Athletics. With time off due to injuries, surgeries, vacations, tattoos and whatever else along the way, I've been training about 19-20 months now, but I officially started at my gym on October 4th, 2011 and it's been a great second home ever since. When I stepped onto the mats that Tuesday night, I sure as hell never imagined it would become such a big part of my life, or that I'd still be there two years later.

When I first started training, I did almost entirely nogi grappling. Minimal kickboxing, no fancy outfits...I only picked up a cheap blue Fuji and began to grudgingly do one of the gi classes after a few months of being hassled into it. At the time, I vehemently insisted that gi "just wasn't my thing" and was therefore totally unconcerned with the whole concept of ranks and belts. HAH! The innocence of newbies. I don't know exactly when things changed, but somewhere along the way I became all about the gi (yes, Liz was super smug about it) and kicked up my efforts to really focus on the details, improve my technique and actively work towards my blue belt.

Saturday, 15 June 2013 05:38

One of the Guys vs. The Girl

In a ramble inspired by Shark Girl's hilarious entry from a while back, as well as a ridiculous number of childish blog posts and forum threads either about how girls shouldn't grapple because it's "not natural" or about how it makes some guys so very uncomfortable to roll with females (ZOMG cooties!! Girl parts!! Wherever shall I put my hands??), I'd like to take a moment to address the matter of having two X chromosomes in a "guy's sport." I actually wrote most of this about 4 months after I started training and never published it, but with the influx of new female athletes at Ronin lately, I figure the subject has become quite relevant.

No, I've never been super feminine in the traditional sense...I'm definitely a tomboy. I like my sweatpants, t-shirts and beat-up sneakers. I loathe makeup and dresses and diamond earrings. I also refuse to tolerate brainless chicks who act totally incompetent, relying on men for everything like helpless ditzes who can't lift their own Prada bags. That said, I do absolutely love fluffy animals, bright colors and big strong boyfriends. I'm willing to jump guys twice my size if they're bothering a friend and can handle getting my ass kicked as a result, but I can also be fun and silly and totally adorable (really, I know it's hard to believe). So where does that leave me when it comes to something like grappling?

Sunday, 10 March 2013 05:34

Gym Junkies

Well...I turned 29 earlier this week and have officially been training MMA for almost a year and a half. I think it's a good sign that I still love it (and my gym and teammates) as much as ever. And although in many ways it feels like business as usual, it's strange to realize how much has changed.

For example, I am no longer "the newbie." It's hard to accept, because there are so many people with so much more experience, yet it turns out there are in fact others who have far less experience than I do, and it's my turn to help them and to put up with all of the newbie mistakes that I used to make. It's also my responsibility to recognize the mistakes that I'm making now and to actively strive to improve myself in those areas, because the whole "I just started, so I have no idea what I'm doing" excuse just doesn't fly anymore.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 05:01

Stripes and Sexism

I know I've dropped off the map for a while when it comes to maintaining my blog, but in my defense I'm at the gym 4-5 times a week and it's hard to find time to come home and then write about it. I didn't mean to disappear either but finding a happy balance has never been my forte.

Luckily for all of you, I have new things to write about. For example, I am now a 4-stripe white belt and have long since been converted to primarily training with the gi (remember how I once insisted that I'd never EVER be into gi, because nogi was "the shit?"...yeah, I'm over that phase; give me a gi). I will write more about all that soon but in the meantime, I wanted to address an irritating article that I read by a black belt instructor in faraway Idaho.

The article, which has received major backlash due to its blatant sexism, is titled "Can Women Really Handle Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?" and one of the saddest things about it is that its author doesn't even seem to realize how chauvinistic he actually is. I love my gym and the people I train with so much, and am so comfortable there, that I constantly forget there are gyms run by people who just don't "get it" when it comes to women grappling...or doing any contact sport for that matter.

Tuesday, 01 January 2013 05:56

Guys Rolling With Girls

There seem to be tons of debates about coed grappling, so I thought I'd add my two cents.

For the guys... (based on issues discussed on the interwebs)

1) Don't assume that because I'm a girl, I'm taking BJJ for self defense. I'm not. Like many guys, I'm doing it because it's good exercise and it's fun rolling around like tiger cubs on crack.

2) If I'm training with a guy my size, he should be training exactly the same as he would with any guy his own height, weight and experience level. If I'm working with a much bigger or more experienced guy (which is usually the case), he should roll the same as he would with any guy my size and level (ie. don't just spazz and squash but do work your technique). If something hurts, I'll tap, end of story.

3) I do not care if you grab or push on the boobs (ie. harness grip) or other "questionable" areas. Don't be afraid to get in there and use your weight. This is BJJ, shit happens and is often necessary to finish a move. I'm not going to be all oh fuck u perv! any more than you would flip out on another guy for using the same techniques. I couldn't care less where your hands go while rolling or drilling. It's a close contact sport. If I was uncomfortable with having big sweaty guys all over me, I'd be doing tennis or something, and so would you. It's only awkward if you make it.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 04:57

King of the Hill

After much consideration, I've decided that I'm most definitely not a fan of "King of the Hill," which we often close out the Wednesday night class with. Why? Well, because I seem to be the only white belt in that class right now, which means that I last about 5-10 seconds before some blue, purple or brown belt flips me onto my head and boots me to the back of the line. Again and again.

Aside from the normally pitiful finish to the night, Wednesdays are still among my favorites. Last week, I ended up doing a warmup roll with Spike which, considering he's the biggest guy at the gym, was not so much a "warmup" as a OMG, can't breathe, so tired...wait, we still have a whole class left?! kind of roll. Afterwards, Carlo brought everyone together to demonstrate the first technique, which involved this complicated flipping and rolling of your partner straight over your face. When we broke to practice the move, Spike came over all motivated and enthusiastic, saying "Okay, let's do it!" I gave him the look - you know, the bitch, u out ur damn mind?! look - and paired up with Liz instead. Spike looked all let down that his warmup buddy had abandoned him, but considering I had enough trouble pulling off the move on Liz, it was indisputably the best decision for us both.

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About Me

I'm an enthusiastic writer and artist who spends too much time lost in her own imagination. I work as an editor and photographer and am obsessed with ancient mythology, space travel, and little glass and stone trinkets.

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