I used to work at a construction company Head Quartered in the South Bay of the SF Bay Area. I was good friends with just about all of my co-workers, but there were a few I was especially close friends with. Among them was Michael. One of his short-lived hobbies that nobody really knew about was Jiu Jitsu. He took it up for the sake of a killer workout, but I was so impressed and immediately interested!
I had just recently started becoming the type to try something new at the drop of a hat, so the timing was perfect. I’m somewhat athletic, and played a few sports growing up, but I’d never done anything like this. I didn’t even know exactly what form of Marital Arts it was. Michael was great at affirming people and persuading them. I was resistant to try it, but we made some kind of agreement. To be honest, I don’t remember what it was, but he must’ve upheld his side of the bargain because I showed up to One World Jiu Jitsu in Newark just a week or two after learning about it.
I knew absolutely nothing. I had no technique, no knowledge of what JJ was, no idea how to put on my gi or tie my white belt around my waist. I was one of the only girls in the class and incredibly uncomfortable. Fortunately, I cope with being uncomfortable by being extra sarcastic and witty. I warmed up with everyone in the class (blue, purple, and brown belts among them). One of the instructors challenged me, saying that most don’t even make it through the warm up; Challenge accepted. “Are you ready to quit?” He asked me. “Uh, no!?”
Now, I still don’t quite understand this logic, but I was paired up with a straight-up giant. This guy, Chad, was easily over 200 lbs. and well over 6ft tall. I didn’t even know how long the class would be (I’d find out it was a 2 hour long class). For the next two hours, I was slowly walked through the most uncomfortable movements of my life that also required me to flip this Jack and the Bean Stalk giant over my body. For starters, the very first thing I was told to do, was basically sit on top of this guy; I’m talking, full-on straddling this guy. Butt on crotch. And we’d take turns being on top… for the next… TWO… HOURS…
Oh, and if you think that’s not bad enough, we’re doing all this off to the side while the rest of the class does there normal class stuff. Often times, they’d all be standing there waiting for instructions from one of the trainers while I’m rolling around with Mr. Giant for all to watch. I don’t know what I’m doing. They’re all pros. And I’m trying to flip a giant over my shoulder or put him in an arm bar. Whenever I thought class was over, the trainer, Mike, would come over and teach me a new combo that I was to do for the next 15 minutes. It felt like it would never end. Fortunately, Mike was such a cool guy, and so was the giant Chad.
I actually legitimately feel that BJJ should be learned by every female. The reality is, I was able to flip this massive guy over my shoulder. The point is to use your “attackers” weight and strength against them. It’s so relevant for women to be able to defend themselves. If the gi and classes weren’t so expensive, I would’ve very much liked to continue training.
Don’t knock it until you try it! And I encourage you to try it!