Women, Self-Defense, and Victim Blaming

Women, Self-Defense, and Victim Blaming

What happens when all of the lessons taught to boys not rape fail?  Then what?  We have to live with the reality that even those taught not to rape will rape (who does not know murder is wrong, yet in 2013 we had over 15,000 homicides in the U.S.).  Moreover, by turning this is into a social problem (and thus a social solution), in essence we are saying women are helpless to prevent this from happening.  How is that empowering, and not infantilizing, women?  I sincerely cringe at some of things that my daughter will be told in her life, and the notion that she is without choices to help minimize risk to her body is one of them.

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When the feedback says you're getting worse

When the feedback says you're getting worse

In jiu-jitsu people often look at various training partners as weights.  That guy is like trying to lift 100 pounds, she is like trying to lift 200 pounds, Jay is like trying to lift infinity pounds, and so on.  When I say 'lifting' in terms of jiu-jitsu, I am not necessarily talking about "winning", but rather being able to do something against a particular training partner, achieve some goal (i.e., sweep, pass, submit, or maybe just not allow the training partner to advance past a certain point on the ladder).  Let's say passing the guard of a particular training partner is like lifting 200 pounds, but you can only lift 100 pounds.  You get better, and eventually you can lift those 200 pounds (i.e., pass their guard).  The problem comes because people tend to lock a training partner into a particular weight; that a particular training partner is always like lifting X pounds.  Why's that a problem?  Let's continue with this scenario to highlight why.

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The first rule of self-defense: Stand-up for yourself

The first rule of self-defense:  Stand-up for yourself

In terms of self-defense, not addressing the uncomfortableness is even more problematic.  You walk through those doors of your gym to get better, to get stronger, to practice “self-defense”. If you succumb to peer pressure when being asked to roll or train, then you can’t expect yourself to be able to withstand the emotional and physical pressure during moments leading up to a potentially dangerous situation.

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Plateauing in Jiu-jitsu

Plateauing in Jiu-jitsu

And when this happens to you for the first time, the frustration can build. Imagine going from getting better just from doing the warm-ups, to now it taking a few months for you to see/feel as though you've made even a modicum of progress.  What's wrong?  Are you getting worse?  Or is everyone else getting better at a faster rate?  Why?  And as with lifting, people might change their programming (how much they drill, roll live, take class, etc.), or just quit out of frustration. 

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Rules about Hygiene and Attire

Rules about Hygiene and Attire

As a reminder, hygiene is important is the sport given the amount of direct body contact that occurs.  We do our best to keep the gym, the mats in particular, clean, but it's also important that members help by remembering some important rules about hygiene.  Additionally, there are some rules regarding proper attire that should be adhered to: 

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If Superman wasn’t bulletproof, he would just be “that scared guy that can fly”

 If Superman wasn’t bulletproof, he would just be “that scared guy that can fly”

So, if I know I may only have a few months……. I need to prepare you as best I can. So, in the Basic Curriculum (White Belt stripes 1 & 2) everything is about basic defense.  In the Intermediate (stripes 3 & 4) it’s more about attacking.  Hell, I used to call it “Self Defense” and “Fighting Fundamentals”, because that was a more accurate description of the concepts in each. One was about “not getting beat up”. The other was a little more in the “beat them up” vein.

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The Lost Art of “Safety”

The Lost Art of “Safety”

I can’t tell you how often I pose this scenario to “advanced” BJJ people, and hear “replace guard”, or “go inverted guard” or some such nonsense. Yes, that shit can work. And yes there are dudes in the world that can sweep me on my head with it. But that’s not the fucking point. Christ, Liberace made an excellent living playing the piano, and wearing bedazzled jumpsuits. Doesn’t mean you tell you kid to do that instead of going to school!!!!

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UFC says Takedowns not important . . . except it doesn't

UFC says Takedowns not important . . . except it doesn't

So, is the implication that based on this study we no longer need to learn takedowns?  I am sure some are drawing that conclusion based on the number of headlines I have seen this morning seemingly declaring the death of takedowns in BJJ schools.

Okay, full disclosure.  I am a blue belt, have had exactly zero MMA fights, and have watched exactly zero UFC promotions from start to finish since UFC III.  Where I have some authority to speak on the issue is that I can read . . . and put sentences together . . . and stuff. 

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Jiu-jitsu, Lifting, and the Recovery Boogeyman

Jiu-jitsu, Lifting, and the Recovery Boogeyman

That's not to dismiss the importance of adequate recovery.  However, the concerned is misplaced, and tends to lead to rather absolutist positions grounded in nothing more than one's opinion.  For instance, I recently on the interwebs and read on a comment thread about strength and conditioning for jiu-jitsu that you should not squat more than once per week.  Cannot be done because you will not be able to recover.  And I have to say, I agree with this.  Well, I mean, I did agree with the notion that a person cannot squat more than once per week and train jiu-jitsu.  Well, that is until, you know, I actually tried to squat more than once per week. 

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Lipstick On A Pig

Lipstick On A Pig

For you to realize all the beautiful things that can come from training (or a relationship), you have to learn to love the little things. The deep things. Not just the surface. It's fine to enjoy the "honeymoon" phase in your training. The huge leaps in progress. The "light-bulb" moments where things suddenly make sense. That's super cool. But after a while, they get less frequent. And smaller.

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More Reasons To Do BJJ

More Reasons To Do BJJ

Don’t get me wrong…… I’m not blaming HER. I’m blaming society at large. She probably has no idea that a woman her size could legitimately beat the shit out of a guy his size with the right training. To me this is kind of like seeing a group of people watching someone at the edge of the grand canyon. All the people know the rail is busted, and NOBODY tells this person. And they all watch as they lean on the rail, and fall over. That’s not the victims “fault”. It’s everyone watching.

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Awkwardness

Awkwardness

Ok, this is the number one reason that more women don’t do BJJ. They seem intrigued, interested, but when it comes to actually doing it…. it’s just so…… awkward.

They all ask if there’s any way to do BJJ, or something like it but without all the actual touching of people. Or at least could they just bring their cousin/freind/sister and only practice with them. But basically, they want to make it less awkward.

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Jock Willink: Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.

Jock Willink: Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.

Jiu Jitsu is a great workout both mentally and physically. You want to be strong for it and flexible for it. You want to have explosive energy and you want to have endurance. So it’s a very good all-around physical conditioning tool. Jiu Jitsu is probably the No. 1 activity that I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall.

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Why there are no Sensei at my Academy

Why there are no Sensei at my Academy

Man, I just like to keep things simple. I appreciate the fact that people want to show their respect. But, in our culture in America, and around the world in the sports culture, it’s universally “Coach”. And I don’t even insist on that. If you’ve been to my home for dinner, if I’ve held your hand in the ER……. Then by all means call me Jay. But if you’re looking for something to call me cause you feel a “need” to. Coach is about all I can handle. So here’s a list to help remind you.

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