Monday, January 3, 2011

The Accidental Junk Grab

I’m calling this post The Accidental Junk Grab. At least I thought it was junk. I know it was accidental. Most of my jiu jitsu moves are.

We were practicing north-south. I reached up over and behind my head to push my opponent’s hips back and try to escape. Just one thing. I missed the hips. Now, I’m not convinced I caught junk. It may have been those loose folds of the gi. Yeah, that was probably it.

I did my homework before I started bjj. I read enough to know that, at some point, you’re gonna catch someone’s junk, male or female. And I mean that in all forms of the word. I was lucky enough to have a leisurely Sunday morning with the New York Times Magazine. (The Crossword? Love it. I’m even into the Kenkens.) Ben Zimmer, who writes On Language proposed that junk be the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year for 2010. He liked its versatility. Its original meaning was a piece of old cable, and then it morphed to mean garbage, stuff of low quality, drugs, and more recently its use for, well, someone’s junk.

My partners have been catching my junk, if we use the word to refer to my low quality jiu jitsu moves. I have been catching their junk, when they’re really good, man. Tonight, I may have—may have—caught that other kind of junk. But, again, probably loose folds.

Zimmer spends some time on the history of junk. Interestingly, one of its first appearances was in a 1996 post on an on-line wrestling forum, referring to a “junk grab.” It seems grapplers have been grabbing junk for at least 15 years! I have read both men and women grapplers who discuss the awkwardness of an ill-placed hand. I know I am not alone. Now I might have the American Dialect Society on my side.

I came home tonight and told Husband, “My next post is going to be called The Accidental Junk Grab!”
            "'Underwear’ is fine. I don’t know about ‘junk.’”
            “Do you really not want me to talk about ‘junk’?”
            “Let me think about it.”

Well, I thought about it. If they can print junk in the New York Times Magazine, then I think I can print junk on my blog, too.  


  1. Bwahahaha! I think you're just trying to give your husband more reasons to not send people to your blog ;)

  2. It's working so far. But I have very few places to go from here!

  3. lol, so cute! I found your blog from Jody's (Combat Sports Review) and I like what I see so far!

  4. I also came from

    loose folds :D

    I haven't run up against any "loose folds" but I did get a handful of naked, hairy thigh when my skinny partner's HUGE pants fell UP his leg and I went to grab his gi and instead felt him up. lol

    I call them his porn pants now.

  5. Welcome, G and J! Thanks for stopping by.

    J: naked, hairy make it sound so enticing!

  6. Not quite junk but - I was doing no-gi and a partner liked to do a "quick turn" while standing and moving to a pass. Well, I had my arms up framing and as he turned I ended up smacking his bum. It made quite the spanking sound. We both chuckled, and I still chuckle when I think about it!

    Awesome to read your blog and even more awesome that you have started training! Good stuff.

  7. @Ashley: I think that qualifies! Or maybe you just created a whole new category. . . .

    Thanks for reading.

  8. One know a guy who actually grabbed another guy's root (not junk, root!) and hung on to it thinking it was pant folds! If I wasn't sure the kid was as respectful as can be, I wouldn't believe someone could do that by accident. Talk about an adrenaline-addled brain.

  9. I am still mortified when I grab or brush a naughtybit by mistake, but I have not been doing this long. Everyone is quite cool about it. I hope they realize I am more embarrassed at doing it to them than having it done to me (don't care about accidental gropes, I ignore it, as they are not men, even, to me...they are just bodies I am sparring with). I grabbed sensei's butt once early in my study, unthinking, trying to get a hold (was stretching because the size difference was so great, trying to do three things at once, and you know you just flail and panic a bit at the beginning, too. Have also kneed groins etc.) and I just about died with embarrassment but he didn't miss a beat. It is hard enough trying to learn moves and survive in a roll, let alone worry about where your hands are going. I think everyone knows it happens and no one makes a big deal out of it.

  10. lol--I'm small and the size difference really makes it hard to know exactly where one is grabbing! : )

  11. Heya! New to your blog but enjoying it immensely. I can but aspire to your level of humor! Keep it up!

  12. Size difference - that is really true! When someone is small, you can perceive their bodily territory--they are like a small island or something. You have good perspective. When a person is very big, and you are not, it is more like standing in the middle of a continent, or more accurately, for a beginner, lost in it! Like being sat on by an elephant, all you can see is this mass of gray flesh, not where its tail is, or toes are.

  13. @Anon: I love your analogies! Unfortunately, all too often I experience the crushing of elephants. Usually it's my ribcage they're threatening to bust.

  14. I have never been near getting a rib popped, but the feeling of impending suffocation is frightening--after the first few times, I started trying to think about my breathing more (kind of like clenching your fists or whatever in a way that will allow you to slip out of handcuffs). I spend way too much time brainstorming ways to compensate for being the size I am or replaying remembered submissions in my mind (what should I have done, etc.) when I should be working or cleaning my house. ;P Thus far, being the noob that I am, slipping that elbow in ASAP and starting to frame is the best way I can think of to make some space in there. Other than not getting in that position in the first place, and staying in constant motion (that last tactic wears me out though).


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