Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fresh Meat

We have a new guy in class, one I like to call Tommy Tae Kwon Do. Tommy comes to jiu jitsu with multiple degrees on his tae kwon do black belt. He is starting jiu jitsu for “something different.” And, he is a Big Dude.
It pretty much always matters.
I am in a good place with one of my Big Dudes. After years of unproductive and difficult rolls, he has loosened up. Instead of imprisoning me in a horrible, crushing mount, he now tries to get his submission du jour on me. This is infinitely better, because I can actually work on some defense. On the down side, I usually wind up in a weird position where, if he hips in, my spine will crack, or my hip will dislocate. But, I just tap.
            “You’re tapping?”
            “For what? I didn’t think I had anything.”
            “If you hipped in, you would have broken my spine.”
            “Nooooo. That’s not possible.”
            “I’m pretty sure it was.”
            We even have this meta-tap. When I’m in such a position, I say, “Wait!”
            “What is it?”
            “I just want you to know that if you hip in, you will break my spine. I don’t think that’s what you are going for. So, please continue your attack trajectory, but DO NOT hip in. Good luck.”
            And then I concentrate on staying immobile while he figures out his move. Sometimes afterwards, we work on a particular point or explore an alternate scenario.
            This guy is large and strong, with those clearly-defined muscles unwrapped in body fat. He is what my boys would call, “not soft.”
Last week Oldest Son said that I had “fat thighs.” Oldest Son is twelve and 50 pounds soaking wet, so “fat” is a relative term here.
            “You think my thighs are fat?”
            “Yeah, but that’s what makes you soft.” He said approvingly.
This big guy is not soft. And he is really tall and leggy. He usually ends up clinging to my back, wrapping his hard, fibrous legs twice around my midsection.
            The other day we were in such a position. I think he had figure-foured my midriff  up to his knee.
            “Tap!” I screamed, before lungs popped out of my mouth and I was no longer capable of speech.
            “What? That’s not even a submission!”
            “Apparently it is, ‘cause I am tapping!”
He stopped and we started over. See? This is much better than being compacted like yesterday’s trash.

It has been a long road to this level of understanding. So when a newb comes in, threatening to bust out his crazy speed and strength on my 0-Petite ass, you can bet that I sigh great “here-we-go-again” sighs. How many injuries or near misses will I have to sustain before he gets it?
            Some people refuse to train with the newbs. I want to educate him. I want to teach him how to roll with me, because we are a small gym and I can’t afford to have another bad training partner. So I find myself saying, “Slow down,” a lot, and, “Remember, if you find that you need to use a lot of strength and power, you probably need to work on the technique.” That’s my nice way of saying, “If you have to blast it on a 100# short girl, you don’t fucking have it, dude! And, it means I won!” Of course to Tommy Tae Kwon Do, it probably sounds like I am saying, “I’m a girl, and I can’t win unless you go easy on me.”

It is always great to see new people in the gym. New sparring partners. New possible people to practice on. It can also be a little scary, if they are big dudes that are not sensitive to a wee lass and her bird-like bones. 

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