Sunday, January 11, 2015

Where Have All the Small Dudes Gone?

My gym has had an influx of new people coming in to try out BJJ. This is always an exciting time—new people to test our skills!

It’s not that I don’t like the old, regulars, but as my skills improve, so do theirs and sometimes it feels like I am standing still. You know, like when you are driving alongside another car that is going the same speed and if you look out quickly and don’t see the trees whizzing by, it looks like no one is moving at all. It’s like that.

So when the fresh meat comes in, I get excited. ‘Cept for one thing. I swear, every person to walk through my gym’s doors in the past month or two has been HUGE. I mean MONSTROUS. GARGANTUAN. Like, picture that skyscraper in Dubai:
now add some girth, maybe to equal the width of , oh, I don’t know, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? 

Strap a gi on him and he looks just like our new guys!
Shark Girl is petite. Think of the smallest person you know. Now shrink that person down about half size, and add extra-large calf muscles and some child-bearing hips, and, if I’ve been neglectful in my waxing, a little Mediterranean fuzz on my upper lip. Now, close your eyes and put the two images of me and The New Guy side by side. *sigh* Here we go again.

I love new people. I just wish some of them were smaller, so I could actually practice a damn sweep. Or roll with them and not worry about cracking a rib or breaking something important. Big Dudes take so goddamned long to train, and it’s not a given that I will ever be able to train safely with them, to trust myself to them as a training partner. And if I do train them well (‘cause it’s usually my responsibility) then I always wonder, What am I really capable of? Am I getting an unfair advantage? I know it is silly, but if you read my last post about being a zealot, you understand that it is not enough for Shark Girl to be a bad-ass jitser (which I am definitely not, but I can dream, can’t I?), but I have to be bad-ass against the biggest, toughest, most fearsome foes that walk the mat, and not get hurt. See? I may not have the typical female issues, but mine are almost as impossible as looking like those girls in the magazines with their airbrushed facial lines and their plumped up, oiled body parts and their digitally-whittled waists. 
Wait 'til Paper Magazine gets a load of my sick Jiu Jitsu moves! Imagine the centerfold they will do of Shark Girl!
I was sparring with a man on the larger side the other day. Someone who has been working hard to train well with me and I am grateful for that. He had a worrisome look on his face.
     “Hey, what’s up?” I said.
     “Not much,” he replied.
      (Tap of Friendship)
      He sighed, looking me up and down, not sure where to start.
     “You know,” he said, “you are the hardest person here.”

For those big guys who really try to spar well with us little people, I understand it is difficult to suppress their God-given muscle and strength. And I want all you big guys who try to know that I, Shark Girl, appreciate your efforts immensely. Thank you, Big Dudes who really try to roll well with the wee folk, thank you.

However, I still hope when I see a new car in the parking lot, it’s owner will be under 175 pounds. And I am looking forward to the return of some good (small) friends who left the gym a few months ago for financial reasons and have promised to return in the new year.


  1. That's a great compliment- "You are the hardest person here"- I'd die if someone said that to me!

    1. If I'm being honest, i am NOT the hardest person in the gym... I wish!! He feels that way because he has to be conscious about his muscle and technique with me, and that is hard for him. : ) But, I'll take whatever compliment I can get!

  2. Coming into America I'm slightly shocked at how much bigger the dudes are here compared to Korea. Thankfully there's a visible mix, but it was still really a bit of a culture shock!

    1. Maybe I have to move to Korea . . . ? Any Latin positions open there?


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