*or what you need to be to make it far in jiujitsu

the one brave thing i think i did during this session was to reply “what do you mean by that, sir?” when one of my coaches said “can you pose like girls?” while taking a picture of us girls. to get my point across, i did this instead:



this was my twelfth session. if i train once every week that would mean I’ve been doing jiujitsu for three months now. equivalent to one quarter. what have i gotten out of it, aside from a now-healed-previously-bruised rib and a neck strain radiating to my left arm? not enough yet.

i had imagined reaching this point and being rained with (rainbow-colored) confetti and balloons.

in reality, i am barely surviving.

they say that jiujitsu has a steep learning curve. my fear is that i simply stay in some form of plateau. like forever.

four points of control. submission techniques while on full mount.

the full weight of the hubby started to dawn on me the minute his body crashed on my face during a roll (he being 32 pounds heavier than me, the ninety-percent-only effort he claims he exerted seems negligible). i could barely breathe and for a brief moment i wanted to tap out as this felt similar to being in an enclosed, tight space, the kind i was not exactly built to handle. before the panic could set in, the instinct to survive went overdrive and i found myself a breathing space.

because my claustrophobia got the better of me, i barely remembered what i did. all i know is that i was on my back most of the time but i ended up on my tummy when i tapped out because –  aside from the fact that i was exhausted (reeling from a self-mandated four-week break) – my left arm, which has had a previous injury, was dangerously close to a submission.

i sit out after this roll as i pulled the left side of my neck as well. it wasn’t that bad. but another roll would have made it worse. my fear of injury was becoming harder to ignore (my day job necessitates some form of strength; if my students sense any sign of weakness, they will pick on me. seriously.).

i watch instead as a young female white belt, who has been training for barely a month, approach one of my coaches and start to roll with him. i’ve been here longer and i have not even attempted to do this. at all. this is the mother of all my effing fears in jiujitsu (heck, i’m not even sure why i find this scary but i’m scared anyway).

in spite of these fears, i stay.

during the roll that almost cut my oxygen, the (hard-to-please) hubby expressed some form of approval when i was able to escape from his mount twice (i would have cartwheeled in between breaths if i could).

while i have been pushed to do what i must, i have never been forced to go beyond what i cannot. my pace, whatever strength i have, and my limitations have been largely respected.

i stay because it seems that i am doing something right – even if my progress has been painstakingly slow – and that i am in the right team.

and so perhaps the courage to stay, to show up on the mats in spite of all the odds and fears (both real and imagined), is the one that matters the most.


3 thoughts on “brave*

  1. The learning curve is much worse than anything I’ve experienced. You are in good company. I would suggest to go twice a week when you can.. the gap between practices is what will hurt you. you are doing great though. keep it up.

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