Another question for Hillary

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by AaronWindy, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. AaronWindy

    AaronWindy White Belt

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    Hey there Hillary, I know people ask you questions every so now and often so I hope you aren't getting sick of answering!

    There's girl in our Jiu-Jitsu club who weighs about 120 lbs. that is having trouble dealing with the fact that she doesn't have other girls to train with in our club and that the only training partners she has are guys that are significantly bigger and stronger than she is. She's been training for about a year and is finding it difficult to cope. She see's other people that have been training the the same length that she has that are able to tap newer people with ease and is frustrated that due to her size she just isn't able to replicate that experience.

    Any words of wisdom that might help her to overcome this? It's really beginning to get to her and she see's you as someone that has accomplished a great deal in Jiu-Jitsu. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  2. An end for

    An end for Purple Belt

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    ...Sounds like a tense situation. Can you get children or teenagers in the class? Size, even for men, is an issue. If you could find someone more compatible with her in size, it would be much easier for her. Let's hear what Hillary has to say, though...
     
  3. Hillary

    Hillary Brown Belt

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    Unfortunately, it won't ever get much better. That's what makes the higher ranking BJJ women so tough--we just suck it up and keep going. That's not to say I haven't excused myself to the bathroom to cry in frustration, and I've quit Jiu Jitsu seven times (each time I quit I lasted about 12 hours without BJJ). The guys that say only technique matters are the same ones that muscle out of armbars. Smaller guys that say they understand have no idea.

    It's tough. I had a big blue belt yesterday say he feels bad so he "goes light" with me. As an accomplished black belt, you have to realize how much that sucks to hear. I know light years more than the rest of the guys at my gym, sacrificed so much more, and I train so much harder...but that's life. Women are considerably weaker and that's the sheer fact. BJJ was developed to help the smaller guy who knows a lot (note: lot being purple to black level, this isn't accomplished in a year) to beat the bigger guy that knows nothing--Helio never said anything about the big guy that knows stuff as well.

    Now that I'm four years into BJJ, things are getting better. I'm able to handle bigger and better guys with each year (note, NOT month) that passes. I would encourage her to compete because it was my competition experience that kept me going. I would fail time and time again with guys in class, thinking I sucked and hated getting manhandled, but the second I competed I realized my technique wasn't that bad and stuff actually works when you get someone your size or gender!

    As well, have her get in touch with Jen Flannery or Crissy Linzy (both on Facebook), they pioneer women's only BJJ camps and open mats across the country and could definitely find her some female training partners, even if it's only from time to time.

    Keep her head up, she'll be fine, and be a stronger person because of it. As relationships grow throughout the gym, as well, guys will get more and more used to rolling with her and find a really good, technical pace that is good for both grapplers. Some of my favorite training partners now are the guys that went balls to the wall and made me furious the first year or two of us rolling together.
     
  4. Fred in Houston

    Fred in Houston Blue Belt

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    When I read this, I thought it was a great question. And to no one's surprise, Hillary's answer is just as great.

    Awesome. I need to post this to a few of my female training partners.
     
  5. King Creatine

    King Creatine Purple Belt

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    I've had the same question, and now have an answer. I can refer women in my gym to this response. I think giving advice on technique falls short for these types of questions, so allowing frustrated female readers to identify and share the frustrations with a high level person that's been there should do wonders for the reader.

    Good response. Any other Sherdogger jiujitsu females have similar stories?
     
  6. curb1850

    curb1850 Green Belt

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    wow great info Hillary.
     
  7. SMillard

    SMillard Red Belt

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    If there aren't kids or other women around I'd recommend directing them to older higher belt people. They are more likely to work with someone. I know being 41 with a bad back and now recovering from a torn bicep I don't force much of anything and my dominating days have pretty much come and gone.
     
  8. Knuckles69

    Knuckles69 Purple Belt

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    I sometimes wish I could get my wife to train the issue is that at our school the guys are so big and I think that is her biggest deterrent. She's come in and watched before and even tried stuff on me when she's gotten home, but I don't know if I'll ever convince her to actually train.
     
  9. cashdude

    cashdude Blue Belt

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    Great answer Hillary! I can however relate to the blue belt guy. I don't think he means it as disrespect to you but I can also understand why you feel the way you do about it. I was raised to always be respectful to women so its a bit of a mental hurdle to be put into a physical situation where you might be "that guy" that hurts a girl. I simply did not want to be that "jerk" who was too physical with a girl.

    With that said, I have the utmost respect (in fact more so than the guys) for any woman who does BJJ as they are subjected to not only the physical challenges but also the social stigmas.
     
  10. AaronWindy

    AaronWindy White Belt

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    Thanks so much for the quick reply. I'll make sure to pass the message on to her!
     
  11. fourfif**

    fourfif** Banned Banned

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    [​IMG]

    I bet it was this guy.

    Seriously though, I'm sure there pleeenty of guys who you can just wreck. Like that guy for example. :icon_chee



    ps- That guy is FOS. If he just fights technique, which is very easy to do, in wrestling as well, you can roll 100%, 75, 50, and 25 (just technique). And when they do that, and play the right way to grow their game, there is NO WAY they are "taking it easy". It's a cop out for knowing they are muscling their way through techniques to not get their shit handed to them in a purely technical roll.

    I had a great roll with a girl like two weeks ago. She had great pressure and I was really impressed with her passing game and deep half counters.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  12. littleone

    littleone Orange Belt

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    I've been in the same predicament and as Hillary said, competing helps a lot. I've been training for a little over a year and although I've found techniques that work for me and I'm incredibly flexible, it makes me mad when guys muscle through me. I don't have girls where I train and I rarely ever did. It's helped make me tough and I hated hearing that but its very true. Tell your training partner that its okay to be frustrated and never make her feel like shes "just being a girl" because unless you are one yourself, you probably won't ever know what it feels like training with all guys
     
  13. KaosX

    KaosX Banned Banned

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    My daughter, who is 7, asks me if girls ever get good at jiu-jitsu and I tell her that only the ones willing to work at it do.

    She trains with all boys, but without a doubt has the best striking in the class when they pull out bags to let them burn some energy up. Her and I watch BJJ vids together.

    People like Hillary and other high level grapplers are nothing short of a blessing for the sport for girls like my daughter.

    Hopefully she stick with it!
     
  14. BaconTastesGood

    BaconTastesGood Blue Belt

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    I've suggested that Hillary blog about this, because women in jiu-jitsu can be a complicated and frustrating experience for everyone involved.

    Men very often have different attitudes:

    * "go light" because they don't want to be perceived as roughing up a girl
    * "go hard" because they are NOT going to get tapped by a girl
    * "I don't like rolling with girls" because they're uncomfortable with the boy/girl aspect or because they don't perceive it as a challenge

    Women have mirror attitudes as well:

    * "I expect you to go light" because it's unfair/impossible/whatever to keep up with someone younger/stronger/faster/etc.
    * "I expect you to go hard" because it's disrespectful and misleading to treat me like I can't hang with you
    * "I don't like rolling with guys"

    So that's 9 different potential pairings of attitude, of which only 3 actually make both sides happy and one of those involves not rolling at all =)

    In my experience training at different gyms (and also that I'm engaged to a blue belt) I've generally only approached a girl to roll if it's obvious that she wants to and for some reason no one else will. I'm one of those "go light" guys as well, but I treat anyone smaller or significantly less experienced that way, not just based on gender.

    Another thing I've noticed is that gyms often need "starter" girls. When there are no women, then other women don't join. Once there's more than one, suddenly new ones will start showing up and joining and eventually you may be lucky to have enough for women-only classes once or twice a week.
     
  15. Hillary

    Hillary Brown Belt

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    Man I hate that picture. It was cool at first but when it got to the point it was mocking the guy, it made me feel terrible.

    Here's the thing, most of my BJJ can be killed by a good purple belt. But my triangle--if I managed to lock it in--is pretty much set. That's what I caught that guy in, as well as 7 other guys in competition. I've caught a couple brown and black belts in training with it (who, to be honest, weren't rolling that hard and didn't respect my triangle)...I suggest to the guys with female training partners to find a move they like and drill it to exhaustion. I've done a few thousand repetitions each side, no doubt.



    OP, please let me know how your training partner feels after you relay the info and if there are any other questions. :)
     
  16. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    I'm sure it is very tough. But like you said it does get better with a lot of hard training and experience. One of my instructors is a female first-degree black belt and former MMA fighter, and she cannot weigh more than 130 pounds. I guess I am a "big blue belt" at 200 pounds and when I roll with her I do not "go light" at all but it does not even matter how much strength I use because she still submits me every time.

    You may never tap large male black belts, but I think that someday the thought of "going light" will never even cross the mind of a big blue belt anymore after you slap hands with him. At least, until you get really old, that is.
     
  17. Explosion Man

    Explosion Man Blue Belt

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    Some people just need to harden the fuck up.
     
  18. Hillary

    Hillary Brown Belt

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. Hellboy31

    Hellboy31 Brown Belt

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    ^^^ haven't seen that one before lol
     
  20. Bruce Calavera

    Bruce Calavera Purple Belt

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    A very fitting name. Was "SpazmanianDevil" already taken?
     

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