I’m five weeks post surgery now! The first month was super hard but things are getting easier now. I am allowed to sit and lay down without my sling and I started physical therapy. I went back to my doctor today and he says I’m healing up well 🙂
Jiu-jitsu translates to “soft art.” I think my muscles and joints are the soft part, constantly at risk of being crushed by the art.
So, the trick is to be soft like the willow, bending without breaking. Or some other metaphor that basically means you have to stretch, avoid overtraining and training while injured, rest, and eat well!
I’ve been a blue belt for a very long time. Or rather, up until yesterday I had been a blue belt for a very long time. Now I am a very new purple belt.
And everything is the same.
Well, perhaps not everything.
Yesterday was one of those days that I just didn’t want to be a part of humanity anymore. I mentioned in a previous post that every woman I have ever asked has been sexually assaulted at some point in her life. I was talking to a friend yesterday and she realized that what she had previously thought of as a bad sexual experience was in fact rape because she said “no” multiple times during the experience.
She started dwelling on what she could have done differently. It is never the person who was sexually assaulted’s responsibility to have done anything differently. Often the assaulter is taking advantage of power differentials, social norms, and trust in a way that makes it less likely or impossible for the person being assaulted to fight back. It is not your fault and you are not responsible for what happened to you.
I wanted to do another post on the guard for self defense today. But instead I will focus on how jiu jitsu and yoga can help in healing from sexual assault. It is not your responsibility to keep bad people from doing bad things. No matter what happened in the past – remember you are strong and have the power to heal.
You hear a lot in jiu jitsu that you should leave your ego at the door, don’t focus on winning or losing, and avoid negative self talk. Sure – these are all great advice but how do you do it? It’s certainly not as easy as packing your gym bag, remembering to leave your ego on the shelf at home, and going to train. I struggle with negative self talk in all facets of life and I know my life would be easier if I could just be nicer to myself.
So how do you tell your mind to just shut up so you can train?
A lot of hobbies have ‘uniforms’ or clothing associated with them. And often times these uniforms, while eminently practical, fail to align with modern sensibilities about what is appropriate to wear in public. Jiu-Jitsu is no exception to this rule.
Here are the fashion mistakes you’ll feel inclined to make if you play jiu-jitsu:
I have a predicament. On the one hand I’m always trying to recruit more women to jiu jitsu and to find ways to make jiu jitsu feel more accessible. On the other hand, I find endless articles and videos on how to do your hair for jiu jitsu, nutition for women grapplers, and what to wear to class to be a little superficial and demeaning. Women in jiu jitsu do more than show up and try to get in shape. We do techniques and roll and have other concerns too damnit.
Honestly, I’m not doing great right now. The pain from my shoulder surgery is pretty much constant – which is exhausting – and not being able to do normal life tasks on my own is frustrating. So I’m writing this to remind myself how I used mindfulness techniques before surgery to deal with the pain.
Jiu Jitsu Times posted an article by Emil Fischer on Wednesday about the fear of injuries in people thinking about starting jiu jitsu. As a person recovering from a pretty serious jiu jitsu injury, this article caught my eye.
When I saw this I immediately wanted to send it to my friend who I’m trying to convert to the cult of bjj.
I agree with Emil Fischer; training jiu jitsu does not automatically mean you will get hurt any more than any other physical activity. But training environment, training habits, and goals matter.