Ok, this is the number one reason that more women don’t do BJJ. They seem intrigued, interested, but when it comes to actually doing it…. it’s just so…… awkward.
They all ask if there’s any way to do BJJ, or something like it but without all the actual touching of people. Or at least could they just bring their cousin/freind/sister and only practice with them. But basically, they want to make it less awkward.
The problem is, that the awkwardness is important! Really important. In fact, it could be considered the most important thing. Everyone that comes to The Academy is thinking of ONE of two subjects, without fail. Self-Defense, or Competition. Both of those things require that you be able to perform actions under extreme emotional duress.
In competition, insecurity can shut you down. It can make you not make moves because you’ve lost faith in them. While you’re freezing in your insecurity, opportunities that you’ll never get back are flying past you. Awkwardness, is a variation of insecurity. Overcoming the awkwardness in training has obvious benefit.
In Self-Defense, during the actual physical confrontation, the benefits are exactly the same. But the part that no one thinks about, is BEFORE the attack. The first part of an attack is target selection! In situations where the attacker doesn’t know the victim, they have to CHOOSE who to attack. That means that they are scanning for the person they think will cave in the most to the overwhelming AWKWARDNESS of the engagement. Clearly, BJJ can help. You can move further up the ladder of targets, reducing the chance of selection.
Back to the subject of specifically Woman’s Self-Defense. Upwards of 90% of women who are sexually assaulted, are attacked by someone they know. In these sad scenarios, their attackers tested their levels of awkwardness for extended periods of time. Sometimes years.
I was talking to a mother about getting her daughter into training, and I was telling her all these things. You could almost see here wince as I told her these things. I told her It’s a sad fact of our society, but women are taught to give into that awkwardness. The truth is almost every woman I have ever talked to about this has admitted to allowing an advance (physical or not) from a man because they didn’t want to hurt his feelings. It would be too awkward. Many times that’s where it ends, but sometimes the guy see’s this and realizes the weakness. Then it’s a spiral into an ending that women deal with for the rest of their lives.
Another sad fact….. Most women take Self Defense AFTER they’ve been attacked. Because they realize their safety is worth more than a few initial moments of awkwardness. The likelihood that they will be attacked again is low. They’ve already lost their their aversion to awkwardness. It’s just too late.
What would you give to take that away now. Here’s your chance. If you come in here and face your fear, your insecurity, that awkwardness, you will make it go away. You build your immunity. It’s a dose response. You slowly develop a tolerance to fear and pressure, as you learn to control your emotions. You will get to a point where no one will ever make you give into that insecurity, that awkwardness, ever again. Not on the mat. Not in an alley. Not after a movie. Not ever. But you have to go through it.
I hope we see you in here.