You know the upside to having the memory of a goldfish?
By the time you need to leave for night class, you have forgotten crying after morning class.
OK, ok, so I didn't forget so much.. but blessed by ya'll and your comforting comments, I forged on.
Busted I was, though, by the new Machado guy, who apparently reads this. Erkkk. Good thing I didn't say what I really think of him! ;)
Anyway, class was all right, back attacks and whatnot; positional sparring was broken up by weight (as always) and tonight's lightweight group was all whitebelts, plus me and Lee, a purple. Thus I felt like I knew a little something, as most of the time I was able to make things happen in the right order with a minimum of fuss and thankfully no tears.
Afterwards, discretion being the better part of valor, I accepted the offer of a roll with a really solid female whitebelt. She hasn't been training long, but she's fit, strong, analytical, persistent, and totally not ego-driven. I must admit, I didn't really give away much, so maybe it was less helpful to her than it was to me... but I didn't go balls-out either. Caught her with a looping choke and a high lock guard triangle to armbar combination from guard, and a baseball bat choke from knee on belly that Donald refreshed my memory of just last night. I felt a little better... but not good enough to be cutting more athletic tape just yet. My issue isn't so much with being a blue belt, so the fact that I can womanhandle a female whitebelt who weighs maybe 20 lbs less than me doesn't earn me much self-respect.
I'll just be blunt. It's that I don't think my three stripes mean the same thing that male students' three stripes mean. My logical worldview is downright offended by the inconsistency of having the same belt as the Galvaoist Dancer of this morning's class. It just ain't fittin'.*
A friend who trains jiu jitsu in another school, somewhere else, asked me something along these lines. Here's her initial outreach on the issue:
"I wanted to ask your opinion about promotions as a female. From what I’ve read, I know quite a few females who have received their blue belts relatively quickly, 8 months or less. And then I know of several girls that have been white belts unusually long bc of being the only female at the academy or their instructor holding them at a higher standard. . . [snip]I think it sucks that when I get my blue belt, the other guys getting their blue belts will be getting theirs faster than me because they are guys, and when they get theirs I will have already been at their level for months and months."
That's a lot to process. I've already responded and she and I had quite an illuminating conversation but I thought I'd get your take on the issues of promotions.. standards.. gender and other factors.. consistency...
That's right, kittens-- talk amongst yourselves. But aloud, and here, in the comments. We'll continue this tomorrow.
* Two points if you can name the book/movie!