So I know I'm only supposed to post cheery, happy, wimmin-all-gettin-grapply-happily stuff about the Girls in Gis thing today.
It wouldn't be too hard: nice gang of women (maybe 15?) with a good range of experience and skills, from novice whitebelts to savvy purples and a brown.. a bowl of cold sliced watermelon to beat the heat.. a little warmup and then open mat.
One special pleasure was Lindsey's return to the mats after a 3 year absence (broken wrist and family time). She wore her white belt instead of her blue, but after 2 minutes it was apparent that she had every right to wear the blue one. I had a great time getting to know her. Another friend, a purple from a local school I used to train at who is now elsewhere getting her postgraduate degree, was so much fun to roll with because she is sooooo mellow, controlled, and methodical. I hadn't seen her in forever and in some ways, she's like a measuring stick for me. I keep waiting for the day when she reappears and I can actually pass her guard or make any kind of progress, really. Today was not the day! I better hustle because she'll graduate soon and start training regularly again!
I like seeing women with different games and approaches all get together and put aside competitiveness (like we don't see enough of that at tournaments) and just have fun with it. I was really in the mood for fun rolling. I took the 3 hr regular class before it, so I was actually pretty fatigued and looking forward to ... well, fun rolls, not tournament smash.
I'll describe the not-fun part like this: lady I grappled at the start of my career, who I beat on points, at least one weight class up from me, who I am told (by others, and once by her) was eager for a rematch ever since. Approached me for rolls. I had the feel that she was hungry for victory and wouldn't be happy without it. I wasn't in the mood to contest it so I decided I would let her work whatever she wanted and wasn't going to cry if I lost. Frankly I was pretty sure I'd lose. I let her pull guard, worked to pass, got muscled into a triangle, tapped to hair pulling but truthfully she had it tight and better than 50% likelihood of getting it. Basically played defensively (a hedgehog egg!) the whole 20 min or so. I think she tapped me with a kneebar too. Good technical (on her part) rolls, but not fun. Not fun because I felt this singleminded hostility from her. I didn't enjoy it, and have no desire to repeat it outside of a tournament setting again. Maybe I misread her, but that's what I felt.
I did another two hours or so of intense physical labor in sweltering heat, after the lunch with the ladies, so I came home thoroughly beat. The shower felt like heaven. The pizza tasted ambrosial.
So I'm wondering.. is making rolls personal something guys experience? only guys? only girls? is it common? Sometimes I'll have a goal that drives my training (Dammit, I will not let Rudy choke me while passing his guard ever again, etc. etc.) and that could be said to be personal, but that's not what I mean.
I mean personal in a grudge-match kind of way. It seems like it would be a common guy thing, but man, I don't see that happen much at our school. I definitely haven't ever experienced a cross-gender personal grudge match. Then I start looking at my perception that men are basically simple, direct and easy to get along with, versus women who tend to be more complicated, subtle, easy to offend, and devious... even passive-aggressive.. sorry, am I being misogynistic? simplistic?
Let's discuss :)