Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

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You Do What?

When I started tae kwon do five years ago, people were a little surprised. I wasn’t exactly Sporty Spice. But they generally thought it was cool.

I added Gracie Jiu Jitsu last year, and the reactions are interestingly different. Some people don’t know the difference between martial arts, so it’s just another name. But people who do know what jiu jitsu is – usually from watching MMA on TV – are startled.

You do… what?

You?

The subtext is, of course, “but you’re a girl!

You know who else are girls? Mackenzie Dern and Kyra Gracie.

Yeah, I’m a girl. And yeah, I took some convincing. And yeah, the first class was weird. But that’s why I love it now, because it was so completely out of my realm of experience – and, I think, most girls’.

Here’s a great article on Why Should Women Grapple?

It’s pretty basic:

  1. Women are attacked more often than men, and usually by men.
  2. Men are taller and broader and heavier and stronger than women.
  3. Most serious attacks end up on the ground.

Those are generalizations, but they’re fair ones. So while it might be super-cool if I can kick you in the head, and it might be pretty handy if I can punch effectively (i.e., not like a girl), it still might not be enough if I need to save myself from a bad guy.

What might, however, get me out of trouble is if I know what to do if someone bigger is trying to pin me down. And that, in a nutshell, is jiu jitsu. That’s why I take it, and that’s why I wish more women knew about it.

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