The Flying Squirrel.

Spazzy white belt. One of my biggest fears in jiu-jitsu. Not just to roll with, but also being one. I know that it’s a stage we all go through. We panic. We come at people with the intensity of a life or death battle. We think it can’t be that hard to stop someone if we just go faster and more aggressively.

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White belts are stupid.

Before anyone takes offense to that statement, remember, I too am a white belt. I shouldn’t have to spell out that I’m calling myself stupid. But if I do, you deserve to be called stupid too.

She’s comin’ in hot with the insults today, boys.

I’m not trying to say that as a white belt that you are stupid in a mean way. It’s the kind of stupid that you could call a baby. (Wow! I just called babies stupid.) A baby is born into the world without any skill to care for themselves. They can’t hold their own heads up, or walk, or talk, or feed themselves, etc. Stupid is probably a horrible, horrible word to use, but I didn’t start this post talking about babies and this is kind of where it went.

Oops.

Before I start getting angry private messages and comments from the babies out there reading this, my apologies. You’re super cute and cuddly so we don’t really care that you are stupid too. I fully support and respect babies. I am team baby.

Just like a baby, a white belt can’t, so to speak, hold their own heads up. In terms of skill they can’t walk, talk, feed themselves, etc. So what do they do?

They spazz.

I like to think I’m out of this phase, but then I’ll do something really stupid like frantically lose a grip and punch a guy in the face. I feel horrible about it for both concern for that person and for selfish reasons. I don’t want to hurt people and I don’t want to be a spazzy white belt.

Then, I got to be on the other side of the spazzy coin. I had to partner up with a guy in pass, sweep, submit and it was only his second class. He came in hot from the get-go. It was either he looked at me and could instantly feel my badass vibe and knew he had to come in hard or maybe in his mind, in his white belt infancy, he won’t even consider the thought that a girl could beat him. Whatever the reason, this guy was super, super aggressive.

At first I wasn’t worried. I tend to think that most of the time the spazz, the super aggressive are easier to handle. Their spazziness is always a great reminder for myself to relax. There’s also something about spazzing that makes that person easier to beat. In their spazzy intensity they make a lot, A LOT of mistakes and you can usually take advantage of that. I’ve dealt with plenty of spazzies and it has never really been an issue to me.

Until last night.

So the round starts off fine. I’m on the ground, he’s standing up. I know he’s going to come in hot so I’m prepared. He tried to sprint to my back so I roll to turtle, and have one of his legs. I go to reach for his other knee so I can drive him over when he sprawls on me. I get up on my feet in a bear crawl position and start to circle out. He too gets to his feet, lets go, and runs behind me. I’m almost fully standing at this point, but still kind of hunched over, when he jumps on my back like a flying squirrel to a tree branch. I don’t know how much more he weighs than me, but it instantly and forcefully dropped me to the mat with him still hugging my back.

“Damnit dude! What the fuck! You don’t jump on someone’s back like that!” I yelled.

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Pic or it didn’t happen.

And then, in my weird and typical Allison ways, I got mad at myself instead of him. I was the victim of a spazzy white belt attack and I’m the one who felt shame.

I’m so weird about weaknesses. I don’t like appearing weak. I’m am really hard on myself in that area. This mindset also works against me with injuries, which I currently have. Doing jiu-jitsu as a woman, an older woman, an older, overweight woman, I  know that chances are I am the weakest in the room. I try to take a positive outlook to that and use it as fuel, as a push to work harder, to never give people an opportunity to look at me as weak. The second I yelled at that guy and complained I felt like I had put a she’s-fragile-take-it-easy-on-her red flag on myself. And that is the last thing I want.

I felt fine after the flying back attack and finished the rest of pass, sweep, submit. I don’t know if it was adrenaline, but my injuries felt fine throughout the whole thing.

(Interrupting for an injury breakdown. The first is my shoulder and neck. I honestly don’t know for sure what happened. I think it was just too many omoplatas and attacks on this one arm. I can’t turn my head to the left without pain radiating throughout the right side of my neck and my right shoulder. I also can’t put pressure on my elbow. When I do there is a burning pain that radiates up my arm and throughout my shoulder. The other injury is my hand and two middle fingers. There was a wrist-lock situation that went from 0-100 on the pain scale in about a millisecond and I just didn’t tap quick enough. My hand just hasn’t felt right since. I can grip things, but if I try to grip and move something, hello sharp pains! This one happened a month ago and it still swells up and bruises after almost every class. Both injuries don’t really hinder my movement so I keep doing class. I keep thinking these injuries are improving and each time after class I’m back to hurting. It’s hard to sit out guys. I don’t like it. See, I’m white belt stupid too.)

So anyway, I feel fine, I finish pass, sweep, submit, and at the moment I’m glad I didn’t sit out like I had originally planned. Then as I laid in front of the fan trying to calm my breathing and cool down the pain of my injuries came to the surface. When I tried to sit up, I could feel more than the usual though. Thanks to my new leaping 200 lb. cape, my whole back felt horrible.

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I think it’s time to be a good girl and let my body heal. I don’t like it. It feels like every time I start making big leaps of progress, I encounter setbacks. Sigh. I know, I know. It’s a marathon, Allison, not a sprint. I’m in it for the long haul so missing a few classes shouldn’t matter. Is still sucks though.

As for my spazzy white belt pal, I have zero hard feelings towards him. It’s just part of it and it happens. He’s in his white belt infancy and this is just the way it is. I mean I’m not saying I won’t take the opportunity to do a little crossface on him if I can, but I’m totally understanding that his intent was not to hurt.

Jiu-jitsu can be intense at first and sometimes brings out the flying squirrel in you.

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