Rage against the cucumber
Last week one of my training partners told me that he could tell I was not in touch with my aggression. He said I was using my energy to hold back when I should be using it to attack. As some of you may have picked up from reading this blog (or from knowing me), I like to analyze everything. This was no different.
I mentioned what he said to a non-bjj friend of mine (I actually have some of those) and she told me that was somewhat expected as women are not really socialized to be aggressive. I thought this had merit but I wanted to dig deeper and think about why I was behaving this way. Right now I am only worried about fixing myself, I’ll work on society later.
I used to have a really bad temper. A really bad temper. I would scream, kick things, punch walls, tear apart rooms and so on. One time I got so mad at my sister that I almost banged her head into the floor.* This incident changed my life because it made me realize my temper was out of control and I took measures to fix it. When I tell this story to people nowadays most of them respond with disbelief that I could have ever had a bad temper. I am cool as a cucumber.
But I don’t want to be a cucumber in BJJ! I need to be aggressive and work my game instead of settling into other people’s games. This is hard for me. I get really worried about making my partners uncomfortable when I get aggressive. I worry about hurting them physically, I worry about making them feel bad if I submit them, I worry they won’t want to roll with me anymore. The problem is that I am not worrying about me and my game when I do this.
I am trying to change my thinking about this. We are all actively engaged in a combat sport right? I know that there is always risks when I roll and I need to accept that my partners know this as well. I am not going to actively try to hurt anyone but it’s time to take my game to the next level and this means I have to stop holding back my aggression. It’s time to unleash the beast.
*I promise that I did not physically harm her and in my defense she was really aggravating as a child