Overall, I’m slow to anger in jiu jitsu. I did get angry at one guy who, despite me telling him to SLOW DOWN repeatedly during rolling, kept whipping his feet super quickly by my black eye. That made me angry. So did the guy who I felt like I had to actually FIGHT when we rolled. Two instances in four years is not a bad number!

The things that keep me sane and calm are knowing that GENERALLY my training partner doesn’t WANT to hurt me, people aren’t usually TRYING to be douchebags, and new people don’t USUALLY know they’re going too hard or too rough.

However, there are two methods of bypassing sensibleness in me and bringing forth my inner She Hulk.

I really do love She Hulk

I really do love She Hulk

1. INTENTIONALLY GET ME DIRTY

This is just bad behavior. I’m talking about women wearing makeup, people who KNOW they’re bleeding, and people who know their feet are dirty. When I get done rolling and I find your blood, makeup or feet dirt on my white gi, and I KNOW you knew about it, I get angry. I mean really – COME ONE! If you KNOW you’re bleeding, sit out – don’t KNOWINGLY get blood on me. And makeup? I mean, I understand if you oops forgot about it, but if you intentionally wear makeup to class and get it on my gi, I will be pissed. And the guy who said–right before we rolled–“Oh sorry, my feet are dirty.” REALLY?

That’s just plain rude. And gross. And you effed up my gi. Every time I see that stain, I’m going to silently curse your name. Not really. But sort of.

I promise I’ve never actually punched someone in BJJ. Okay once.
You wouldn't like me when I was angry.

You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Also, this green makeup WILL get all over your gi, so you are welcome to curse my name if I show up on the mats and roll with you like this.

2. ACCUSING ME OF NOT TRYING

Only once have I been accused of not trying, and I will admit I had a very over-the-top reaction of anger from that. There are some times when I really am trying hard, but it’s not working. When I feel stupid, I laugh. I sometimes (okay most of the time) am very awkward. If you try to pull a de la Riva guard on me, you WILL knock me over – and it’s a huge challenge for me to maintain my balance when we are practicing dlr moves in class.

Just because someone is doing poorly and not following your instructions and is laughing does NOT mean they are not trying. It might mean that they don’t understand. It might mean they cannot get their body to do what they are trying to get it to do.

For example, the other day in class I was paired up with the Big Guy. My instructor told me to get him in side control. I did, and then he kept saying “Get your hips down” – and it wasn’t until after that I realized I didn’t know if he meant toward the floor (he did) or toward the guy’s hip (he didn’t). I really was trying, I just didn’t understand.

Must. Control. Anger.

Must. Control. Anger.

It is nearly impossible to say that someone is not trying. Yes, we can take it to the extreme and if someone has spaghetti arms and is pulling an exasperated-teenager on you, then no, they’re not trying. Aside from that, without input from the person (Keep trying! I can’t!) it really is impossible for you to determine if someone is TRYING or not. You can make observations, but TRYING is mental and unless you have the mind-reading trait, you cannot accurately judge whether or not someone is trying.

So, say what you will about my technique – that’s something you can concretely observe and judge, but do not judge what you cannot see – my emotions, my mental condition, or how hard I am trying, or how much something means to me. That is for me to judge. If you want to know about it, ask. Don’t tell me what I do or don’t feel.

Again, THANKFULLY these incidents are few and far between – in the last four years, I have had one woman get makeup on me, two dudes try to start rolling with me while they knew they were bleeding, one dude with filthy feet, and one person accuse me of not trying. Five in four years – not a bad average. Other than that, jiu jitsu is mostly happy times and secret cries!

Yep, that's me as Shulkie!

Yep, that’s me as Shulkie! 2007.

Jiu Jiu’s Question: What things get you riled up really quickly?