Updated: Mar 28
So I looked up what Jui-jitsu entails...
"A bunch of blokes rolling around grasping at various man parts in hopes of domination"
I have to confess, this one I was dreading. It's taken an age to sort out this one for a variety of reasons, only one of which was a lack of looking forward to it!
I found the whole thing pretty intimidating. Firstly, me, aged forty-four, fattish and unfit felt about as self-conscious as a teenager in a mixed gender changing room. I also noticed the lack of conversation that occured between the regulars. Everyone just sort of sat around stretching avoiding eye-contact and conversation. Mind you, given how intimate it was about to get, in retrospect it was understandable. If you're about to put your face in someone's crotch, probably the less you know about them the better.
All my worst nightmares were confirmed. It really is a bunch of men who start in the missionary position, then grab at parts of the body, until they reach the advance sections of the Karma Sutra. In order to enjoy this kind of thing, one must really have no issues with personal space, and as the only woman present, I had huge issues with the idea of someone grabbing at my chest region whilst pinned to the floor. I had worried about farting in yoga, but in Jiu-Jitsu one needs to worry about farting, peeing and shitting if one carries on with any enthusiam.
In fact, after my 5k Rulk yesterday, my running around the room after twelve men, who hopped, skipped, flung arms in odd directions, and which constituted the five-minute warm up, had me pretty defeated. Once they started throwing themselves to the padded floor with an almighty thwack and squirming their way up the mats being chased by the next guy divebombing after him, I knew there was no way this was for me.
Although there was one other beginner, the rest were adorned with a variety of coloured belts and were appropriate attired. Most seem to have blue or purple belts - which I assume means they know how to throw themselves around the place without sustaining injury They seemed to be able to follow along quite well. Even the first manoevre took several minutes to demonstrate, and involved about 100 different movements. I think I'd have got more out of it if it had been a genuine beginners' class with much more clear, slow instructions and a gentle introduction. Fair play to the other beginner, twenty years odd my junior, for just cracking in with it. But at 44, with a lifetime of sustaining various injuries (mostly during my imbecilic twenties when alcohol was used as an anaesthetic), these days I am more reticent about lauching myself at surfaces, or indeed having people shunt my anatomy around the place. For goodness' sake, I injured a toe cutting my toenails the other day.
When the accompanying rock music blasted out 'Are you ready for a good time?' I decided I was, so I hopped on Fierce Fanny to console myself with a chinese take-away. Grappling chow mein with chopsticks is about as martially artistic as I get.