Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jiu-jitsu no-gi worlds

This was in November, I think?  I went just to check it out.  Jiu-jitsu is a great sport for heterosexual men, as you can see.


Anonymous said...

Your point being that any physical contact between two men is "kinda gay?" That's pretty childish--and frankly homophobic. What about a hug? Do straight men not hug? I guess you think you're making fun of macho ridiculousness--but really you're just reinforcing ridiculous ideas about what is and isn't proper for men to do--i.e., anything that might "seem gay."

erin said...

Hmmm. Maybe I should have prefaced the quip with a longer explanation about how I spend about 10 hours grappling every week, that I have completely fallen in love with the sport. I guess I just figured the people reading my blog know this about me, so it didn't need to be said. But I'm happy to clarify.

And, as someone who actually DOES grapple - it's a little odd. I'm usually grappling with guys, and it takes a certain amount of focus to get in the zone where I'm really thinking ONLY about technique and figuring out how to fight. There are some moves (like North-South, which is basically when you wrap your legs around someone's neck and sit on their face) that I feel awkward about no matter what. And as someone who does the sport, and does it cleanly, I know that undivided focus is real. And not so hard to access.

Nobody in my classes ever really talks about whether they find the grappling uncomfortable, probably because if we talked about it very much it would only get more awkward. Honestly, I always feel a little guilty because I know my presence in the class makes it that much harder to build a wall between touching and fighting.

But it's one of the funny things about grappling - the MMA classes I take in particular; jiu-jitsu not so much - that it attracts a very macho, very *homophobic* crowd of people, and yet the sport doesn't seem to trigger their homophobia.

In any case, I'm not talking about "any physical contact" - I'm talking about "wrapping your legs around someone's waist" or "straddling someone's chest" or "pressing your whole front along their whole back while hooking your legs around their thighs". It's extensive physical contact. I'm not saying it's kinda gay - I'm saying that it's kinda erotic. In other circumstances, it would be really, really erotic.

It's just kinda fascinating. That's all.

erin said...

NB: I got sick and had to skip classes for a couple of weeks. Taking a break from grappling, and coming back to it, always requires an adjustment period - it takes a couple of days before it feels simple and natural again.

Clearly I'm addressing my own issues by filtering it through another lens - maybe everyone else has the same moments of discomfort that I do. Maybe they don't. Who knows.