“Awkward Pt. 2”
by Lauren LaCourse (Blogger, WBBJJ.com)
Recently I wrote a blog, aptly named Awkward, about the “intimacies” involved in rolling with members of the opposite sex. Most of that blog was written from a completely feminine point of view. I talked about what it was like for us BJJ ladies to roll with you strapping BJJ lads, and some of the struggles (the awkward ones anyway) that my become involved. I should have taken into consideration how difficult and uncomfortable it might be for you guys to roll with us girls. I realized this when I received an email from one of our WBBJJ.com readers named Joe.
“Hey Lauren! Just read your article on White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I am happy to know that women like you are out there who understand that things like that happen with dudes. It was quite encouraging to me.
Some guys try to show off or show dominance when rolling with a girl. I dislike this attitude and thoroughly try to avoid it. I consider myself pretty good about it (rolling with girls). My instructors usually get me to work with girls because I cut myself off from this [attitude].
However, and I’d hope I can get your perspective on this, when doing techniques that require you to place hands on the chest, is there a way to go about it so it doesn’t seem like I’m groping the lady I am rolling with without compromising learning the technique?”
After reading Joe’s email, I realized how difficult it must be sometimes for you men to effectively roll with us ladies, and still maintain the sense of decency expected from any courteous and respectful adult. I was, after this epiphany, instantly grateful for those men that I roll with on a daily basis and those men rolling with and helping us women along on our BJJ journey.
As a “Thank You”, I promise to answer any questions you may have about rolling with us women, and to offer my advice for those situations where you have been wondering what it is exactly that you should do. Joe’s question is a perfect one to start.
I discussed this question with a few of my female rolling partners and I have finally settled on an answer that should help you guys out. So you’re wondering, “Where the heck am I supposed to put my hands when I’m told to place them in a place that is normally inappropriate, such as when drilling armbars from the mount?” I remember the first time my instructor called out those instructions. I looked over to my male partner, who could hardly look me in the eye, and braced myself for an awkward drilling session. And boy, it was awkward. However I soon found an answer, and after going over it with my female confidante’s, I was finally able to put it in terms that should make things a bit easier. I must ask you in advance to forgive me for my candidness.
A female’s chest is divided into three parts that for our purposes here we will term them, “top boob, actual boob and bottom boob.”
Top Boob – the flat area of a female’s chest between the clavicle line and the top of the boobs.
Actual Boob – that one’s pretty self-explanatory.
Bottom Boob – the area from the bottom of the boobs to the end of the rib cage.
When your instructor says to place your hands on the chest, when it comes to us ladies, your safest bet is to place your hands on the “top boob”. The “top boob” is actually not boob at all. The sturdiest part of a woman’s chest is where her ribs are coming together at the sternum. This will keep her from any pain that would come if you pressed down onto her “actual boob”, and it will provide you with the strongest base that you are going to find in that region.
Now you might be wondering, well why not the “ol’ bottom boob”? The thing about the “bottom boob” is this, if your hands were to slip up or forward, this would result in the accidental “boob scoop”; which is painful as well as awkward. Trust me.
Like I said, “top boob” is your friend. It is your safety zone and mine.
We females are just as uncomfortable and worried about accidental groping as you men are. We slip up too! So if it does happen, as long as your partner is understanding and it wasn’t on purpose, this should not be any problem at all.
BJJ is a sport that demands close physical contact. This is the nature of the art, and most women understand that when they sign up.
I hope articles like these will help. I appreciate that there are men out there not only supporting us women and treating us like equals, but also being understanding and considerate when our differences become apparent. This goes for you ladies out there rolling with the guys too. It isn’t always an easy thing to do, but I’m grateful that we all continue to practice together in spite of those brief uncomfortable situations.
As promised, if any of you ever have any questions at all, feel free to contact me through Facebook, Email, or Twitter. I will follow up with you as soon as possible. I appreciate you all! Good luck, and keep on rollin’.
This blog post was written by Lauren LaCourse
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