“I figured out why I go so hard at you,” L said to me in the car last night. ”And why I can just let A work.”
This gave me pause, as it’s been a major source of frustration for all the girls at Atos lately– I’ve heard from nearly all of them that “the guys are being dicks and just smashing their way through everyone.” A is a blue belt and a light featherweight, and I was growling the other night about how people tend to let her work but they’ll come at me with the intent of smashing me. Not passing my guard, mind– but smashing me into submission. L and I argued about this not too long ago, and to be fair, he smashes me much less now than he did before. Regardless, there have been a lot of tears in the women’s locker room lately.
“Why is that?”
“It’s because you come so hard at me. I’m not going to just sit back and let things happen to me.”
It was at this point when my temper started to rise, but I just let him continue.
“I mean, think back to the last time we sparred. What happened?”
I thought back. The last time we sparred, I thought, you grabbed your spider guard grips so hard that even legitimate attempts to break them weren’t working. Then you put me on my back and smash passed me. Somehow I got back on top and I started trying to knee-cut you as hard as possible in a (somewhat futile) attempt to break your grips.
“I tried to break your grips.”
“Bullshit, you were dropping knees. On my face.”
Somehow, the irony of this whole situation escaped him: he comes hard at me because he doesn’t want to just “let things happen” to him, but when I come hard at him because I refuse to be held in spider guard for seven minutes, I’m met with amusement and claims that I was dropping knees on his face (I wasn’t. I know you’re reading this, and I wasn’t). I know that training with the best of the best is bound to be rife with frustrations, and for the most part I can handle it. Lately it just seems like everyone is slightly grumpy and the grumpiness is being passed down the totem pole to the smallest.
Getting smashed is not always a bad thing. I learn a lot from being smashed on. But I feel like I can’t progress when everyone’s goal seems to be to smash me and hold. It’s a source of major frustration in the gym lately. I’m sure it will pass, but until then I refuse to feel bad for knee-cutting guys harder than strictly necessary.