Category Archives: Girl Power

Yoga and Jiu Jitsu – oh dear..

buddha-faceBefore I started Jiu Jitsu, I tried my hand at Yoga.

Big mistake.

I know that there are many people out there that swear by Yoga and I did hope that it might be able to help me deal with losing mom. (#cancerblows)

My fellow dance moms being the amazing supporters that they are….laughed when they heard I was going to give it a go. ¬†Many a smirky comment flew around the room (not that I would expect anything less from a Spaniard’s sense of humor ūüôā ). ¬†Truth is, I simply do not have the personality required to be serious at yoga and they know it.

Still, one of them joined me on my little test case.  We purchase a 5-session intro pack, grab our mats (dad had already purchased one for me years back when he attemdownloadpted to get me into Yoga) Рwater bottle in hand, hair tied back and off we go! (Did you know pedicures
are must in Yoga too?!! There was no way I was taking my socks off today!!
)

It begins as Monste is driving us to the Yoga studio near Jane and Dundas in Toronto. ¬†Have you ever driven in Toronto on a Saturday?! ¬†It’s crazy!! ¬†She calmly tells me to keep an eye out for a parking spot. ¬†Car after car whizzing by me. ¬†I get dizzy and my eyes begin to tear from extreme lack of blinking caused by being on the lookout. ¬†dear-urban-diplomat_street-parking-spot-hogging-neighbours

Finally!!  A Spot!

“Monste! ¬†Quick!! ¬†There is one!!”

She frantically spins the steering wheel and masterfully swings the car into a beautiful spot just beside the building.

All smiles, we enter the building. ¬†Walk up 5 flights of stairs….i couldn’t catch a breath by the time we were upstairs – and I am still expected to follow through with yoga? ¬†Seriously?!

Onwards march…we pay for our intro pack…get the mini-tour…and now we are on the mat. ¬†Apparently what we signed up for was Vinyasa – where there is no down time between poses, they make your heart beat at a steady pace and something about breathing in beat of the …..

That I didn’t understand. ¬†Each time the instructor told me to hold a pose for 8, I could not for the life of me figure out what that meant.

So there I am, butt in the air, hoping to the good lord that the man in front of me did not have kidney beans for dinner last night Рand I am holding for 8.  But exactly what 8?

8 minutes?styles-and-types-of-yoga

8 songs?

8 weeks?

Someone in the room should really stop smoking. ¬†Their breathing is very, very heavy…

Wait a minute….the whole room is taking deep breaths! ¬†The music has a voice over of breaths! ¬†I got it! I got it!! ¬†Hold for 8 BREATHS!!

I am obviously doing waaaay too much thinking throughout this whole session. ¬†Did I mention it was 90 minutes long?? ¬†I really should read the fine print when I get myself into these situations. ¬†Geez…

Now I am watching the clock because a) my body is really starting to ache; b) the hot flashes have started and I am pretty sure based on all the condensation on the windows, it’s about 200C in the room and c) we have to go pick up the girls from dance.

I am panicking.  Monste is also watching the clock now.bus-chronicles-part-6

Time’s up! We run out of the studio to grab the girls, only to find out there is a parking ticket on the window!! ¬†Now we are late for pick up, the girls are frantically texting us – their instructors want to go home too!!

Long story, short….needless to say signing up long term was not in the cards – the stress of going to Yoga was too much.

And what is with the ‘OoooooooHhhhhhMmmmmmm’ at the end of the sessions?!?! ¬†I simply could not keep it together any longer, my snickering got louder each time I heard it.

Fast forward into Jiu Jitsu…

As I begin to advance, I am learning you need to supplement other forms of exercise or stretching with Jiu Jitsu.  You need it to improve upon your game.

Maybe that specific yoga class was not for me, as long as I know some of the stretches that I can incorporate it into my warm-up routine at Jiu Jitsu, I’ll be ok. ¬†Plus the days in between my training, it feelsimages¬†good to pull the kinks out of my body in the privacy of my own home.
Don’t get me wrong. ¬†I am not dissing yoga and its benefits. ¬†As with everything else I do, I have to go through a trial and error process. ¬†My first exposure to it wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t the worst either. ¬†My personality requires a little more tumbling than zenning.

Here are a few websites that show how to incorporate Yoga into Jiu Jitsu and you can do them at home.

Top 13 Yoga Poses for Jiu Jitsu

5 Yoga Poses that will improve your Jiu Jitsu

Yoga workout for Jiu Jitsu with Prof. Flavio Almeida With Fightmaster Yoga

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Girls just wanna have fun!

I love how Cyndi Lauper twists her dad’s arm behind him because whether it is a girl going out dancing or rolling around on the mat, truth is…Girls just wanna have fun!

Last night was an amazing class learning sweeps but most of all, it was the first time that as I lost control of my leg, I immediately realized that I made a mistake and instantly knew I was about to lose the spar. ¬†Just as quickly, I felt my opponent’s arm swipe right under my chin putting me in a rear naked choke hold.

How awesome was that?! ¬†I was so proud of both of us – me for recognizing my mistake and knowing I was going down…her because she caught it and knew how to take me down. (Now I have to learn how to escape this hold) Way to go Shari!! ¬†We got this!!

Best of all, my baby girl caught it all on film….

Watch how in a few brief moments, all these fears, frustrations, anxiety and learning since we started 4 months ago….all come to me tapping out fast all the while us smiling.

Enjoy!! ¬†We definitely did…

girlsjustwannahavefun

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A day of firsts..

First class32698-just-take-the-first-step-506x300 of 2017.

First time going to a day class.

First time going to a beginner/adult combination class.

First time meeting yet another whole group of grapplers.

First time I felt no intimidation walking onto the mat!!  (Yay me!)

Best of all, first time I actually felt the challenge to want to earn my first stripe.

All thanks to the lovely ladies I met today. They made me feel so much a part of the family but so do all the other members of Atos.  What set these ladies apart was how in one swift second they made me feel like I could actually master this thing called Jiu Jitsu.

As a white belt, I am not allowed to go to any other classes except the beginner classes until I have earned my first stripe.  There is this tremendous calmness in my mind after spending an hour on the mat,  I am in no rush for anything more.

Walking into the studio today, I was immediately welcomed as if they knew me from before. Instantly any trepidation that I might have felt, disappeared. ¬†I didn’t even have time to think about my fear.

Now it’s time for me to get my Gi on..I run into the change room and throw it all on. ¬†Can you believe it only took me a minute to get ready? ¬†And….I remembered to tie the knot of my pants on the side instead of the front.

Uhhmmm….wait a minute….

…am I actually dressed, belt looped properly, pants staying on, hair in a proper knot, no jewelry …on the mat ready to learn – and my heart is not palpitating at a bajillion beats per second????? ¬†Is it possible that this is another first?! ¬†Yep….I am good. ¬†In control. ¬†I can do this…

Time to find partners to practice drilling – I think I will go find one of the ladies….

Ah….nope…15823468_10210089816656483_6166463195236787440_n

Professor Riccardo partners me up with a black belt.  Yes, you read correctly.  A black belt.

Gulp!!

How close am I to the door? Can I make a run for it?

This gentleman turns, smiles at me and says….are you ready?

What is going on with me today??!! ¬†My response to him was….yes! ¬†¬†(Here I am – practicing today’s new drill – learning how to grip.)

Professor P***l (I’ve learned that Black belts are referred to as Professor)¬†was great. ¬†We both practiced what we learned today. ¬†I noticed that even though he is a black belt and I a white – he too was (re-)learning new things. ¬†Then¬†we talked about the sport of Jiu Jitsu and how it is a gentle sport. ¬†As we were practicing these moves and I was spending more time on just trying to remember all the techniques, he commented on that he felt that chess_30759people who took Jiu Jitsu are really smart because of the constant thinking required with every move (he wasn’t saying that others who do different things are not but that Jiu Jitsu is like a game of strategy, you have to try and figure out your opponent’s next move so as not to get caught in his or her hold.)

I am in his closed guard and trying to…. (truth is I don’t even know what I was doing) …

Woah!!! Did he just say that people who are drawn to Jiu Jitsu are smart?  Does that include me??? Does that make me smart too Рam I not in a Gi practicing drills?!?

With a smile across my face, I focused even harder.

Class is over, I am elated just by watching the higher belts roll and master their moves.  They are laughing and smiling, their energy is contagious.  I am sitting on the sidelines when it dawns on me that for the first time, I actually want to get in on that action.

I feel like that awkward teenage girl sitting on the sidelines of the dance floor and no one is asking me to dance.  I giggle to myself.  Realizing that I have just broken a level of my fears РI am no longer content with simply watching Рnow I want to be one of them.

What a great class today.

Off to change and without a missed beat, the ladies whom I have now known for a total of 20 seconds, make me feel like a million bucks.  They want me to join them in the adult classes but I quickly remind them I can only go to the beginners one.

They didn’t even flinch. ¬†With all confidence, they told me it won’t take me long –¬†15871223_10210083757104998_1985816496_n

Now…they have given me an injection of empowerment and I no longer ‘think’ I can do this but ‘know’ I can.

This is how you ladies made me feel today. ¬†Thank you for being such a tremendous support…see you on the mat tomorrow!

 

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Women empowering women…

The one thing I am finding it difficult to locate are Jiu Jitsu technique resources that include women who are in their 40s and up.  I did however find this very inspiring page of women who changed the look of Jiu Jitsu Рthank you for posting this.

63593256011014856976459976_cover-photoIt is true, Jiu Jitsu is a male dominated arena but weren’t so many other arenas also solely male dominated at one point?

As I enter the year 2017, I did a little historical background on women who broke the mold.


The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada
 Рis the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice of Canada and the longest serving Chief  Justice of Canada in history.

‚ÄĘ

Viola Desmond Рthe first woman to be gracing the face of our Canadian bill, thriving entrepreneur and defender of human rights and social justice

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Ronda Rousey – first woman to break the glass ceiling in MMA,¬† earned olympic medal status in Judo and is currently the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion – all under the age of 30. ¬†A survivor of domestic violence, you should read her massive list of accomplishments, instead of allowing the media to focus on her last UFC fight loss.

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Madame C.J. Walker Рfirst black american female self-made millionaire as a hairdresser. (She is definitely my idol!)  As an entrepreneur,  she has led the way for what the hair industry looks like today.

‚ÄĘ

Valentina Tereshkova Рfirst woman in space;  Manon Rhéaume Рfirst woman in NHL; Hedy Lamarr Рinvented the original hopping technology theory now known as bluetooth; Stephanie Louise Kwolek Рdiscovered  liquid crystalline polymers, which resulted in the product Kevlar; Mary Anderson Рinvented the windshield wiper

‚ÄĘ

There are also some very empowered women that are not listed in Wikipedia and they rzwould be my amazingly strong girlfriends. ¬†Amongst them a medical technologist who runs 15-20kms almost everyday, a vice principal who earned brown belt in Judo, a nurse whose leg has been amputated and is waiting for it to heal so she can go back to Jiu Jitsu, ¬†a stay-at-home mom who has a tumor in her brain but doesn’t give up, ¬†a high school hospitality teacher who trains in Circus Aerobics, my mom who fought cancer for 17 years lived life to the fullest until the end and so many more, a very long list to name individually but definitely not forgotten.

These are the women who give me the most strength. ¬†Women who don’t judge me for my sins. ¬†Will put me in my place if my bullsh*t gets out of hand. Who raise my spirits in a glass with ice & lemon slices, will hold my hair when too many spirits have been ingested.

But never once will these amazing women ever crush my will to strive to advance myself.

These are the types of women I¬†look up to….especially¬†in those moments that I feel defeated.

My way of making it through life is all fire and spit – not always by choice and most often¬†exhausting¬†but how else can I move ahead especially when I have a set of young eyes that watches my every move. ¬†If I stop striving to be better each day, then don’t I teach my daughter that it is ok to just give up?

So ladies, it matters not what your walk of life is or what your choice of training shoes are….always strive to be better than you were yesterday. ¬†Never let anyone tell you that just because you are a woman that you can not do something.

I was not raised that way – remember wanting to go to university so badly because I wanted to be an interpreter50s-housewife¬†– i was 16 and able to easily speak 5 different languages without formal study but being told that girls don’t go to university. ¬†That it is a man’s priority to become educated so that he can care for his family. ¬†Women get married, stay home and learn to cook, clean, iron, sew, raise babies….I learned it and I am proud that I know how – it is simply not what defines who I am.

Don’t get me wrong. ¬†I don’t blame my parents for this way of thinking. ¬†I blame society.

Now I speak out. ¬†I tell my daughter, my students and any adult that listens….go out there and conquer what scares you most. ¬†Achieve everything you have been told you could never achieve – female or male, young or old, ¬†never let anyone make you feel less than what you are…ever.

On that note, I am going to keep searching for videos that include women rolling in Jiu Jitsu and if I cannot find them, I’ll bet I can find women that will help me record them so we can post them. Pura Atos Hamilton is very inclusive of women, men and children in their programs. ¬†I am sure they would love to help women empower women.

Thank you Pura for introducing Jiu Jitsu to me and providing an arena where I can succeed.

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What exactly is a Gi?

My friends are such sweethearts. ¬†They have been reading along through my posts and when they come over, they see my Gi (pronounced Gee ) on the drying rack, the list of techniques on my fridge door and they smile. ¬†“You have really taken to Jiu Jitsu, haven’t you Yolanda?”
15672693_10209958688138352_3068036641739030588_n

My soul brightens up a little more….responding with a very calm and serene…Yes.

My students, my friends Рthey have noticed a change in me.  Some have gone so far as to say that they have noticed a small weight loss (my scale says otherwise unfortunately) but most have told me the same thing.  How much calmer I am these days.

So now my friends are curious showing additional support in my journey and they want to learn more. ¬†Hence the current question and one that inspired me to write an entire post on…what exactly is a Gi?

I know I had no idea the first time I heard that I had to wear one if I wanted to get into Jiu Jitsu more seriously.

My first thought was whether or not they had a size big enough for me – would it even fit in all the right places?!?

I remember how nervous with excitement I was when I purchased it.  I was actually shaking.  There were some men in the room, all wearing theirs, they looked like they had just finished a training session.

Professor PJ handed mine from the back room, I didn’t even get to choose my own. ¬†Coach Joel told me to quickly try it on, you can read about that whole experience if you wish.

Not having had a chance to wash it prior to training, I put it on right out of the bag. ¬†BIG MISTAKE! ¬†I couldn’t stand the smell of it. ¬†I felt sooooo uncomfortable, it was stiff, the belt would not keep looped….all in all, I hated it.

But I had to wear it…3 weeks later, I love it. ¬†It has become a garment that makes me feel empowered.

Strong.

Protected.

Safe.

But what is it about this garment that we have to wear them? Let’s see what my research brings up:

According to Wikipedia: Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi I can wear a patch so long as it is in the designated areas Рjust not sure if it can be a cancer ribbon or if it must be something directly related to BJJ.

Why is it called a Gi and not a Kimono?¬† – “The word ‚Äúgi‚ÄĚ derives from ‚Äúkeikogi‚ÄĚ which means training gear.”

The JiuJitsuBrotherhood web site offers this article to help you choose your next Gi.

A Gi is not cheap Рthey range anywhere from $100 -$200 depending on the fabric type and the quality of the material.  So be sure to take care of your Gi.

A beginners guide is offered by BJJSports. ¬†I learned by experience why you need to wear a Gi and/or rash gear – when I ended up with about a 3-inch bruise on my arm. ¬†I didn’t even get hit, it simply happened because I was sweating and my opponent’s finger slide off my arm. ¬†Gotta say though, I was pretty proud of my very first bruise. ¬†I think I showed every one of my friends thereby¬†solidifying their¬†thoughts that I may be entering senility. ¬†

I have learned that there is a training etiquette – which I see in play on the mat but I didn’t quite understand.

The holy grail!!!  I think I have just come across one extremely informative website for White Belts!!

Hands with teacupOk…I see I have a lot of reading ahead of me now….

Hopefully I have provided at least one thing that you can learn from, if I did, then it was worth waking up this morning. ¬†If not, read on – I’m sure you will find something.

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I am a Bad Mom!

 

Its 6am and I wake up with a terrible fright…….the “tooth fairy” fell asleep!!! ¬†OMG!! ¬†Run! Run! ……NNOOOOOOOO!!!! Tip toe quietly….damned the squeaky hardwood floor!!zahnfee-muenze-tooth-fairy-coin-8-1-1

The ‘tooth fairy’ has just placed the money on the night table and as she grabs the tooth, hears a sleepy voice….”Mama, are you the tooth fairy?”

I’m sooooo busted! ¬†My response, you ask?

“Shhhhhh, mi ni√Īa (my baby girl), you’re dreaming..go back to sleep.”

And I RUN out the door, heart pounding!  I am such a bad mom, I  just ruined the tooth fairy for her plus I LIED TO MY BABY GIRL!!

Then there was the time where we had Princess Goldie.  A blue fighter fish.  Who lived for 6 months. Want to know how I kept her alive for so long?  $$$ Рyes, money.
Every time Princess Goldie would swan dive out of the bowl, or her belly swell up from too much of my 6 year old over feeding her or whatever crazy reason she would float to the top, I would fly to the pet store (aka drive, I only use my broomstick when it is warm outside)

One time, Princess Goldie turned red overnight. ¬†“Mama, why is she red?” ¬†Me: “Because mi ni√Īa, the fish doctor gave me medicine to feed her and it turned her red”

This in turn caused my baby to be maybe just a little afraid to take medicine that was the color red Рgrape flavour it was! 

Unbeknownst to my baby, the final Princess Goldie was the 6th generation of Goldies (even t5916043393_277e05267f_bho they were all blue, except the one that was red)…and yes, I did tell her that the medicine was temporary, and that is why she turned blue again.

Last week, she and I are sitting at the dinner table. ¬†Eating dinner that she had prepared and she was reminiscing about her fish. ¬†I started giggling and said, “my goodness, I can’t believe how many times I ran out to replace that fish!”

The look of shock on her face!!  Her jaw dropped!!  Speechless she was!!

…and it caused me to jump into a fit of laughter, tear jerking belly laughter….

I am a bad mom.  All these years, and she still believed my stories!

I am a really, really bad mom….

Parenting is really hard. ¬†For years, I kept hoping that maybe my doctor just simply forgot to pull out the instruction manual out of me while delivering my baby….or maybe I misplaced it because I am no Martha Stewart. ¬†My house always seems to be in disarray – except for about 5 minutes after I clean. ¬†Why is my cat is the only one who always misses the litter to pee?? ¬†It always seems the other mom’s prepare healthy lunches for their kids, have time to go to PTA meetings and for pete’s sake, what is it with the mom’s that always have perfect hair, makeup and nails??!! ¬†Can I ever be early for anything???Why am I always rushing from place to place, only to always be 15 minutes late???!!!!

My baby makes her own lunches and does her own laundry. She knows how to sew and cook. We argue … a lot.

But isn’t that what we are supposed to do? ¬†Have I not provided an environment where she feels safe to test her limits and boundaries.

She tells me that she loves hanging out with me because I make every outing15781662_10210059676342994_4474866693942926763_n a memorable one. ¬†We laugh…all…the ….time….

Last night, for the first time ever, we went to Nathan Philip Square to skate. ¬†What better time than on New Year’s Eve for Canada’s 150th birthday party. ¬†As we skated around the rink, she held¬†my hand and¬†didn’t let go. ¬†My heart swelled.

Yes. ¬†I am a bad mom….and damned proud of it!!

What does any of this have to do with Jiu Jitsu?  737307_4676440863544_831045141_oNo clue.

But I do know that I must be doing something right, when my teenager loves hanging out with me and what better way to bring in the new year, except with my baby girl by my side.  She is my cheerleader.

I love you to the moon and back¬†mi ni√Īa!!

(Thank you Emilia for planning this fantastically fun NYE 2017-another Bad Mom and proud of it!)

15825794_10210059677063012_4858176110040419484_n

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2017 Resolutions? or Goals?

I am going to go out there and say, I don’t truly have any resolutions.

The reason for this is because it puts too much pressure on me. ¬†I don’t just say ‘this year I am going to do xyz’ because you know it won’t happen.

What I have learned I need to say is, today.  Today I will accomplish 1 goal even if that goal is simply to get out of bed.

I have set a goal for myself that each day I write something inspiring or empowering in this blog. ¬†I find it helps quiet the 14 voices in my head once I’ve jotted down my thoughts. ¬†There is a lot less competition for space inside my head since I’ve started.

My next goal, which I actually set almost 4 months ago, is Jiu Jitsu.

Not because I have any crazy idea of earning belt levels but because it helped m15726225_10210042531554385_1664723086574090121_ne achieve the first goal I set for myself the first day in self-defense class.  That day my goal was to make it through the front door.  Mission accomplished!

My goals for every new trigger I hit are always….just make it through the door, then get my Gi on, then make it to the mat. ¬†Most of these goals are not always obtainable. ¬†My anxieties at times win but I can proudly say that making it through the door has had a 99% rate of return. ¬†The people at Pura Atos provide that environment for me. ¬†They have created a safe haven for women like myself to return time and time again.

First time attending Open Mat especially did that for me this week. ¬†15589994_10209975092348447_2708350135045625439_nIf it isn’t intimidating enough to walk into a room full of men, try doing that as a white belt (male or female) when the rest of them are all blue belt and above. ¬†You know they could crush you in an instant.

Instead, they smiled at me as I hovered low in my safe corner while I watched them roll.  I was proud of myself that I could actually see moves I recognized Рeven though I can never remember what they are called.

Griffin was awesome teaching me a new arm bar and a triangle lock Рthough it was kind of amusing that the length of my leg was the length of his arm and I was supposed to grab him in a leg lock.  Talk about my flailing arms and legs everywhere, at least my pedicure looked good Рand yes, I remembered to shave this time, now if I can only remember to stop pointing my toes and keeping my feet flat!  (Thank you Griffin, I wish you and your wife all the best during the delivery of your new baby soon)

Poor Brad – I turned him down twice – sorry about that, don’t take it personal. ¬†I’ve just been watching you all and I know I am not capable of giving you a challenging roll – yet. ¬†You’d have to stop and teach me and that’s not right either, nor do I expect it.

Anthony taught me about taping and why guys do it.

As for the rest of the guys that offered to roll with me, thank you for making me feel like I belong and respecting my fear of even just being in the room.

As I sat in the corner of the room, using the walls as a safety net, I noticed 15747733_10210039450237354_3165903851564473238_nthat I felt a sense of calm and oneness with my Gi. ¬†Like a comforting blankie..that was a new feeling. (I wonder if I can put a small cancer ribbon patch on my Gi -in memory of my mom? ¬†I’ll have to ask if that is allowed)

Thank you kind gentlemen of Atos, for allowing me the freedom to push outside my personal limits at my own pace.  I truly appreciate that.

Oh! ¬†I forgot to mention sweet Melina, who at 15 years old green belt, is a true inspiration for young females. ¬†I dare anyone to try something on her that she doesn’t like – they won’t ever do it again. ¬†She let me practice my Pull Guard and let me throw her around a bit.

Plus Coach Joel, thank you for teaching me how to escape that wretched closed guard I hate so much and making me work for it.  That was a lot of fun.

So I guess I do have a resolution after all….

I am going to continue pushing my comfort zone limits, one baby step at a time.

 

Article:  10 Jiu-Jitsu Resolutions You Should Be Making For The New Year (And Every Day)

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On a more serious note…Domestic ViolenceÔĽŅ

Movies that depict this:¬†Safe Haven¬†–¬†Sleeping with the Enemy. ¬†Hollywood-ized but I am sure it is closer to the truth than we want to admit.

Articles:¬†Statistics in Ontario¬†–¬†¬†The Facts about Violence against Women¬†–¬†We are failing the victims of Domestic Violence¬†¬†– just to mention a few.

Support groups: how sad that there are so many just in our small city.

Depending on the woman, her strength, her support system and her will to live; some survive.

Some do not….some still live with it every – single – day.

Women go to self defense classes but there we are taught how to defend against our attacker just enough so we can run away.  The assumption is we will be attacked outside of the home yet statistics show that the number of assaults is far greater inside our home.  Our attacker tends to be more often than not, someone we know and love.

battered_woman_mainThe violence normally doesn’t start happening overnight. ¬†It takes time to wear down the victim. Time to lure her into a state of trust and slowly, a little a time, ‘the moments’ begin to occur. ¬†Sometimes she isn’t even aware that it is happening…until it is too late. ¬†She is either deep into the relationship…marriage, kids, 25 years invested; too embarrassed to tell anyone or has told people and no one believes her because she has been so good at keeping it a secret. ¬†Worse yet, police are called and they just brush it off. ¬†Swept it under the table. ¬†It’s not easy to simply walk away.

Just try and find articles on domestic violence – I’ll bet they are just as popular as the Kardashians – NOT!.

Every victim’s situation is different but all have similarities. ¬†Missed red flags.

And then, when she does manage to get out of it, the real symptoms kick in, the aftermath. ¬†The skittishness, fear of being in the presence of males, fear of intimacy, keeps everyone at arm’s length, afraid of even her own shadow – she wants to learn how to protect herself but the truth is, she is fighting the biggest battle of them all by this point – herself.

She learns to show a ‘happy mask’ to the outside world while keeping her demons inside of her. ¬†The images and memories¬†never go away. They are triggered over and over again until she learns how to calm her mind.

My dear survivors of domestic abuse, all I can say is find a way heal your soul & mind. ¬†Your bruises may have disappeared but the inside damage needs more than just a bandage. ¬†Don’t drown in drugs or alcohol. ¬†They won’t make things better long term.

Try Kickboxing or Karate. Running or Baseball. Yoga or Tai Chi.  Whatever your pleasure, just find something to calm your mind so that you can heal.

I find that when I come out of Jiu Jitsu, my mind is at peace. I cannot tell¬†you what to try, you need to find this out on your own terms. ¬†Just don’t give up on yourself!

Please, do not ever risk your life for anyone….because…

You are beautiful.

You are worth it.

You are strong.

You can survive….you already have…

Love should not hurt

As for everyone else, be respectful. You probably do not even know that they are struggling….especially during the holidays when everyone is happy and giddy.

Do not judge others for they may be fighting a fight that you are not aware of.

To all my beloved beautiful ladies who still find yourselves caught in this diabolical web, may you find the strength to survive the winter months as they tend to be a very tense time of the year for many.

…

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DNS, NamedServers and other crazy internet words

You’d think for a gal that her last position out in the field was Director of Information Technology, that it wouldn’t be so darn complicated to set up a blog.

First you have to figure out a really cool name for your blog. ¬†This took me about two weeks, asking my students and friends what their ideas might be. Some of the options were Violet’s Journey (because my name means purple violet), Trials and Tribulations of a Future Jiujiteira and some other truly sappy names. ¬†None of them really resonated with me. ¬†I mean, I’d never read something sooo …ick!1269651-bigthumbnail

I even searched up female warrior names – it just got cheesier by the second but why are their lady mounds always so emphasised in pictures??!! ¬†—-> ¬†—->

I have to admit, I did NOT come up with the name of my blog. ¬†I was chatting with a high school¬†friend of mine (isn’t that cool that we can have friends for so long?).¬†¬† Being a guy, he came up with “Death of Submission” or “Kiss of Submission” but those sounded a little too 50 shades of grey for me.

“Old and Senile” “Over 40 & BJJ” “Midlife Crisis” – with friends like him, who needs enemies?!?

“Good in a Gi” – well I am new, how can I be any good??!!

“Guy in a Gi” – last I checked….no man parts in my panties. I like being a girl…

ALAS!!!  Triumph!!

“Girl in a Gi” is born!! and the truth is, this definitely was unexpected.

Hence….Girl in a Gi – an unexpected journey

Love it!

(By the way, Julius also suggested Fat Ass in a Gi – he’s lucky he lives in Texas. ¬† My ass looks rather cute in my new Gi pants, if I don’t say so myself!)

Onwards to what blogger tool to use. Fact is, I did know WordPress is currently holding 80% of the blogger space and has this cool feature that I could someday convert this to a multi-faceted website – we will see, time will tell.

Now a template layout, then what do you want to show in your menu? How do you structure it? There is much to prepare before you even start writing – but when it is all said and done – I look at my blog with pride. ¬†I’ve never owned a blog, let alone maintained one but I am now just as proud of my blog as I am with my progress in Jiu Jitsu.

Then today at open mat, conversation started about how Coach Joel still hasn’t finished reading my blog. ¬†This peaked the interest of a couple of other fellow grapplers, they wanted to know the link – I felt honoured.

Well, I think it took me half an hour to say the full link. ¬†The free site is girlinagiblog.wordpress.com – phew, exhausting. ¬†I also learned from another friend (Thx Adam!) that Google AdSense could be something I should look into. ¬†I could actually make money off my ramblings! ¬†Who’da thunk it?!? ¬†I’ll have to figure out how that works..

Next step, let’s shorten this url – I am now the proud owner of girlinagi.com – you are welcome to share it and give constructive critisism. ¬†All I ask is if it’s negative, PM me and please, my daughter reads this blog, keep your language in the comments section at most PG14 rating. ¬†Thank you.

In a nutshell, not only did I learn how to create and setup a blog, but my writing skills are improving with each of my posts. (At least, I think so)

My road block now is becoming what to write about – I understand now what writer’s block can be. ¬†Thank goodness I have such great friends around me that help me with ideas.

Next up,new-years-day-972294_960_720 Adventures of New Year’s Eve, thanks to my beautiful life-long friend Emilia for planning it.

Can’t wait to venture out into that….

Happy New Year’s everyone!! ¬†May 2017 bring you joy and happiness to you and your loved ones…Stay safe. ¬†xo

…

PREV: Mani, Pedi and Ponytail Injuries  NEXT: On a more serious note…Domestic Violence


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Mani, Pedi and Ponytail Injuries

When I first started the self-defense class at Pura Atos Hamilton, the only previous experience I had in martial arts was the last time I signed up for a different self-defense class at a old gym I attended which lasted one class.  That was not a good experience.  It was not Jiu Jitsu based Рthere were far more strikes and jabs Рsetting off my triggers of a nasty past personal experience into high gear.

The only reason I went back a second time, many years later, was so that I can work at overcoming those instilled fears and get past them once and for all. ¬†You know that saying…close one door before opening another?

Ok then, now I am on the mat.  Surrounded by other women.  This should be ok.  No stress here, right?

3pcs-lot-manual-epilator-brand-female-safety-razor-handle-pivoting-head-shaving-blades-shave-razor-forUntil I find myself standing over top of one of the ladies and she places her hands on my legs…OMG! ¬† I forgot to shave my legs!! ¬†I lose total concentration and start to giggle at the absurdity of my anxiety all due to a few hairs! ¬†I literally feel the need to stop and apologize to my opponent. ¬†She didn’t even notice, chuckled and said don’t sweat it.

A little background, mom and dad were self-employed. Mom was a seamstress so my clothing always had to be impeccable and Dad is a barber so my hair and nails always pristine. Don’t get me wrong, my folks are by no means superficial but it was their bread and butter so I was their walking marketing billboard. ¬†Biggest reason I never leave the house without lipstick on is because it has been ingrained into me.

We are judged by what we look like within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone – unfortunately.

So now this takes me to my second incident and my very first injury at Jiu Jitsu. ¬†Ladies, when you are on your Jiu Jitsu journey, please….trim your toenails. ¬†I don’t care if you have2le33lx polish on them or not (but you should, of course) please, please, please….trim them. ¬†I was sparring with a young lady and we were actually just getting into it when this searing pain shot through my finger. ¬†I couldn’t stop because she kept coming at me but my mind shot off in every direction possible because for the life of me, I couldn’t understand where I had hurt myself. ¬†When our 2 minutes were up, I got up and had blood dripping onto my hand and t-shirt. It wasn’t until the next day, that one of my students told me I probably got cut by someone’s toenails. ¬†Really? ¬†So gross….thank goodness I cleaned it up right away.

My third incident, you ask! ¬†My gels. ¬†One of my units I teach at school is manicuring. ¬†The girls watch my every move and they always look at my hands. ¬†So I go out of my way to product-enlargedkeep them as well manicured as possible. ¬†That includes on occasion spending the money and having gels put on. ¬†(Gentlemen, don’t worry if you don’t know what this means….just think that you always always always like the look of it on a lady friend and those biker chick pics you like to look at, ya….they have them too usually) One week, my manicurist decides to ignore me when I said I wanted them shorter, I got distracted and by the time I noticed they weren’t short enough, it was too late. Oh well, they looked pretty and what harm could they do. ¬†Until….it was training night, and now I have my new Gi. ¬†We start learning Pull Guard. ¬†Notice how he grips his hands on the Gi. ¬†The Gi is made out of very strong material….not conducive to long-ish nails. ¬†Ouch!! One of the nails started to lift…’son of a balony!!’ ¬†Did that ever hurt!! ¬†Back to the manicurist…time to take these gels off.

And lastly, pony tails. ¬†I like my long hair. ¬†My hairstylist does a fantastic job, it makes me feel pretty and feminine. ¬†But…now on the mat, it really has become a royal pain in the pitootee…if I put in a pony, and my opponent sticks my head in a guillotine move, she tends to pull at my baby hairs and I can’t concentrate (not her fault, mine) pluronda-rouseys my pony gets in her way, not allowing her to place her arm in just the right position to choke. ¬†(lol, I still can’t get over that I let others do this to me!)¬†Onwards to combating with a gentleman, and he gets all frustrated because at that moment, he doesn’t have long hair and mine is
seriously in the way..so I have learned (not successfully yet) how to do a top knot. ¬†This seems to keep it tucked away without the need of clips or hairpins which you absolutely cannot wear in Jiu Jitsu. ¬†It’s a safety hazard for all parties involved.

What have I learned? Keep your hair like your butt, nice and tight.  Your nails, top and bottom, trimmed and short. Shave up to your knees. Not sure why anyone would be sticking their hands all the way up your pants, save shaving above the knee for your next date.

And most importantly above all else….

20150121_104903_Stay clean. ¬†Wash your Gi, use vinegar if necessary to get rid of that musty smell. ¬†We say the gentlemen’s …uhmm …aroma…can be offsetting but ladies, not all of us smell like roses either if we don’t maintain a water, soap and deodorant routine.

Happy grappling…

 

Other blogger’s thoughts on this topic include…

Blogger JiuJiu:  on Women and BJJ Femininity

 

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