Lex pointed out an observation on his blog, about how people ask him what he does, and in response he just tells them that he wrestles. I can understand that, I have mentioned I do jiu jitsu and judo to people, and sometimes people seem genuinely interested, asking if it involves striking, and then are surprised when I mention that no, it’s more grappling and wrestling, that sort of thing. People usually nod politely or go, “Oh, that’s cool.”
And then there’s another kind of response: an awkward silence that happens when I mention I do BJJ and Judo. This is kind of worse in some ways, because then there’s an awkward tension in the air, like people expect me to start rattling off tournament stats, or how I like to clean my extensive gun and knife collection at night. Or better yet, that I will suddenly feel the need to demonstrate my skills and will pull some unsuspecting victim towards me and put them into some deadly choke.
I am sorry, but none of these scenarios will actually happen. So how do I break the tension? If I start to feel that tension build in the room, I tend to add,
“And I knit, too!”
That usually does the trick, occasionally I’ll substitute “knit” with “bake cookies” . I find it amusing and a little sad: I don’t feel like jiu jitsu detracts from being feminine or just another person.
Yes, I train. Yes, I am female and I grapple. But I’m still a reasonable (nice, even!) human being