Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

So this job means that I travel a lot. This means that I spend lots of time by myself in strange places probably looking like I don't know where I am going. This makes me nervous. So I was driving home from MA to Philly and having one of my "what are you doing with your life?" conversations with myself and I realized how deeply uncomfortable/afraid I am with even the thought of physical confrontation.

Those of you know me, I'm not a real hugger. I mean if I have known you for years, I can hug it out with the best of them, but that whole social "hi" hug thing that people are wont to do? Hell no. Back up bitches. There are all sorts of reasons for this, some benign, but some reasons are true malignancies. Thus, given that my life goal is to live fully present, mindful and unafraid as consistently as possible, it became clear to me that this fear would need to be addressed. Enter Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is essentially learning how to street fight in a safe environment and I stress safe. I've only had three classes, but given that we are practicing choke holds and submission poses and I haven't freaked out, the level of safe this place achieves is amazing to me. That said, today we did choke holds and it was uncomfortable. It is disconcerting to be thinking in terms of protecting your throat and keeping your hands up in front of your face etc. It is more than disconcerting really. I knew I was afraid of physical confrontation. I can't even watch realistic scenes of violence on television or in movies. Even knowing that did not prepare me for the overwhelming sensation of "I don't want to know this" that happens when someone is lightly choking me. Seriously, it must be some sort of significant human defect to essentially feel more comfortable with the idea of getting attacked and getting knocked out or killed, than deal personally with the violent aggression necessary to defend oneself. And anyone who has seen me drive knows I do not lack aggression!

So I suck at it, but I'm going to keep going and I am going to hope that is the right thing and what I learn really does help me achieve my goal.

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