Friday, March 12, 2010

Man vs Woman

Tonight I grappled a guy for the first time who is roughly my height, but has about 20 pounds on me, and according to our instructors, we are of the same skill level.  We both have three stripes.  I've always wondered how I would fair against a man of my size.  I have been told probably 100 times that a man of my relative size and skill level would probably beat me just due to the strength difference.  Tonight, that theory was proven right... and I am just going to go with it.  lol

He pretty much owned me.  Or at least I felt like he did.  Allie claims it did not look that way, but it sure felt like ownage.  He was just SO fast... I felt like I could do nothing to stop him save getting a knee in.  (I was able to defend all his submissions, but I don't think I could ever stop defending long enough to go for one myself.)  And he just flipped clean out of my butterfly guard twice.  The third time, I kind of expected it so I could kind of stop him.  Normally, if someone tries to flip out of my butterfly guard like that, I just sink my hooks extra deep and go with them to mount, or if nothing else stop them. (this is on someone who is around my skill level, obviously I'm not stopping a brown belt or even blue belts with my hooks) .... but not tonight.

Now, he wasn't mean, or anything like that when we grappled he was just bigger, stronger and faster... and it sure felt like, more skilled.

But either way, I am going to chalk it up to him being a man  Cop out?.. perhaps... but whatever, it makes me feel better.  =)


  1. While I'm usually reluctant to generalize, I have seen women fare very well against men.
    Strength is a difference but women tend to be much more flexible and capable of negating that potential advantage.

    It doesn't read to me like you got dominated. I just get the impression that you played a more defensive game.

  2. Perhaps I did play a more defensive game, and honestly that does tend to be more how I play anyway...( I got injured several times pretty early on, and got in the habit of defending said injuries) and I know I need to work more on my submissions and top game, but still... I was hoping to fare better against him.

    When I go against a much bigger guy, I know I have a much harder time sweeping them, and forget submissions. There is one white belt who has almost 100 pounds on me, and I have to get the sweep EXACTLY right to even budge him.. And even then, it is still difficult for me. And of course there are a few muscling white belts who when they try to submit me, there is NOTHING I can do to stop them. I can't stop 200+ pounds of man ripping an arm out for an armbar no matter how correctly I defend... unless I am lightening quick with my roll out. I have to get all the way out before their back hits the mat or my elbow is popped. That doesn't happen often, but it has happened enough times for me to know big men can do with me what they want. I know I am still a white belt, and perhaps that will change in time, but for the time being I get my tap hand ready when I go with big guys. This mostly applies more to size then sex though. I suppose a muscular 200 pound woman could do the same thing.

    Anyways, let me end my totally long winded side track rant about giant men and get to my point. He is a guy who is my size-ish. I was just hoping to do a little better against than I did. The one thing I can say for sure though is he was MUCH faster than I am.

  3. I disagree. I think your game is very good and well calculated; your anticipation for a sweep or guard pass . Yes I did pass your guard a couple of times but even then, it wasn’t as easy as you make it out to be. You defended quite well and I was surprised by how well you move. Size does make a difference (for me at least at this point) until I can polish my technique which is actually what I am working on. Being a smaller guy (155 pounds), I have to compensate with technique for the bigger USDA prime beef 200+ guys. That’s what I like about Fabio, he will match you w/ different weighs, it improves your game b/c you can’t use strength in that situation. It’s all work in progress…can’t wait to roll w/ you again. We will improve and advance together. That was fun.

  4. Rhee! LOL I was wondering if yo would see this since you said you saw my blog, and then I blogged about you the same night! haha

    Thank you for your compliments, and btw I never once felt like you were muscling me, or being a jerk.. I just felt owned. =) And I did have a lot fun grappling you. I'd like to get to do it more often... like I said, most of the people I grapple are a lot bigger then I am, and being that you are on the lighter side, you know what it's like being the smaller grappler a lot of the times. You were a challenge, but also my size.

    And I agree, Fabio does a great job at mixing up the size and skill level so we always have something new to work with. He tends to not put me with the gigantic spazzy white belts.. I think he fears for my safety. lol But he does put me with the big blue+ belts, like Rhino and Paul pretty often...hich I love. I know they are bigger, and better, but I also know I am safe with them, and they aren't going to hurt me... and I know that I can try all the moves I am not quite sure of with them, because if I screw it up, accidentally pull or push the wrong way, they can handle me enough to not get hurt by my mistakes. .. or stop me if I go the wrong way to move out of a submission.

    I will be up in Brandon every other Thursday, so hopefully we will get to roll some more. =)

  5. You obviously weren't would be fun if you both discussed holes afterwards, worked on it for two weeks and then measured progress together every other Thursday. I hope you both see how valuable your training partnership could be! Also, those -160 guys all seem super quick...they have to be! They are the best training partners though...they'll make you faster (because then you'll have to be) and will often have more technical games. A guy the same weight as me also seems a heck of a lot lighter because their weight isn't all loaded up in their hips like a girl's is. So just get on top and enjoy the fact that someone is going to have a harder time sweeping you instead of the other way around. :D

  6. hi i just grappled with a woman for the first time today and the first thing i did when i got home was google 'man vs woman bjj' ended up here...
    what youre saying is interesting. ive been training for 3 weeks and she had 3 stripes on her white belt.
    we were sparring from side control for dominant position, a blue belt just let me take mount so i stayed on the map and she was next up. she had obviously sparred with guys before but i could tell she was really nervous to spar with me and said ive injured my back etc so go light let me win. and something about being a girl. i wanted to tell her she was without a doubt much better than me or something but i didnt want to patronise her so i just said ok.
    i basically just laid there thinking id just defend really lightly (she was muuuuch smaller than me btw) but i didnt really defend at all because she wasnt going at it and i didnt want to freak her out by putting my hands on her and hurting her back or make her feel uncomfortable.
    i think the time ran out pretty quickly.
    so anyway thanks for letting me see your perspective on it, id thought id let you know my side.
    im not one of those guys btw i think its great for women to do bjj etc for many reasons. and i have no problem with being beaten by a woman, but i can see now even with my mentality some women might still have a hard time because they are nervous about training with a guy or maybe about what they might be thinking.
    i couldnt find any sort of advice on how to take it easy if im training with a girl like do i muscle her less? not put my body weight on her? i dont want to accidentally be rude or even do something that might put a women off bjj...

  7. Some rules I might suggest for the guys:

    1. If it won't work on the guys, don't muscle it on the girls. That would be bad training for both of you.
    2. It is ok to win! ...some women will require different intensities. Some will not want you to go easy (even if you destroy them) and some will. Some of them will hand your @ss to you without trying. You just need to get to know your training partners. If you aren't muscling it and are using proper technique, you should not be feeling guilty. Go for it!
    3. It is ok to lose! ...sometimes I notice that guys wig out when a woman gets a good sweep or goes for a submission. Take this feedback and use it to improve your game! If you aren't tapping, you aren't learning. Relax and leave the ego at the door.

    4. Mind your weight - if you have 100 lbs on your opponent, it might not be a good idea to put all of that weight on your teammate's rib cage...after all, they ARE your teammate. Use just enough to pin them when appropriate.
    5. Girls are intuitive - if your intentions regarding grips are honest, girls will know it. If your mind starts straying from bjj, we will know that too. That is when you lose good training partners. Basically, just focus on bjj and don't worry about the ettiquette. We know what we signed up for.
    6. Listen to your training partner - if they ask you to do or to not do something, listen to them. If you aren't sure about your intensity at any point, just ask!

  8. Dr Seuss pretty much covered it.

    Personally, I want men to grapple me the same way they would a man of my size. I am 5'9, 140 pounds. The last thing I want is someone letting me out of submissions, or tapping to my non-correct ones because I am a girl. I am not going to learn anything that way. Now, I don't mind when the higher belts point things out to me when we grapple, but for the love of all that is holy, don't tap if I am not actually choking you. =)

    And Dr. Seuss is right; I have had people accidentally grab me pretty much everywhere... I can tell when it is an accident, and when it is not. And to be honest, I get touched a lot, but I generally never notice because like my partner I am in the heat of the grapple... my partner tends to notice more than I do, and I get an, "Oh, gosh! Sorry!” I say its okay and we keep going. I do the same thing if I accidentally knock or bump their man parts. It's never been awkward.

    The ONE thing that really grates on my nerves though, is when I hear a guy say "I'm not going to tap to a girl." .. There are only a few guys who have said that in ear shot or me, or to my face... but it really makes me mad. I am not one who likes to injure my teammates... I will let go of 100 submissions if someone isn't going to do me to courtesy of tapping... that is there problem, not mine, and I'm not going to pop and elbow over it... BUT I am seriously considering it the next time I roll with one of the guys who has said that to me.

    My game is just as legitimate as a man’s. I train just as hard if not harder than the rest of the men on my team. If I catch you, it doesn’t mean you suck, or you’re a sissy, it just means you got caught. Everyone gets caught, everyone taps…. But of you let a girl choke you out, or pop your elbow; you might look like an idiot… So for the love, just tap and save yourself the humiliation =) (But for the record, I think anyone too stupid to tap when they are caught looks like an idiot, not just the men who get put to sleep by women.)

  9. Oh, and I tend to be afraid of large newbies. New white belts tend to be spazzy. A spazzy small girl I can handle, but 200 pounds of flailing man could really hurt me. I know it's not purposeful spazzing. Almost everyone starts out as a spastic white belt.... but like I said, 200 pounds of man jumping around has serious potential to equal an injured Stephanie.. and I am not a fan of that at all.

  10. Oh gosh yes! The worst is the guy who randomly exposes his back on purpose...I don't want that sh*t (a higher belt helping out is different.) I just expect good bjj. Girls might start out a little bit slower because we may not have grown up with the mentality that it was ok to fight or wrestle. However, to think that women can't learn bjj and need to be fed positions to participate at all is just plain wrong. I'd rather get demolished than patronized...but maybe that's just me.

    BUT regarding big, spazzy white belts...I don't even care if they are big or not. They have no business rolling with women of any level. This one joker exploded out from side control with me after I passed his "guard" and he went for this strange tackle that torqued my knee. I finished the round by stalling in his guard. He is the same weight as me and I unfortunately don't want to train with him anymore.

  11. Ditto again to the Doctor. I would rather you eat my face 10 ways from Sunday then be patronized. The only people who I don't mind when they give up positions are my instructors. Generally it is because they want to see what I will do from there, or I know they want me to work something we went over that day.

    Fabio has never put me with a large spastic man, I've rolled with newbie girls before though. The lowest ranking men Fabio ever put me with have been one stripe white belts. 90% of my grapples are with other women, or blue belts.

  12. That settles it, then. No going light with you guys! :D

    Regarding grabbing innappropriately, most of the women I've met in BJJ are capable, confident women who can take care of themselves. But, and maybe it's the father of two girls in me, just the thought of shenanigans like that makes me angry. I'm pretty sure that guys who take advantage wouldn't last long in any school.

  13. Ok...some poop head (even if they are still awesome and super cool...temporary poop headedness still happens) didn't follow rule #4 - Mind your weight. I hope your rib feels better!

  14. De Seuss, how did you know about my rib? lol I was just about to blog about it.

  15. Lol Allie spilled the beans. I e-stalk you both because I am interested in how other women reflect on their bjj experience. I'm also a white belt so what you guys experience seems ultra relevant to me. :)

  16. Ooh okay. I thought maybe you were someone from class, and just failed to mention it. LOL I was worried I was a jerk because I didn't know.

    E-stalk away. lol I E-stalk everyone.

    How long have you been grappling?

  17. hey steph,
    get on you tube and you will find women submitting men in bjj or,if not tapping them,winning on points.