I thought I needed a brother entry to my Rolling with Women/weird behaviors post. Since then, I’ve been compiling rants after rolling with some guys for this post. At this time, I’m a white belt rolling with other white belts.
Of course, I don’t mean that ALL men do these behaviors. I’ve worked with lots of great guys who are helpful and talented. Most often, the thought of I’m rolling with a guy doesn’t enter my mind.
1. The Charmer
He’s nice – very helpful, will correct you and is very patient. At the low end of spectrum this is a great guy to roll with for someone who is new and wants to polish up a few things. However, this gets a little weird with boundaries and on one end is friendly to the other end of overly friendly. I’ve overheard these guys telling other gals “If you need anything, I’m always here and we can stay late.” and commenting how they smell nice.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Feel free to take them up for help but tread closely if you start getting a creepaziod vibe. Draw your boundary, mention your husband/boyfriend. Tell the guy this isn’t appropriate or go to your instructor.
Guys: Might be better to try and pick up women after class. We are here to do jiu-jitsu.
2. The Wanna-be Mentor
He “knows” his stuff and will be happy to show you the tricks of the trade. He’s willing to walk you through the whole move, go slow and in fine detail. That is cool and is another great personality type to roll with as a white belt. However the evil “Wanna-be” mentor comes out more toxic when they do these behaviors:
a. You, the female, out rank him in experience and he’s obviously assuming you don’t know shit all about jiu-jitsu. Insulting!
b. He doesn’t know enough or is doing things wrong. You attempt to correct him and he doesn’t listen or says “its okay, I did it right, but what you need to work on blahblah” despite he completely failed doing the drilled move and hurt himself in the process.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: I’ve had other white and blue belts tell me tricks that helped me out and it is all kinds of awesome! *glittery eyed*. However for the toxic wanna be mentor I try to avoid or just mess up their gameplan by getting out of their moves and hoping they’ll learn that way.
Guys: Hey dude, swallow up that ego. You need to accept feedback or you’ll forever be a white belt.
3. Shy Guy
He’s VERY AWARE he’s rolling with a female the entire time. Maybe there’s a fear that the gal is going to scream “sexual assault” at the end of the class. He will NEVER touch you on the chest or hip even if it means doing the move completely wrong and failing. We can also dig deeper on this poor guy being completely depraved, but lets not.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Point out if they are screwing up moves and such. If it becomes an awkward “I’m smashing your boob” discussion, just say “I’m tough, so worry.” “What can we do, it’s jiu-jitsu.” “I didn’t notice”.
Guys: I’m reassuring you guys out there - I am in jiu-jitsu and I understand it’s a sport where bodies are close to each other. I accept that the accidental boob smash will happen. I will not scream “rape” if it happens. On the otherside, to all the hopeful creepaziod white belt guys – if you do something intentionally creepy I will know, you will hear about it from me or from the instructor I make my complaint to.
4. The Gentleman
Similar to the Gentlewoman, this guy thinks his crazy strength will rip a poor girl in two. He will do the most lamest side control and not put any weight on you. He will have zero grip and have lots of space. I’ve met a few big guys who auto are overly gentle to all their partners, maybe they don’t want to hurt others or accidentally hurt others in the past.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Reassure you are tough and doing jiu jitsu to learn. Some drills depend on realistic bad guy behavior and it is hard to learn if there is no resistance, so no limp noodles or dead fish – so stress that.
Guys: You aren’t going to kill us by maintaining good positional control. I love rolling with a guy who is much bigger than me. Why? If I get my BJJ moves to work on you, they will work on everyone else!
5. Trying not to be sexist guy
This is more more subtle, but also a compliment. These guys will say stuff like “You are really strong and good at jiu-jitsu…. FOR A GIRL!”, “I’m not sexist, but you are really tough for a lady” or “Wow, you are doing well even though I’m twice as strong than you” Yes, that’s the beauty of BJJ – moves that work against a bigger stronger opponent. These are nice compliments that make me feel good and more badass than my fellow females in class. But, these compliments are also kinda weird in reminding gals we aren’t good as a guy.
On the toxic creepy side is compliments like “Good girl!” “That’s a good girl” well, I find these comments creepy… I’m not a kid or a pet.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Feel glad to break some gender stereotypes being tough and strong! The creepy weird “Good girl” comments is hard to address besides giving them a weird look and saying something about it.
Guys: Starting a sentence with “I’m not sexist but” is just asking for trouble. I’d just keep the compliments simple like “You did X move well”. Do not do “Good girl” comments please.
6. The Macho Man
This guy will get injured and just keep going – that’s fine and seems typical as the adrenaline is flowing. These guys will also tap LATE. You get them in an armbar and apply pressure – you can feel their tapping hand hovering and hesitating. You keep cranking and finally they tapped, then secretly they cradle their arm and we continue on. Their behavior totally shows they are in pain and should sit out or get some ice. I offered to help get some ice and they refuse and keep wanting to roll. After rolling the poor guy is limping with a potential broken toe and is grabbing their right elbow as if to keep it from falling off. I’m not sure if they wouldn’t tap out anyways, regardless of partner, or there’s some “must not seem weak in front of a lady!” thing going on. If I was that busted up I’d want ice and to sit out.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Don’t fret and feel crappy you beat up this poor guy. While rolling, encourage them to tap or if they aren’t, ask if the move isn’t in right. Some new white belts have weird ideas that tapping = they feel pain and count to 5, then tap. I’d also not hold a choke for too long.
Guys: Rest assured, if you tap, you aren’t weak. Staying healthy should be a priority than looking badass. If you want to look badass, get a tattoo or patch your gi with something cool across your butt.
7. Sexist old morals Guy
I see them post on forums or videos regarding women’s MMA “Women shouldn’t be fighting. Its not right.” kind of crap. I thought those men aren’t actually real, but alas, I’ve rolled with one and there’s probably more out there that just avoid me in BJJ class.
They will try to avoid rolling with you – even if you are the last 2 people who aren’t paired up. I can understand as many would assume a gal would prefer to roll with another gal. If they get forced paired with you they’ll be all “Are you sure, I roll really hard and a woman should never be ruffed up like that.” or “I can’t roll the way I usually do because I’m going to hurt you and there’s no way I can hurt a girl.” There also could be cultural differences here.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Do your best technique, maybe triangle them so efficiently that your bite makes their eyes pop out. Or reassure them you are tough and working with a guy makes it more street realistic for you or helps your BJJ practice.
Guys: At least your honest. In reality, you know that you can’t be there to protect every woman in your life against every back alley thug, so respect the women that want to learn how to defend themselves instead of inflicting your beliefs on them.
8. The Spaz
Yup, there’s both Girl spazzes and Guy spazzes. Both just as deceiving. The guy could be fairly new and look harmless, but all his new BJJ moves cause you to be launched into the air. They rely a lot on strength too, I’ve been wrenched and tossed around with them on my back and sent flying on elbow escapes.
Best course of action for fellow ladies: Be careful, I find the male spazzes can pack a harder punch than the gal ones! Tell them to slow down and break down the move little by little, then prepare to be launched into space. Break fall! Tap early! Resist the urge to put them to sleep to hopefully make them calm down.
Guys: Limit your caffeine or something please! Or take out your spaz on a younger brother or something.
In the end and most important – reflect on what pisses you off before it happens and you do something rash. Once I was really tempted to “accidentally” groin a guy for being a jerk but I quickly brushed it off and kept myself in “JIU JITSU BUSINESS” mode.
As always, if the guy is a super turd and you just can’t deal, let an instructor know.