I accidentally ended up joining a beginner’s course in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The decision was partly inspired by curiosity, partly by stubborness, and possibly by others things I am not yet sure about myself.
It started the way it often starts, I think. I know someone who knows someone who has had their life transformed by jiu-jitsu. Maybe that is what I want too, ultimately. I have done enough research to know that just getting used to the exercise BJJ classes provide is going to be tough. It’s going to be hard, and yet I still want this. I’m still not sure what I’m trying to prove.
At this point it helps to know I’m:
- 181 cm tall and obese (exact weight redacted for body positivity reasons)
- a spoonie, as in, not ablebodied. My shortcomings include migraines and a spinal cord injury affecting sensory abilities, so this should be fun,
- non-binary/genderqueer, mostly read as female.
Good news is, I wrote to a couple of gyms with the list above and the head couch to one of them replied. His email was detailed and friendly, and conveyed beautifully that even if he didn’t quite understand everything I rambled about, I would be very welcome to join his academy. I felt respected and validated, and that is always a joy when dealing with delicate issues of gender and ability. My first class is next week.
I might be too out of shape and infirm to do this sport. I might not have the perseverance or time to stick with it. BJJ might turn out to be the last thing I should be trying to find myself.
But I’ll never know without trying.