6 Things Martial Arts Has Taught Me

People can be skeptical of martial arts… Some think that it encourages people to get into fights, others think that there’s little point to learning a martial art unless you are using it for self defense… But here’s the thing, I’ve been in it for a month and a half and I’m learning quite a bit emotionally.

  1. I’m learning that in order to progress I’m going to have days where I feel like I am accomplishing nothing… Days where the only thing that happens is me tapping and everyone is running to find partners so they don’t have to roll with me because I’m “easy.” If I want to get better, if I want to look better, I have to keep pressing and keep trying even on days that I feel like I’m getting no where. Simply because, if I don’t I’m never going to get better.
  2. I’m learning that I get to that line of giving up much easier than I thought and I’ve had to learn to work around that. Because to become the best that I want to be, I need to keep going and I refuse to allow myself to give up simply because it’s hard or because I go through weeks of just tapping.
  3. The idea that there’s always someone smarter than you, always someone better than you… It’s becoming more apparent. Not because anything I’ve done, but because you see it in others. They’re good. They are good fighters, my coaches too. They are some of the best in the state, but even they have to be humble enough to tap out of a fight and accept defeat.
  4. You have to leave your ego at the door. I learned this one during my second week, although, I don’t think mine was ego as much as it was determination… I didn’t want to give up a match not because I was too prideful but because I was getting tired of feeling like I wasn’t moving forward and so I would push myself harder… There’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself harder as long as you know your limits and the limits of your neck, arms, legs, ankles and the like… Because if you are so determined to work out of something you’ll get yourself hurt bad. You HAVE to be willing to say, “HEY! I give! You win!”
  5. Celebrate the victories, and when they ask you “What the heck was that?” Blame it on your coach! I’ve been doing MMA since August and things didn’t start clicking till about a week ago and I’m remembering things that coach taught us in those first few lessons and I’m finally getting some use out of one particular guard position, though the first night I remembered it and put it to use, I got the tap and promptly released it and shot my fists into the air as I’m laying on the mat going “I GOT IT!!! I win!” Coach thought it was funny and when my partner asked about it, I promptly blamed coach. Anyway, that’s not where I was going with that… Celebrate the victories no matter how small and embrace defeat, when you allow it to stop bothering you, when you allow the failure to be dismissed and you don’t hold on to it THAT my friends, is when you start thinking clearer. This is one place that failure and defeat is safe and best accepted and used as a learning experience, and really, that applies to all areas of life, you just have to be more careful.
  6. Krav Maga taught me that it’s better to de-escalate no matter what. Obviously if your life is in immediate danger, then yes, act, but if you have a chance, it’s better to de-escalate an argument, or any issue than it is to try to engage in any way. Even in situations that you would think, “There’s no way to de-escalate that,” There is.. You just have to find it.

So I think that is pretty much it so far, I mean, I’m learning just how bad my “safe” competitive streak is… There’s one girl, I know her moves, but she’s fast, she’s strong, and she’s either tight or heavy depending on her grips, she’s been doing this for three years and she leaves no room for error. So, since I’ve gotten my armbars down and this other maneuver, I can get her to tap, I just have to keep her in my guard long enough or keep a mount long enough to get what I want. Then I can get her tap… My problem is, I’m slow and I don’t always think clearly when she’s bouncing around like a flipping bouncy ball! But this doesn’t apply to life I don’t think…

I’m also learning that when I find a maneuver I like, I try desperately to get it and I’ve been trying once or twice each time I roll to get the Omoplata and I just can’t get it! It’s driving me crazy… However, I’ve got armbars, Kimura, triangles, aaaaaannd…. This other thing, that I really don’t know what it’s called, but it’s quick, easy, and takes little effort.

Anyway, so yes, for anyone who might doubt Martial Arts, there are so many benefits to learning martial arts because it teaches far beyond self defense, or competition fighting, it also teaches you how to get through everyday life and I would recommend it for all ages and any ability level. Even if you think you have some health issue and you can’t, a lot of coaches are willing to help you work around those issues.

One last thing before I close out, your Martial Art family, will likely become family to you… I suppose it depends on the gym, but once people start getting comfortable with you and you roll with a variety of people, it’s almost like having an awesome second family that works your butt off and pushes you to your physical and mental limits. That was one thing that concerned me going starting MMA was that I would be the oddball out, no one would want anything to do with because I was the newbie. But they don’t all do that… My gym works as a team and I love that about them. We are all expected to help each other out and work together.

Y’all have a good rest of your week and weekend.

Jessica

Why I Don’t Want Kids

Here’s one more pet peeve for you guys… Kids… I don’t care to have any, so for those of you who immediately jump on those of us who don’t want kids, we would be eternally grateful if you would NOT lecture us or give us a run down of why we should have kids and why we are selfish for not having kids… Because even myself, who DOES NOT want kids due to the fact that I don’t want to deal with the fussing, and tantrums, and messes, and late nights, and germs, and noise, and dressing them, cleaning up after them, feeding them, buying things for them, mostly devoting my time and attention and spending unnecessary money on them… Yes, I have a perfectly UNSELFISH explanation….

I have things I want to do with my life, I want to travel a bit, I want to do Martial Arts, and train mustangs, and of course, pursue my career as a successful sports therapist… So, the lifestyle that I want just wouldn’t work well with a child or children. I would have to shove my child off onto someone else, and that’s not being a parent. I don’t want to bounce my child from care taker to care taker and have him or her not ever be able to rely on anyone including his/her own mother. If I become the sort of therapist that I aim to be, I’ll have clients asking me to travel with them to certain events and if I have a child I can’t just drop everything at the drop of a hat and go with my client. I do plan to one day get married (If I can find someone who isn’t intimidated by me!) and I don’t want my husband to be tied down by children, if he wants to come with me, I want him to be able to come! We can turn it into a mini vacation!

If I have a child with that sort of lifestyle, they’ll never learn to truly trust anyone, or be able to rely on anyone, they won’t feel accepted by their own mother they’ll always feel like they’re being shoved off and they are! I wouldn’t want to give birth to a child and have them feel that way. I know how that feels, why would I bring a child into the world knowing that they could feel that sort of pain if my life goes where I would like it to? It would put them at risk for depression, suicide, and a crap load of bad decisions…

Now setting all that aside, considering that I don’t like kids. That puts myself at risk of depression after having the kid, arguments between myself and my husband and the child possibly overhearing those conversations… Once more jumping back to….. The kid feeling unloved, unaccepted, suicidal, and depressed! Again, WHY would I want to take that chance of making a precious, innocent child feel that way?

For those of you who may say, “your excuse is still selfish.” I ask you this, Is it really? Sure, I could only be so successful, and not reach my full potential, but that doesn’t change the fact that I really, just don’t like kids… Have you ever tried forcing yourself to like something or someone that you really didn’t like? Do you think people notice? If it’s a job you don’t like, you’re not as happy. If it’s a person, do you think that person, or other people are so blind that they can’t see that you don’t like them? So I ask again, are my excuses or the “excuses” of those like me really that selfish?

Sure, we may change our minds down the road, but we don’t need you along with EVERYONE else telling us, “You’ll change your mind. Everyone does.” Or, “My sister/friend/whoever said she was never having kids and now she has four.” Or, “So you already have it set in your head that you aren’t having kids, what about your future husband? Don’t you think that’s selfish?”

First of all, if I change my mind big deal! Who gives a flying flip about whether or not I change my mind? We all do! We all change with time. If kids come with that change then so be it.

Second, I don’t care if so and so said she was never having kids. That was her choice, she knew it was coming, it wasn’t a surprise to her. And FYI I know people who are married, successful, happy, and in their late 40’s past childbearing years who say, “I never wanted kids, I don’t like them, and I still don’t plan on having any” and guess what!! THEY STILL DON’T HAVE KIDS!!!!! So, if you are careful, and persistent, you won’t have kids…

And third, it’s not a secret, my future boyfriend will know, it’s not like I’m going to spring it on him after we are married. It will either be ok with him or it wont, and if it’s not well, he can move on to another woman who will bear all the children she wants!

There you have it… Some may still argue that it’s selfish… But in my eyes, it is also a responsible thing to do. To be in tune with how you feel so that you know if raising a child is a good thing to do for you, if it is good for that child who will be in your care. You aren’t just being careless and giving birth to an “Oh Crap! Seriously?!?! This can’t be happening!” I know people who have had to live with that, and it’s not easy for them… I don’t want to raise a child who hurts that way…

Anyway, I think I’m done now… I had a lady two Friday’s ago get onto me for not wanting kids and then it brought up some past issues with a friend of mine and it’s been burning me up ever since… Young women shouldn’t be so harassed and looked down on for not wanting kids… It’s their choice and the more you push it they’ll likely do one of two things, have the child reluctantly under pressure, or will one day want kids but be so against letting other people know that they were right and never feel the joy of being a mother…

So for the love of everything good PLEASE stop pressuring us! We’ll either have kids when we are ready, or we wont.

Thank you,

Jessica

Boyfriends

Here’s the thing… I’m being questioned again about my Relationships, or lack thereof when it comes to boyfriends… There’s one big thing I’m hoping to accomplish by this post simply because I know it’s not going to stop making people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend. But I hope it gives anyone who’s looking for a relationship something to think about.

No. I don’t have a boyfriend. Not for any reason other than, I’m too particular and I don’t want to have 10 boyfriends, or end up with 3 or 4 ex-husbands.

You see, I’m particular about my health. I want a guy who WANTS to be healthy with me. I want him to care about the foods that we put into our bodies just as much as the chemicals and crap that we want to keep out of our bodies. Because if we both eat healthy together, we will be more success full because we wont be bringing home foods that one or the other can’t/shouldn’t eat.

I like physical work. Mixed Martial Arts and Krav Maga, both things I would like to continue doing for years to come. I would LOVE to put Martial Art matting into a room so that myself and my husband can roll… Anymore I think that is almost as important as having a guy who takes a liking to the horses and will go riding with me. I have quite literally been swept off my feet by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I want a spouse that will practice with me. That will do the strength and conditioning work that comes with Martial Arts. It makes it much more fun to have a partner who is doing it with you!

I want a guy who is hopefully musically inclined and likes books. There’s something special about being able to share music and books. It gets you down to a more emotional level of sharing, especially when you are talking about the Ted Dekker books… It’s not a huge thing that I have to have, but having a guy who plays an instrument and or can sing, AND he likes to read, I’d be a happy camper to have something that we can share on a more emotional level.

I also want someone who is strongly walking with God. Or at the very least, has a goal to walk strongly with Him and is actively seeking God. Someone who shares my same beliefs…

And last, but probably not least, it’s important that he compliments me, and I compliment him. Not that we literally compliment each other, but that we bring out the admirable things in each other. We bring out the best. If he was always complimenting me I’d probably have to slap him… Too much of a good thing, ya know? It would drive me batty!

But see, this is why I am 20, almost 21 and have yet to have a boyfriend. Because I want someone who is going to pair well with me. Not that I expect to get everything… No… But to share goals and interests, if I am patient, I hope to find someone that I can share these things with. And see, I’m not worried about having kids, so if it takes me till I’m in my 30’s, I’m cool with that!!

The other thing is that I’ve got stuff I want to do, I don’t have time to worry about whether I’m spending time with my boyfriend or not… I barely have time to spend with my horses, and then my boyfriend would get his feelings hurt because school, MMA, and horses would come before him!! I don’t want to have to worry about finding time for him too.

I think if more people had the ability to be patient, and not jump into a relationship, I think there would be plenty more successful marriages. It’s not like I haven’t had guys offer… In fact, I’ve had them offer to be…. roomates…. Partners… I don’t know what you’d call it exactly… But, I’m not interested in sleeping around with guys or with a guy unless I have a commitment and I know we at least have a shot and being together till death do us part… Plus, sleeping with multiple people puts you at risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and it’s great, because there are some that guys can carry and it doesn’t affect them, but it will jack up a woman… So yeah, one more reason to NOT sleep with a guy until I have a relationship that I know has a chance.

I’m a complicated person. I have my issues and I’m picky about who I will have as a boyfriend, but to anyone who has the patients and the guts to put up with me, he’ll find that I’m well worth the complications.

So there you have it, get through school, get through the things you really want to do that will require your boyfriend or girlfriend to take a seat on the curb and have an idea of what you want, or what will work well for you. Whether you are a man or woman, you have the right to have a spouse who takes an interest in what you love doing and will do it with you. You have the right to have a spouse who brings out the best in you.

Anyway, I think I’m done now…

Y’all have a good one.

Jessica