Fight or Flight


A blogger shared with me what she overheard on a podcast discussing martial arts:

“The guest had suggested that when ladies learn martial arts (like JJ) it can help them have more confidence and experience to fight with an attacker (sounded like a good point) but then Rogan noted that it would take years and years of training and then even with that – ‘basic anatomy’ plays a role in determining how most women would do if fighting with an attacker.”

“So while great for self defense and good for mind and body coordination and stability – the best advice is for people to put distance between themselves and the attacker (as opposed to someone with a certain level belt assuming they can take down someone twice their size).”

This is a good reality check. And I don’t disagree. Sure, I found it a little discouraging, but then I thought about my reasons for doing Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo:

  • Am I expecting to get attacked at every turn? No.
  • Do I intend to don a cape and spandex to fight crime vigilante-style? No.
  • Do I think it would be nice to have some ability to defend myself should I need it? Yes.
  • Am I largely just doing this for the fun of it? Also, yes.
  • Do I enjoy the challenge of learning something hard? Yes. (It helps that I have realistic expectations of myself. I never thought I’d be a natural at this.)
  • Does it give me greater confidence in general? Yes.
  • Is teaching what I’ve learned to middle school girls fun, fulfilling, and challenging? Yes.
  • Do they enjoy the class for all or most of those reasons above? I believe so, yes.

It has been pointed out to me more than once that the best option, when viable, is to simply run away. I joked that I should hang up my gi and work on my speed instead.

How am I doing?

Think I could outrun a bad guy at that speed? (This is also a nod to fans of The Office.)

I saw an interview with actor Ed O’Neill (Married… with Children, Modern Family), who has a black belt in Ju-Jitsu. He used his knowledge twice to put a rear naked choke (RNC) on men who had become unruly. This move is a good go-to, and I’ve already proven that I can, with a bit of struggle, successfully get the job done on a male blue belt (Surfer Dude 1). I don’t hope to need this skill in real life, but if I do, I’ll have it.

Fun side note: Hubs and I recently saw The Lost City. Brad Pitt used the RNC on several bad guys. I whispered to Hubby, “He’s using perfect technique. It’s nice the writers did their research.” Later in the film, Channing Tatum tries to imitate Pitt, but does so humorously wrong and unsuccessfully. It was a cute movie, and I’ve been a fan of Sandra Bullock ever since While You Were Sleeping.

Now. Let’s talk T-shirts, shall we?

It was fun of Flojo to suggest a contest. I’m grateful for the creative ideas suggested in comments on my previous post, so I’m adding them to the list of votees.

Here are the old along with your new suggestions. I removed the Korn T-shirt and “I got Draked” because those were a joke. (My apologies to Prior House who liked “I got Draked” the best.)

The first one below was favored by Jacqui who wrote: “Throw up a ‘donation’ thingy in the sidebar. I’ll toss in a few bucks for the tshirt. That thing is wonderful!”

I don’t disagree. However, I also don’t do tech. I tried to figure out how to “throw up a donation thingy” and failed. I googled it, found multiple methods, tried to follow them, and inevitably hit a dead end when the next button I was supposed to click didn’t seem to exist.

My hope was, I would buy the winning shirt and model it for you all here, have the winning shirt MADE if it didn’t already exist (and likewise model it for you), and, if I raised the the funds, send a shirt to the person who suggested the idea too (and hopefully that person would model it 😉 ).

Well, that’s probably not going to happen. But, I occasionally splurge on a non-essential item, so who knows!

Again, the choices, some pictured below the list:

  1. BJJ Girls Rule. (from Endless Weekend)
  2. I won the battle. (from Beth)
  3. You should see the other guy. (from me)
  4. Tough Mother (Also me. Or as a bumper sticker, but either might get me in trouble.)
  5. When I play dodgeball, the ball dodges me. (Endless Weekend again)
  6. Jui-Jitsu – the Home of Rear Naked Chokes. (from John)
  7. Down with the Sickness (from Mark because it’s a Disturbed song. “Oooh-wa-ah-ah!”)
  8. I get a kick out of you. (from Flojo. The possibilities for graphics on this one… 🙂 )
  9. Chex Mex, tequila and Jiu Jitsu – you got a problem? (from Andrew, who so gets me)
  10. I have the perfect limbs to crush the life out of you! (from Wynne. Haha. Can you imagine?)
  11. Jiu-Jitsu: The art of folding clothes while people are still in them (plus more, see below. Endless Weekend sent a variation on this, the image of which is no longer available, but this one from Amazon is close. And since I was searching JJ shirts on Amazon, I also found…)
  12. Touch me and your first Jiu-Jitsu lesson is free. (Ooooh, me likey!)
  13. Jiu-Jitsu: It’s how I roll. (When I got my existing shirt, I was originally looking for one like this!)
  14. Simply stick with my current “This is How I Roll” shirt, or
  15. find one like this from Manja Maksimovič who wrote: “This is how *I* roll.”
Then she added, “This is NOT a commentary to your blog. You’re doing mighty fine.” Haha. Way to play it safe, Manja!

Here are the others for which I have pictures:
#1 above

Also, if you voted in the comments on my previous post, thank you, but also, would you mind voting again since things have been updated?? Thank you!

82 responses »

  1. Oooh-wa-ah-ah!

    That’s not my vote. I just like saying it. I’m actually going to change my vote to #12. It strikes a perfect balance between humor and badassness.

    I know that’s not a word. Whatevs! (That’s not a word either.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know what else isn’t a word? Votees. I originally had “that’s not a word” in parentheses after it. Funny that you’re writing the same thing here!

      “Oooh-wa-ah-ah” is one of the best things in music ever. I want to practice it so I can demonstrate my knowledge to the metal dudes in class. Yes, I have discovered there is more than one.

      And, Mark, Mark, Mark. You’re not commenting on the one thing I was *sure* you would comment on.

      Try again.


  2. Bahahha! I must say that I got a kick out of my photo to be the first one to appear. 😀 Saying this, I officially like the most #8: “I get a kick out of you.” I will always play it safe with you since I have zero skills of self-defence other than my mouth. As for this shirt, I bought it in Venice, CA, on my first day my only time in the USA. I wore it to many concerts back home in Slovenia and once in Italy, and I was astonished because while in Slovenia the shirt was read and understood, over here in Italy nobody reads. You could see that they stare but don’t read. I find this distracting. I want to be read. 😀 Good luck with your challenge. A great selection. (Btw, I bought a second shirt in the same shop. It says What part of NO didn’t you understand.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like #12 a lot. How cool to recognize a move in a movie! I love when stuff like that happens. The speed limit picture reminds me of my son and the neighbor girls checking their speed on their bikes and razor scooters when the local police dept put a temporary speed check machine on our tree lawn. Cracked me up!

    Liked by 2 people

    • And in a tv show recently, a character said his son got his yellow belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Hubs and I both said, “That’s not a belt
      in Jiu-Jitsu!” THOSE writers didn’t do the research.

      So cute and fun about the kids and the speed sign! What a fond childhood memory for them.

      A vote for #12 counted!


  4. While I am impressed with my own suggestion, I have to say that number 12 and the free lesson is really good too.

    I’ve always found that my best self-defense move is looking grumpy and appearing like I’m about to rip your head off while saying things like, “You get the first hit. I get the last.” That and never leaving the house. Those two together really work well.

    and you could do something like CafePress where you could setup a shop selling these as shirts, coffee cups and even doormats – there are hundreds of ways of wasting your time and not making money there …

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The speed sign is hilarious! As is your son who although I can’t see his face might be thinking “What is Mom doing THIS time?”

    I like #4 and #10 – in fact I really like all of them but realize that voting for all really makes my vote worthless. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was trying to figure out where we were last talking about the universe. Was it my blog, your blog? Think it was yours. Then which post? Started looking… Finally I said, “Who cares? She’ll remember!” so I’m commenting here.

      Like I figured, I shouldn’t have said anything about Herr Universe.

      I pulled a muscle in my back (unless it’s a knot? How do you tell the difference? If a pulled muscle is longer lasting, it’s that.) AND I’m fighting the early stages of a cold. My next class was to be a momentous one, which I’d been counting down the days for, and of course I had to miss it. I may be able to kick the cold, but I’m not sure what to do about the back issue. :/

      Hills and valleys. Just like life, my JJ Journey is filled with hills and valleys.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never taken a self defense class but I have been involved in a number of “awareness” classes, and it’s always best to avoid a confrontation no matter the circumstances.

    I love Ed O’Neill. I had no idea he as black belt in JJ.

    For the t-shirts, I love #9 and #12. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I laughed at my own suggestion and how you tried to implement it, Betsy! OK, aside from that, I like #11.

    I mentioned once my kids Sensei told them the first defense is run, but my daughter did actually find her Shaolin Kempo useful when a large boy jumped her from behind. She took care of him and had him crying to his dad about the bully little girl! So, it’s good to have your skills when you need them.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Betsy, the famous and irreverent comedian Richard Pryor has a routine that says in brief that your best defense when approached in an alley is to run. He is quite comical with it. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

  9. #13

    Situational awareness is definitely key to avoiding trouble AND running. 100%

    Rogan has a point and I like his podcast, that said, I do think training and the ability to handle the fight/flight/freeze response goes a long way.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ahem, you quietly introduced another option… Of you “don[ning] a cape and spandex”! My vote, of course, goes to that 😀

    On a more serious note, it may take decades, not just years, to reach mastery of any martial art. And regardless of your anatomy (even if you’re Andre the Giant and you don’t even need to practice), there will always be someone bigger than you, stronger than you, faster than you. That’s why there’s mastering the art and all that goes with it. Where an 80 year old master can play cat-and-mouse with a young, muscular contender without breaking a sweat. Yes, the average man is, on average, bigger than the average woman. But the average woman has MUCH more endurance than the average man…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I still like this is how I roll but the folding laundry is a close second and still makes me laugh! 🙂 I don’t know any karate/jiu jitsu but I’ve always wanted to learn more so for the confidence! Also, I guess knowing how to chokehold my husband to give me back my snack-pack is a great skill to learn too!😂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Food for much thought ….

    We (our little family) did Aikido for a little while way back when – had to stop on account of hyperextended shoulder joints, bad knees, and other assorted reasons for each of us. But for the time we were part of that community, it taught us a great deal about giving back and discipline. I imagine all martial arts would incorporate those elements, plus build a great deal of confidence and physical fitness.

    Like all things we are impassioned about, I guess the most important thing is that we feel good engaging in said activity, never mind whether we get to use those skills in a “real-life” situation in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Neat that your little family did Aikido together! What a great family bonding experience. I’m sorry for all the physical woes, though. Sounds like it was a rewarding experience otherwise!

      To your last paragraph: so very wise, Ju-Lyn. And true. Thank you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve always wondered what I’d do during these unforeseen circumstances. For one, I’d never want to fight because there’s just no winning. You could either kill someone or be killed yourself. One rung down the Ladder Of No Winners involves permanent injury or lawsuits. Then comes jail time, even though you were defending yourself. We go lower and we have the dude’s buddies jumping you out of nowhere. Then the good ol’ he’s just better than you.

    Of course, when given no choice, it’s always better to know something. But yeah, gotta agree that running is always the best decision.

    Liked by 2 people

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