When worlds collide


I’d been keeping my dalliance with Jiu-Jitsu a secret from my Taekwondo sensei for fear he might feel cheated on.

But, of course, he had to ask how I hurt my foot. So, of course, I had to come clean. And, of course, he didn’t believe me.

Which was insulting. Did he not think I could kick butt in multiple disciplines? But he covered with something about me being sarcastic and therefore hard to believe.

Sarcastic? Me?

“So, is this a new thing you’ve started?” he asked, once I’d finally convinced him.

“Uuuuumm… Well. Since the end of last year, actually.”

“Huh,” he said.

Then I employed the line Chatter Master suggested to me months ago: “Thank you for helping me discover a love for martial arts that made me want to learn even more.”

He nodded. [Well done, CM!] “Jiu-Jitsu is good self defense,” he admitted. “Any fight that lasts more than six or eight seconds is bound to end up on the ground. This is good for you to learn.”

“So you’re not upset with me?”

He shook his head. Then he said, “I had no idea you had a secret double life.”

I like the sound of that.

Next I said the thing my Jiu-Jitsu instructor suggested months ago: “Do you want to maybe come check out a class with me?”

Lo and behold:

SENSEI! In my Jiu-Jitsu dojo. Sensei was here!

I wish I had gotten a picture of my two instructors shaking hands. If anyone felt the earthquake, that’s what caused it.

Sensei just wanted to observe, so we sat on the side together. I can’t participate because of my injury, but it was good to be there to try to keep up with the training/not forget everything.

It was cool doing this with Sensei when I’m already advanced in Jiu-Jitsu so I could answer his questions and demonstrate, from my seated position, the rationale behind different types of grabs. It was interesting to hear his comments, too, notably: “He’s a good teacher,” which I shared with Instructor later.

On the whole, Sensei enjoyed himself, thinks he may take a trial class down the road, and said it seems like a good group of people I “paid in advance to talk to me so it looked like I had friends.”

And I’m the sarcastic one?

But they did make me feel special. I was dreading the attention that would come from showing up on crutches. I feared a crowd circling me, all asking questions at once. Fortunately, they came one at a time. (Not taking turns; it just happened that way.) To the first, I used my pre-planned response to the question, “What did you do?”

“What I love most: taking [Instructor] down.” He laughed. Instructor smiled.

“Bummer,” or “Too bad,” they’d say. This was usually followed by, “Hope it heals fast,” or “Get better soon.”

For showing up even though I could only watch, Tall Guy, the three-striper who already tested and passed said, “That’s hardcore.”

After class, Sensei left, but I chatted with Instructor. He inquired about how my foot was healing, asked me to keep him updated, and apologized again (as though it was his fault).

I said I was sorry for not being better at Jiu-Jitsu and that I should have been practicing more. He told me I’m the only woman, other than his wife, who has made it this far, so that’s something.

Oh! Oh! Speaking of his wife. I forgot to tell you: When I asked what she thought of the onesie, he said, “She loved it. She thought it was hilarious.”


He held the door for me when I left and asked if I needed help getting in my van.

“I’ve got it,” I assured him, and he went back inside.

I opened my door, got around it, and pushed it open more, but it kept trying to swing shut again. Instructor must have been keeping an eye on me through the window because he swooped back out to hold the door and then hand me my crutches once I got in.

I have such nice people teaching me to hurt people. πŸ™‚

When I did a follow-up with Sensei later, he said it looked like a lot of fun. However, he has so many old injuries that he’s worried about an inexperienced white belt going crazy and yanking his already messed-up arm too hard, for instance. It sounded like he’d rather wait for me to get better because he trusts I won’t hurt him.

I’m not so sure, however, after this exchange when I told him Instructor helped me to my van after class.

When the day comes, if it comes, I’m going to have to tell him:

“You may outrank me in Taekwondo, but you’re in my world now.” Mwuahahaha!

[Evil laugh optional.]

What do you think, folks? Will he actually do it? Will I go easy on him? I make no promises. πŸ™‚

74 responses »

      • Hey since you’re like my fav blogger and have given me a bunch of awesome advice and made me laugh πŸ€ͺ I thought I’d let you know I changed my site and profile to my preferred name and pronouns which is Kai and he/him. I’ve been trans for a while now, just haven’t updated everything. Ig I’ve been scared. Just wanted to let you know =]

        Liked by 1 person

      • And here I thought I had a SECOND Krav kid who loves me. Well, DARN! Haha. Okay, good to know. Thanks for the heads up.

        Also, please don’t do anything drastic, ‘kay? Many people change their minds about certain things and come to regret permanent changes. Their stories are out there, but are unpopular, so they’re not as easy to find (but I know one personally). So just, you know, take things slowly, please. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know, I have been taking it slowly. I’m on this journey with my also trans boyfriend and we understand all the dangers and stuff. Don’t worry πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel like I scored some points here. πŸ™‚

    I appreciate your Sensei attending your Ju Jitsu class. My instructors were always open to other styles. My first instructor had black belts in I think 3 different martial arts. I think your Sensei trusts you. I think they both get a kick out of you (pun intended). πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just found out last night that Sensei first learned karate! He said he’s always thought JJ was cool, though, and was interested in learning. Having three black belts would be awesome. It’s not going to happen for me in JJ, I’m sure. Takes yeaaaaarrrrrsssss, but TKD should take me another year only. I’d be happy to check out karate afterward.

      Just texted Sensei and asked if maybe he could teach us that when we finish TKD. Thanks for putting the idea in my head, CM! You always have the best ideas. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is wonderful that 2 instructors meet, and they both get your humor. Bet you’re the bright light in both rooms. And that last scene where he helps you and crutches into car? What if she’s an assassin but hurt and sarcastic and needs help from her victims? Couldn’t you see that as a thriller?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, Flojo. Always looking for a book angle. That one’s probably been done before. I’m not sure I’m thriller writer material. More like stand-up comedy about being an old lady doing martial arts. If only I could stand an audience staring at me. And if I could stand.


    • They both get my humor… It’s different between the two of them. Sensei and I try to outdo each other in insults. Haha. I wouldn’t dare insult Instructor. I have made him laugh, for sure, but with a different style.


  3. How long before you start a triple secret life? There’s still a long list to tackle – judo, karate, aikido … likely, you’d need a wheelchair and arm slings to finish one more, but it could be worth it.

    and yeah, he’ll do the Taekwondo.

    oh, and have you asked him how to do a leg sweep using one crutch while balancing on the other? Could be useful …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “I have such nice people teaching me how to hurt people.” Now that line is a classic! And the secret double life – ooohh, that sounds so tantalizing.

    Love that sensei came with you to JJ. Yes, truly nice people. It’s going to be hard when you have to beat him up.

    What a great update!! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I say show him what you got! He can handle it! But obvi once you’re 1000% healed because girl, we can’t have another foot injury! Also, kudos to you for showing up even though you can’t partake! That’s dedication!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “girl, we can’t have another foot injury!” Lol! I think, if I were to get one, I would be too ashamed to admit it to you all! And I would be showing up every night if I didn’t know Hubby was happy for an excuse to have me home. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I hope he tries it. Age and injuries can be scaled and worked around in Jiu-jitsu. And all he has to do is simply communicate with his partner and instructor.

    Good job getting to class, even if you couldn’t participate. That practice will actually help keep you on the mats instead of getting discouraged. Those who get injured but don’t show up to observe have a much harder time when they get back on the mats – especially the younger belts. Those who show up to observe and use the time to participate mentally, have a better time when they get back on the mats.

    Or at least, that has been my observation, among many others across the community.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The paradox of the situations you get yourself into whilst learning to defend yourself from harm is a hoot. It’s part physical training, of course– but the mental part of it fascinates me. You remind me of that book a long time ago called The Inner Game of Tennis.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, that’s a mighty serious injury if it’s still hurt. So cool of your sensei to leave his wheelhouse and be open to trying new things. I wonder how the dynamics will change once you roll with him in a more equal setting. Well, only one way to find out!


    • It’s going on three and a half weeks with my foot still not bearing weight. I’m supposed to have an MRI soon. It’s such an annoyance.

      Rolling with Sensei in a “more equal setting”? Only if I’m still injured will it be equal! πŸ˜‰


  9. You know what I think happens when worlds collide? The battle of the sensei/instructor over who will be Betsy’s favorite 😁 I foresee some wounded feet of THEIRS to keep yours company while you get better, which I hope will be soon! πŸ₯°

    Glad the onesie was such a success (though how could it not be???).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have often thought how wild and fun it would be if the two of them fought each other in their own particular style. I would be so torn as to whom to root for. (Who am I kidding? Whichever seemed to be losing, of course. I always cheer for the underdog.)

      Sensei said something about maybe exchanging classes, and I got a far away look in my eye. “Instructor… here! That would be… amazing!” Then Sensei abruptly walked away. I did wonder if he was feeling a bit jealous. πŸ˜› I’ll have to reassure him that he and I are much better friends than Instructor and I. But I do like Instructor very much.

      So true. The onesie HAD to be a success. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • I once read that when two martial arts masters fight, they stare at each other, and they can eventually just β€œtell” who’s going to beat who, so the battle may involve long stares and not much else? What do you think?

        Yes, even sensei-s may have fragile egos… I think it’s time for purple churros (at least for me if not for him πŸ™ƒ)

        I’m with you: the onesie was INSPIRED!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Did you ever watch the show Leverage? There were two fighters squaring off. One moved her foot a certain way and the other envisioned exactly how the fight would go down based on that move. Then the other pivoted his foot a certain way. She cocked an eyebrow and saw precisely what would happen as a result of that. It was genius. A fun show all around. Now I kind of want to rewatch it all…

        Purple churros for you! Yes! They’re bound to turn out better the second time around, right? πŸ˜›


  10. Oh my gosh, my head is reeling! Did they really meet, like this? I am speculating what that collision lesson would have been like if you were not injured and were actually participating! Wow wow!

    Only you, Betsy, could have sustained a double martial arts life for so long without either sensei knowing. And that you don’t have more injuries than you actually have. I am in awe. Great respect for you, on all counts!

    P/S So happy to hear the the Onesie was received well – I can’t imagine that the recipient (mother AND child) would not have enjoyed it!


    • Ju-Lyn, I love your enthusiasm! Thank you so much for sharing in this wild, exciting experience with me. It did feel truly epic. One point, though, is that my Jiu-Jitsu instructor learned on day one that I was already doing Taekwondo. I showed up in my gi, for one thing. πŸ˜›

      Since I had started TKD first, I worried that Sensei would be upset. I wasn’t too concerned the other way around. If anything, my JJ instructor would be flattered, I suppose. At any rate, he didn’t know I was bringing Sensei in, so it was pretty wild to see them meet.

      I have daydreamed what it would be like if the two of them were to fight in their own martial art style. It will probably never happen. They’re both too polite. I have my suspicions of who would win, but I’m too afraid to share that publicly lest this be some day read by them. πŸ˜›


  11. Pingback: What Seven Years Of Jiu-Jitsu Have Taught Me About Life | Your Friendly Malaysian Writer

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