“Wherefore art thou, Jiu-Jitsu?”


I’m pretty sure that’s what Juliet would’ve said if she’d more wisely fallen in love with martial arts than that Montague guy. I’ll bet things would’ve turned out better for her. Oooh! Oooh! New book series idea: Shakespeare but with martial arts! Who wouldn’t want to read that? We’ll still keep any and all swordplay, however, because swords are awesome.

Anyway… I’ve only sat in on Jiu-Jitsu twice since The Incident two and half months ago. That’s because I’ve been relying on Sensei to go with me for safety reasons (after dark, on crutches). His availability has been sparse. But this past Monday, I told myself I was going with or without him.

For reasons I can’t quite parse out, I was nervous about going back. It’s been so long. Why should I bother? What’s the use? Are the guys going to get tired of asking how I’m you doing followed by some sentiment like “Hope you get better soon”? It’s dark and cold out. Wouldn’t I rather be at home where it’s warm and light?

All those thoughts were running through my mind as I waited for my girls to finish Taekwondo. As in the good old days, Hubby picked them up after class, so I could scoot directly to Jiu-Jitsu. Still, I could just follow them home if I wanted to wuss out.

I added an insert to make my shoe more squishy and supportive. That makes crutch usage a little better.

Then Sensei came out of the gym. “Last chance to come with me to Jiu-Jitsu,” I said.

“Rain check. But I can follow you over there if you like.”

“Okay.” The gyms are close to one another, so I wasn’t putting Sensei out much.

As I pulled into the parking lot, the sight of the bright lights, broad windows, and gi-clad students inside the dojo made me smile. That old warm feeling of “Ahhh, Jiu-Jitsu” returned.

Sensei parked near me and escorted me to the door.

“Were you afraid no one would see you and open the door for you?”

“I don’t know, maybe,” I shrugged. “This is just easier.”

When he pulled the door open for me, I immediately heard “Hey, Betsy!” from Instructor.

“Hi!” I said and shot a quick smile back to Sensei by way of thanks. Apparently it wasn’t enough, or he was making sure I was all right. He walked along the sidewalk outside, in the opposite direction of his car, while I headed to the benches inside. I met his eye through the window and gave him a big toothy grin, hoping that would suffice for a farewell, since I couldn’t exactly wave. (I didn’t bring the wheelchair because crutches are easier to get around on.)

A couple of the guys smiled and waved to me from where they were lined up on the wall.

The Wall (not to be confused with the Pink Floyd album.)

I took notes during class. At least one technique had changed slightly from the way I first learned it. As best I could, I practiced the rear naked choke from my seat, pulling my chin up with one forearm and snaking the other arm beneath it. A blue belt walked by and gave me a thumbs up.

The best part of the night was when Li’l Trejo, who was practicing near me, jogged off the mat briefly with a smile, a fist bump, and, “What’s up, Bethany?”

I hope the millisecond falter in my smile from him calling me the wrong name went unnoticed.

Have I been gone THAT long?

One guy I’d never seen took a break on the bench near me. I decided to be friendly, introduce myself, and congratulate him for having one stripe already.

“You’re the one who got hurt testing, right?” he asked.

“Whoa. Is this like a legend now?”

“Aaron [not his real name] told me there was a woman who got hurt while testing.”

“Yep, that would be me.” (I mean, who else?)

This makes me wonder if I’m bad publicity for Instructor. Maybe I’ll ask him next time, because I’m determined there will be a next time, and hopefully not so much longer since this time.

In other news, every once in a while, I dust off and send out the query letter for a novel I wrote years ago. I recently got a request for the full manuscript. Though I know better than to get excited, I still wanted to share the news.

One person I told was Sensei. I fully expected a sarcastic reply. He said, “Congratulations! I assume this is a book about me?”

Can you guess my response to that? Gold star to anyone who guesses correctly. I’ll give you a clue: It’s one sentence. Give it your best shot. πŸ™‚


75 responses »

  1. Way to go on the book Bethany!!!!! WOOOT WOOOOT!

    Very impressed/happy you went to sit in on the class. It’s great mental practice to ‘do’ forms/techniques mentally when you can’t physically, or even adapt them to your situation. LOVE it!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Coach! And maybe repeat visits will make them more accustomed to seeing me, then they can just ignore me after a while rather than feeling obligated to inquire about me. It’s going to be a while still, so… :/ And I try not to get excited about the book thing. I was initially, as I always am, but then it fades. This is the 7th or 8th request. The others didn’t amount to anything, so I’ll not get my hopes up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Talk about burying the lede. That’s awesome about your query letter response.

    And for the response to Sensei. “Of course, because it’s a horror novel.”

    Good for you for going back and getting a little JJ love to get you through! ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW!!! You’re a legend!!! You should start writing your next novel – maybe a Jiu-Jitsu themed murder mystery. Something like this, “woman seriously injured in a match, discovers body in the parking lot, but while in a wheel chair solves the mystery and is there when the detectives arrest the evil Bethany for all her many crimes.” or something like that.

    and if you tell who has your current manuscript, I’ld be more than happy to call them and explain why they are going to publish your book …

    Liked by 2 people

      • Well, great minds think a like. If you need more plot ideas – like Bethany killed surfer dude in the parking lot in a fit of jealous rage and then planted cocaine in his van to make it look like a drug deal gone bad – just let me know, I gots tons of ideas.

        Or ask Flojo – I’m sure she has the same ideas …


      • sure it could be Drake and Enthusiastic Teen ends up in the hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a concussion while he is defending Sensei from an armed band of drug dealers. An injured Sensei manages to pull both of them in a car and drive off to the hospital where Enthusiastic Teen has to be put in an medical induced coma to try and save his life. When he’s awakes three weeks later he gives the final clue that lets our hero solve the crime while she’s zipping through traffic in her electric wheelchair while being chased by Bethany on foot.

        Hope you’re taking notes …

        Liked by 1 person

    • Haaaaa! Excellent, Janis! I didn’t think of that. If I had, I totally would’ve said it though. Good one. πŸ˜›

      Just getting a request is a win, you’re right. It’s the 7th or 8th one, so I don’t get too excited anymore. Gotta make it past the next review round.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jill. It’s the 7th or 8th request I’ve received, so I don’t get my hopes up any more. Still, it’s nice to know the query has merit. And in his dreams for real! Not the correct answer, but a good one! Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Sorry, it’s about this super cool blogging friend I know named Mark”?

    I like your idea of adding martial arts to Shakespeare to liven up the pace, but why stop there? Being a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I’d love to see Frodo Baggins put Gollum in a rear naked choke hold!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have folks inquiring about your manuscript? That is simply AWESOMESAUCE!!! How cool is that? πŸ™‚ Can’t believe you tried to bury that at the very end of the post…

    Shakespeare not in the park, but in the dojo… MOST excellent! Maybe Aikido for all the sword fighting scenes? And I like your rewrite of the quote. Maybe add “deny thy injury and refuse the purple”? πŸ˜€

    Mmmm… So many Chuck Norris responses come to mind about how to answer Sensei, but that may not be Sensei-ble? πŸ˜€ (no, I just couldn’t help myself :P)

    Liked by 1 person

    • β€œdeny thy injury and refuse the purple” Brilliant!

      Shakespeare in the dojo should totally be a thing. Thanks for being with me on this, EW. Ha! I did it again! “on this.” πŸ˜›

      Sensei/sensible pun–love it. πŸ™‚


  6. Don’t give up on “Bethany” just yet, Bethany. Your readers seem to like it and it could be a really cool name for your Jiu-Jitsu persona. You could have your own Marvel movie – score!

    “No, that would be a short story” was my thought on your response to Sensei.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay about the manuscript!!! I thought you said it was a one-word response so I was thinking about one for a long time but then read back and saw one sentence response and now I’m all out of ideas… I want to know I want to know! lol..

    Also, I had to look up the Pink Floyd album cover lol

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: β€œWherefore art thou, Jiu-Jitsu?” – rosdahal

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