Training with the guys

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    Chad Moechnig
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    Samus
    Post subject: Training with the guys Post Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:37 pm

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    I’m sure this has been discussed here before, but I did a search and couldn’t find it. So, sorry if it’s a repeat.

    My MMA school is made up of guys, mostly young. There are women’s classes, but they’re a joke – not because of the school, but because of the women. They show up fifteen minutes late, they whine and drag their feet and flirt with the guys waiting on the next class. They never get anywhere in their training, so it’s basically cardio hour with a little bag work thrown in. I join the men’s classes to get real instruction and sparring in, but I’m the only female.

    I’ve been training mostly in stuff like Muay Thai, Savate and JKD for several years, so I didn’t start at zero in this school. I hold my own in class and never complain, and I work harder than many of them. But I still have the damndest time getting sparring partners. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t want to hit a girl, or they don’t want to get hit by a girl, or if it’s something else – I make sure I’m not stinky. 😉 But the instructors have to force the guys to partner up with me, making them do pushups if I’m the last one holding up my glove, which just makes me feel even more separate.

    I’ve noticed my game has changed because of working with them, too. I can’t match their shoulders and arms, so I don’t even try to beat them at their boxing games. I have longer legs than many of them so I’ve been beating them with tons of kicks, and their clinch skills are weak so I get them with that too. But if I ever decided to train to really fight, would that prepare me well for fighting a woman?

    My classes are fun and I’m learning a lot, but it’s such an embarrassing ego dump every time. Has anyone else had this problem – and do you suggest maybe finding a school with more women in it? Or do you think training with men will keep my ego in check and my body strong?
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    sharice
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:45 pm

    Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:17 am
    Posts: 19
    Location: Kansas City MO
    so where do you train? I’m not sayin call out your school or anything. Just wondering if that is the only place in town. I have trained at a few different places b/c i have been moving around a lot this last year and I haven’t really run into any problems from the men.

    From what I’ve noticed from the different men I have worked with is… it’s the one’s who are either beginners or just shitty that don’t want to work with a woman. I guess I have met a couple of men who just have egos and can’t handle getting hit by a woman.

    The people who are really there to train to get better shouldn’t really care about working with a woman. Working on technique makes anyone better no matter what the size of the other person is. I mean really are the men just there to punch the sh*t out of each other or what? Are they fighters or is it strictly a martial arts class?

    Well just keep at it. You are there for yourself not for them. Don’t let anyone push you down. Plus i’m sure you are getting better.
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:56 pm

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Nah, it isn’t the only school around. I’m in South Orange County, CA. Seems like there’s an MMA school on every corner, with the dry cleaners and sushi joints. I’ve been to a few schools. This is, otherwise, a good one. They’re training fighters. But yeah, I think since a lot of the guys are really young, they’re there to knock each other around a lot of the time, and the more experienced guys tend to stick together. They’re all huddled together telling dirty jokes and then they see me there and someone says, “Shut up, there’s a lady here!” And I’m like – Oh my god, when did I turn into a lady? 😆

    I just go through this terrifying self-doubt. No matter how well I spar (which is pretty well, considering), I can’t help but think I look ridiculous out there.
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    chad
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:11 pm
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    Location: Laguna Hills, CA
    Debi and Jessica train in Lake Forest…. Hit them up I am sure that they would really enjoy having you train with them!

    SUBFIGHTER MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

    Address 23762 Mercury Road
    Lake Forest, CA 92630
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    Phone 760-908-9472
    Website http://www.subfightermma.com

    Chad
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:21 pm

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Thanks, Chad. I figured I might come in on a Saturday to watch people spar, but the Muay Thai classes are at a difficult time of day for me. That’s about ten minutes from my house, though, so I’ll be dropping by eventually!
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    cosmic
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:05 pm

    Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:56 am
    Posts: 405
    Location: AUSTRALIA
    Samus wrote:
    Thanks, Chad. I figured I might come in on a Saturday to watch people spar, but the Muay Thai classes are at a difficult time of day for me. That’s about ten minutes from my house, though, so I’ll be dropping by eventually!
    OMG…..10 minutes and you could be training with Debi Purcell???????????????? I dream of it!
    (unfortunately its a bit longer for me, a plane ride over the pacific!). but maybe this year
    😉
    Re the issue in your original post: it happens to me too….a bunch of young guys who have been training for a couple of months to less than a year and they seem to avoid partnering with me? (and I have been training for years and years…which I perceive as very disrespectful, but I think its more so that I have an injury).

    Some people are selfish pricks that think they learn nothing partnering with girls….other people are concerned that they might hurt you….I’m 50kg..and so basically the smallest guy that trains is like 75kg..and some people way bigger. The size difference scares some of the guys (they think they are going to really hurt me sitting on me).
    plus there are others that don’t want to hurt me (I have a broken arm) and they have no self control to turn it down a notch (they only know one way, the use all their strength way…what happened to working technique a bit then? but nope, they are incapable because they are shit).

    In standup I can only use my left arm to punch, they start punching the shit out of me – 1) they are heavier and 2) they taller and have a longer reach
    I can kick their ass (controlled) with my one arm(and footwork), they start to get pissed off and start trying to hit me really hard. they get a couple of shots in and think they have won.
    If only I could use my two arms to totally wallap them.

    (wish I was better at bjj so I could submit the bums and give their egos a good working over)….but I’m working on it…even though being steam rolled and squashed every session feeling like you are getting worse and not better (frustrating) and then having to deal with finding partners when some people avoid partnering with you (which makes it even more frustrating). but I will keep going back cause one day it might get better!

    sorry…I am venting. Some people are selfish bastards, and some people are nice people that respect you.

    not all gyms are like that btw.

    keep training and have fun.
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    jepe13
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:48 pm
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    Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:07 pm
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    Location: orange, ca
    if you cant make saturday morning/ afternoon, can you make it to evening classes? give us a heads up and we will be there 😉
    you can check the schedule at subfightermma.com
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    kaitlinrose
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:58 pm
    Pro Fighter

    Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:12 pm
    Posts: 243
    Location: Minnesota
    Yikes! Ditch the slackers!!!

    How much do you weigh? I know you may be smaller than most of the guys, but thats no reason not to box with them. If you are beating them easily with kicks and clinch then boxing is exactly you should do to improve. If you feel that it is actually a strength issue rather than technique issue, try an aggressive strength training program.

    Sounds like you train hard, and I think guys in the gym respect that, but how do you react to being hit? The guys in our gym are great, but tend to avoid girls that cry, give up easily, or don’t hit back with intent. A size difference rarely has much to do with it.

    I personally think that training with the boys is a huge asset, not necessarily because they are male, but because they are larger and often more aggressive than the ladies. It is nice to learn to deal with that before you fight, but a skilled and athletic female training partner can give you the same benefits me thinks 😛
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:04 pm

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    To Jepe: I think I can make a Saturday sometime. The standup classes during the week are all at 6:00PM, and I am more likely to make a class after 7:30PM or before 9:00AM. Thanks for being so welcoming, though, I totally want to see the place now.

    To Cosmic: Thanks so much for the vent. I think that’s all I was doing. It’s a problem for me, but not a major one, and it’s outweighed by the great people who own the gym. No gym’s going to be perfect. But I love going around and training with different people – my experience in a bunch of places is the main reason why I hold my own in this school. I can surprise them with technique they’re not used to. 😉

    Kaitlin: Ha, if only tininess were my problem. I’m 5’10” and I’m about 165lbs now, dropping down to 160lbs. I am taller than many of these guys, with much better reach and wide, strong shoulders for a girl. I can strike pretty hard, but I don’t during sparring. Even when the guys start getting a little aggressive, I keep my fists relaxed. You think if I just whack ’em a good one they’ll be more interested in partnering up? 😆

    I’m always afraid of showing weakness in class. Once my husband (yes, husband, heh) let me have a good cross during sparring that nabbed me right in that place in my nose where it just biologically makes you need to cry. I stopped the spar to breathe and said to myself, “You cannot cry, you cannot cry!” Instead, I laughed maniacally. No wonder – the guys must think I’m nuts!

    I also think my guys are an asset. I’ve learned so much from sparring with them, and they really let me have it. The worst was a huge guy who has naturally heavy hands. Afterward he asked if he’d hit me too hard, and I had to stop and think. I said (still seeing stars), “I think that’s exactly what I can handle.” I’m not a kid, I’m thirty, so I’m pretty good at knowing what I can take.

    I think if I just keep going regularly, and keep training just as hard alongside them, they won’t think of me as “the lady” so much anymore. Maybe I should stop wearing so much pink, too. 😉
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    Rikki
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:11 pm
    Instructor

    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
    Posts: 915
    Location: Lexington, KY
    Samus wrote:
    You think if I just whack ’em a good one they’ll be more interested in partnering up? 😆

    Yes! I don’t hit the guys in my gym as hard as I can but I let them know that there is some power there. BUT I’m in big trouble if they don’t take my boxing seriously…I’m their striking coach. Wear pink all you want, just let them know that you mean business.

    Personally, I would find a gym where the men aren’t so insecure. But, yes, training with the guys makes you better, in my opinion. It is nice to have a chick to train with (or at least to spar with before a fight). I don’t like to see women fall into the trap of always partnering up together, though. Make sure to mix it up and work with the guys, too!
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    irishspirit
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:58 pm

    Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:41 pm
    Posts: 144
    Location: Washington D.C.
    I do BJJ and I’m lucky to have 2 women my size and 2 guys only a little bigger to train with. BUT if they aren’t there or if I want to get another partner, I have to be forceful and grab someone’s attention early and directly ask them to fight. This way I don’t get stuck constantly without a partner or with the same partner over and over.

    The only thing that makes it hard is that unless specifically assigned, I’m supposed to stay away from all the white belts and a few of the blue belts. It’s for my own safety (I’ve had a few semi-serious injuries from the guys), but depending on the make-up of the class, sometimes it can be hard to get a sparring partner. That’s another reason why it’s important to be very pro-active in getting a partner. The guys are good (I’ve never had any say “no” to rolling with me) they just prefer to roll with other guys their size…and I can’t really blame them for it.
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    treelizard
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:19 pm
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    Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:01 am
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    Location: Minneapolis
    I’m 135 and the smallest guys in my gym are 160 and they are strong and scrappy. Most of the guys are like 215. My coach finally let me go with some of them and I thought they were gonna kill me, but they were pretty kind. I kind of feel like it is so stacked against me though. I am trying every single trick I know and none of it works, and because there is nobody my own size I can’t tell if my technique is even right.

    There are a few guys at my gym that would probably never roll with me and even with the others I usually have to be super aggressive to get them to roll with me. Even then I feel like they’re doing me a favor. They are cool about it but it just gets frustrating. I finally told a couple guys today that I was training to go to SBGi in like a month and I’ve been sitting out round after round and could someone PLEASE roll with me… It is the same shit everywhere I go it seems because there’s not a lot of gyms in my town. I am thinking of switching to BJJ or judo instead of just MMA/grappling.

    What I’m going to do is pay a friend who I used to train with for some private sessions–that way I can get more mat time in and more direct attention.
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:08 am

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Okay Rikki. I don’t hit light, but maybe I need to match their intensity.

    It’s also nice to hear that I’m not the only one having this problem.
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    Queenpearl
    Post subject: PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:01 pm

    Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:47 pm
    Posts: 20
    Samus wrote:
    I’m 5’10” and I’m about 165lbs now, dropping down to 160lbs. I am taller than many of these guys, with much better reach and wide, strong shoulders for a girl.
    And you even ask why they don’t want to spar with you?

    How many young, inexperienced guys with inflated egos do you expect to think “Hey, cool, let me spar with a girl, if we spar hard, I’ll probably get my ass kicked and I could even learn something.” 😆

    The greater the chance that they can get their ass wooped, the more they try to stay away. Inexperienced, young guys who aren’t used to training with women are scared. They are scared of doing something wrong (like hitting your boob) and they are scared of losing. Guys in a BJJ/MMA gym need to be “broken in” kind of like horses – they have to get used to the whole thing, trust me it bugs them a lot more than it bugs us.
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    skiistari
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:29 pm

    Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:39 am
    Posts: 34
    On the bright side, after you have a year or two more experience people will line up to train with you 😛 (at least it’s that way in my BJJ/grappling classes). When that happens, YOU will need to be the one who is cautious and selective because you will STILL have newbies who can’t control themselves and are desperately afraid of losing… just now you have alternatives and so have the option of saying no.
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    Samus

    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:17 pm

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Well, I took some of the advice in here and upped the intensity a bit. I stopped babying them – if I landed a good one with a little more weight behind it than I meant to, I’d always stop and ask if they were okay before. I also would let them back off, drop their hands and breathe.

    Once I started unapologetically sparring at about 50% and chasing them down when they dropped their hands, I got what I wanted… I think. Last night was utterly brutal for me. I’ve never been tested that way. Six five-minute rounds of sparring, three of the best guys in the class, including the instructor. I got beat down.

    I learned a lot. Mostly I learned that I have a lot more to learn.

    By the way, I stopped by Subfighter last weekend. Talked to someone about the mat fee and schedule, so if any of you girls are going to be training there on a Saturday, let me know and I’ll come. I’d love to meet you!
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    Rikki
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:16 pm
    Instructor

    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
    Posts: 915
    Location: Lexington, KY
    Yep, it’s a whole new ball game once they stop treating you like a fragile little girl. Are you happy with your findings?
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    kaitlinrose
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:36 pm
    Pro Fighter

    Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:12 pm
    Posts: 243
    Location: Minnesota
    Sounds like your sparring session is finally what it should be 😉 Glad you have some good training partners now!
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:12 pm

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Rikki wrote:
    Yep, it’s a whole new ball game once they stop treating you like a fragile little girl. Are you happy with your findings?
    To be honest, it was very scary to reach another level of the game, to be reminded that this is a brutal sport where injuries are common. I’m a walking bruise today, and I know it could have been much worse.

    The important thing is I went back to class tonight. And I’m pleased to have such a great bunch of diverse fighters to train with, even if they do take a little time to come around.
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    Sako
    Post subject: PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:44 pm

    Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:39 pm
    Posts: 327
    I’d like to see Samus vs Erin Toughill, that’ll be a blockbuster.
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:44 am

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Sako wrote:
    I’d like to see Samus vs Erin Toughill, that’ll be a blockbuster.
    Oh yeah, where the block is my head and Erin busts it within five seconds. Live on Pay Per View!

    Funny you should say that. I had a dream (nightmare?) once where I was signed up for an amateur smoker, and found out Erin was going to be my opponent. I distinctly remember doing that Star Wars “Noooooooo!”
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    Sako
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:08 am

    Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:39 pm
    Posts: 327
    Samus wrote:
    Sako wrote:
    I’d like to see Samus vs Erin Toughill, that’ll be a blockbuster.
    Oh yeah, where the block is my head and Erin busts it within five seconds. Live on Pay Per View!

    Funny you should say that. I had a dream (nightmare?) once where I was signed up for an amateur smoker, and found out Erin was going to be my opponent. I distinctly remember doing that Star Wars “Noooooooo!”
    Erin can’t be as tough as Metroid, can she?
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    Rikki
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:34 am
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    Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 6:56 am
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    Location: Lexington, KY
    Samus wrote:
    The important thing is I went back to class tonight. And I’m pleased to have such a great bunch of diverse fighters to train with, even if they do take a little time to come around.

    The thing about guys training with women is that they feel like they are going to hurt us if they hit us. That’s why you see so many men that refuse to train with a woman or will hit way too light when sparring with one. Once you show them that you can dish out the punishment they tend to start hitting you harder. After that first round they realize that they hit you with some power and didn’t break you. Other men see that and are then cool with being your training partner.

    It’s a similar situation on the ground. They feel like you won’t be able to deal with their weight sitting on top of you or similar things. They also worry about the “smile implications” of these positions with women. Once they see that you can deal with a 200lb guy mounted on you and you aren’t getting all embarrased while grappling they typically come around. At least those have been my findings.
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    Samus
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:00 am

    Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:05 pm
    Posts: 13
    Sako wrote:
    Erin can’t be as tough as Metroid, can she?
    Okay, true. Maybe I’d go up against her in my power suit. Rawr!

    Rikki: I think you’re right. Thanks so much for your help.
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