BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

What would you do, #1

on January 10, 2012

I got a comment on my “Women” page, and I want to bring it forward both to highlight it and for some group help:

Andrea Daly:

So glad that I came across this blog. I just turned 31 and have been training BJJ for 10 months. I train in a co-gender class but am the only female participant. At first I was really shy coming to class, not knowing anyone and being the least experienced student, (not to mention the only female), but I saw great value in the self defense aspects of BJJ and forced myself to keep going to class no matter how uncomfortable I felt. Over time, I got to know the guys better and developed skills and it began to feel like I was part of the dojo family and I looked forward to every class–the shyness was gone. But now, things have changed. I can’t be certain who, but what I can glean from information given to me is that there is a jealous and insecure spouse who has made an issue with me training with the guys. I have never acted in any way inappropriate or have felt any inappropriateness from any of the guys, but now the rules for female participation have changed. I now need to come to each class with my own training partner. I am not allowed to show up to class and ask one of the guys on the fly–I need to have it set up before coming to the dojo. This has seriously changed my training. Now I have one partner. I don’t get to cycle through with different body types/skill level, I am confined to just that one training partner at each class. If my partner is sick or injured, tough luck for me–I don’t get to train. It still feels like a family but now I feel like I’m the black sheep in it. It doesn’t feel fair. I take this sport just as serious as any of the guys but my training isn’t being offered the same respect. A little taste at being a woman in a man’s world.

Just to ask first, is there any chance this is a religious thing? (E.g., are most of the guys are of a religion that doesn’t allow women to work with men in such close physical contact?)

My advice would be to talk to your instructor and explain that you are serious about training BJJ and are not there to pick up guys. That this limited training is not fair to either you or your partner. That you understand that some of the wives/girlfriends may be uncomfortable with you training with their husbands/boyfriends, and that you would agree to not train with those men, if he’ll tell you who those men are. Because once you know who not to train with, and they also know that you know not to train with them, then you can just amicably avoid each other when switching partners. And once he tells you, go talk to those guys before/after class and let them know that you’re aware of the situation.

Or, if he’s uncomfortable telling you who (at which I would call “weenie”), then ask him to be in charge of pairing you up with the “safe” guys. (The guys in your class, by the way, are first-class weenies for not telling you one-on-one that their wife/gf won’t let them train with you to start with.)

I would not, if I were you, insist that those men train with you.

Obviously, of course, be professional and focused in class.

Finally, is there any way you can meet these wives/girlfriends? Do they ever come to the gym and watch class? Although I don’t know what it means to be a jealous & insecure significant other, I would hope that meeting you might dissipate some of that.

I had 1 guy in my class who couldn’t train with me because of a jealous spouse. He had been avoiding me on the mat, though I scarcely noticed. Then we ended up paired up one day, and he told me that he couldn’t train with me and why. We switched partners. After that, it was easy to avoid being paired with him because I knew who I couldn’t work with. (There was another guy who didn’t like to work with me because he was Muslim [obviously not too strict, as he would work/roll with me if he had to and he never actually said anything about it to me — though he was rather obvious about trying to avoid me. I obliged and avoided him back. Again, easy-peasy to do once I knew who & why.])

Any body else have any advice? I have limited experience with jealous significant others; only the one instance, and it was handled easily.

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38 responses to “What would you do, #1

  1. Fuck that. If you’re the one who can’t train with someone at your gym, YOU are the one who makes the concessions! Andrea’s training is being ruined by some selfish asshole. She should tell her coach straight up, fix this or I leave. She’s paying her dues just like everyone else.

    I can’t believe we live in a world where this is actually an issue.

    • leslie says:

      ROTFLOL. While I do agree with you, I was going more for the, er, diplomatic approach, on the chance that there isn’t another training option. Sometimes you do have to make some concessions on both sides.

      On the other hand, I’m all for the unable-to-train-with-a-girl guy being the one who has to sit out when there’s an odd number rather than Andrea always having to concede there.

  2. SavageKitsune says:

    It is the teacher’s responsibility to handle this a lot better than it is being handled. I would speak to the teacher privately, and if s/he/they can’t make things right, look for another gym.

    • Andrea Daly says:

      Thanks for the comments. The dojo I train at is the only one offering BJJ in the town I live in so leaving isn’t something I’m willing to do. I have spoken to my instructor and what can I say…he is the pastor of his church and I would say about 97% of the other students are devoted Christians and the word that keeps getting thrown at me is that this new rule is for “propriety’s” sake. This is not a battle I believe I could win because my hunch is that it is my instructor’s wife who has an issue with me. Other’s have written about my paying the same amount of dues as the guys and this is an issue I intend to take up with the dojo owners because I have already been forced to sit out of several classes.

  3. Marie says:

    I agree that this is not being handled very well and should be addressed with the instructor. Also, to Alex’s point about “dues”, depending on how Andrea is paying (monthly v. per session), she also can be getting screwed on the cost side compared to the guys.

    Since I don’t know if there are other good gyms in the area, leaving might mean leaving the sport, and I can see how hard that would be. Even if you do wind up staying, I would say to your instructor you will now only pay for sessions where you can ACTUALLY roll. It’s even less fair if you are paying the same amount and being told you can use the facilities under restrictions.

  4. bjjjudo says:

    I totallly agree that this is major failure on the part of the instructor. I am not sure I could think of a worse wy to handle the situation if I tried. If I were this girl I wouldnt bother trying to work it out, I would pick up and go to another gym. She is paying her dues just like anyone else and like any good paying customer if she doesn’t like the product she shouldn’t buy it.

  5. leslie says:

    I think everyone has made a good point — if there are other gyms in the area, do strongly consider leaving & going somewhere else if this can’t be resolved. I know you feel like part of the family at this place right now and it took a while to get there, but do know that this behavior is not normal in gyms.

  6. David says:

    I’m with Alex, despite your plea for diplomacy. Leslie, you said it yourself in your post: “Then we ended up paired up one day, and he told me that he couldn’t train with me and why. We switched partners. After that, it was easy to avoid being paired with him because I knew who I couldn’t work with.” It’s entirely unfair to make the woman “find a training partner.” It undermines the almost universal approach to teaching and learning BJJ (many partners, many strengths, many games=more well-rounded students). Whether a person has a personal problem training with a woman (spouse or self), or a structural problem (religious beliefs), it’s on that person to handle THEIR issue and not make the woman conform as a solution to HIS (or his spouse’s) problem. I don;’t have a financial interest in the sport, but women are clearly a growth sector and should be supported, not ostracized.

    • leslie says:

      You’re quite right — the actual one with the problem here is not Andrea, it’s the guy/significant other. And their problem is impacting her training, when it’s not right that it does.

  7. Aparna says:

    Looks like everyone beat me to the reply…but my gut reaction was to find another gym. I suppose if you didn’t have that option, you could try to be diplomatic and talk to your instructor and let him know how seriously messed up this is.

  8. Steve Zacher says:

    100% agreed with Alex. Took the words right out of my mouth. This is complete BS. Presuming the woman in question is a serious student who acts and dresses appropriately for class, this is 100% an issue with the instructor/owner of the school.

    Not only is this sexist bullshit, but I’m also frustrated at the lack of loyalty the instructor is showing a committed student. She’s been training for 10 months, for Christ’s sake. After 10 months, she has damn well demonstrated that she’s there to learn and should be treated accordingly. And the instructor should be loyal to her and stand up for her to some woman who doesn’t train.

    I’m willing to entertain the idea that there’s more to this story than we know, but I’d give the instructor a very short amount of time to make things right before looking for another school.

  9. Andrea Daly says:

    Thanks for all your support and advice. I replied up above under SavageKitsune’s comment…I’ve never posted a comment on a blog/chat (whatever this is) before so the other people who made comments may not have seen my response. Please see my response up above.

  10. leslie says:

    Somehow I was expecting something like this… And if the instructor himself is a pastor and it’s his wife raising the ruckus, well, that explains why it became gym-wide policy.

    Ugh. *cue head-bashing-on-wall*

    I’m Christian, my coach is Christian, several of my guys are openly Christian. I’ve never had a problem working with them, and none of those guys have a problem working with me. And believe me, here in the hills of southwest Virginia, we were raised on more than a healthy dose of “propriety.”

    Several other bloggers are Christian, too. Allie (http://clearbelt.blogspot.com/) was a youth pastor and Shark Girl (http://sharkgirlbjj.blogspot.com/) is married to a pastor. They may have more advice about how to approach this.

    So, obviously, I still don’t think it’s a valid policy. But if it’s based (however nominally) on “religious” grounds, I think you’ll have people retreating behind rules & regulations and saying that they can’t control it. And I still want to go beat some sense in to these people — and I’ve can go verse-for-verse with them, too. 😉

    I would still go talk to the instructor. I would push for the reason behind the policy, and I would still explain that it is unfair to you & your partner. (I might even ask if he’s trained with women before and ever had a problem. There may be a history there.) I would also point out that one of your main reasons for doing this is self-defense, which means you need to be learn how to do things against fully-grown men. … gah, I don’t know what else might convince him…

    I wish I knew a magic formula that would help you reverse this ignorant policy, but I also wonder if you’ll be able to.

  11. MC says:

    You obviously need to talk to the instructor. My recommendations:
    1. No logic explains why it’s okay for you to practice with every guy in the gym except one, one day at a time, but not all in one day. What’s the difference. Choose a few of your best practice partners to be allies when you confront the instructor, so he knows the guys also think this policy is ludicrous.
    2. If you can’t talk him out if that, insist that he assign you a practice partner at the beginning of class, not by prior arrangement, so that you never have to sit out.
    3. If this gym is the only option for you, and the instructor refuses to allow things to go back to normal by identifying the guy(s) who are not supposed to practice with you and letting you be fully integrated part of the class, insist on a significant discount. I’d go for >50%. Not only are you missing out on classes you show up for, you are not getting equal treatment when you are allowed to join.
    4. There are probably laws governing discrimination that cover this situation. Perhaps research those that apply in your state and suggest to your instructor that he is in violation. If other gyms in your state (certainly country) integrate women, he must be. Also, he may also be in violation of some law that governs business practices– reneging on an initial promise or appearance of a promise for a quality of service which he is no longer providing. I imagine this would entitle you to a refund of payments since you were no longer allowed to participate fully. I’m no lawyer, though. Anyone else have thoughts on this?? If this doesn’t bother him and he knows you can’t afford to sue him, you should suggest that on someday, some rich lady who wants to do bjj may walk into the club and get pissed off.
    5. I’ve never had to get ugly with an instructor or owner, and I don’t know yours, so please use your best judgement. I may be way off the mark on how to handle the guy. I just want to offer suggestions that might be more effective than telling you to take your custom elsewhere. That it probably what I would do, if there were another bjj gym anywhere in the area. You could also or try to start an informal group with some guys who want extra practice or who wish class time was structured differently, but you’d need a higher belt to help you lay ground rules and organize the sessions, etc.

  12. I’m a Christian and my dad is a pastor and I really have no idea why any Christian would have a problem with a woman training. My guess is that he isn’t getting this belief from the Bible, but just from his wife being jealous. I’d be really interested in talking with him as to why he believes what he believes.

    I mean, I go to the same school as Leslie, I’m a Christian and I’m married. My wife knows that women attend the school, but she knows we’re just there to train, so she doesn’t have a problem with me rolling with Leslie or any other woman.

    I think Leslie’s suggestion of talking to Allie or SharkGirl is great! Definitely talk to them and then try to take the diplomatic route first. I know you said the school your attending is the only one in town, but if you don’t mind me asking, where is the next closest school?

  13. Steve Zacher says:

    There aren’t any judo clubs in your area? The bottom line here for me is that you aren’t getting good training if you can’t train with your teammates.

    He doesn’t seem to want to stop taking your money.

  14. leslie says:

    Something I thought of this morning — you said the policy is that you can’t ask guys in class to pair up with you (the way the rest of the world does), that you have to have someone set up before you get there.

    Could you talk to some of the guys after class one night and say something like, “Hey, Mr. Instructor says I need to clear it with my partners before I train with them. He’s worried that someone might be uncomfortable training with a woman. I was wondering if you’d be willing to train with me [insert next class you intend to attend]?” Maybe even add, “So-and-so [regular training partner] would like to roll with other people, too.” (if you need a little extra guilt to sway them).

    I started wondering if the guys think that this is something that you instigated, and so they would never think to volunteer to help you. Because I suspect that there are at least a few of them who don’t care at all and would be willing to train with you.

  15. countlphie says:

    your instructor is a dumbass. there was a girl in our class who had such bad B.O. that other students complained about not wanting to train with her. As much as our instructor liked those other very promising students, she knew it’s not fair to single out one student based on OTHERS’ complaints. We lost 3 students because of that incident and we all had to train with B.O. girl (hilarious now that I think back on it). I know it’s not the exact situation, but that’s the kind of fairness you should be treated with, no matter what. It’s not your damn responsibility to deal with others’ personal issues.

    For them to cite religious reasons, is a very personal thing. That means it applies to THEM, not YOU. They should be the ones to sit out when you show up, not you. They should be the ones calling ahead for training partners. Why does their personal beliefs and personal family problems take precedence over your training in a GYM? The pastor is a pastor in church. He is a BJJ instructor in the gym. If he wants to cross over the two then he should make it clear on the school that it’s a christian BJJ school, otherwise his idiot policy that apparently only applies to you, makes NO SENSE.

    This makes me really angry. If I were you I would have gone public with this on the UG, and drop the town’s name because I’m willing to bet somebody who doesn’t have dick for brains is willing to open a school that doesn’t discriminate.

  16. Reese says:

    This is absolutely unacceptable. This IS discrimination and I can’t imagine you’d have trouble turning it into a legal issue if you so desired. The fact is, you are being singled out as a woman. If the “new policies” applied to everyone in the gym (ie. everyone must arrange his or her own training partner in advance for every class) then that would be stupid but it would certainly be legal. However, to make separate rules for YOU and you alone cannot possibly be classified as anything but discrimination and there has to be some law against it, especially since you did not sign up under those circumstances nor did you agree to them when putting in your time and money all those months. In my opinion, you need to get a lawyer involved and you need to make this a bigger deal in your area because I’m willing to bet there are a lot of people, women and men alike, who would stand up for your rights in this situation. You should also identify who at the gym is aware of the fact that you are being discriminated against and who is not, because those who are not aware of it might be equally outraged if they found out. Please don’t sit quietly on this just because you don’t want to cause trouble.

    That said, I personally would want nothing to do with such a gym. I wouldn’t stay there another moment if it was me, since an instructor like that doesn’t deserve my money. As someone else mentioned, is there really nowhere else you can train? It may be the only place in town but what about farther out? Even if it’s a bit of a hike (or drive), you should search beyond your own area to find a place that does not suffer from caveman behavior and where you can start over and actually be respected as someone training a martial art.

  17. Andrea Daly says:

    Thank you all for your comments. It helps me spiritually to feel supported. I am not the type of person who likes confrontations or would want to sue anybody. A little personal background: I moved to this town six years ago and have struggled to try to fit in. It is a very small, conservative Christian town and I am an extreme liberal who follows more Eastern spiritual practices . I have already been ostracized by different groups because I’m not a Christian or because I am a hippy…I’ve even been labeled an anarchist which I am nothing of the sort. I discovered my dojo first when looking for an after school program for my son since I work full time. He was learning karate and BJJ and was always so excited to show me what he learned at BJJ. I had no idea what BJJ even was or how it was any different from any other martial art. I did a little research into it and came to the conclusion that it is probably one of the most effective self defense martial arts, and thought why not give it a try for myself. Making a huge public legal issue about this would effect my son’s attendance at the dojo as well as ostracize me even further from this community. Right now, I seem to get along fine with most of the guys, including my instructor, (I am smart enough to never talk religion or politics with them), and I don’t want to lose my ability to train BJJ completely. The next closest place to train is 1.5 hours drive across the mountain pass. This is not practical for me with my schedule. The new policy went into effect mid-december. Previously to this l was training five days a week. Now I am lucky if I get to train three/wk. I do agree with those of you who said that this is discrimination…it is…but life is also a balancing act and I need to play my cards right.

  18. Reese says:

    Hi Andrea, I’m sorry to hear that it’s such a delicate situation for you but I don’t think that you should be compromising and trying to do a balancing act. You keep referring to “this policy” but it’s not a policy. It’s a rule specially set up to restrict YOUR training and no one else’s. It’s a fake rule that was created just for you, targeting you alone. And no matter what you say about how you get along with your instructor, he is NOT your friend and I don’t see how you can possibly get along with him or respect each other or anyone else in that gym if they are willing to do this to you. I understand that you don’t want to stop training completely but right now what you are doing is not proper training and never will be. You need to sit down with your instructor and, without threatening lawsuit (if you really feel strongly about not making waves), you need to flat out tell him this is discrimination. You respect him and you understand that there are problems, but you are not getting what you are paying for. Therefore, he either needs to charge you half price or less, or he needs to work out a better routine and take steps – it’s not YOUR job, it’s HIS job – to ensure that you train with as many different people as possible. If he’s not willing to be straightforward with you about who the problem is with, then it is his responsibility to put together a list of everyone at the gym that you can train with (or the few people you can’t) and that’s it. I know that I’m in a very different place so I can’t really relate, but from my own viewpoint, such as it is now, I would leave and never look back. If you want to try to make it work, that’s fine, but you can’t let them bully you either. You need to lay out the situation and insist (politely, if you must) that he resolve it immediately in a way that is acceptable to you as a paying customer and dedicated student.

  19. MC says:

    Try using your instructor’s position of responsibility and “Christian” scruples against him. Totally guilt trip him. It’s okay for some woman you don’t know to run your bjj life? But not for you to be treated as an equal to the men at the gym? What does this look like to everyone in this public place? To your son? Your instructor, a pastor and leader in his community, is telling everyone through his actions that is is right and proper to walk all over a woman and treat her like a second class citizen. How is he going to have any sort of credibility when he finds himself counseling a jealous young guy who beats his ex when she starts dating a new man? When a teenager mistreats his single mom? When an married man threatens to divorce his wife because she wants to go to bible study or the church women’s group instead of spending time at home with him? Recently there were protests in Israel because ultraorthodox men would spit and yell at an 8 year old girl on her way to school on a public street because they thought she was inappropriately dressed (she wasn’t, to our standards, and anyway, she’s eight!).
    Imply he’s a moral coward. And un-American. (You’re in the U.S., right?) Is this policy something he could stand up and defend in a public forum? “Propriety” trumps life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Does he ask his congregation to pray for fallen and wounded servicemembers? Would he tell a female veteran or a veteran’s wife to abide by this policy? What about another pastor’s wife, like SharkGirl?
    And, like I said before. Find some allies in the gym to back you up and help you talk to the instructor. If you have been inoffensive about your beliefs and respectful of others’, there should be some level heads you can call upon. Worst case, get yourself a group of training partners to rotate days with you so that if your pre-arranged partner doesn’t show up, you can pre-arrange 5 minutes before class. . . . And get a discount!
    Having read your background, I agree with Reese now. I would personally walk out of there and stop payment on any credit card or checks or whatever, and not let someone like this teach a child of mine if I could help it. Are there girls in the kids class? How are they treated? I hear some of the Gracies have a has a good dvd series for kids you could perhaps do at home if you leave the school.
    I’m really sorry you are in such a situation. I doubt I could live in a place like that.

    • Reese says:

      MC said it very well. I’m an atheist and I don’t need a Bible to tell me that common human courtesy and decency should be a standard for everyone. How can this pastor defend his actions from a moral viewpoint? Making one of his paying, hard-working students so uncomfortable and, it seems, fairly miserable for what? A jealous wife? If propriety is such an issue, shouldn’t we be assuming that his (or whoever’s) marriage is secure and loving enough to not warrant such paranoia? The whole thing is total nonsense and while I don’t have kids of my own, I certainly would not want my young nephews or cousins training somewhere run by a person who would behave in this way. Training MMA for me has been all about the people and the community. I love my gym. I love every single person there. It’s a family, a very close-knit, awesome one, and it’s why I’ve stuck with it. Without that supportive, encouraging and totally comfortable environment, I would never have continued to go and as much as you enjoy it and want to continue it, I can’t imagine ever walking into a gym day after day if I was being treated that way. By not confronting the issue head on, you’ll likely be setting a bad precedent for the treatment of women there in general. As tough as the situation seems to be, I don’t think you can be overly polite about this. The school needs to provide a safe training environment for ALL of its members, no exceptions. It’s unacceptable for the instructor to go out of his way to make it bad for you just to accommodate someone’s insecure significant other. Totally unacceptable by any legal or moral standard. If he can’t provide a fair service, then you should get out and make sure everyone knows the name of this place. They don’t deserve to have a good reputation if they can’t live up to it and they don’t deserve your time or money (or your son). In all honesty, it kind of sounds like they’re just hoping you’ll give up and quit.

  20. Jenna says:

    I know I’ve joined this a little late but maybe you should provide him with a link to this article and the comments posted. He will see it from everyone’s else point and maybe see that his wife should try rolling with his class before she makes judgement about the suitability of it all. Does the dojo allow boys and girls in the younger classes to train together i wonder? Where I train (in Australia, yay!) we don’t have kids classes…….yet 🙂

    • Andrea Daly says:

      Thanks Jenna, this is a very good idea. And yes, in the kids class boys and girls train with each other. There are no issues there.

  21. Steve Zacher says:

    Ultimately, bottom line, I am also very, very angry, Andrea. Speaking only for myself, I just can’t imagine being put in the situation you’re in. We all enjoy our training so much. It’s such a great part of my day, I would be incredibly angry and frustrated if someone imposed stupid, senseless restrictions upon me.

    It sounds like you’re handling it better than I ever could. I’m very sure I would have burned at least a couple bridges by now. 🙂

  22. Andrea:

    As angry as this makes me, I will not pretend you are not in an extremely difficult position. Training elsewhere doesn’t seem to be a reasonable option, and I have my doubts that this is a matter of propriety; I think it is something else (on their part, not yours). Not to get on a woman’s soapbox here, but this is exactly the attitiude that leads to BJJ made-to-order-situations in the first place. I realize that you need them, but I’m sorry, the guys in your school are not ACTING like a family, and your instructor is not ACTING like a moral man. I would argue that perhaps, he is using propriety to cover up some other issues, perhaps, his spouse knows things about him that lead to such an edict. Most importantly, you need to keep this in the forefront of your mind: YOU ARE NOT WRONG. But being right may not be helpful in your case. I think you are fighting not a policy, but a much more deeply ingrained belief, evidenced by your classmates’ seeming compliance. So confrontation may not yield any results. Its flies and honey time. I would either pursue a discount or some type of group approach. I would also remind your “instructor” that BJJ is about discipline, competition, respect, patience, etc. ALL THE THINGS THAT CHRISTIANITY ESPOUSES. You might also want to consider trying to link up with other people (not necessarily) attached to the school. You never know, they may have been turned off my this guy as well. Finally, since he seems so convinced that your gender limits you, perhaps you could stroke his STOO-PID, (read protect-the-little-woman) button by arguing that you are engaging in this for a measure of comfort at being the “little woman”, and since no woman is nearly as likely to attack you as a “big bad man”, you want every tool avaialble to defend yourself. I would stress that you cannot depend on the kindness of strangers (or him) to defend you , and you need to be able to fend for yourself.
    That being said, I hope that no one here takes offense to what I have said, I simply believe that Andrea may have (mis)use the cards she’s got to get (some of )what she wants. Best of luck.

  23. Matthew says:

    The studio master is an ass. I’ve been doing this for… a while to say the least, and I can attest that the last thought going through my mind when I roll around is sex. The jealous spouse probably weighs more than her husband, thus the jealousy. I would keep searching for another dojo where the master actually gets it.

  24. Matthew says:

    another thought: despite some nuances, submission wrestling is… submission wrestling, meaning BJJ isn’t the only game in town, not by a long shot. In fact, I started in Judo. I have noticed some differences, but primarily in the rules of competition, not the holds or moves so much. There is also Samba and folk wrestling, both of which stress joint locks and chokes until submission. You might try and check out the other forms.

  25. Andrea Daly says:

    A little update into my status…the new policy is not going to change. Some of the other guys have sided with me and said that the policy is completely sexist and wrong, yet my instructor is set on sticking by his propriety excuse. I had bad day on Monday. Went to the dojo but my training partner was sick and didn’t show up. I had to sit on the sidelines, once again, fuming inside, and realized that this use to feel like a family that empowered me but it no longer empowers me but rather beats me down. At the end of each class there’s always a time for announcements. I told everyone that this was my last class, expressed my gratitude for all that I have learned, and wished them all well on their BJJ journey. Some of the guys came up to me after class was dismissed and apologized for how things went down. My instructor said nothing to me. I came home filled with sadness, anger and disappointment. But the universe works in mysterious ways sometimes and I decided to channel my emotions in positive ways. I made the decision that the time to leave this town is NOW. I can no longer maintain my spiritual well being living a place that constantly ostracizes me when I have shown nothing but kindness and respect to the people here. I stayed up late writing up a new resume and applied to several jobs online. I already have an interview line up two weeks from now for a job opening in May in a town that is more complimentary to my ideologies and personality. With the power of positive thinking I am taking the reins of control…shoot, I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR!

    • leslie says:

      That’s great! I’m so glad to hear that you’re working everything out, even if the answer goes far beyond what any of us originally thought. I joke around about life imitating BJJ, but it sounds like that’s exactly what was going on — the BJJ policy is a reflection of the whole town’s attitude.

      Good luck in your job (& town) hunting! And let us know when you find a new BJJ school 😉

    • Reese says:

      I’m so sorry that it ended on such a negative note for you but I’m really glad to hear that you’re getting out of there…not just the school but the town as well, because it doesn’t sound like a healthy place at all. As an atheist, I would never live in a community where the majority’s religious or cultural beliefs clashed so much with mine. I think it’s great that you’re making plans to move on and to somewhere that is more practical for you and your son. Best of luck to you, although I do think you should release the name of this place, not to get back at them but simply because people within the BJJ community have a right to know where behaviors like this are going on, and to avoid them if need be.

    • Andrea Daly says:

      Reese, thanks for your support. I am not comfortable releasing the name of the dojo but it is plainly obvious to anyone who walk in there as to what their policies are. On two walls they have posted in large red letters “ATTENTION LADIES” and then goes on to state the rules for female participation. If you see this sign, run the other way!

  26. Angela says:

    YIPPEE!! And congrats on leaving w/your head held high and your detractors taken low. Even those “guys who sided withyou (way too late for me) console yourslef with the fact that they have seen how a true lady behaves, namely for the benefit of those who have no manners and no principles. Your instructor and your class have just seen the exit of one of the finest students they will never have. You’ve got you and they are left with themselves. He can take his odious sign donw, because the last “lady” just left! I’d say you are the winner hands down. WELL DONE!

  27. MC says:

    He should leave the signs up.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if the “I’m an unreasonable misogynistic jerk.” signs were always obviously visible right away? It would save a lot of trouble.

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