No more pretending! No more lies!

So….I have a little secret, and I’ve decided to come clean.

As many of you know, I prefer grappling over striking.
I tell everyone that. That’s actually putting it politically correctly.

Actually…I hate striking. I HATE IT. I’ve disliked it since high school, when I stopped Tae Kwon Do and started Judo! That’s why I did Judo in the first place. It’s the ‘gentle way.’ But I’ve always forced myself to do it, tried to enjoy it… But you know, I can’t say I hate it, because then I would never get good at it. Like math. As soon as I admitted that I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t.

So I worked at it and worked at it. I’m a professional and beating people up is part of my job, so I have to do it and get good at it. I’ve gotten better in practice, but only show a fraction of that in an actual fight. Why. WHY? I’m tearing my hair out…why not?? I’m crying into the night. WHY NOT?

So I put in MORE time. I FOCUSED my entire training around striking. Ever since the Sarah Kaufman fight, I’ve been doing like 60% striking and had felt deprived of grappling to some degree! And I never enjoyed it…not really. I worked SO so hard and I got a little good… but let’s face it. I’m not going to become super kickboxing woman because I HATE striking. And I have to pretend I don’t and make the best of it. And be positive and Happy Warrior-ish.

So I thought.

But I’m going to stop kidding around with the “I’m going to knock you out” stuff. It’s like…I have a sword. It’s pretty sharp on one end. But other people are fighting with a double-ended spear, so I tried sharpening the other end of my sword. Except it’s not metal, so I end up just poking people with it, and then flipping it around and using the sharp end after all.

So, I’ve decided to embrace how I really feel. To all my opponents out there…I don’t want to smash your face in. I’m going to grab you and twist you into a tight little pretzel and then choke the life and spirit out of you until YOU TAP THE HELL OUT.

Don’t get me wrong. I can strike! It’s not beautiful. I will hit you, but you may not lose conciousness over it.

This is beautiful.

This. I think this is freaking great. This is art. This is control, this is power, this is skill. Oh so beautiful. I love it. The flowing, the transitions, the technique! I can’t get enough! Sense the energy, sense the intention, bait them, trap them, bring them to the edge of breaking but don’t. Because you have enough skill not to. And I love MMA as a whole, and I love ground and pound.

And I realized something…I had known, but it just never sunk in, you know? Whenever I grapple a lot, I sleep well. Like a log. Whenever I take days off from grappling, or I only do striking, I can’t sleep well.…