The first time I put my feet on the mat I was very nervous, I hate having to start at a new school and even though this was now my second attempt at a new school it was now going to be the 4th academy I would try and make my home. As always I pretty much kept quiet and watched as the school instructor did his thing. He could tell I was not comfortable drilling with anyone plus its not like if anyone was jumping at the chance to drill with the new student, let alone a female newb. This continued on for at least a month, I decided to finally come to open mat at one of the instructors request. It actually was pretty cool I got some good rolls in and was ok to cut the umbilical cord and head out on my own so to speak.
I started getting some courage and asking to roll with some of the guys that seemed nice. As I started to develop some confidence on the mat the more I was willing to just go up to someone and say “hey wanna roll ?”. Granted It was very frustrating at first and still at times is. I had to stand there like the red headed step child looking for a training partner or someone to roll with plenty of times. Its like someone turned the light on and all the roaches scatter. I didn’t let it stop me and soon enough being on the mat pretty much every day gets you some respect and shows ” Hey jerks, I’m here to stay! “
Dedication can take you a long way if you really want it and while my skills are constantly developing I have my team to thank. All of them , these guys do not let me off easy just because I’m a female and I love it. I mean its not like if they are completely trying to smash me on the mat but they don’t let me have anything during our rolling sessions. They are great training partners, if I have an injury they stay clear of the area or offer to go light. They encourage me to train, are there to help with any questions I may have, they will stop and show me what i’m doing wrong and how to correct it. I can ask for light rolling so that I can test out techniques, they are positive, humble, supportive and most important respectful. It really becomes an extended family you spend so much time on the mat you can’t help but develop friendships. I look forward to acquire more and more partners and all the taps that go with them.