Thursday, July 4, 2013

Gabi's done with the gi?

I was delighted to find Gabi Garcia when I first started training. The large woman is an oddity in life, perhaps even more so in BJJ. There's the perpetually strange dance of size advantage and strength disadvantage that, pushing four years in, I'm still a novice at navigating.

When I read this on Bloody Elbow about her reasons for considering leaving BJJ for MMA, my heart sank a bit.

I want to figh MMA now. I don't know when I will fight on a GI again. I'm unmotivated, not because I think I'm invincible, but we need to find another challenge. Many people is not fighting the absolute class, focusing on the weight classes, and I need another goal in life. If I am able to get down my weight, and if UFC or other events begin to have bigger weight classes, I will get down my weight as much as possible. Now I am going to train to defend my title in the ADCC.

While I'm quite practically aware that existing on the tail of a bell curve changes the options life has for you, I still had a big-girls-can't-catch-a-break moment of self pity when I read it. She seems to enjoy training in the gi, and while other competitors are finding deepening fields of competition, she's looking for new horizons...and in the back of my mind, I know that in reality, MMA won't likely offer any greater size equality than BJJ's not like women grow bigger in the octagon. A part of me wishes she'd stay with BJJ and maybe do something off the wall like pioneer cross-gender competition (whatever that would look like), but it's definitely not something I'd expect her to do alone, or even want to do. If she does fight though, it may end up being the first PPV bout I spring for.


Georgette said...

Oh that's very interesting. I hadn't heard that.

There is a very talented young purple belt lady here in Texas, Laurah Hallock. She has competed in the mens divisions (and won) when she doesn't have enough competition in the ladies divisions. She's not a big girl, either-- maybe 5'6" 120?

Thanks for posting :)

Megan said...

I'll have to look Laurah up. I'd love to see that more often personally...not that it should replace having separate divisions for men and women.

Does she compete in her same weight class?