Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pulling Faces

So, I have this problem. With my face. :)

Ever since I first started I have made faces while I grapple. To this day, I am still taunted for the look of terror that was on my face when I faced off with Tania in my first ever tournament grapple. View exhibit "A":

During one of my first grapples with one of the bigger blue belts at my school, Jimmy, he actually stopped mid grapple to ask if I was ok. Perplexed, I said, "Yes, why?" He said, "You look like I'm killing you." He wasn't hurting me at all, but apparently I had a look of terror on my face.

Early on, my facial expressions caused problems between me and some of my close friends. When I get serious, it shows on my face. When I get frustrated, it shows on my face. When I'm having fun, it shows on my face. The bad thing is that I A) Have no idea I am making these expressions and B) Probably couldn't keep myself from doing it even if I tried.

As I said, early on this caused me problems. A few people thought I was being a poor sport, because I looked angry while I was grappling. I had to explain that I was not angry and didn't even realize I was making faces. Thankfully, my friends know me well enough not to be offended.

A few of my friends in class have noticed this trait and are now taking full advantage of it. They think it is hilarious to do things that frustrate me because I get my "frustrated face". Or they joke with me when I get into "go mode" and have my game face on. One guy, who is way better than me, even started humming while he was grappling me and sweeping me a lot just to enrage me. It wasn't real anger, to be clear. I knew he was just messing with me because I get so animated (we'd had a conversation about my expressions the night before). So I hammed it up and acted like I was in rage mode and started going MMA on him, throwing body punches. It really didn't help me much but it made me feel better. lol

It is all in good fun, but it does make me wonder how I come across to people who don't know me very well. To be honest, my mind goes somewhere else when I grapple. I am not focused on my face. lol.

I don't really know what I can do about this. Honestly, I am not meaning any ill will toward my grappling partners. I just make horrible faces. lol. Have any of you ever grappled someone like me who "pulls faces"? What did you think of them while you were grappling?


leslie said...

I'm a face-maker, too. I also don't realize I'm doing it. Though I think people still think I'm mad or frustrated or something and don't say anything to me yet.

BJJ Judo said...

There is a "face maker" in every gym, my favorite is the constipated face. There is another angle you should consider. More experienced fighters will start to associate the face you are making with what you are about to do. There was a guy at my old gym that used to make a "very still face" and look out of the corner of his eyes downard and to the left just before explosivly jumping to the right side in an attempt to surprisingly pass the guard. Once I recognized the tell he couldnt surprise me anymore.

A.D. McClish said...

@Leslie: At least I am not the only one! lol

@Eric. SUCK! I probably do that!

SavageKitsune said...

You may look scared, but Tania is too scared to even look at you!!

Apparently my neutral face does not look chipper enough for some people's satisfaction. People are always telling me, "Smile!" I used to try to be patient with this, because I know they don't mean any harm, but I've gotten pretty tired of hearing that. Come on, who walks around all the time with a big cheesy grin plastered on their face? So now I respond, "Sorry. That's just the way my face is."

Keith said...

good thing about the internet....

no one can see your face :)

I get told I make "monster" faces when I attack.

shakiaharris said...

dont feel bad...i'm a whistler and now all the new guys associate me with the scary one-eyed lady from the kill bill movies lol

Family Mat-ters said...

My family tells me I have a jiujitsu face. I'm still not sure what that means, but sometimes even outside of class they'll tell me I'm wearing my bjj face.
When rolling I don't even see my opponent's face.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Upside: I usually look like I'm really enjoying the roll!

Downside: That often involves me sticking out the tip of my tongue kinda like this and end up biting it.

I'm a special flavour of stupid!

leslie said...

So I just had my annual review at work yesterday, and one big note was that I tend to make faces at statements without following up with an explanatory comment. So everyone at work is unsure of what my faces mean, too...


leslie said...

@Liam: I used to stick my tongue out, too, when I was concentrating, but getting hit in TKD cured me of that. :P

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