Friday, June 17, 2016

Sally Arsenault on why BJJ and cartoons belong together


Funny cartoons about women doing BJJ are few and far between, so when I found a great collection I had to talk to Canadian Sally Arsenault about her inspiration.

Sally is between blogs at the moment with a new one just starting, but both share great line-drawings tackling the best and the worse of her favourite sport. So how did she start?

She said: “I actually started drawing cartoons on MS Paint because I was on the BJJ Scout message board trying to explain a ridiculous submission a white belt was trying to crank on me the night before.
"Where I'm so small, I generally tend to avoid rolling with newer men because sometimes you can't tell who will be more concerned about submissions than the well-being of their partners. But sometimes I'll take the chance and that's where the inspiration for my cartoons usually comes from.”

Encouraged by Seymour Yang (from art/ Jiu Jitsu blog Meerkatsu), Sally started a Facebook page for her drawings, and one thing led to another. 

I picked out a few that really made me smile, and asked where the ideas came from.


 A.   Fun Times with Giant White Belts

This cartoon was inspired by a visitor to our club. On Sundays a lot of people come to roll with us, and one day I had a roll with a very jacked young man (actually a blue belt) who, as you would expect, tossed me around quite easily and submitted me.

Afterwards, he had this self-satisfied look on his face as though he had just accomplished something great and said, "Good job".

"I'm no technical wizard but even if I was, rolling with a young man who is literally twice my size is never going to end with my hand raised if he actually is trying to submit me. But that didn't seem to occur to him. All he saw was my purple belt.

"So I drew the cartoon and exaggerated the ridiculousness of the situation. The funniest thing about that cartoon is there were actually people who were mad about it and said that I should be able to submit any white belt as a purple belt.

"I find that the haters are usually the people who never even make it to blue belt so how would they know?

B: explains itself!


So by now you can see Sally is pretty into BJJ but it could have gone another way. Her first martial art was Muaythai.

She said: “The problem I was having when I started was transportation. I didn't have a car and Titans was hard to get to by bus from my home so I looked around for another club. I eventually joined a club that was just around the corner from home and my first class was in MMA.

“In that class we did stand up and grappling and I found myself much more drawn to grappling, though I had a hard time not giggling at men with their legs wrapped around each other.”

Looking for a self-defence angle at the time, Sally added: “I figured I'd have a better chance in a self-defence situation if having someone between my legs was a good position for me than I would if I punched a guy in the face and just made him mad.

“At 100lbs I figured I would be better off learning how to choke someone.”





Sally Arsenault's shiny new blog is:  Eat Train Lift 

Follow Sally on Facebook too at her BJJ home:  Halifax Titians Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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