Hey! I was wondering about your self defense training. Did you pick up everything you know in the military, or did you ever do any martial arts as well?
I got in a ton of fights growing up (kinda happens when you’re a trans girl growing up in South Carolina in the 80’s and 90’s). I copied movements from movies and TV, from reading fighting books, watching boxing matches etc. All before I joined the army.
When I was in the army I started watching and following mixed martial arts and for a few years I never missed a UFC fight. On my ODA (my team) there was a golden gloves boxer, a West Point wrestler, and a Jeet Kun Do practitioner and we did a decent amount of sparring in addition to the ‘combatives’ training courses I took. I was also moonlighting as a bouncer at a dive bar/metal venue for a while.
I’m not the most technical or skilled fighter out there and my submission game is pretty weak because I much prefer to fight on my feet. And of course since I prefer to stand and strike but I usually give up reach to my opponents I don’t really fight on the outside much either (though I’m told I have a good stiff jab). Instead, I have a solid chin so I stand in the pocket and trade, usually opting for heavy shots thrown with bad intentions at close range (the shovel hook is a perpetual favorite). For exceptionally mobile opponents I find a wall or corner to trap them in or I’ll opt for a takedown and throw elbows and punches from the mount and even inside the guard.
My biggest strengths are probably my capacity for walking through heavy hits and my aggression.