Say what you will about the decision making of the characters under duress, even in your best of the worst horror films, their situation calls for them to make bold, quick and aggressive moves.

Bad script and all, its time to be very assertive.

One horror film that was one of the best of the best was the 2005 United Kingdom masterpiece entitled The Descent. article, lionsgate photo credit

The Descent is a 2005 British adventure horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall. The film follows six women who, having entered an unmapped cave system, become trapped and are hunted by troglofaunal flesh-eating humanoids.

If you are watching it for the first time, it is one engrossing and frightening film.

What captivates is how some of the female characters, once fairly passive become very assertive to survive.  

Fortunately in our competitive female grappling industry, for the beautiful females involved, their ascent is not life threatening but it does call for being very assertive.

We love that fact that female grappling is open to women with a wide array of internal makeups. In terms of being assertive on the mats, that can be developed in the training.

Back in 2012 in San Jose, we worked with a beautiful young girl from Gilroy named Poppy and to help her find her physical assertion, she was trained by the industry super star Isamar. article, photo

Poppy would go on to face industry veteran Kait Snow and in a very tough match she was absolutely assertive. article, photo

Poppy’s classic videos can be found at

There is another intriguing match where a new girl, shows up at the door so to speak and wants to wrestle. Whatever passive traits she has will have to be left at the door to.

This happened with Kristi at the offices of the industry leader Fight Pulse in the Czech Republic. article, photo

“Kristi showed up at the door of our studio on a winter afternoon, with absolute lack of combat experience, but with a big heart. She fought two experienced and fearsome opponents that day, putting out her best effort, and surprised everybody by escaping Akela‘s famous pins and holding her ground against Jane‘s fierce attacks with sheer determination. You can read more about Kristi’s first appearance at Fight Pulse in this blog post. We are looking forward to seeing Kristi grow as a wrestler and become a true challenge to the higher-ranked lightweights.”

After some assertiveness training, Kristi has her first match and she is in tough. Let’s listen in.

“In her energetic, albeit painful, and ultimately exhausting, debut at Fight Pulse, Kristi faces the very aggressive Jane. article, photo

Jane, despite being new to wrestling herself, has already proven that she can fight with the best. Due to her unmatched speed and ferocity of her sudden attacks, Jane is truly a rough welcome for anybody. Can Kristi handle it? article, photo

We usually do not give new wrestlers aggressive and fast opponents in their first match, but it had to be done because of some last-minute changes in the schedule due to one wrestler calling in sick on our 10th of January shoot. Before the match one of the wrestlers that were standing by for her next match approached us in private and advised us to change the schedule again, since Kristi, she said, will not be able to handle such pressure. This happened because Kristi seemed timid, maybe due to her very kind nature and gentle manners, and not at all as the feisty wrestler type. But we decided to see Kristi in action before making any decisions. It didn’t take long for Kristi to find the fight in herself that we didn’t see at first. FW-28 ended up being a beautiful encounter that we were lucky to have set up and filmed.

We will disclose that Jane is dominant throughout the match, pinning down and submitting Kristi in scissors round after round. Kristi is caught off-guard by Jane’s attacks and gets slammed onto the mats brutally several times in the match. However, despite being winded by Jane’s fierce attacks, the amount of effort that Kristi puts out avoiding many of Jane’s pins and escaping her scissors several times, using only brute strength and determination, is what elevates this match to a whole another level. You can see the struggle that we are referring to briefly in the demo video embedded below.

FW-28, Kristi’s first wrestling match, is easily one of the most impressive debuts at Fight Pulse, in terms of how much of an effort she puts out. With this match Kristi immediately earned the respect of her fellow wrestlers, as well as the admiration of the production team. We are looking forward to watching her grow as a wrestler, and of course, doing our best to help her in her journey, if she decides this is what she wants to do.”

Great job Kristi.

Sometimes being assertive can be challenging because some of our societal training teaches us not to be.

This is described by Margalis Fjelstad Ph.D., LMFT at Psychology Today, “Always be nice, don’t ever hurt anyone else’s feelings, let the other person have their way, make the other person happy, etc.  In our personal relationships, most of us got the message that when we love someone we should always do what the other person wants.   So the question isn’t how to learn assertion skills as much as it is:  How do I get so I believe that I have the right to be assertive?”

Finding the balance between being cooperative, polite and not wanting to offend and being assertive, especially for women seems to be a delicate balance.

We have a visiting writer who speaks to this demonstrating that choosing the right time to be assertive can be in your best interest.

The Virtue of Assertiveness article, wikimedia photo

By Don Grimme

Our other articles allude to the importance of asserting yourself in the context of: teamwork, job burnout, attitude, and dealing with difficult people. This article describes what assertion really is, contrasts assertion with aggression (with which it is most often confused) and with submission, and enumerates why it is a virtue.

Assertion — What Is It?

We’ve seen several definitions of assertion. This one is our favorite:

Assertion is speaking honestly about your thoughts, feelings and desires, while considering those of others.

This is what I think/feel/want … and (at least implicitly) How about you?

Sounds pretty good to us! Honesty. Respecting yourself and others. Considering its inherent uncontroversial virtues, it’s puzzling that more people are not assertive.

Here’s another (although more a description than a definition):

Assertion takes responsibility for solving interpersonal problems through straightforward action and communication.

When you assert, you take responsibility, you solve problems, and you are straightforward (rather than underhanded or devious).

The following definition is perhaps the most common, but our least favorite:

Assertion is a way of acting that strikes a balance between two extremes: aggression and submission.

This one is not entirely accurate. Instead of being a balance, assertion really is an alternative to the two sides of the same coin — aggression and submission.

In fact, aggression or submission is a consequence of not being assertive.

Alternatives to Assertion


  • Is communicating in a demanding, abrasive or hostile way
  • Is insensitive to the rights, thoughts, feelings, or desires of others
  • Attempts to obtain results or responses through intimidation
  • Creates a dominate-lose scenario, which can lead to resentment and violence

Submission (or passivity):

  • Is yielding to others’ wants, while discounting your own rights
  • Is an inability to express your thoughts, feelings or wants
  • Is feeling guilty when expressing wants, as if you’re imposing
  • Tears down self-esteem and confidence (and causes you to build up anger)

If you’ve read our article on the nature of attitude, you may see a parallel between negative/neutral/positive attitude and aggressive/submissive/assertive behavior. They are related.

Here’s a quick way to identify true assertion (in yourself or others) versus submission or aggression:

Assertion says:
This is what I think … This is what I feel … This is what I want

Aggression adds:
Your thoughts are absurd … Your feelings don’t count … Your wants aren’t important

Submission says:
What I think isn’t important … What I feel doesn’t matter … What I want doesn’t count

When people are not assertive, they’ll gravitate to either aggression or submission, depending on personality type or mood.

And often the same individual will vacillate between aggression and submission … or act in ways which combine the two:

  • Passive-Aggressive: expressing anger in a covert fashion, e.g., “forgetting” about others’ requests or plotting revenge.
  • Manipulative: playing the victim or martyr to get others to feel sorry for them or take care of them.

The Virtue of Assertiveness

Assertion allows us to:

  • Express ourselves honestly
  • Consider how others feel
  • Feel good about ourselves
  • Take responsibility
  • Negotiate productively
  • Go for a win-win resolution

All obvious virtues and positive values! So, why aren’t many of us assertive more often?

Well, the most prevalent reason is fear of rejection or disapproval. And this is not an irrational fear. In fact, some people may not like what we are asserting. That is, they may not like us (at least that aspect of us, at that time).

Being at peace with that disapproval requires pretty healthy self-esteem. A discussion of the requirements of self-esteem is outside the scope of this article. One thing we can say about it here…

An essential ingredient to building one’s self-esteem is assertion. The more often we express ourselves honestly, the more we will feel good about ourselves.

A word of warning: Assertion is not a guarantee that you will get the response or results you want!

There is no such guarantee. But — in addition to all the benefits enumerated above — assertion stands a far better chance of getting those results than aggression or submission. At least in the long run and without the negative backlash inherent in those alternatives.

But should one always be assertive?

We maintain that you should always be assertive … in your thoughts. But, not necessarily in voicing those thoughts. There very well may be circumstances in which the consequences of vocal assertion could be quite negative. For example, when dealing with an aggressive person in authority or when threatened with violence.

Sometimes, maintaining silence is the wisest and most assertive action to take. Not endorsement of another’s actions or statements, but silence … or, perhaps, acknowledgement. Something like: I hear what you’re saying; without adding: I agree.

[See our other articles on this subject to gauge your current level of assertiveness and to learn how to do it.]

The Grimmes conduct customized onsite training workshops and large group presentations for organizations in every sector of the economy. Their groundbreaking book on managing people in today’s workplace will be published by AMACOM in the second half of 2008. Visit their main website at [] and topic-specific … and read issues of their own e-newsletter at []

~ ~ ~

Article Source:
Article Source: