(I hope this is an OK place for this question. If it's too much of a noob query, feel free to move it where appropriate)
I've been doing MT for about three weeks now (previously many many years of tkd). There is another woman at the gym with whom I often end up getting paired. She started at the gym at the same time as me, but previously trained at a bad gym — where they didn't do sparring or grappling — for about a year. Thus, while she's definitely more advanced than me in some ways, we're reasonably even in others.
My tkd years don't count for much in some aspects of MT training, but what I do understand from that time is how to train with control. If you're better than someone, you can beat them in training without injuring them. I don't think she gets this, which is perhaps understandable given her background.
I'm pretty bad at grappling. At this stage, we're (she and I, that is; everybody trains together at the gym) really just doing snaking hands stuff with light contact knees — from what I can ascertain, they really just want us to focus more on strategy, hand postition and positioning your opponent for knees than trying to smash the other person up. When I grapple with the other more experienced chicks, they beat me (naturally), but generally in a reasonably relaxed way, while still putting up a fight. Once they've got me trapped and I move to break out of the grapple, they let me go.
However, when I end up paired with this other woman (and I often am), she claws onto the back of my head/neck like a vice, wrenches my head into her breasts and holds me there kneeing until I can free myself - which usually takes quite a bit of force.
Now, she's better than me at grappling for sure, and has more upper-body strength, but she's also just going crazily full-pelt. When I use ALL my strength I can sometimes do the same to her, but I don't like to, because it seems (to me) to miss the point of the exercise at this stage.
It wouldn't bother me that much, but it is freaking KILLING my neck. We often do about half an hour of grappling, and after training with her, I often have problems holding my head up in a normal position and I don't have a full range of motion for the next few days. It also just plain hurts. I'm generally a grit-your-teeth-and-bear-it kind of person when training, but I'm actually kind of worried that I'll end up with a neck injury, which would obviously be a bit concerning.
So: should I be worried about this? Is there real potential for injury here, and do I need to tell her to lay off a bit? Or am I being a taekwondo cry-baby because my opponent isn't being compliant and it gosh darn hurts? Will this eventually strengthen my neck?