BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

Weekend with Slideyfoot

How was your Easter weekend? Good? Great. Mine? Mine was… quite a bit surreal.


Thursday afternoon/evening, drove down to Norfolk to meet up with some jiu-jitsu people who I’m lucky to hang out with frequently — Addie, Chrissy & Brian, MikeByrd, and Val Worthington — and one new face who I’ve “known” just as long: Can Sönmez, aka, Slideyfoot.


Can and I both stayed with Addie, so Friday morning we got a behind-the-scenes look at The Green Gi. Friday afternoon the entire gang headed to Antwain Britt’s Olympus Fitness & Martial Arts for some rolling. (We had tried to find an Open Mat, but then realized that we ourselves were a walking Open Mat, just in need of mats. So we found mats.)

Open Mat amongst ourselves (I am failing at embedding images today) – l to r: Chrissy, Brian, MikeByrd, Addie, Antwain, me, Can, Val

I rolled more then that I’ve rolled in the last 3 weeks, whew. Two with Can, two with Val, two with MikeByrd (I think. Or one. I dunno. Brain cells were starting to short out.), and one each with everyone else (including Antwain and Brian, which were as hilarious as you might expect. Apparently I’m small or something…?). For whatever reason I was fixated on getting Hillary Williams’ grip, but I did absolutely nothing with it after that. But Chrissy told me that I was meaner, so yay! And the better part of that is that in my own head I was berating myself for not being mean enough, so that means that even my baseline is better. So yay!

We had planned to train Friday night as well, but then all decided that we were tired and old and hungry, so it was dinner and board games for the night.


Saturday, Addie’s coach Dave “The Rock” Jacobs was doing a seminar at Tidewater Academy, so Addie, Can, and I went there. I love seminars where something in the warmup gets my attention: sideways rolls down the mat, but not Granby’s; instead, simulating a butterfly sweep, but post on your head, far arm, and outside knee, then slide under & through to scarf hold. Ooooooo….

Dave also went over the inverted armbar that we were working in class last week. (Shoulder sammich!) Nice transition to an americana sweep if they bring their arm in front. Then some work around an opponent turtling, eventually going to crucifix. (And then if they sit up, you can flow right back into the front shoulder lock from the turtle earlier, and then crucifix, and then and then and then…) And finally some wristlocks. I want to try that one from side control, though I’m expecting someone to say, “Oh, hang on, my wrist is caught here.” Um, yeah, cuz I has caught it. Now, tap.

There was more; I wrote it down, but don’t remember at the moment (which is why I write it down…).

Finished off the seminar by rolling with one of the in-house blue belts. He uses the same Hillary Williams’ grip, but also uses it for spider guard, which makes for some pretty sweeps. Must try!

Funny moment before the seminar: we’re standing around changing/waiting, and a guy walks up to Can. “Excuse me, but are you… Slideyfoot?” He had been reading through some of Can’s online stuff, and so was rather flabbergasted to see the man who wrote it all standing in an academy in Virginia, lol.

After the seminar, we cleaned up & met with everyone else. After dinner, though, I headed home to spend Easter Sunday with my family. All yesterday I kept thinking, “Wait, did that just happen?” but the piles of laundry and the photos on Facebook seem to prove that it did.

(Today, though, I am tapping out to allergies. Boo hiss.)


BJJ converts another one

New lady at class last night. She currently does TKD. She might not be doing it by the end of the week, though. ;)

Short warmup. I avoided forward/backwards rolls because brain, and helped the new lady.

(Btw, I figured out how to describe how my head feels. Do you remember those magic pictures? The seemingly-randomly-colored images that, if you stared at them just right, would pop a 3D image out at you? [I tried to insert one of them here for reference, but my brain took one look and said, "Nope!"] Anyway, if you ever used to try them and your brain would start hurting after a while, that’s exactly how my head feels most of the time. Being stuck under fluorescent lights and staring at computer screens all day does not help.)

Drilling. Cross-collar from guard, then to armbar (which is still mostly a choke, lol), then later to reverse armbar. Remember: shoulder sammich. And if you use that top knee to rotate their shoulder down, then finding/finishing the elbow is much simpler.

Couple of rounds to finish up. I went with the new lady; started with her in my guard trying to pass, and me sweeping to mount. Then halfway through the round, we switched places, so she had to try for those chokes or armbars and I passed. She seemed to enjoy herself more the less she was able to accomplish against me, lol. Then I did a round with shiny new purple belt Tyler, and then another round with the new lady, this time from mount.

New lady was so excited and happy, because BJJ > TKD. (It’s true. I used to do TKD, too, so I know exactly what she was feeling.) And then as we were talking after class, I found out that she is the current boarder at my aunt & uncle’s place. Small town ftw! When she told me where she was living and I said that was my aunt & uncle’s place, she said, “So you’re the one!” Apparently they’ve mentioned that their niece does some kind of martial arts thoughwedontknowanythingaboutit.

Overall class was much more relaxed that last week, so I was able to survive without so much brain strain. This is good.

And now we wait for Thursday, when Slideyfoot lands in Virginia.


Friday, April 11, 2014

After not posting regularly for so long, I start to forget…

Monday’s class, I did too much. I even knew it at the time, but it’s so hard to stop once you’re there. Was wiped out for the rest of the week. :o Back to class Friday evening.

Warmup. Then partnered up for specific sparring from mount, submit vs. escape. Then drilled transitions in mount, and then specific sparring rounds again. Then drilled americana from mount.

Rounds of rolling after that, so I sat for a few and then left.

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The emergency room doc said 2 weeks, and last night was 2 weeks. (I had considered going in the morning, but we have a big client at the office this week and so had to be in early for that.)

Huge class, which was actually a help because it meant the warmup had to be slower. There was no forwards/backwards rolling, which I would have skipped anyway. But otherwise I did everything except the sprawls on shoot-&-sprawl juuuust in case.

Class alternated between a few things: guard pass vs. submit (no sweeps? Why no sweeps? All I remember now is sweeps.), gi drags (I was dragged but did not drag), some quick drilling reps, and rounds. I sat out the rounds for sure; I think I sat out one of the specific sparring sets, too. Then when Tim announced the last round (lol, there was probably one more), I headed out.

Head/brain made it mostly fine for about 30 minutes, and then it started up with a touch of dizzy and a bit of nausea. That’s when I started sitting out and popping glucose tabs — and sticking my head out the door for some cool air & oxygen, lol. Came in a few more times as people needed partners for drills, but I mostly sat. I was paranoid about being kicked in the head, and kept scanning the space around for potential errant limbs and moving as needed. Some things, you just don’t want a repeat of…

In one of the last rounds, I noticed Tim hovering over a pair and grinning like a fool. Thought it was a little weird, but then again there were 3 groups really close together so maybe… Oh, nope, he reached inside his gi jacket then caught Andrew’s eye and nodded; Andrew transitioned and held down his partner so the guy’s back was exposed — and then Tim whipped Tyler with a shiny purple belt!

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Six Years and Counting

…counting from the couch still, but still counting. Should be able to go back on Monday and at least do the warmup (but we all know how slippery that slope is…).

This last year has not been kind to my body in terms of injuries. And since I finally broke the guilt-feeling from not training all the times!!1, I’ve taken a lot more time off and trained a lot less. Now, that’s not to say that I like sitting around because of dumb injuries to mostly unimportant things such as brains, at the same time I’m not worrying over lost time or feeling badly about missing class. Jiu-jitsu, while a demanding mistress, is a fun hobby, one that I am serious about but no longer obsessed over and one that I want to enjoy for a long time. And I like it that way. Maybe it helps that I feel as if I’m not lost anymore on the mats and so can pick it back up & practice as desired, or at least as if I can figure out what I did incorrectly and work to fix it. But it doesn’t freak me out that I’m not BJJ-24-7. I also seem to be far less worried about achieving perfection in BJJ, which is also very freeing.

So, not stressing out that I’m not training at the moment, but still looking forward to getting back on the mats for another year of training.



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