BJJ Grrl

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


Monday night as I was getting dressed at class, I reached in my bag to pull out my belt. …Uh-oh

So I raided the belt stash, which only had 1 unwrapped belt — a rather small kids’ white belt, which only wrapped around my waist one time. 

It took some people almost the whole class to realize that I was sandbagging. =P

Scott, one of my training partners back when I started, came in to visit and so I got to train with him again. I always like it when those guys come back.

My list of things to work on is growing: do sweeps, do submissions, don’t stall in open guard, don’t be flat, don’t let anyone on your back. Scott added “heavier hips” (I was too floaty, and he was working butterfly; I flew.).

Class has been good. The Wednesday morning classes are working well for me, though they’re still early. (I have motivation, though — one of the new guys needs a ride after class Wed morning, and it’s on my way home.)

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Then: takedowns. Now: heating pad.

Rolling to warm up. Then takedowns in 3-min rounds. Thankfully we only did it with 4 groups on the mats, so plenty of room + plenty of rest. Still, those rounds take it out of you. I did actually go for some takedowns, and more than just the old standby reverse trip: I actually remembered that ankle picks were a thing I had liked this one time, though it took me most of a round to work out how to do it again, but then I got it a couple of times. I think I failed on all the other ones, though.

I was really tired by the last round, but Tim called me in to work with someone. I did not do good things, and often ended up with them on top of me. Once they landed on my shoulder, and I heard a little crunch. Meh. Andrew knows some baseball shoulder voodoo, so I had him work that on it.
Open Mat after. I tried to roll with Andrew, but apparently even when you don’t use your shoulder, it uses your shoulder. Ow. I left after that so that I wouldn’t be tempted to try anything else dumb. A round of ice, some ibuprofen, and now a few rounds of the heating pad. It feels a bit better, but it’s still talking. Feels like it’s at the base of my shoulder blade, which FYI feels weird.


What has been will be again

I have known for a few months that I’m not training enough during each week: Monday night, … Friday night, Saturday morning. That’s it. And now we’re getting into college football season, which means class will be cancelled on most home-game Saturdays because our parking lot gets taken over by tailgaters. So I’ve been looking at the schedule and looking at my schedule and trying to figure things out. I have finally acknowledged what I didn’t really want to admit (because it means not lazying around in the morning): the best time for me to get more training is Wednesday morning.

It took a few weeks to get everything in gear, but yesterday morning was my first foray back into morning training. So sleepy. Body so heavy. Muscles were creaky all day after. But overall it felt pretty good. And there’s enough recovery time between this new time and Monday and Friday, so I shouldn’t be burning myself out.

One definite bonus of morning training is that Jen, one of the other purple belt ladies, usually can only train in the mornings, so for quite a while she and I haven’t been able to train together. When we’re both there on Saturdays, we spend the Women’s Class teaching and working with the lower-ranked women, then the following Open Mat working with the lower-ranked women before jumping in with the higher-ranked men. I think we just kind of forget about each other. When we remember, it’s great and we roll, but mostly we look up at the end of Open Mat and say, “Oh! I didn’t roll with you! …and now we’re both exhausted…”

So many new ladies with the start of the new school year! So many new guys, too! Last Saturday at Open Mat, we had over 35 people on the mat! I think at least half of them were new guys (new to me, anyway), and still many guys (who I do know) weren’t there. We gotta lotta people!

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Blame the King

King of the Hill after warmups last night. Pass vs. sweep/submit. Any guard allowed. 10-minute round total. Janet and I started together, her passing, me playing guard. We went HARD for ~7 minutes, each of us getting so close to goal, only to have the other recover. After we finally reached a conclusion and the next guy came out and locked up his guard, my only thought was, “… yeah, I got nothing.” I crawled back to the line shortly. Ended up back in for one more round, creating a only minor delay until dude passed my guard at the buzzer.

The university classes start up next week, so students are arriving, which means lots of new faces. (It also means that I’m feeling the pressure to “prove” that I’m really a purple belt to these new people. Bleh. Is no bueno.) And the lady who came Saturday was back last night (without her kid). At some point during drilling, she exclaimed, “This is so much fun!” Yes, yes it is.

So many people on the mat that we had to stagger groups for rolling. First round with Robert. For some reason, I am quite happy to vigorously attack and attack when I roll with him. Not that I ever really get anything, and I usually fall straight into his trap and get rolled up like a first-day white belt. The only difference is that I can usually see it coming several steps ahead, but can’t do anything about it. Sat out the requisite round (which was actually quite welcome with the heat and humidity), then rolled with the 14-year-old girl. I’m making an effort to roll normally with her and not as if she’s a child, though it’s difficult as she’s still small and squirmy and boney, and I still feel a bit like a bully. 

Last night, after a shower and protein shake, I sat around on the couch. Couldn’t move more than that. Maybe I should go to bed early? Ugh, that means I have to get up. Finally did, though. Slept like a rock, and even hit the backup alarm to sleep an extra hour. This morning, so tired. Legs heavy. I have a standing desk, and I nearly fell asleep standing up a few times. (!!!) At least that means I did some good work last night.

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How do I jiu-jitsu…?

Meh, seems like I can’t remember how to do anything. Body and brain feel unresponsive and so slow. (The scale points out that I’ve ahem gained quite a bit more. Probably not helping.) For every one thing that I think, “Hey, that was good!”, there’s another 3 minutes of, “who what now?” Some of that could also be related to trying to do new things and break old habits, but the current result is that I’m scrambled and mixed up most of the time. Do not like.

More ladies have been joining! One lady’s son goes to the kid’s class, and she wanted to try it out, too. The new lady today wants her son to do it but came to try it out herself first; the kid sat on the side during the women’s class. (Even my best friend, who doesn’t live around here, is now interested in trying BJJ! Yay, more women!)

On Monday, a lady and her little kid (about 4) stopped in our place and talked to Andrew about maybe signing him up for classes, then they walked on to the other stores near us. On their way back to the car, the kid wanted to stop and watch us again and protested very loudly when his mom pulled him away. Their car was parked in front of our window. When mom needed both hands to open the door and put stuff in, the kid seized his freedom, ran around to the front of the car, hauled himself up, and climbed up on top of the car roof, where he sat and triumphantly watched us again. (Mom did not seem surprised, so I guess he’s done this before. She got him to come down pretty quickly, too.)

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