BJJ Grrl

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

These Ladies

Look at these goofballs. (And this is probably only half of the women who train here. Good things happening with women’s jiu-jitsu around here!)

On Saturday, Jen’s purple belt friend Margarita (she’s the one with her leg up in the front row) was in town, visiting from Georgia, and she taught the Women’s Class. She taught a variation on the foot-drag/knee-elbow mount escape that I usually do, which was good but also weird; I had to do it on my stupid side because my regular side kept doing it “wrong.” But her version should be good for when guys clamp their knee to the ground and my usual tricks don’t work.

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Free Psychic Reading: Armbars everywhere

A psychic place has opened in the building with our gym. Yesterday they put their sidewalk sign out in front of our door (theirs is the next storefront down, but the sign clearly pointed to us) advertising free psychic readings. We were joking around before class, and I said that my future would show lots of armbars.

Welp, I armbarred the stuffing out of folks last night.

Fundamentals class was all drilling: early-mount escapes (that is, escaping as they transition). Advanced class was 2-min round-robin rounds for 40 minutes. As more people came in, my group kept shifting. I seemed fixated on armbars to the point that I started feeling badly about doing so many and tried to diversify my submissions — but, likely in the spirit of Halloween, everyone kept handing out free arms, so I kept taking them.

Somewhere in there, someone slammed a knee down on my heel. It seems bruised now and does not like being stood on. Meh.

I stayed over into Open Mat to roll with Robert so I could balance out the mauling I did with taking a mauling of my own.

Almost a white belt again

When I walked in last week, Andrew and Robert both pointed at the shelves. I looked but didn’t see anything unusual. Then they pointed up. And sitting there on the top shelf (which I can’t even reach!) was my belt!

Andrew said they knew it was mine because I’m the only one with a “hippie” belt (from The Green Gi; I love this belt, btw, so soft). I don’t know how I managed to leave it on the previous Saturday — and how I didn’t notice when I emptied my bag at home later — but somehow I did. When I left class that night, I opened my bag to hold my belt, to make sure it was still there. I even held onto it last night, a week later, to make sure I still had it.

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Sandbagging

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.

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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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