I am terrified of takedowns.
No, that’s not quite right. I’m terrified of most people doing takedowns on me.
I dislocated my right elbow in a takedown accident 3 years ago. That one was really mostly my fault, but since them I’ve had a mental block over takedowns. I do not like being taken down or thrown. Generally I will just cling when someone shoots and let them have it. I don’t fight for balance or to get away at all and hardly even sprawl. And I don’t really like to do takedowns on other people because I don’t want them to get hurt.
Tonight… we did live takedown rounds. Most of us have only learned a few takedowns (single leg, double leg, this twisty one from that one gi class). And some of the newer guys knew none. So they’d reach down and grab a leg, which is easy since their arms are as long as my legs, and take me down. And I’d just pull tight on an arm or their neck and let them. I’m scared. Of what exactly, I’m not sure, but I get *that* close to panicking. Not really so much scared of dislocating my elbow again. I guess just of being injured to that degree again.
First two rounds weren’t too bad. Buddy #1, who I think was a high school wrestler, first, who knew what he was doing and took me down gently. Then Justin, who I trust completely; I was fine during this round as soon as I reminded myself of who I was working with (although it took about half the round for my brain to get unstuck and start working again). Did actually go for a takedown on him and worked a little bit of defense, though I’m not entirely sure of what to do.
Next two rounds were guys who overpower me on the ground. Standing up with them, I was terrified. I rarely get to the point where I want to run crying off the mat, but I was there with these two. And that’s before we did anything. Kept forgetting to breathe, which didn’t help. One of them noticed that I was only trying to defend and wasn’t going for anything, and he commented on it during the round and tried to get me to do something. I just shook my head and kept trying to defend.
Then we did a round that started on our feet, but once we got to the ground we could stay. So I let the new guy I was working with take me down immediately and just stayed down. Another round on the ground after that. Both of those rounds, my brain was still on “OMG TAKEDOWNS!” mode, and I was having a hard time remembering how to do anything.
Before the takedown rounds we’d rolled a few more times. Tried to remember to be an obsessive perfectionist on my technique. But I really can’t remember what happened during those because the takedown rounds are superseding everything else in my brain.
2008/10/5: I was reading back through some older posts, and I noticed that there actually have been a few takedown nights and that I didn’t panic those nights. I think I was working with Justin and Tim N. most of those nights, and I’m comfortable with them. The night here, though, I got in with some guys I wasn’t confident working with, and that that’s what caused the panic.