BJJ Grrl

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

Rainy days…

on September 27, 2008

Kickboxing, last night

Warmup, a few drills, and then sparring. For some reason — panic, probably — I’m starting to tuck my chin and look down when I spar. So I got a few extra rounds to get me looking up. I also need more power behind my punches.

BJJ, this morning

Either because it’s raining or because everyone’s confused about whether we have class on Saturdays now, class size was small today.

Warmup, rolling, drills, rolling. During my very first roll, with a newer guy, he suddenly jumped up and ran off. The instructors said, “What’d you do to him?!” I said, “I don’t know! Nothing!” When he finally came back, he had a lot of tape around one part of his arm. Seems he had a cut, and the band-aid he had over it was coming off. Thankfully he noticed! It was pretty hilarious though: “Where the heck’d he go?? What’d you do?!”

Didn’t get too much work that round. Then rolled with Mark, who doesn’t come to gi class. I thought he was a blue belt, because he goes nice ‘n’ easy; is technical; and uses his weight, not his strength, to pin me, even though he’s one of the strongest guys in class. But it turns out he’s a white belt, too, and actually has less mat time than I do (he was gone for the summer). Didn’t find that out until after he left, but I’ll have to compliment him on that later.

We drilled escaping from side control: bridge, “thread the needle” with your inside leg, and then drive that same knee through to guard. They usually don’t tell us the names of stuff, so I don’t know it. Mark and I had both seen and done it, but the rest of them hadn’t and apparently were having trouble getting out of side control in their rolls. The instructors do that sometimes; they’ll watch our warmup rolls and pick something basic that one or more people are doing wrong, and then that’s what we work.

I’ve been having trouble with this move, too, usually because the guys are so heavy that I can’t bridge them over (though in theory I should be able to; probably not driving something up and over enough). I did notice today, too, that once I plant that first foot, I don’t move it even as I’m trying to drive the other knee through, which means I end up doing a funky split and not being able to get back to guard. So worked on getting both legs moving on the drive. This is also the move I often knee myself in the face while doing because, with that foot planted so far out, I can’t move my hips and torso and my knee ends up in my own face…. The guys laugh at me when I do that. Heck, I laugh at me, too.

Then rolling again. Rolled with the first guy again for a full round. Decided before I rolled to work on getting to positions. Did, though, practice armbar from guard with pinching my heels down (accidently kicked him in the back of the head!) a few times. Mostly worked on getting to mount from wherever I was and then keeping it when he tried to sweep me. Got swept a lot still. Toward the end, worked on getting to S-guard (as if about to do the armbar from mount); didn’t get much of a chance to see if it was right, though, because he swept me over; probably didn’t have my weight on him right.

Went with Mark “I-thought-he-was-blue” again. He kept getting a high mount; I couldn’t bridge and get him back or do any escape that I knew. Justin interrupted our roll to show me how to go “out the back door” by getting both hands under his legs and bridging/shucking him over my head. Neato! But then, of course, Mark didn’t go back to that high mount because he knew I was looking for it. =P Ended up in the position we’d drilled today a couple of times; hit it a few of those but had trouble on the others. I think that my leveraging foot was still trailing and that I wasn’t bridging hard enough or far enough.

Went next with Justin. He kept setting me up for stuff, letting me get about halfway over, and then countering. Note to self: work on getting those a bit faster. (Still right, but faster.) At one point, I had him in guard and he stood up; I locked on even tighter and went up with him. Have no clue what to do there, but I hung on. That was fun.

Class was done at this point. The next class was ready to come on, though there was a few minutes before theirs actually started. But of course we decided to squeeze in one more roll. Ended up with the one muscling guy who’d come. I worked on staying calm, not muscling back, and again getting to positions. Lots of chances to work escapes. Nice and slow on my part. He tried for his favorite kimura (get north/south, turn them on their side and step over their head, pin their head between your thighs, then rip their arm until they scream. It’s a real technique up until the ripping part; there’s a way to do that right, but he never does it.). So I did my now-favorite defense for that: grab threatened arm’s wrist with other hand, curl up in the fetal position, and place top knee over threatened arm. If he pushes on my knee, I can pull to a figure-four to keep it in place. Would probably never work on the advanced guys, but it at least makes this guy give up. At some point he got to a high mount, and I actually got the back door escape to work. Nice!

When we were really done, Adam wanted to do an ab circuit. He did one yesterday, apparently, but wanted to do another. Psycho. But some of us stuck around and did it. Justin wanted some pushups, too. So we did:

  • 50 situps
  • 50 pushups
  • 50 crunches
  • 25 dive-bomber pushups
  • 25 reverse crunches (we have heavy bags that go to about 2 inches above the floor; we grabbed on to the base of these and then did reverse crunches up the bag, trying to touch our feet as high up as possible)
  • 25 bicycle crunches

Then the guys went one at a time doing 10 pullups for 5 rounds (50 pullups total). I went to another bar on the side and did 2-1-2-2-3 (10 pullups). Oh well. =P

A few of us hung around even longer to watch the self-defense system testing in the next class. After warming up, while we did the ab workout, they were sparring bare-knuckle and knocking the snot out of each other. (!!) Then they put on sparring gear for some work rounds, depending on what the instructor wanted. I left somewhere in there. Those guys are mostly the ones in the kickboxing class, too, so we don’t have practice this afternoon anyway.


Stopped at the bookstore and found Renzo’s Mastering Jiu-jitsu. Yay!! That’s for tonight and tomorrow. You can never tell what the bookstore is going to have, and finding something even in the right section takes a lot of luck. The martial arts section, especially, is haphazard and looks like it’s never arranged. I used to work in a bookstore, and I’m OCD, so I always want to rearrange this section.

There was an older man looking in the hunting section, which is right above the martial arts section. When I found the book, I made some happy noise (I do that when I roll, too, and annoyed noises when I miss something), and he turned and looked over my shoulder at my book. We started talking about martial arts; he did TKD many years ago when he was stationed in Korea. Then he was a police officer for 31 years, and I think he now does hand-to-hand combat training for officers (because he kept saying, “I teach the officers to…”). We talked a bit about ground fighting; he said that they do teach the police officers a little bit of ground game, just in case, but that for the most part they teach them to stay on their feet.

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