BJJ Grrl

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

The corner is in sight…

on October 2, 2008

BJJ, last night

Warmup was a little more like an advanced class warmup. It’s been kind of light for the last few weeks. Probably because there are so many new guys coming through still. Medium-sized class last night.

Two warmup rolls. Justin first, which meant I opened with technique, which helped me get started off right. Every time I roll with him, he increases the difficulty of the roll for me. A few times, I’d move for a position and he’d get out; realized later that I wasn’t keeping any pressure down on him as I moved.

Next roll was with one of the guys who attempts guillotines from all positions. Decided (I don’t know why) to work butterfly guard with this guy; he’d been my partner for drills in butterfly guard last week, so maybe that was why “butterfly guard” popped in my head. Kept trying to reset to butterfly guard and get the elevator sweep or the one we’d worked last week. He kept going for guillotines. I need to keep my head, neck, and shoulders in tighter on him so he can’t get his arm under there. (Figured that out, of course, after the roll.)

At one point, he got to side control. I tried the bridge/thread the needle move from Saturday, but he grabbed my head and pulled it in so I couldn’t get my knee back through; then he was able to flatten me, so I was on my stomach. He didn’t know to take my back, and I don’t remember how we progressed from there. But Tim was watching my roll and decided to show a technique from that situation instead of whatever he had planned.

Then rolling. Rolled with Perry first. We twice got to the same position we’d drilled; he paused a moment so I could do it on the first, then defended on the second. Then rolled with Tim. Rolling with him is like those space ring amusement park rides that spin you in every direction at once; you don’t know which way is up or down or even where you are. (It’s hilariously fun, and I find myself trying hard not to laugh.) He moves so fast, there’s hardly any chance that I can even register what position we’re in; I just try to move my hips and not flail too much.

Oh, and a “silly girl” on me: some of the guys have said my half-guard is pretty good and they can’t get out of it. So a few times, I’d snag Tim in half-guard (complete luck, I know) and the little voice in my head would start with, “Ha, I’m going show him my great– Hey! What the– Where’d he go?!” Yeah, so it’s still a half-guard that can only catch white belts. Oh, well. :p

Third roll was with Mike, another TKD black belt. I guess because I’d worked butterfly guard earlier, I was still thinking about butterfly guard, so I was trying it on him, too. Also just worked on being calm and on moving my hips. He’s a little heavier than the guy I’d drilled the moves with, though, and I ended up having to go to guard a lot.

After class, Tim pulled me aside and said I’d done well. He said he thinks I’m about to turn a corner in rolling with the strong-arming guys. Awesomeness! So I’m going to work even more on staying calm when they knock me around, on keeping my hips moving, and on getting my techniques right and tight, one step at a time.

Supposed to stay for the kickboxing techniques class after, but even though they were standing there in front of me, I totally spaced out (probably still thinking of that corner) and went home instead. Doh.


I’m trying to work on the little voice in my head so it’s less Joe Rogan spazzy (“Oh, he’s gonna take the back! She’s in trouble here. He’s got her back!”) and more analytical (“Okay, he’s defending this pass. What other one do I know from here? Oh, right…”). I’m still only able to think to the very next technique I want to try rather than purposely chaining them together; I can chain them, but only by thinking about every single one as it comes up. For example, I’m not yet able to think, “Okay, I want to work armbar from guard, so I’ll go for the armbar, switch to triangle, and then back to catch the armbar.” Instead I think, “Okay, I want to work armbar from guard. Darn, he’s defending. Um… Wait, I can try a triangle. No, he’s got that defended, too. Back to armbar?”


The “knocking the snot out of each other” part from Saturday, I found out, was mostly for Gary, the kids’ TKD instructor, who was in every round. I noticed that he was on Saturday, but didn’t know why until I talked to Perry last night. They’d already done ~3 hours of work outside: carrying things up hills, running, and lots of other crazy fun stuff. The point of those bare-knuckle rounds was to bruise Gary up (and, to a degree, the ones going against him) so he’d have something else to work through for the rest of the test. But at the end of the test, he was promoted to black belt in Perry’s fighting system (judo, jiu-jitsu, Krav Maga, kickboxing, etc.). So that’s pretty cool.


Unrelated to BJJ, but funny: at work today we had to fill out Employee Information forms. We have several non-US citizens, and one of them stopped by to ask me if he should check “Non-US Citizen,” “Resident Alien,” or “Non-Resident Alien.” He holds a green card, he said. I have no idea, so we applied logic. We concluded that, since the card is green, and aliens are green, and he owns a house, he must be a Resident Alien. HR emailed him back a few minutes later; he is, in fact, a resident alien. *snort*


Just found out that one of the half-guard sweeps I know is Eddie Bravo’s “Old School.” Random comments finally clicked after several weeks, so I looked it up.

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4 responses to “The corner is in sight…

  1. […] How the blazes do I get to guard from turtle?! Do I even know anything from down here? Wait, yes: one sweep. Went for it and somewhat hit it, and then ended up in his guard. Which consisted of him holding me […]

  2. […] A few times when he was in side control, I’d turn in and under and catch his leg to try the sweep backwards from there, but he’d put his weight far enough across my back that I couldn’t turn. (He […]

  3. […] I could get my hips out, but they didn’t last long. Did turn over a few times and grab the single-leg, though couldn’t finish the sweep. Started to get frustrated since I could do nothing most of […]

  4. […] trying hard (and succeeding) to keep me from turning to my side under side control. Did grab two single-leg sweeps, though not much past there. On the outside of his open guard a lot, so my goal was to pin one of […]

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