BJJ Grrl

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

Brown Belt sighting

on October 25, 2008

We have one brown belt, Josh, who shows up a few times a year. The guys have talked about him before; he’s freaky good. He was a wrestler in high school, too. (The joke is that he shows up just to get his next belt. But he always improves, they say, between visits.)

Today was his day. It’s the first time he’s been here since I started. (Although, I knew him when he was about 5-8 years old; he played basketball with my little brother. It’s a little strange to see him now since he’s about 4 times bigger than he was then.)

He’d gotten the class times wrong, though, so he showed up when we had about 30 minutes left in class. Tim told him to jump in there and put him with Nick, Adam, and Scott. (And someone else, I guess, since we had 4 rolls, but I didn’t see the last one. Maybe Buddy.) Every one of them was exhausted after rolling with him. I didn’t get to see much of him, though, since I was rolling, too.

I overslept this morning, waking up at 10 a.m. (class is at 11), so I missed most of the MMA sparring rounds. The ones I saw, though, were really good. The two guys who were here on Thursday — TR and John, who are fighting next month (they’re both fighting; I talked to one of them today) — were here today for sparring and for BJJ class.

Warmup, and then we worked a lot of takedown and sprawl stuff for Adam, TR, and John. O. M. G. Lots of rounds, some live, some drills. Did that for maybe half of class. So much tired.

Somewhere in all that, I tweaked something between my neck and right shoulder. It was okay during class, but since I stopped, it’s really tightened up. Even moving my neck makes it hurt.

As we were finishing up drills, Josh came in. He talked to Tim and some of the guys, and then he jumped in for rolls.

My first roll was with Ninja John, one of the guys fighting next month. He’d posture up in my guard and cover as if I was going to punch him; took me a while to figure out what he was doing and why. I mentioned it afterward, and he said that yeah, he’s gotta think about that because he’s fighting next month. I worked a lot of sweeps on him, usually going from guard to mount, and then he’d sweep me back to guard. Kept trying for armbars from guard, but I couldn’t get a good grip above his elbow and he’d just slide out, so I’d turn it into a scissor sweep.

Then Mark “I thought he was blue.” He got to a high mount once, and I got the backdoor escape to work, though it took me a couple of tries and he was right on me after. In half guard a lot, and he was heavy on me so I couldn’t get to my side well. He was holding the kimura in half guard, but not jerking it; took a while, but he finally let me work out of it. Working a lot on this round, but all good work; I appreciate that Mark is gentle when we roll. (Apparently, though, with guys his size, he goes as hard as everyone else.)

Then a newer guy. He sat down and said, “Wow, I’m tired,” and then, predictably, jumped out as hard as he could. Did get some insight into his thinking during this round. (I have finally realized that I need to break down each muscling guys’ strategy, since although they have the same end result, they all go about it differently. So I’m trying to pay attention.) First, he kept trying to talk me through my next move, except what he wanted me to do wasn’t usually what I was working on. I realized that he knows only one or two techniques from each position, so that’s what he was pointing me toward. (And often, he’d pin my knee with his hand [for example] and then tell me something that involved moving that knee, which I couldn’t do because he was holding it down….)

Second, I got him in half guard once and he stuck his neck out, so I grabbed for the guillotine and was trying to move back to guard. I have short arms, though, so I was having to worm my arm around and under and through and was trying to grab hold of it with my other hand. He started saying, “Crank it, crank it!” I said that no, I wasn’t going to crank his neck because I didn’t want to hurt him. He asked what I was trying to do, then, if not a neck crank, and I said I was going for a guillotine. We had to break up and move then because Josh and Scott, who were rolling next to us, were about to run over us. As we moved, I said that I didn’t want to use neck cranks because it’s too easy to hurt people; he said that oh, yeah, that’s probably smart.

I think it was after that, when I’d gotten him back in my guard, that he grabbed both my legs and pitched them over my head so that I rolled. That scared me. I ended up in turtle a lot this round, too, because he’d just pick me up and flip me onto my stomach so I’d pull in.

Next I got Scotty after Josh demolished him. He crawled over to where I was sitting and collapsed first, but got up for the roll. We went easy because he was tired. Mostly me trying to pass his guard or butterfly guard. He showed me a way to defend when guys grab my arm and try to muscle in to an armbar (not that he was, but my arm was far out and he’d grabbed it with both of his), how to get both arms and my body involved so it’s not just my arms against theirs. After, he said that had been a good roll, that I’d been moving good. He collapsed again after that.

Weighed after class: 122.0 lbs. Whoot! And, I went shopping with my mom last week, looking for an interview suit. Didn’t find one, but did have to put all the size 6s back and get size 4s. Whootness!! Am much happy. 🙂


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