BJJ Grrl

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

Whatever, dudes

on November 15, 2008

Goals for today:

  • Standing guard pass; scissor sweep pass/knee-through pass/double-under pass; pinch pass
  • north/south roll escape; bridge side-control escape; gi half-guard sweep/Old School/Justin’s half-guard sweep; upa/knee-elbow/”scrape”
  • triangle/armbar/triangle; armbar; triangle; omoplata (w/ roll from Wednesday); D’Arce; Peruvian necktie to armbar; N/S kimura

Did remember to make my list for today. Mostly, it’s to remind me that I know these things. I think I was seeing things better with Justin on Monday because all this was fresh in my mind. Trying to add things for different positions and to have sequences of techniques that can flow together and/or from the same position.


Larger class today, especially for a Saturday. Some guys who hadn’t been around for a while.

Warmup was light, and then we did a few rounds of hand fighting, to double-unders, to continue. Got in with one guy who got one under and one almost-under and then picked me up a foot off the ground to try to get that second one in. Did get Nick for a round. And then a guy who would get close to double-unders but not quite — and didn’t have my hips pulled in — but then he’d drop it and reset as if he had gotten it. Erm, no.

Then rolling. Got 2 of the guys who have been gone for a while, back to back. Not. Cool. But I just tried to relax and do what I could, which wasn’t much, while they flung me around, benchpressed me, squeezed things that weren’t submissions but nearly hurt enough to be, etc. The second guy sat down and said, “Let me know if I’m using muscle on you,” and then grabbed both my arms and hauled me off my feet and in to his guard. Hey, um, dude… yeah, whatever.

I realized today as I was rolling with these guys that I’m really not frustrated by them overpowering me; by them getting submissions, passing, and getting out of my (few and far between) submission attempts; by them powering through everything; by them smacking me in the face or ribs with elbows or knees; or even by them jerking submissions out too far and hurting me. All of that, I’m smaller and not as strong and they aren’t working technique; they just want a tap and/or to not tap to a girl. Whatever, dudes; I’m fine with that. But I am frustrated because I feel so stupid when I roll with them. Nothing I do works, and most of the time I can’t even do anything at all. I feel as if I know nothing, as if my technique is worthless. And that is what upsets me more than anything.

One more roll, with Buddy #1, a blue belt. Such a different feel than the previous two guys. He was capitalizing on me making silly mistakes. It was rolling with Buddy that got me to realize that I don’t mind tapping; I’m not out there to “win.” But it’s feeling stupid that I can’t stand. And even though Buddy was catching every dumb thing I did, I knew immediately what I’d done wrong and how to fix it for next time; I never felt as if I didn’t know what I was doing, just as if I was making mistakes. With the other guys, I can do everything right but it makes no difference.

Got to work in with Adam, Justin, and Nick to drill, so I got lots of help and pointers through it.

Rolling again. Another guy who’d been gone awhile. Sat down and said, “More rolling? I’m tired!” which is my cue now that a guy is about to go 110% anyway. Which he did. He got my back early and stayed there most of the round. He was crossing his feet at one point so I tried the ankle lock but couldn’t quite finish it; he got out eventually and got a body triangle. After the round, he was asking if the body triangle had been tight, and I said that yes, it had been (I think he’d been expecting me to tap because of it, maybe? He sounded hopeful when he asked.), and then I added that he shouldn’t cross his ankles, so he asked me what I’d been trying to do there and I told him about the ankle lock. But he said he has crummy ankles anyway and doesn’t feel enough in them.

One more round, with Justin. Either I do actually know some jiu-jitsu, or Justin is one of the nicest guys in the world (well, he probably is anyway), because I never feel like an idiot when I roll with him. He sweeps me every which way, ghosts out of my submissions and sweeps, flies me up with his legs, and rolls me over my head so many times, but I never feel as if I don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s fun.

I did try working some of what I’d wanted with Buddy earlier, but I think I was thinking too much and just enjoying not being slammed around so I ended up not doing much. So with Justin I was actually trying to work. He was countering far more on the scissor sweep pass, so I was trying to figure out a way to add a wrinkle, but never could. He was sweeping me faster when we got to half-guard (didn’t matter who had whom; he swept me), and I wasn’t fast enough to get anything. And he never let me get back to guard, so couldn’t work any of those. [I did realize after class that with both Buddy and Justin, I’d wanted to work pinch pass but had my feet in front of me when we started, so neither of them would go for butterfly guard. Doh. Too much “not starting from the knees when starting on the knees” practice, hehe.]

He turtled once to let me attack. I knew I wanted the Peruvian necktie-to-armbar (so wasn’t going for the necktie itself but for the armbar off the far arm); took me a few tries to remember which way to put my arms in, but he let me. Posted the front leg up and he started in on me about the Peruvian necktie and how I should know he wouldn’t let me get it. Got the second leg over his back, and then I bit on the far arm and got both legs over. Heels probably not pinched enough again because he rolled out. But his eyes were wide, and he said I had nearly had him for reals. For reals! (And he was telling Tim, Adam, and Nick about it later, that I’d almost really caught him. *insert silly girl squeal*) He was joking after the round that he can’t teach me anything else like that because I might catch him next time.

There was one more round, but the one new guy had to sit out because he was tired, so I sat, too, and watched Justin and Nick.

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6 responses to “Whatever, dudes

  1. Girl, from my very minimal experience– it will be worlds worlds different when you roll with other girls at the same belt level. When strength is more or less equalized, and experience is more or less equalized, I bet you will suddenly see much farther “into” the game than you do when you’re rolling with all the guys. At least that’s what I have seen. If you get accustomed to guys always being faster and stronger, and sometimes having better technique, then when you roll with women who are about the same strength and technique, even if they’re faster you will see moves coming and be able to counter them better. So don’t eschew the dudes who toss you around, endure feeling stupid, keep on keepin’ on (whether on knees or not– I am having a hard time with butterfly guard passing and seems I might switch back to starting from the knees again for a while, LOL).

    Love reading your perspective. Come to Austin sometime!

  2. leslie says:

    Really? Cool. I’ll have to go to a tournament right now to roll with a girl; I’m the only one who has stuck around here. (Hmm, although, road trip sounds fun, too…)

    I suppose, if nothing else, trying technique against these particular dudes will let me work on being explosive, moving faster, and keeping my base. I do need to work on all of those. (Although, I can have the best base ever and they just pick me up. Am. Not. Portable!) I still won’t be eager to jump in with them, but at least I’ll have something to work on. Ha, soon enough I’ll have a game plan for rolling with each individual guy.

    And once again, after days like this, I’m very very grateful for my blues and purples and Tim. I can’t finish anything on them without their cooperation, but they do work with me and help me improve.

  3. steve says:

    I’ll say this. You make me really think about how I’m rolling with everyone. We have several women who train with us, and I know that one in particular had to pretty much give it up because a guy dropped her on her shoulder. That kind of thing is inexcusable.

    I guarantee you that you’ll be twice as technical as any of the dudes who’re tossing you around in half the time. Work on your armdrag and take their back! 😀

  4. grappledunk says:

    Hang in there… it takes longer for us to get the techniques to work on those overpowering kinds of guys, but the few times I’ve done it, it’s totally been worth the time I spent being frustrated. The key for me so far has been to not focus so hard on fighting their strength, but to look for other openings to attack or escape.

  5. leslie says:

    @Steve: I think the real key is to pay attention to your partner. since not everyone goes the same speed or same strength. Sounds, though, as if you’re already aware of that.

    @grappledunk: Thanks, I’m trying to keep working and to not get frustrated when nothing seems to work on these guys. I know it will eventually. (And my purple belts were telling me the other day that they can’t wait until I can wallop anyone they throw at me.:))

  6. […] appeared afterward, either, which is always nice. Somehow ended back in side control; worked to the head-and-arm choke. Again, don’t think it was very tight or controlled, but he didn’t know what to do […]

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