BJJ Grrl

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

But I don’t want to hurt him…

on November 21, 2008

Gah. The real problem, it seems, is inside my own head. Somehow I’ve gotten the idea that I’m a lean mean killing machine and am dangerous to let out of the house. Worried about putting my weight on the guys last night. Cautious in takedowns (of course, I don’t like them anyway, which doesn’t help, and is another mental hang up) and in stand up tonight. And the tune in my head was, “But I don’t want to hurt him!”

But then I stop and think about that. The guys who come to class are generally sparring with the other guys, most of whom have little to no idea of control or of working with your partner (rather than just trying to take his head off every punch). They’re probably not worried about little ol’ me knocking them out or being too heavy on them — or pulling a choke too tightly too quickly or any of the other little things I pull back on because I don’t want to hurt someone. And some, like Adam and Justin and Nick, have been training like this for years and can probably handle anything I’ve got.

Obviously, I don’t want to purposely hurt my training partners. That would drastically cut down on the number of willing training partners, for one thing. And for another, a lot of them are my friends now. But going too easy and not pushing them with my best sparring or takedowns (okay, there aren’t any of those yet) or grappling isn’t helping them any, either, and probably gets me less work in return as they ease back on me, too.

Trying to find that balance between “I don’t want to hurt him” (so I’ll go too easy) and “I’m gonna knock him out” (which generally entails me hurting me). Meh.

Anyway…


MMA tonight

Medium-size class, which was rather surprising since most of the students should be heading home for Thanksgiving break, but they were there tonight. Once again, there seems to be a schedule floating around for who comes which nights; more guys who haven’t been around in a while.

Warmup, then shadow boxing. Then partner drills. First, shoulder tag. Open palm touch to their opposite shoulder; they were trying to tag you back.

Then a jab drill. And to make sure we only used our jab, we could only put a glove on our jab hand. (Also kept people from switching stance.) Just jabbing, hitting anywhere. I started with a floater, a guy who hadn’t been to class in weeks, and I guess kickboxing class kicked in: I was only going for body shots on him. He hasn’t had any stand-up training except for what he’s had with us, and he moves awkwardly and drops his hands a lot, so I was just working with him. Then Tim stopped by and told me to start going for his head, too, and to actually hit him. Oh, okay. So I did, still just working around, though.

Second round of that, I worked with Micah, who’s had lots of Muay Thai. It was like sparring Perry — and all he had was the jab! He tagged me lots and lots.

Third round, with Justin. I think I was moving well, though my left arm was getting very tired. That’s also the shoulder that’s been bothering me for a few weeks, and it was trying to act up.

Then we put both gloves on to start takedown rounds. Six pairs of us, so only 3 went at a time. (Clunked heads on takedowns = bad.) Two rounds of that, one person doing takedowns and the other defending for half the round, then switching roles when Tim called out.

I got to work with Justin again, thank goodness. Still, my takedowns stunk. And my defense was hardly any good, either. Tim and Justin both stopped to work with me on my takedowns. My brain gets it, it does; I just can’t seem to do it. And I can’t do it as controlled as I’d like, so I was slamming Justin to the mat and feeling very bad about it. Bleh. Next week, most of the guys will probably be gone because of the holiday, so I’m seriously thinking of asking for takedowns work.

Last round was full MMA rounds, including ground ‘n’ pound if you got there. Still with Justin. Tim told me before our round to “turn it up” and “bring it.” Okay, okay. By this point, too, I’d already been thinking over some of the stuff I mentioned at the beginning of the post, so I was a little more willing to go a little harder. However, I did want to keep it standing because I know I have half a chance up there, while on the ground I’ve got nothing. I still need a lot of work on my stand up, but I think I was doing alright, and I was even remembering some things from kickboxing classes. Ha! We were both throwing leg kicks, too. Just for fun, when he was pulling out once, I threw a kick at head level; his eyes got wide. When Tim called out that there were 30 seconds left, Justin took me down so we could do a little ground and pound. I think I was keeping decent control on him and hitting him back from my guard.

It was actually past time for me to leave for TKD at this point (it had been time before that last round, but I did want to do it, so I stayed), but at this point I figured I might as well finish class. Five minutes of shadow boxing, sprawling when Tim called, “Hit it!” Made it, and then bolted to TKD.


Intermediate/advanced stripe testing, so I wasn’t in charge and I didn’t have anything to do. (Why did I even go? Probably because I’m feeling guilty, knowing that after Saturday’s test, I’m gone.)

Walking in to the gym, I had to go down a few stairs, and my right knee nearly gave out under me. Something is tweaky on the top, toward the inside. Painful when weight is put on it. I didn’t notice it during or right after MMA, though that’s the most likely place for doing something to it. Well, I’ve got a few days off, so I’ll ice it tomorrow and stay off it during testing, and hopefully it will be better by Monday.

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