BJJ Grrl

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

Open Mat #3

on February 20, 2009

Got my offer letter today. Whoot! So possibly my last open mat, and just when they’d made it longer. Sadness. I will try to work it out to still come, though. The lazy optimist is saying, “I told you so!” (I also had just stocked up on library books when they called about the job.) Anyway…

Didn’t go to MMA last night. Didn’t really get anything done yesterday, either. But, my brain did actually think about BJJ yesterday, all on its own. This “flat flat flat” chant has been bugging me, and I’ve been working on — and have been told to work — shrimping around when I’m under someone. Read this entry yesterday. Then brain woke me up this morning and presented a possible solution: when I’m under someone, I’m generally trying to control their posture with my arms, which pulls my shoulders off the mat, which leaves my back flat and dumps my weight in my hips, which greatly lessens the chance that I’ll be able to move my hips at all. I shrimp just fine in drills, one shoulder and one foot and then coming through, but haven’t been able to completely connect the movement of the drill with movement in rolling.

So, a theory to test in open mat…

Rolled with Nick first. He was letting me play from top a fair bit. Felt fast, and while I didn’t always consciously see things, I felt as if I was moving between positions and hunting for nearby submissions fairly well. On the bottom, remembered the above shrimping theory, and sure enough, that seems to be exactly what my problem’s been. Consciously put one shoulder down, and voila, shrimpage. From guard once, caught my shin for a triangle, but Nick’s neck/shoulder/back are wider than my lower leg, so I couldn’t lock it in — and then I remembered to switch to the armbar. So excited about remembering and doing it that I forgot to do anything when he stacked me. Later, from mount, he was sliding around; I wrapped up for the triangle, he pulled me over to my back, I switched to the armbar — and then switched back to the triangle when he stacked, and got it in deep. There may be hope for me yet… Second half, he caught back mount mostly, so I did all my Saulo Ribeiro moves, and he couldn’t finish anything without overpowering me; he even said so afterward.

Then rolled with Big Jon, the wrestler. He’s so quick! Never saw the top, though I used the bottom to practice shrimping again. He caught the armbar from Tuesday and a kimura, though he was really trying for D’Arces; he said I’d had those defended, though, and he couldn’t get it. (I’d better — Adam, Nick, and Justin try them all the time! I expect D’Arces.) I turtled a lot, though couldn’t launch anything from there; couldn’t even turn back to guard, though I tried several methods.

There were smaller guys there, but I sometimes prefer rolling with the big guys because they’re aware that they’re so much bigger. They don’t go all out with me, and they don’t just lay on me. It’s obvious that they could hold me down with one hand, so they actually try other things.

More thinking. (Rest is apparently good for my brain.) It’s not commitment to moves, and it’s not aggression that I need when I roll. It’s intent. Usually when I roll, I’m rolling for fun, because I like it. The intensity can vary, from a light warm-up with Nick to a fast spinning round with Justin, but it’s still just for fun. I’m trying not to laugh half the time because I’m enjoying myself so much. Sometimes, I have a move or technique I want to try, like today with the shrimping business. Occasionally, I’m rolling not to die. But I don’t usually have a purpose when I roll. The few times I know I did actually have a determined purpose in a roll, I did what I wanted and felt fairly good about the round.

Been thinking of this, I think, because of the tournament next weekend. In some ways, I’d like to just go and roll full rounds with other girls, but instead I’ll have to be thinking about finishing the round.


2 responses to “Open Mat #3

  1. I want to know what “all your Saulo Ribeiro moves” are so I can use them 🙂 I know what you mean about rolling and enjoying it vs. having the intent to finish the match. My first tournament I was not “intentional.” My second, I told myself (this is mean, but…) “I will break her f-ing jaw if that’s what it takes to finish the choke”… fortunately I never came close to breaking anything but a sweat, yet it was that change in mindset that I needed. All the time in training I’m consciously making effort to be tactful and polite in my jiu jitsu… yet when competing, I need to be more focused on winning and less on protecting my opponent.

    GOOD LUCK next weekend! Be safe and come back healthy!

  2. leslie says:

    From “Jiu-Jitsu University,” all the white belt survival moves (and the blue belt escaping from back mount) — on one side, elbows in, hands by face, moving your hands just enough to block their attacks. Working down and out, though I didn’t do that part so well. That book is seriously awesome.

    Thanks for the comments about your tournaments; that’s exactly what I needed to hear. I feel the same way about rolling in class, even with the guys I don’t really want to roll with, and I know I needed to change that before the tournament.

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