BJJ Grrl

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

Head kicks = no fun

on April 7, 2009

I quit doing kickboxing because I was tired of getting kicked in the head. (Well, that’s one reason.) Anyway, tonight I got kicked hard, not once but twice, and both to the back of the head, too. Grrs.


Before the warmup, I took ~30 minutes to just slowly work through the kinks. I was feeling tired and wasn’t excited about the warmup; last night I had a reason — Scott wore me out — but no reason tonight. And yet, fine on the warmup. Even ahead of some of the guys. Got all the knees-to-chest. We did the first set, and Tim let us stand there for a minute to catch our breath, and I knew he was going to have us do those again. Sure enough. Got ’em, too. Two trips on everything down the mat, including squat jumps. And all the pushups and squat thrusts at the end. Oh, yeah.

A few warmup rolls. Will first. He was the first to kick me in the head. Ow. Pause while I made sure I’m still conscious… yeah, okay, I’m good. Worked Saulo Ribeiro’s “Armbar Escape to Pass” and “Armbar Escape to Pass 2” from Jiu-Jitsu University a few times — and just now, on looking those up, realized why I was having trouble: I got mixed up and was using them against triangles instead of armbars. Doh. The triangle escape is similar in concept. Although, it did work a few times (and once against Buddy later). Still, better get the right escape for the situation.

Then Clifton. As usual, under everything.

Drilling was step-over armbar from knee-on-belly. Worked with Will and Clifton.

Then more rolling. Got to start with Buddy #1. Another roll to bottle up. He was playing a lot of open guard. I decided that I was going to pass his guard. Took almost a minute (Tim happened to call out the time left right before and right after, for someone else), but I did get around and to side control and then knee-on-belly. Whoa! That was at the end. Earlier, I’d used the

Saulo Ribeiro escape & pass and had escaped a triangle and gotten to side control. And then transitioned between two gi chokes — transitioned! I remembered, and I transitioned! — though I couldn’t quite finish either, and he got out and sunk a D’Arce. But he got up and was grinning and said that had been good. He caught several other things, too, but always off a mistake I made and not off overmuscling me; I like rolling with Buddy for that reason.

Then Tim put me with a new guy. Kinda funny: he was breathing hard and exerting himself the whole time, and I was just holding my guard and waiting for a chance to do something and breathing easy. He was muscling big time, but I was getting out and back in and catching his legs for half-guard or getting all the way back to guard. He was dropping his shoulder hard in to my face (did you see Miguel Torres with the “shoulder punches” on Sunday? He was doing that.) — ouch!!! — and he was the second one to kick me in the back of the head, also hard. Pffft. Although, I did get to mount a few times. Nothing open from there, and I was thinking of gi chokes and he wasn’t wearing one. Meh.

In that round, finally figured out why my lower ribs are bruised: guys trying to break my guard put their hands there and slam their weight down. Lovely, thanks. (And FYI, guys, it doesn’t work; it just annoys me and makes me want to avoid you.)


Perry talked to me some before class. He said my technique is really good (he drilled with me on Saturday); he thinks the only thing I need to work on is my confidence, that I seem hesitant and not excited about rolling with some of the guys. Which is absolutely true: I like my limbs attached. Still, if he’s seen this — and he said this was coming from his experience as an instructor — then it’s something I do need to work on. Not with everyone at once; I’ll still avoid new guys and spazzing guys as much as possible. But guys like Will and Clifton, who I do like and like to work with: those are guys I can start working on this.

That conversation probably prompted my brain to decide to pass Buddy’s guard rather than just hang out in front and wait for him to sweep me some way or the other. So, a small step.


On Saturday, one of the guys, who I’d rolled with on Friday at Open Mat, was telling everyone that if I were a guy or were bigger, I’d be tapping them all out left and right. And the guys standing around, mostly blues and purples, agreed and said it’s because my technique’s really good.

Huh. Maybe there’s something to this…

Now if I could only get said supposedly good technique to work when I want it to…


One more: last night, when I was drilling S-mount with Scott, he was telling me to put my entire weight on him. A small adjustment in my weight distribution, and I was sitting entirely on him. When I mentioned that, he said, “Wow, you really don’t weigh a lot.” Tonight, drilling the armbar with Will and Clifton, they were telling me to go ahead and put my weight on them in knee-on-belly. To which I leaned slightly and raised my posted leg off the ground. “Oh, that is all your weight.” Yup, sure is.


Tomorrow night, one of my best friends is participating in a poetry reading. So no jits and no posting tomorrow, and me trying not to think about missing the mats.

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2 responses to “Head kicks = no fun

  1. Georgette says:

    Just read a great post on why BJJ is so addicting, here: http://bjjengineer.com/?p=240

    Cheers to being techniquey. We as women probably have an inverse learning curve of sorts — we’re learning the techniques just as fast or faster as everyone else, but it won’t really start showing up in taps till much later than it shows for the guys. But boy, once it starts showing, I have to trust it will be impressive. (Right?)

    • leslie says:

      I think you’re right. I’ve had enough rolls with the blues and purples recently to actually let me see my technique, even if I don’t finish anything, so I know it’s there. (Sometimes, when it’s just squish-me rolls, I feel as if I have no technique at all. But it’s there; it’s just not coming out to play.)

      And of course it will be impressive. I’ve got a backlog of submissions to hand out. 😉

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