BJJ Grrl

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

Not Open Mat

on May 8, 2009

I was actually not even planning to go to Open Mat tonight — had a lot to do at work so was going to stay a bit later, plus none of the purple belts were going to be there and weigh-ins for the kickboxing tournament would be at the academy — though I did grab a pair of shorts and a t-shirt just in case. Good thing I did.

Adam called me ~4:30 p.m. One of the kids — a 13-year-old girl* who’s a really good kickboxer — was 2 lbs over weight. So was one of the adult men. They were heading over to a nearby gym to use the sauna, and he wanted to know if I could come and go with her because, as they had just realized, she’s not a guy, so she couldn’t go in the men’s locker room with them. (And there’s the whole naked old men thing… yeah, bad idea.)

Work had been nuts all day. The joke at work was that I would get cauliflower ear from being on conference calls all day (3! and all had to be taken at my desk phone, which apparently has a speaker phone but no microphone — I can hear them but they can’t hear me) rather than from jiu-jitsu. I already had all my billable hours by the time he called, and I had the shorts & t-shirt, so I said sure and packed up and headed over.

Adam told me what to do with her, though it did take 3 rounds (and weighing naked) to get her down. But the scales in the gym must have been off a bit — though we checked them against the first weigh-in she’d done — because she weighed in at 1 lb under when we got back. Might not have needed that last round, but we couldn’t tell.

FYI, cutting weight in a sauna is horrible. So hot in there! I was wearing my glasses because I’d been at work, and they started burning on my nose. Lips hurt, mouth hurts when you talk for too long. And sweat pouring from everywhere! I usually sweat a lot, but this was nuts! And I had eaten all day, and had had water, and wasn’t toweling myself off (so sweating was actually helping to cool me down a bit) — and it was still terrible for me. Can’t even imagine how she was feeling.

Terrible as it was on the one hand, it was also kind of fun. We got to talk a lot, and she’s actually rather chatty; usually at the academy, she doesn’t say much. Turns out, as with most 13-year-old girls, she’s just shy around all the guys. Even told me that she wished there were cute guys in her classes (Krav Maga and kickboxing) and that she was jealous that I have all the cute guys in my class! Which, yeah, is true: my guys are adorable. (Me, biased?!)

I followed them back to the academy to make sure she made weight. If she didn’t, I was going to run around the parking lot with her. But she was fine; they marked her at 1 lb under. I talked to her parents a bit, who both thanked me for coming over to help; her mom even said that the girl had hoped I was the one who would be available to come. That’s cool. 🙂

Jiu-jitsu in the morning, and Star Trek and dinner later!

* Since one of the guys mentioned this morning (Saturday) that she seems young to be cutting like that, I thought I should add some more information. Her dad is in a medical profession (I’m not sure what, but he works in a hospital; I haven’t really talked to him much), and he oversaw everything that she did during this process. When she weighed in and was 2 lbs over, her father approved letting her cut in the sauna. And she was checked out by the tournament doctor both before and after.


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