BJJ Grrl

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

“They told me about you…”

on May 13, 2009

“You’re the little girl who kicks everyone’s butt!”

What the–?! I’m sitting down to roll with a new girl — a girl, it’s a real live girl! — and that’s what she says to me… as she’s slowly backing away. She probably has about 50 lbs on me, and she’s in the Army, and she’s backing away with her eyes wide.

“They said there’s a little girl who does jiu-jitsu. Said she might not look like much, but she can take on even the big guys and make them tap.”

I wanna know who’s been telling stories on me. I catch submissions once in a while, but not on a regular enough basis to have my own legend yet.

“You could break my arm, couldn’t you? Are you going to choke me out?”

Oh, don’t be silly. Well, okay, so I could break your arm and, yeah, I’m gonna try to choke you out, but it’s your first night and I do want you to come back, so I’ll be nice. For tonight.

“You really are little, though. I don’t want to hurt you.”

Now I don’t know what to say now. First she’s terrified of me — though everything was said with a nervous giggle — and then she’s afraid she’ll hurt me.


Everyone’s done with exams, so a fairly decent-sized class tonight. And two newbies, a guy and a girl. A girl! (She seemed to be on the fence about joining class, though the guy finally talked her into it.) Warmup, though it was light. Got everything except the second run on squat jumps. Then straight to drilling.

First, double armbar from guard. Second, one of two armbars if they pop a shoulder through on the previous one. Worked with Adam, and he had me working from a can-opener hold almost from the beginning. Which is good, because any new guys who think they know something always try to grab that. Once my brain grasped the concept of which knee was in front of his shoulder, I was hitting that second one fairly consistently.

Then we finally rolled. First roll with Brian (Bryan?), who used to train here but now lives in upstate New York. He’s down visiting his in-laws, so he stopped over to train Monday and tonight. He would let me work a bit, and then he’d do a crazy sweep or two, and then go back to letting me work. He showed me how to do the one sweep — from inside my guard, he sat back, hooked one leg in front of my hips, and then did something that I’m forgetting, and had me swept. He said that it works well on larger guys and that it works well for smaller flexible people, so I’ll have to check with Justin to see if he knows it.

Next Tim pointed me and Justin at the new girl and guy. I sat down, and the above conversation took place. I wanna know who they talked to about me…. We didn’t actually roll much because she doesn’t know much. She was backing away from me at first, so I eventually stopped trying to start a roll and just talked to her instead.

We did finally get in a little bit of rolling. She pushed me over and took side control, and then said, “What do I do from here?” I told her to go to mount. (“Wait, do you know what mount is?” “Yes.” “Okay. Try to get there.”) She was flopping around a bit, so I shrimped around and went for guard, but she ran away again. Got a not-great armdrag and took her back fairly easily. Let her try to work out of it, and she reached down to pull my hooks out. Figured the easiest way to explain why that wasn’t good was to finish the RNC, so I did. Then when we sat up, I showed her how to defend the RNC and told her why reaching down for my feet wasn’t a good idea.

We sat for a bit (this was a fairly long roll) and watched Justin rolling with the guy. Justin was going really easy on the guy, still catching him every little while in something; the guy’s face was turning purple. Found out later he’d tried to work out of a guillotine that Justin had tight and had nearly passed out as a result. She thought it was great fun that he was getting his butt kicked.

She finally turned back to me and said, “Come on, kick my butt again!” As if I needed encouragement… Ended in mount fairly quickly and turned and trapped her arms for the armbar — again, easiest way to explain, this time for not pushing straight up — and she asked, “If you were me right now, what would you do?” She didn’t know bridging yet, so I told her instead to roll to the open side, which did get her out. We had to move because another pair of guys was about to slam in to us. I don’t remember what happened, but almost right off she dropped in to my triangle; I finished it and then showed her how to keep her elbows in so that wouldn’t happen. Then we watched more of the guy getting his butt kicked.

Sat around and talked with them afterward. She said she had an ex-boyfriend who was a jiu-jitsu instructor, and she always wanted to learn it but for some reason never did. She likes to watch it, though, and she just moved down here and wants to meet people (besides bouncey female college sophmores, which is who she apparently has to deal with a lot), so she thought she’d give jiu-jitsu a try. I think she asked the guy to come with her; they work together.

She was teasing the guy about his face turning purple, to which he said he’d thought he could work out of that guillotine. Um, yeah, no; if Justin really has it, and he doesn’t want to let you out, you’re not getting out…. She asked me some question about Justin, I forget exactly what, since he’d helped the two of them during drilling, but the answer was, “He’s a purple belt and one of the assistant instructors. He’s been training here longer than anyone else.” To which the guy said, “Oh, now I don’t feel so bad. I nearly had him a few times. I was in some good positions; I just didn’t know any submissions.” And we girls just smiled and nodded. I had even pointed out to her how she could tell that Justin was rolling easy.

Mentioned what the guy said to Justin at dinner. He said that’s what he gets for trying not to rip new guys’ arms off; they think they’re something big.

She said she enjoyed class, and that she really likes to watch jiu-jitsu, so hopefully she will come back.

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5 responses to ““They told me about you…”

  1. Georgette says:

    Awesome! Chicks proliferating… I love it.

  2. Patrick says:

    Ah yes… the double armbar from guard as a counter to the can-opener. That one took me back. Caught a lot of guys with that as a newly minted blue. One of my favorites.

    Hope the new girl sticks around! If she does, you’d be her Sempai (more experienced classmate). As always, it’s great reading about your adventures training in jiu-jitsu!

  3. Jenn S. says:

    Yay for another girl! Hope that she sticks around … and that you can track down the source of that rumor. That’s kind of awesome. 😀

    LOL at the new guy’s comment. If I can get anything on a senior student or instructor, I assume they’re letting me do it. I don’t believe that I’ve actually created an opening or taken advantage of a weakness unless they explicitly say I have. Maybe that’s not the best for my self-confidence, but it does keep me humble.

  4. leslie says:

    I hope she continues to proliferate. It’s funny, I don’t mind there not being other girls around when they’re not around; but when they are around, I want them to stay. She giggles a bit much right now, but a few RNCs should take care of that…

    @Jenn — I’m exactly the same way: unless they explicitly tell me that I did it on my own, I assume they were going easier on me and let me have it. I just appreciate the live practice and keep going. I think that guy was trying to save face in front of the females in the room (while we were both trying not to bust out laughing).

  5. […] next was the second armbar from a few months ago, except with climbing your legs up to get to their shoulders. Drilled with Will. Both our shoulders […]

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