BJJ Grrl

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

Not stopping

on August 11, 2009

Might not be going very fast, but I’m not stopping. Might not get as many runs, but I’m not stopping. Might not jump as high, might not look as sharp, might not appear to be as much work, but I’m not stopping.

Not that I could form any thought even halfway so coherent tonight…

Straight in to rolling. With Will. Tim was saying to just go nice and easy; Will dropped right back for his open guard; I grabbed for his pants and started trying to work around. He joked that trying to pass his guard wasn’t playing nice and easy; I countered that his guard isn’t nice and easy. 😛 I don’t remember much of the round (or the whole night), but I remember being pleased that I’d gotten my positioning right a few times, had pressure in the right place a time or two, and had noticed the slippery slope to getting triangled and had moved away.

Another roll, with the little 14-year-old kid. I was mostly looking for opportunities to bump him down and do the pendulum sweep, or other places to bump around a mistake and get in close (like when he charged in high and I ducked under and came up on his back). He gave me lots of chances to practice, and also gave me lots of chances to practice shooting up for the triangle since he was trying to break my guard by reaching back. After the fourth or fifth one, before I let him escape, told him that when he reached back to break my guard, he was setting me up for that triangle. Did let him work away from everything except most of the sweeps. Let him get to side control a few times so I could practice the thread-the-needle escape… and yeah, I need more work on it, especially with weight on me (even with only 80 lbs!). Somehow my head and body aren’t quite clear on what everyone needs to do once there’s a person holding me down. Can do it fine drilling on my own; having troubles once a warm and tightly clinging body is added.

He had rolled with Tim before class, and I’d seen Tim teaching him how to do an armbar. So when he got around to side control once and tried for the armbar, I was mostly waiting for him to do it right; he didn’t, though (kept tugging high up under my armpit, which I hardly even had to defend: just the dead weight of my arm was keeping it safe). Let him try for a little while, and finally switched back around to guard since he wasn’t getting it. Guard work, was trying to not use my arms except to lock up the pendulum sweep. He did try the elbow-in-throat once from inside my guard (I think he was getting frustrated); popped it across and locked up the pendulum sweep.

Okay, so I remembered that… I think I rolled in the same location most of the night, and somehow that always jumbles things in my head. Also, most of the rolls were similar; this one was actually different.

Then rolled with Brandon. Similar to Will, I think — did some good things, mostly position and pressure and seeing “Warning: Triangles Ahead” signs. Probably mostly under everything, though, as that’s what normally happens, and I don’t have many memory flashes of being on top. I think it was this round that my ribs got to complaining again.

On the wall for single legs. Okay so far. Then single leg/sprawl. Slowing a bit, but actually jogging back faster than the 14 year olds (that’s something). Then bear crawl down, single leg/sprawl back. We had to almost line up to get a “down” queue and a “back” queue. I think that was it for then.

Partnered again for rolls. Was put with the other 14 year old. And Tim was hollering for us to push through, keep attacking, so the kid listened and tried to tear in to me. I think he was tired, though (he also does football, and they’ve started two-a-days), because I was able to just barely stay ahead of him. Started off trying to pass his guard; I think I got bump tackled. He was trying to grab a sleeve and rip an arm out. Managed to defend that and even to throw in some bumps to off-balance him. Couldn’t get enough room (or energy) to escape, though. I think he finally decided to try an armbar without having my arm; I came up and in and to his guard. Somehow I ended up turtled, defending him trying to pick me up and flip me over or guillotine me; eventually got a leg, even, and did the single-leg sweep from there. Almost made it fully to side control; tried several things which I think I did nearly right but not quite enough right as he was able to scramble away.

On the wall again. Almost had to crawl to get there. Alligator down, 10 pushups, alligator back, 10 pushups. Repeat. A lot. I know by the end I was one or two full laps behind, but that was seriously as fast as my body could move. Fighting to keep the waterworks in check; everything was tired and hurting, and there wasn’t enough oxygen to go around. Then 50 squat jumps. I think I counted to 33 (though I think I did about 9 more than Tim disallowed by saying I wasn’t jumping high enough. C’mon, white girls can’t jump, especially not short stubby ones. My “higher” wasn’t much more.) before he called us back out to roll again.

With another guy. He said he was tired and trying not to puke before we started; while I doubted it would happen, I was kind of hoping that meant he’d slow down and focus on technique. Not to be, however. Charged me straight off; I did manage a sprawl, but still couldn’t get my legs fully away from him; he pulled my legs under and got me on my back. Think I stayed there most of the time with some brief stints in his half-guard, though I don’t remember what I did to get there. Couldn’t keep enough pressure on him, though, to work loose; would just get swept instead. Again with the hands-in-the-right-place happy moments.

Same partner, 10 bump sweeps per side. Tim had to come over and teach him the bump sweep first. First one also involved an elbow to the back of the head. Um, ouch.

Last round, Tim put me with Big Jon. (He also said he was trying not to puke. !!) His tired speed is my fresh-out-of-the-gate speed. But he does really try to work technique; I think there were several times when he could’ve easily overpowered me for something, but he recognized that it was just strength masquerading as technique, and he’d slow down and work on the details of what he meant to do. Not that it was any less deadly. Spent most of the round defending a couple of chokes; neither was quite under my chin, though that’s where he was working to. Also defending an armbar for a while; don’t remember where exactly he left space, but there was some and I was able to turn in. (That was one of the ones he could’ve had if he’d just wanted to rip my arm off.) Remember being under mount and side control a lot, and was even turtled for a good while. Couldn’t reach his leg, though; did try once, but he just switched sides.

That was class. (Thank goodness! I was a little pile of blue sweaty gi.)

I think there are some times when rolling when I’m not having to consciously think, “Oh, look, space,” and then decide to move in to it. I think my brain or body is just finding the space and moving in without my conscious decision. Which is good, because on nights like tonight when my conscious brain shut down early, I need something to keep working.

Forgot to do my gi pullups after class. Was so tired, I didn’t even remember them until I got home.

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