BJJ Grrl

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

A Big Guy

on September 10, 2009

That was me tonight. Justin was showing something to Will, using me as his grappling dummy: “And for big guys, you do this.” To which Will shook his head at me being not quite either “big” or “guy.” I tried, though it didn’t quite work.


Tip to BJJ bloggers: best way to increase your per-day page views — get promoted. Just sayin’…


I painted my toes blue. They match my belt.

(Side story: Last summer, we had a big guy named Zack who was promoted to blue belt. Zack’s over 6 feet tall, over 200 pounds, former wrestler, Army guy, somewhere around my age. The next class, he came in with his toenails painted the same blue as his belt. He was always doing funny stuff like that. [There was the incident with the singlet…]

Well, he said he was only keeping it for the rest of the week. And then the next week, he showed back up with blue toes still. Everyone was laughing and teasing him about liking his toenails painted. He said he’d started taking it off over the weekend, and his daughter came in. Two or three years old. And she was thrilled that Daddy was painting his toes, so she wanted to help him put it back on and wanted hers to match his… and he didn’t have the heart to say no. So Zack had painted toes for several more weeks until they moved away.)

As I walked in, Justin asked if I’d brought my belt. (It’s nogi class tonight.) Erm… yeah…

Small class tonight. (Apparently last night they had over 20!) Still no girls. Buddy had to leave early, so he asked if we could roll to warm up, and Justin and Adam let us.

Started with Will. He wasn’t quite paying attention at first, so I had to rush him a bit to wake him up, to which he said, “Oh, I see how it is now, Miss Blue Belt!” And then the round picked up in earnest. Ha! He caught a triangle, which I defended the way we’d learned a counter to last week, but since I knew the counter he knew, I knew what I needed to do to keep him from getting it — keep my elbow and shoulder in tight on his leg. (Pressure on that leg helps, too.) Still under half guard mostly.

Then with Adam. Intensity started off at a higher level, and stayed there most of the round. I can do it. He was practicing D’Arces. My defense there needs some revisiting. He caught 3 in a row; while trying to defend a fourth, I gave up a kneebar. Doh. (Actually, defended the first and second kneebar attempts, but lost the third.) Did have some sweeps that almost got me to top and some halfway decent escapes. Some moments that seemed like I’d done something really right.

Then with the little 14 year old. He was having a spazzy elbow night — got elbows in the throat, in the eye, and in the chin. The ones in the throat, though, were deliberate attempts to grind into my windpipe, and since that annoys me & I don’t think that’s a nice thing to do to training partners (and since I’ve told him about it), I escaped fully from those and didn’t let him try anything off them. Deliberate pain moves like that are not okay in my book, especially not in training. He tried armbar from mount once, but was loose; I did a slow hitchhiker escape. From side control, he kept trying the far-side kimura without having any position and without trapping that inside arm (to be fair, I don’t think he’s actually learned that); I’d roll to the outside and turtle, and he’d try to finish the kimura from there. I tried to set him up for the move from Tuesday several times, but he tried a headlock instead.

Drilling next. Continuation/variation of the move from Tuesday. Worked with Will and the kid. The kid and I were both having trouble because we aren’t long enough to both get the knee down and get the over/under at Will’s shoulders. We could do it on each other, though. Adam saw us having trouble on Will, so he showed us a variation — get the knee down and grip both hands around their waist. (He said this version would be especially good against someone like Nick, who turtles and defends his neck well.) Use that grip to pressure them forward and create enough space to transition the knee that’s over their calf around to get the second hook in. Straighten that second leg to pull yourself all the way square, and then you have their back.

And in here is when I became “a big guy.” *snort*

More rolling. Guillaume first. Hit the move from class, with Adam’s variation and a RNC, straight off. He shook his head and said, “Should have seen that coming.” He’s starting to defend a lot better, so I’m having to work several submissions/transitions in a row to get something to stick. Got to lots of positions, but couldn’t quite finish. Was transitioning off them, though, and remembered lots of stuff to try, which is good.

Last with Yoshi. He was pushing again, and I was trying to match him. Lots of half guard and z-guard from me; even tried x-guard once, but it took a while before I remembered to get his weight over me (still forgot to grab his ankles, doh!). That sweep finally came toward the end and sent him over me and me out the back; came up and again got something close to Adam’s variation, though he was defending the RNC and I couldn’t finish it. Time ended on us. Had several back door escapes and a few sweeps/near sweeps like the one Adam showed me on Saturday. Still having trouble getting under his base; I’d think I was there, but the sweeps wouldn’t quite work right, so there must be something I was missing. Nice fast-paced round, though.

Then on the wall for drills: bear crawl down/squat jumps back; alligators; single legs. A little slow, but still moving.

The new guys were saying after class that they’re used to be wrecked in conditioning-type work (they’re both cadets at Tech), but that class tonight had wrecked them on a whole new level. One of them asked Will if he competed, which got us all on the subject of competing. Yoshi and I both agreed that we weren’t looking to compete again at the moment because we don’t want to go through Tim’s pre-tournament insane classes, and another guy said those are one of the main reasons he hasn’t competed yet. I am looking, though, at maybe the Dec 5th Submission Only in Richmond (though most of the college kids may not be able to make it, since that’s probably during or right before finals). Maybe by then I’ll be ready for a week or two of competition training again…

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