My best isn’t good enough

So. Got kicked out of class. Again.

Slightly larger class than usual for Saturdays. No one is happy to see the kid who knocked out the girl. (I’ve decided to nickname him Cannonball here, mostly off of “loose cannon.” Easier that way, I think.) Everyone’s gunning for him. I have good guys.

Rolling to warmup. Will first. He was playing catch-and-release and sometimes with both hands tucked in his belt. I was just trying to move. Funny, I came to class prepared to tap a lot, to break that stupid mental block that’s been growing again, and then Will just wanted to play. He finally let me around his open guard so I could play some half guard, side control, and north/south. He even let me try some spider guard, though I couldn’t keep pressure well and he passed easily. Even remembered to break grips like Justin had shown me last week. Just flowing around. Kind of slow round, but still hard work.

Then Scott. He did catch a few so I could practice tapping. Again attempting to get around his open guard a lot. Wanted to ask him after class about that, but didn’t get the chance. Under side control and mount a few times. Did have one single-leg sweep when he let me have his leg, though got swept right away. Also tried some spider guard, though he would stand up and pass. Broke a few more grips, too; he nods when I do those right. Afterward, he said my pressure had been good and I’d been moving my hips well; he was having to use more weight to control me. Pace was also a little slower, but that’s also how Scott has always rolled with me so he can really focus on his technique.

Drilling. From half guard through x-guard to the back. Start in bottom half. Shrimp backwards a bit and hook the top leg inside their knee. Shoot under their other leg with your bottom arm; use the hook to elevate them a bit and come under to x-guard. If they stand at this point and you find yourself without the far ankle, then swim your front arm behind their near hamstring; pop your head through to the other side. Reach up with the other hand and grab their belt (or pants or whatever you can get), then bring the other hand up to grab, too. Transition your top foot (the one you hooked with) over to their other leg; this looks like a backwards butterfly guard. Pull down and/or back with your arms a little while kicking out with your shins on the backs of their knees. They fall on their butt in front of you; take the back.

I worked with Scott, which was amusing because his legs are long and mine are short. Scott had me pushing out wider when I kicked so that he didn’t land on my legs. Adam showed me that you can bring your foot behind their knees and push there for more leverage.

Up to this point, I’m fine. I’ve rolled with Will and Scott, and been beat on technique lots and lots. I’m still remembering that I need to tap when I’m in trouble instead of being stubborn and fighting. I’m remembering that I need to keep moving and need to get off the bottom.

I paired up with a guy I like to roll with for the next round. Tried to start with some spider guard/open guard of my own, since that’s where most of the guys start. He locked up an ankle and pulled me up by that leg. Causes problems. Have to figure out what to do now. Got dumped on my back and then passed.

And then Tim stopped us. Said you aren’t aggressive enough, stop being so emotional, need to push the pace, every time I look over you’re on the bottom, gotta fight to get off the bottom, not aggressive enough, need to attack more, didn’t give you that belt so you can just lay there, pull guard at least and work from there, too slow, not even shrimping, you’re better than that, you’re better than him, start over, go harder.

So we reset. I stayed on my knees, grabbed inside the collar and one sleeve, thinking to either drive forward and work a sweep, depending on what he did. He bulldozed me. Oh. Now I end up on the bottom. And got passed. He was controlling my hips and laying across my head and arms. Tried to bump, tried to bridge, tried to turn in, always my first thought now. No good. Trying to wedge my elbows back in; still no good.

Tim stopped us again. I couldn’t hear him because my partner was laying on my ear, with the other smashed to the mat. Again, didn’t give you that belt so you can lay there, you aren’t being aggressive, you’re always on the bottom, stop being so emotional. Start over.

We reset. Partner started in open guard. Great. A hand on either pant leg by the ankle; tried to pull his legs out a bit and pin them to pass. Couldn’t budge his legs. He grabbed a sleeve, kicked out my ankle, dragged me over. Turned in, shrimped; he let me get to guard. Tried to keep his posture down. No good. Tried to break his arms down. Still no good. Tried the scissor breakdown (turn in over one arm). He sprawled on both legs, wrapped them up in one arm, and passed. I heard Tim make a comment from the side, but I couldn’t hear the words.

Turned in and over, going for the single leg. He sprawled. Legs out of reach. He shot in for the D’Arce. Tried the switch: leg posted, arm posted. Head got ground into the mat. Leg came back in reach, though. Grabbed it. He sprawled again. Almost lost it, but kept fighting forward. Pulled it in and posted for the sweep. He sprawled again. Leg gone. Arm shot in again for D’Arce. This time he locked it in and rolled me. I fought the tap, though I knew it was rightfully his. Finally had to. Tim on the side again, telling me to stop giving up like that.

Now I really was upset and trying not to cry as I roll. I can’t do anything right. The rest of the roll is hazy. I tried to fight harder, to fight to top, to sweep, to calm down. Wasn’t tired, or at least didn’t feel it. Tried pulling guard again. The guy wrapped up both legs again. Tried to stay upright, push on his head, scissor my legs open to get them back. He swept me, easily and gently. He was feeling sorry for me, I could tell, but he had to keep pushing, too. He left a leg out, though, and I snagged that half guard. Immediately flattened. Trying to bump in, trying to wedge an underhook. He tried to pull me in for a D’Arce. Bumped back out. Wedged in the x-guard hook, wanting to lift and sweep though couldn’t quite remember the sweep. He passed. Bumped to my side. He was laying on my head and had both legs wrapped up with his arm. Tried using arms to brace and get some space. Nothing doing. Couldn’t free my legs, either. He finally tried moving; got my hips to chase and snag half guard. Flattened again.

There was more of me getting passed, and flattened, and sat on, and swept, but I don’t remember. Nothing I could do about any of it. Tried to shrimp, tried to bump, tried to roll. Couldn’t escape anything; he was tight, as he should be. He had other submission attempts; I tried to explode out of all of them; nothing else seemed as if it would satisfy. Tried to be more intense, more aggressive, even so far as imagining my last tournament rolls. And as far as I could tell, that’s the level I was at during this roll. Which apparently did nothing. Actually was a real emotional wreck by the end.

Time was finally called. Tim called me over. Told me to go get my stuff and go home. Said that whatever problems I’m having outside of class (there are none), I can’t bring them in to class; I have to come in ready to work, with a good attitude and energy (was completely fabulously great coming in this morning). Said I do this every class (I do not). Trying to defend myself, explain it’s none of that; said all the wrong things. He said he wasn’t the kind of coach to not tell you when you have a problem, just trying to make you all better. More about not giving me that belt so I could roll like that.

I know that, and I want to be better, and I do appreciate when he points things out. I just wish sometimes it wouldn’t come with such a guilt trip — that’s when I lose it.

But if I was giving what felt like my best for that one roll, and he says it’s not good enough, then I don’t know what to do.

I know I accept the bottom position easily, and I do want to work on that. I know my reversals need work.

Have I looked better in class? Yes, either with a soft new guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing or with an advanced guy who wanted to play at a fast pace. Then I feel as if I know jiu-jitsu. With any other guy who’s battling hard? No. Then it’s pressure, stay tight, defend.

Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe new blue belt girls are supposed to be able to own all the white belt boys, regardless of size and skill. (The one today should have gotten his blue before me, except he got injured and has been out.) Maybe I’ve been fooling myself and making excuses this whole time. Maybe I’m supposed to be gunning for everyone on every roll. Maybe I’m just a colossal screw-up of a jiu-jitsu player.

Maybe I should learn to knit instead.

Don’t mind me. I’m still upset and embarrassed at being kicked out again and a little angry. I’ll be okay by Monday and will be right back in class. I know, it sounds like I should take a break, and you’ll all recommend it, and part of me wants to — but another part of me is very afraid that if I don’t get back in there right away that I won’t go back at all.

20 thoughts on “My best isn’t good enough

  1. I know it’s not my place to say this, but those sound like inappropriate things for a coach to say. Everybody has a tough roll once in a while, and everybody’s got a hole in their game somewhere. Kicking you out of BJJ practice is not going to help you get better at BJJ, and I don’t know why he thinks it will. It sounds to me like you were having a good practice and he ruined it.

    I know it takes major guts to even think about changing schools, but if my coach crossed this line with me I’d be getting out of there and letting him know why.

  2. Your “coach” isnt much of one. Expecting more out of you is one thing. Good coaches would pull you aside and say what they need to quietly, respectfully, and tell you what was good as well. I train w/ a well-respected instructor – the only way anyone gets kicked out is for etiquette issues, and even then thats extremely rare. Id find a new place to train if possible.

  3. @kc and @J: Well, first, there is nowhere else that’s close enough for me to drive to on weekdays. This is my only option for regular training.

    Second, he is right — I do end up on the bottom a lot and don’t get out much. I accept some of the blame for that; I shouldn’t be so quick to go down and should fight to start and stay on top, and I know escapes and don’t insist on finishing them as I should.

    And third, usually he’s fine and is a good coach and is encouraging. It’s just every once in a while when he starts gearing up for a fight (like now) or we have an upcoming tournament that he gets more hard-nosed about class.

    I know I should probably talk to him when both he and I are calm. I just don’t know what I need to say yet.

  4. disclaimer: I probably have no business commenting on this post, so feel free to tell me to shut up / call me names / ignore me completely if you wish.

    I don’t particularly agree with the coaching, but it’s not really my place to judge that kind of thing, and with where your head was at I don’t think you were going to get anything useful out of the rest of the class anyway?

    So are you having fun Leslie? Seems like your last four or five posts all have you hurting, getting upset and generally pushing yourself just to get to the end of classes without breaking down. And getting pianos dropped on your head.

    I’m just the new kid, but I’m fairly sure that you’re supposed to look forward to going to class, and once you’re there I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to like it. You’re putting all this pressure on yourself to keep going to class, to keep going hard. It sounds to me like you’re overdoing it and as a result you’re not having fun anymore.

    I still think you should take a week off, make sure you get enough rest and generally not even think about BJJ. You said you’re scared you won’t go back? I think you’ll realise that you miss it. Then you’ll go back, but it’ll be because you want to, not because you think you’re supposed to.

    Then I think you should grab someone who’s no threat to you who isn’t going to freak out (someone like me? ha ha!), and just smash them. Go for everything. Tap them out all over the place. Have a roll where you don’t care if they learn anything at all.

    Then grab someone who makes you work and smash them too. Then grab someone who you have no chance against, and have fun getting your ass kicked!

    It’s a game remember? Relax and play, stop putting so much pressure on yourself.

  5. Ugh, that sucks; it’s so hard not to internalize feedback like that or know how to respond in the moment.

    I wonder if you and he (once you are both calm, as you said) can maybe work out some sort of overall strategic analysis–identify weak spots and brainstorm things you can work on for each area. You sometimes write about going into class with a gameplan, but I wonder if maybe you would benefit from a bigger-picture gameplan–strategy as well tactics, is maybe what I’m trying to say?

    I also am guessing he is trying to toughen you up mentally. The question is how to respond to him doing that without feeling like you’re getting guilt-tripped or responding inwardly with negative self-talk. Extracting helpful things from badly-given feedback is hard to do. I certainly struggle with that.

    I’m sure you don’t want pity–but I respect the fact that you’re fighting through this and trying to comport yourself well. This may be character-building, but it kinda sucks! πŸ™‚

  6. WHOA I have so much to say I don’t know where to start!

    Agree with others re: coach out of line. Coaching = constructive criticism and encouragement. Your coach was not so much with that. But I’m mainly wanting to comment on the rest of the experience.

    I am often in the same or similar position as you (frankly in reading your blog I’m often wondering when I will be in AS GOOD A POSITION as you… you always seem to know more, go for more, get stuck or flattened less than I do.) I’m a new blue female too– got blue after training 4 months, 1st stripe 7 months later. And I really don’t often feel like a blue. Hahahahahaha at Neil’s idea to grab someone you can smash– if he said that to me, I would be hard pressed to find anyone I can just manhandle at will! Even new whitebelts are tough. Strength and leverage from longer limbs make it HARD to execute technique unless you implement it PERFECTLY, and while you’re learning, it’s NEVER perfect! So the littlest bit of resistance stymies most of our attempts. It sucks! But I think it’s inevitable.

    I have a coach who says the same things to me– not aggressive enough, go to my back too easily, don’t fight for the top– and I always say to him “easy for you to criticize.” It does get very frustrating and I have been on the verge of tears (or in tears) often enough.

    I guess bottom line is, I hope you carry on and keep pushing. I hope you let some of the comments you know to be exaggeration go on by without affecting you (I would ignore the “I didn’t give you that belt for you to fight like that” and the “leave your outside problems outside” and the “too emotional”) I don’t think you should let this go, either… I would make an appointment to speak to your coach outside of class when no one’s around and when there’s no time pressure– tell him you feel it’s unprofessional to kick you out of class (wtf!)…

    I have more thoughts on this but I’ll close for now. It’s late and I want to think on this more.

  7. Your post made me angry, so rather than replying straight away i had to ruminate a little before replying. Instead of the word ruminate i was going to use masticate but some people have filthy minds. πŸ™‚

    I think you should speak to your coach outside of class hours about his expectations of you and then you should tell him what you expect of yourself. You both need to find a way to reconcile those expectations.
    -Explain that you are willing to work hard and accept honest criticism.
    -Explain that certain types of motivation dont work on you ie the drill sergeant bullshit and bawling approach.
    -Explain that you pay your fees and that he cannot exclude you from a class or tell you to leave early. Tell him he can suggest a night off but not order it.
    -Listen to what he has to say

    I tried to start this off with a little joke ie the mastication, let me know if you laughed. If you didnt then ill be very disappointed.

    PS. I actually thought the piano dropping post was a reference to the movie Zombieland.

  8. I’m astonished, just like everyone else here. I have never even heard of a coach saying stuff like that. I don’t know him, and I don’t know the context outside of what you wrote, but I can’t think of a situation where any of that would be appropriate.

    Without repeating what everyone else has already said, being on the bottom is NOT A BAD THING. If it was, pulling guard would be looked at as inferior. Instead, competitors from white belt up the elite levels of black belt pull guard as a way to attack, control, and sweep. My buddy just won his division at the US Open yesterday – 5 fights, 5 times pulling guard, 4 triangles, no sweeps. He never once came on top. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting from, or playing an entire match from, the bottom. How you win becomes part of your game. MAYBE you look for the sweep, or MAYBE you look for the submission. MAYBE the guy is bigger and/or stronger, and you play 4 of 5 minutes on defense. And, quite simply, everyone can be beaten. A blue belt can be controlled by a white belt. A purple by a blue. At the end of the day, that’s why we all practice, to control versus being controlled in this game of ours. If we could do it perfectly all the time, we wouldn’t need to practice, would we?

    I’m really disappointed to hear a coach say stuff like that. Don’t give up. You earned your belt through hard work and demonstration of solid technique. We all have good days and bad days, sometimes quite a few mashed together.

    I absolutely agree with Tom D – you have to talk to your coach outside of class and resolve this – if you don’t, you’ll dread going to practice and eventually stop. Or find a different gym.

    Just my $.02. Keep your head up.

  9. Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to read and reply to my latest drama. I very much appreciate it.

    @Neil: You’re right, I’m not having terribly much fun right now. I know the fun is there somewhere, though, and so I keep going to class to find those moments when it appears.

    I’m too nice to mash someone just because I can. Although, the idea is certainly appealing right now. πŸ™‚

    @Jenn: He has said that he’s trying to toughen me up mentally. I absolutely HATE confronting people, so this talk is going to be very, very hard for me. (Probably not how he meant for the toughening to go, that I would turn around and assert myself.)

    A gameplan/training strategy is a good idea, especially one that has more than just me running it (because I’m too easily distracted!). And if not him, then our brown or one of the purples would help me.

    @Georgette: Ha! I think the same when I read your posts. Most of my rolls seem to consist of “stuck under side control and mount,” unable to sweep or escape.

    The kicking me out is so the guys (and he, too, I suppose) don’t have to deal with a weeping female. Which I totally WASN’T until I started BJJ. Bah.

    I’m not going anywhere. I’m too stubborn/stupid for my own good.

    @Tom: Yes, I LOL’d. Thank you. Even though I know what it means, it still always catches me off-guard. πŸ˜› Haven’t seen the movie, though; not a zombie fan.

    Thanks for the advice about what to say. I’ll have to work on preparing what I need to say.

    @Dev: Thanks. You’re right, the bottom isn’t a bad place to be as long as you’re doing something with it. I’m probably not as active as I should be.

    Thanks again, everyone. He probably won’t be at class until Tuesday night, so I’ll work on staying calm and figuring out what I need to say.

  10. So, more thoughts… after rumination, and mastication (LOL), and definitely some perturbation.

    I was going to say the only reason I could see for ousting you would be if you were creating issues for your training partners because of demeanor– crying, complaining, sulking… but I can’t see that coming from you, especially after you explicitly deny it.

    He sounds like he may have issues with women– not traditional misogyny, but more like “I am uncomfortable dealing with women when they are sad or hurt or frustrated.” I suspect he covers his weakness in this regard by portraying his choice to oust you as “for your benefit” or to “toughen you up.” That is a shame. There are ADVANTAGES to being emotional too. Check out a book called “In a Different Voice” by Carol Gilligan… it’s developmental psychology from a gender perspective. Random reference… but anyway…

    I totally get why you are willing to compromise and stay with him due to convenience/feasibility issues. A bad day of jits is better than a good day elsewhere, etc. etc. and if you have to deal with this coach’s little quirks (LOL) in order to train regularly, well then, that’s the price you need to pay.

    Part of me wonders if he wasn’t just testing you to see if you’d fight back to him. As in, no way, Coach, I’m staying. Sounds like he really was not listening in the slightest to your protests so I doubt this is the case, but it’s possible. In any case I agree that you will have to stiffen your spine and confront him. I wish I could be there either as a silent listener or an assisting voice. I WILL be there in spirit for sure. Please continue blogging about this experience, it is instructive for students and coaches both.

    I can’t believe that blue girls are categorically supposed to pwn white boys… blue girls… or any other class of opponent. It’s an individualistic sport and everyone has a different game. Sometimes their strengths (literal or metaphysical) match up poorly for you with your weaknesses. Tough shit, coach. (excuse my French)… And as Dev pointed out, guard is a great offensive position. Perhaps what needs to happen is focus on the offensive elements of your guard game. For me this always means more hip movement and keeping my femur vertical or better i.e. not have my knee closer to my shoulders than my hip is. Maybe it means better grip fighting while they’re in your guard, more attempts at offense. And check out Jiu Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro… he portrays all whitebelt as aiming towards survival, all blue belt as aiming towards escaping. He isn’t even focusing on attacks until purple πŸ™‚

    You rock, don’t forget it.

  11. Perturbation, misogyny and mastication all in the same post. Im very impressed πŸ˜‰

    Perhaps this is the way your coach was coached. A very Irish way of looking at it is to say “Ah sure, it did me no harm”, this is bullshit. The ends does not always justify the means and the means sometimes changes you into that same hardnose bastard that made you, its a vicious circle. The hardnose approach does work (i used to do it in work) but its success rate is far less than a more flexible balanced approach (the method i now use). Staff turnover hardnosed aproach 50% vs Staff turnover balanced approach 5%.

    Like Georgette has said you do rock, keep your chin up, dont ever give up and keep blogging about the whole thing.

  12. It’s the little peoples support network! (Well, Georgette and I are little people at least?)

    Hang in there Leslie, I’m greatly looking forward to the post where you find your fun again. Especially if you find it while mashing someone just because you can, so then I can say “I told you so!”.

    In other news, stop using such big words people! You’re making my brain hurt!

  13. Leslie, you need some girl-on-girl BJJ, and SOON. There is nothing worse than feeling like nothing you try is working. A lot of times, it isn’t working because the guys are bigger and stronger, even if you’re shrimping your little heart out. Sometimes it isn’t working because we get into a mindset of just accepting the position (I had a long talk with my coach about this over the weekend) instead of putting guys in danger because we don’t want to pay for that later. I know that there are guys that I have trained with that will intentionally roll harder after I do something ‘good’, even if it’s not anywhere near a submission. Heck, sometimes just escaping their half-assed submission makes them even more determined to catch me next time. This sort of mentality (even if they don’t know they have it) is something we have to be aware of so that we can protect ourselves.

    I recommend you coming to Richmond the first weekend of November (since I’m not home until then) and training with some girls. We always have girls in class on Friday nights, and Saturday is an open mat. If you’re free, send me a PM (or email, whatever), and we’ll work something out.

    Oh, and I agree with EVERYONE about your coach choosing a poor way to motivate you. I feel your pain on not having another school option, too. I changed schools recently, and it has been the smartest BJJ decision I’ve made in ages.

  14. @Georgette: I was crying by the end of that last roll, after he finished chewing me out, and then when nothing I did was measuring up to what he wanted. Did still roll, and did still roll fine (in my opinion — that is, same as normal with this guy). Not hysterical weeping; just tears, just “leaking.”

    I think part of the kicking out might also be to try to “shame” me into working harder next time. Instead, I’m just more defeated. Simply calling me out and telling me to pick it up is enough “shame” to motivate me. Maybe all this — chewing out in class, followed by kicking out — works for the boys. It doesn’t work for me. And I need to “man up” and tell him that.

    @Tom: Good point, too, either with how he was trained or how he was raised. And he’s just started training for his next pro fight (and had just finished a workout while we were in class), so part of it could be that he was just in that zone.

    @Neil: LOL.

    @clinzy: That sounds suspiciously like all of my classes of late. I have guys who flip out if I get in good grips or just in position for a sweep — no chance of pulling it off, probably, but they flip.

    Richmond weekends was already on my list of coping mechanisms. πŸ™‚ So thanks; we’ll work something out.

  15. The better you get, the harder the boys roll with you. Eventually you’ll get to a place where technique is enough to negate the added strength, but it seems like the hardest time for us girls is that first year. At first its hard because you are getting smashed all the time. Then you get a bit better and that brings some joy, but that’s just about the time the boys ramp it up so they aren’t tapping to a girl. If there are no girls at your place things can seem really dim for a really long time. Trust me – I know.

    I’m with @clinzy. You need some girl rolling time. We had a girl come visit recently and I thought I was in heaven. I hadn’t had that much fun in class in a long time and it sort of snapped me out of my “I suck – this sucks” funk I had been in for awhile.

    And I am going to go ahead and go on record saying what your coach did sucks. I too wonder if he isn’t trying to get a rise out of you to toss some aggression back at him or at your training partners, but it sure sounds like that particular type of motivation doesn’t work with you. You need to tell him that while you appreciate that he is trying to make you better – that you respond better to different styles of encouragement and that by continuing to try and ‘fix’ you in this manner he is only making it worse. Then tell him what type of motivation does work for you. Probably the more positive type.

    I totally understand how hard it can be to have this conversation with him, but it would suck to lose another awesome BJJ girl to the grind of the first year and some questionable coaching. And you just know that if you keep going that there is going to come a day when you are going to walk into the gym and you are going to suddenly realize that you could kick everyone’s ass in the place. If you are anything like me, I can’t WAIT for that feeling.

    It will come. Hang in there.

  16. @Jo: Thanks. The higher belt boys have been telling me for months that they have to roll harder with me now (Scott even told me that on Saturday), and I love feeling it when they do because I know it means they think I’m getting better. I actually ENJOY getting worked over by them. πŸ™‚ (It’s the smashy spazzy fart-brained white belts who are flipping out.)

    Yes, girl time is needed. I’d hoped Rachel visiting at the beginning of the week would help, but that wore off too quickly.

    And thanks for more words of what to say. I really didn’t even mind when he first stopped us to tell me I needed to be more aggressive; it was the barrage that followed that demoralized me.

    Pfft, me, quit? If I have to drive to Richmond (3.5 hrs one way) every weekend, I’ll still train. No one can get rid of me that easily. πŸ˜‰

  17. Leslie,

    I’m really sorry about what happened. It’s not your fault. Your coach sucks. If he was a good coach he would have seen that you were trying your best. There was no reason for him to throw you out of class; it’s beyond ridiculous.

    I think your “coach” needs to be reminded that you’re the customer. You’re paying him, he’s not paying you for being there. If he thinks you’re doing something wrong than he has the fiscal obligation to show you how to do it right.

    What frustrates me most about your posts is that the guys are smashing you and he says nothing about it. That’s more proof that he sucks.

    There is a girl in my school and I was unintentionally smashing her. I really wasn’t trying to, but I was a spazzoid white belt and didn’t know any better. My coach saw it from a mile away and he proceeded to hand my ass to me and not verbally either. He rolled with me and fucked me up for fifteen minutes. I deserved it.

    You’re coach should be watching for that too. I’m not saying the guys should go easy on you just because you’re a girl, but jiu-jitsu is not about strength. I don’t care what anyone says. If a guy is smashing you with technique that’s one thing, if they are using muscle then as a good coach he has to do something about it.

    And Dev is right. There’s NOTHING wrong with working a bottom game. That’s why it’s there. I always put my partners in my guard and intentionally let them get to full mount just so I can work my escapes.

    If I were you I would talk to him about it. And if you don’t leave the conversation satisfied you should leave the school. Remember, you’re doing this for you, not for him, Leslie.

    If you’re not benefiting from this relationship than you should end it.

  18. If you were a pro-fighter getting ready for a major competition, I could at least partially understand what your coach was doing. However, you’re not: you’re a paying adult looking to get better at BJJ. As far as I can tell from your blogging, this is a hobby, not your career.

    As others have said, he was way out of line telling you to leave early. You wouldn’t take that kind of crap if you were, say, having a hard time learning a particularly tricky grammatical quirk in Spanish class, so you shouldn’t take it in BJJ class either.

    There was a long thread over at the Jiu Jitsu Forum which might be of some use to you, although you’ve already had a load of good advice here.

  19. I agree it sounds like your coach was way out of line.

    But in regards to quitting always remember “Everytime a blue belt quits jiu jitsu. Rickson Gracie kills a kitten. You don’t want anymore kittens to die now do you?”

  20. @Hugo: The guys who smash me do usually get their butts handed to them afterward, either by my coach or by one of the blue+ guys. He has said, though, that he wants me to roll with them anyway because he wants me to get tougher… except, now that I think about it, I spend the whole round defending stupid stuff and injuries waiting to happen, so I don’t know that it does much except tick me off.

    I will bring up the getting smashed/not getting good training, though not this time. First we have to talk about how I’m being corrected in class…

    @slidey: As always, a great link. πŸ™‚ That was very helpful and encouraging. Luckily for her, she has so many other training schools in Atlanta (though personally, I’d train with Paul Creighton — super nice guy and small himself).

    (Hmm, Tim studied under the same Jacare for a while. So back to Tom’s earlier point about this being the way my coach was trained to coach…)

    @Alex: Ah, so that explains the quote that was referenced in slidey’s link that I didn’t know. πŸ˜› Nope, not quitting. Just have to find out a way to do it that doesn’t have me crying during every class…

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