BJJ Grrl

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

Another shiner :)

on July 8, 2010

Got another black eye tonight, though it looks more like I haven’t slept in days. It was nice and black by the end of class. Gave it to myself, actually — knee right in the face. There are sometimes drawbacks to being flexible…

My neck’s still a little sore from last night. But I’m too dumb to take a night off to rest. I will, however, have tomorrow and Saturday off because I’m going up to Richmond for dinner with my best friend on Friday, the kids’ grappling tournament on Saturday (Theresa is competing. I’ve agreed to work tables when she’s not up.), and a US Grappling referee certification on Sunday (I get to be a grappling dummy again). Will and Justin are talking about coming up for the tournament, too.

Tim met me before class. (And he said that his boss wants him to be off the clock by 6 at the latest from now on, so he should be able to come in early a lot. Yeehaw!) He hasn’t been in all week, so he wanted to roll. And roll we did. He worked easier at times so it seemed like I knew jiu-jitsu. We rolled for 30-45 minutes. That was so fun. Lol, he did tap me out with knee-on-belly after I’d made a joke about his side control being heavy. (“Who you calling fat? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Lol.) I worked a lot on getting in and pressuring and passing the open guard, which Adam’s been working with me on in the mornings. And I was trying things and moving and even attacking a couple of times. (I even tried to attack his legs a couple of times! I don’t know what to do with it once I get it, but I did try — and I was going for a move that everyone gets on me all the stinking time.) Who iz dis girl? Nobody knows.

We stopped a couple times so he could point out things. One, when I pass to side control, to not always go for scarf hold. Instead, get the shoulder pressure and then bring my knee up just on top of their hip for more pressure; stay tight. Or, if I do go for scarf hold, to not sit in so deep; hang back on the middle to lower ribs for more pressure. Two, in one weird half-guard situation, he showed me an armbar waiting for the taking. I hadn’t seen it and had just pulled my knee in to z-guard. Three… I think there was a three, but I can’t remember it right now.

Only a few people showed up tonight, so Tim declared it an Open Mat. Everyone paired up to start. I rolled with Will, who just got back from the beach. Worked on the knee thing in side control and the armbar. (Apparently I get to this weird half-guard position a lot.) He went for my feet, then stopped when he saw both toes taped and one ankle, and he’s always already careful with my knees. He asked if I had any good legs left for him to attack. Nope, sorry. Rolls were kind of long, until Tim called time so people could switch. Defending under side control and half-guard a lot.

Rolled with Tim again next. Working those things he’d shown me again. Trying to be even more aggressive passing the open guard. Also worked to attack when he was standing to pass. (I tried before class, too, and hadn’t done so well, but he’d also attacked from standing that round, and my brain finally pulled up the files on what he was doing, so I did a little bit of it myself.) Did have one sweep from there; he totally let me have it, but I was being aggressive for it so he let me keep going until I got him down. (Got a “Nice job!” for it, too. Squee!) Kept trying to get around behind him and do the bump forward sweep, but was always just too slow, plus Justin had apparently been working that the previous round, so he was wary. Again this round he let me play a lot, and I felt like I almost really knew what I was doing at times.

And then a newbie was there. One who has made silly comments before. (“I ordered a gi, but not a white belt. I’ll just wait for Tim to give me my blue belt, since I’m doing so well already.” Um, no. Also claimed to have gotten a tap on their second day, when Tim walked them through every step and the other guy laid there and let them. Erm, no.) Everyone else had paired up, so I asked if they wanted to roll. I was going slow, had a few things in mind to work. Despite the silly comments, I wanted to work and so wasn’t ready to edumacate them. They dropped right into a triangle, so I worked on my hips and knees and finished it. Then worked on a sweep and a pass to side control; worked on those things Tim had pointed out earlier, fussing with all the little details and feeling movement; then slid over to mount (maybe some knee-on-belly transitions first?) and worked on pressure there and retaining mount as they tried to fight out. (And even when I’m working pressure, it’s not everything I’ve got; it’s more the positioning and the direction than the actual crushing power that I’m focusing on. They are, after all, still new.) Tim started calling in help on the knee/elbow escape, so I relaxed and let the escape go; after about 2/3 of it, to half-guard, Tim turned to another pair; I helped with the remainder, back to guard. Worked details that I’d picked up on posture during guard breaking at camp and that Justin had gone over last Friday, just moving between different setups and feeling things out. Finally decide to break guard; they of course squeeze as tight as they can and bat at my arms, so I go to the double-armpit, knee-up break; pass to side control; and then a wide-open Big Poppa presented itself. I need to work the details of that (I can get there with lots of the other guys but never get to work the finish), so, okay, I’ll take that.

Newbie sits up and says, “See, I’m already pretty good at this. I survived a lot longer there.” I’m surprised my jaw didn’t hit the mat. That was 5-10 minutes of me working positions and transitions. No offense, but you really didn’t have much to do with it. Again, I know that guys have gone light on me from the beginning and that, even though they roll harder with me now, they’re still going light in many ways. (Seriously, I’m often on the receiving end of 5-10 minutes of them working before boom! Finish. I just had this done to me for over an hour by Tim and Will. I know what it feels like. I’ve also been on the receiving end of slap hands, tap. Often. I know what they’re capable of, and I know when they’re just messing around. I can also tell when I really did something that was right, tight, or threatening — there’s a 30-second period following where they crank the intensity up.) And I really don’t understand how this current crop of newbies doesn’t understand that. Maybe we’re too nice.

Well, so that hit a nerve. (And they had the misfortune to have other newbies say silly things earlier in the week. So nerves were raw and waiting for a chance.)

Slap hands, guillotine. That got a wide-eyed stare. I offered to start under side control, but was met with, “I need a minute. You’re going to maul me.” (Yes. Yes, actually, I am.) A few minutes later, I helped them set up in a good and tight side control. When they were ready, I escaped to guard, to a triangle, to an armbar. Boom, boom, boom. Started again. I had a few moments of futzing around — couldn’t figure out what I wanted — then happened on another armbar. They stacked. I switched under and finished a belly-down armbar. The comment then was, “But someone told me that’s what I’m supposed to do.” To which I replied that yes, it was; however, there are counters to everything. “Oh.” Once more. Armdrag; they fell to the opposite side; I came up and passed to side control, to mount, to s-mount, to double-armbar. Verbal tap: “Ow!” Since I’d trapped both hands, there was nothing to tap with, so they’d waited just a moment too long on the tap; little tweak on the elbow, so they were done after that. (And yes, I finished it slowly. They just waited and waited and waited…)

I hope that got their attention. I’d rather not resort to saying anything, because at the moment anything I say is going to come out snarky. I have quite a few zingers stored up, but they’re none of them very nice and I do really want to be nice. I want good training partners, but they’ve got to get through this point where they think they already know everything. *le sigh*

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13 responses to “Another shiner :)

  1. Georgette says:

    Oh, WELL DONE!!!!!

    I’m telling you, I have yet to have that slick of an experience “edumacating” a noob. Oh, sure, eventually I get the sweep or the tap or whatever, but I always feel like I’m really working for it. Sounds like you were pure precision. Love it, wish I could have seen it!

  2. Kintanon says:

    I FULLY APPROVE of that noob beatdown. Seriously you aren’t doing them any favors letting them think they are better than they are. Teaching them that they are utterly helpless against this “little girl” is good for their soul and if they have any brains at ALL it will make them want to train harder, pay better attention, and improve technically. It helps break the ego down and open them up to learning. If they already think “Hey I’m pretty good at this!” Then you get the situation where some 4 month white belt is giving advice (Wrong advice) to the 1 month white belt and refusing to listen to the senior belts because he’s “already pretty good at this…”

    So yeah, well done.

  3. Laura says:

    LOL at giving yourself a black eye. I have to watch my knees every warmup when we do backwards shoulder rolls, more than once I’ve hit myself in the eye.

  4. leslie says:

    @Georgette: Thanks. I’ve tried before, too, and it didn’t work this well. I think rolling with Tim and Will earlier had primed me.

    @Kintanon: Thanks. Hopefully they got the message.

    @Laura: I knee myself in the face often. It just doesn’t usually get such dramatic results. 😛

    And it’s kind of blue this morning… that’s odd…

  5. BJJ Judo says:

    LOL – “I need a minute. You’re going to maul me.” Sounds like you did more then teach a lesson. It sounds like you earned some respect as well or at least planted the seed.

  6. Alex says:

    I agree, you should go consistently hard on the newb white belt males. It will do them more good to learn to respect what jiu jitsu can do and how little they know by showing them what a much lighter/smaller girl can do to them with experience. I wouldn’t worry too much about teaching them until after you thrash them for the first few minutes of a roll.

  7. Aparna says:

    LOL nice job! I’ve been waiting for this. Hopefully now they’ll give you the respect you deserve, since you’ve shown them you could, if you so chose, slap hands/submit.

  8. leslie says:

    @BJJ Judo: I hope so. And I think I managed to maul gently enough that no one learned bad habits, thinking jiu-jitsu has to be 100% all the time.

    @Alex: *musing* Maybe I shouldn’t even be trying to teach them during a roll, if they’re just going to assume they’re getting it because they’re “good” at this already, and instead just show them what jiu-jitsu can do. They don’t yet recognize the difference between me letting them and they themselves actually getting it.

    @Aparna: Well, this one, hopefully, at least. There’s still about 3 others who weren’t there last night. And I may have to use the “slap hands/submit” routine again; it seems effective. (And it happens to me all the time, too, especially with Tim. Just passing it along ;).)

  9. I love it!! I kept smiling and giggling through the whole account! Hopefully that will be the attitude adjustment that person needed. If not, you can always give them a refresher course! 😉

  10. shakiaharris says:

    this is exactly how i felt after class today!! i rolled with 2 noobs one a marine (oh joy) and the other was very over zealous, before we rolled both made comments about not wanting to lose to a girl which i brushed off because i’m smaller than EVERYONE and was the only one present at this open mat, then while we were rolling i could notice them trying to muscle me…ive only been training for a few months so i caught the marine with a arm bar..we rolled again.. guillotine. lol the second guy tried to slam me which im going to talk to someone about, then i responded with another armbar. Both were extremely shocked at how quickly they were submitted..
    –Thanks for your posts!!

  11. leslie says:

    @Allie: I hope so, I really hope so. And lol, yeah, I have a tournament coming up soon, so they may end up being an unwilling participant in my practice for that.

    @Shakia: Yes, definitely talk to someone about talking to new guys about slamming. Do you have any upper belts who would gladly maul someone for you?

    Point out to these new guys that they’re not losing to a girl; they’re losing to jiu-jitsu. The fact that you can catch them means this stuff works. (Also, good job catching them ;))

  12. NinjaEditor says:

    I’m behind on blog reading as usual these days, but had to drop you a line on this one and say—the way you handled that noob was pure awesome. You didn’t have to say anything verbally, as much as you wanted to. You just showed him jiujitsu.

    Reading this was like a narrative pay-off, considering how you used to write about not being able to school annoying/muscly noobs. Seems like you can do that more consistently these days. The advanced students can still frustrate you with their technique, of course, but you’ve grown a ton. It’s so cool to watch.

  13. leslie says:

    @Jenn: Thanks. I hadn’t thought of it that way (which is why I have to write things down, lol), but I think you’re right. With this newest crop of newbies, I feel as if I can actually do some things instead of just defending.

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