BJJ Grrl

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

There is a new kids’ BJJ instructor in town…

on August 11, 2010

…and it be me. EEP! I mean, I want to do it, and I would have volunteered myself a while ago but didn’t think it was right to throw myself out there. I’m only a barely seasoned blue belt — how do I know if I’m really capable of doing this? Presumptuous. But Tim asked me tonight if I would do it, since I’m always at the gym early enough, and I said yes. I start next week, Wednesday nights. Now what do I do?!

Class started again with drilling. Knee-on-belly switch 3x, then spin-around armbar. We drilled that for 40 minutes! (I guess somebody just wasn’t getting it.) I still need to work on my balance through that transition and on keeping pressure down, too.

Then to rolling. With Ez first. He used to train with Tim and was a blue belt when Justin started; then he moved just far enough away for work that it was too far to come back up and train regularly. I don’t understand it all, but he’s been training with some guys somewhere, and he brought them up with him tonight. On Saturday he came up and rolled, and Tim put him through the wringer — and then gave him his purple belt. Now he’s thinking that the drive up here might be worth it, lol. Ez is small, so that would be good for me. I’ve rolled with him when he’s visited before, so I knew to be ready for quickness and to tap fast.

Then Tim put me with Ray, the other chiropractor in the class. Tim told me to go for the kill… but to leave his hands alone, lol. I’d rolled with Ray a few months ago, and could do anything I wanted to. (Kind of a fun feeling!) But he’s bought Saulo’s book and is really focusing on defending and surviving, and so I couldn’t do nearly as much unless I wanted to really smash him. And he’s a nice guy, so I didn’t really want to. Ray told us a story before class about a guy he was adjusting who just couldn’t relax, so he told the guy to wiggle his toes; as soon as the guy changed his focus to his toes, his neck relaxed, and crack!, there it went. So when Ray was getting tense and a little spazzy on me, I told him to wiggle his toes. He laughed, but did relax some. I told him afterwards that his defense and survival are getting much better.

Picked to be smashed by Scott next. His game plan recently has been that he can’t get on top unless it’s from a sweep, and that then he can play top. Usually that means I get swept once and fight from under side control the rest of the time. Maybe he’s changing his plan, because I got off the bottom a couple of times. Was absolutely mashed when I was on the bottom, but we actually came back to knees or open guard a few times. Hm.

Then got put with a still spazzy newer guy. He’s better by a little, but he still huffs and puffs and explodes and squeezes on everything. He is picking things up; he just needs to calm down more. Got some sweeps and to his back and to mount. He’s the one who once told me that he knew he was getting better because I hadn’t choked him one round — on his third day so I was being nice, and when I hadn’t even attempted a single choke. So if I roll with him now I make it a point to get at least one choke. Overall, trying to work slow so he would calm down, but didn’t seem to make a difference.

Justin last, and I finally got the beating he’d promised last week. One day… Mostly I just did everything the wrong way and backwards. He let me on top in half-guard a little, not that I can pressure or pass worth anything.

On the wall. (Oh, rats.) Alligators first. I cannot get my arms bent enough. I got 2 trips, though. Then single legs, then shoot and sprawl, 2 trips each. Shrimping, 2. Forward rolls, I only could do 1; the dizziness wins again. Crab walk, feet first, 2; crab walk, head first, 2. (Lots of guys only doing 1. Just sayin’.) Then squat jump, 2 burpees; I didn’t even quite finish 1 trip before he moved us on. Circled up for pushups. Is all. Am toast.

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11 responses to “There is a new kids’ BJJ instructor in town…

  1. I’m usually pretty quiet around here, but, congrats!

  2. reginadabean says:

    Teaching–you never think you are ready! πŸ™‚ I’m sure you will do fine. How old are the kids? I’ve never taught kids bjj specifically, BUT I do help teach the kids karate classes at my school, and I am, by profession a high school teacher (oh, lucky me)…so I might have pointers or tips…lemme know πŸ™‚

  3. Jen Stewart says:

    My husband and I had the pleasure of teaching the kids’ class a couple of times – absolutely loved it. They have such heart.

  4. leslie says:

    @Ric: Thanks!

    @reginadabean: Oh, yes, lucky you… :/

    Kids are 5(?) – 13. They’re all also in the TKD program, so they’re already fairly well-behaved in class and used to a MA class structure. Big-time bonus.

    Mostly, I need to figure out how much to cover in each class and how much time to spend on each thing within a class and overall. I also want to have a logical curriculum; already I’m thinking of starting on “guard.” I’ve heard of games to help reinforce the techniques — and basic BJJ techniques in general — but I don’t know any of those yet.

    @Jen: Any advice? I already know they’re quick learners and will remember everything exactly as I say and do it, lol!

  5. Katie says:

    That’s great lady! I’m sure you’ll do just fine πŸ™‚

  6. Laura says:

    Last month I was asked to start helping with the kids class at the gym. The head coach wants me to work with the girls who really want to learn while he babysits the crazy kids.

    And our kids are crazy, one bit the head coach on the head (he ended up bleeding).

    You’ll do fine. But make sure they’re wearing their mouth guards and have eaten supper. πŸ˜‰

  7. NinjaEditor says:

    That’s awesome!! Sounds like you’ll have a great group of kids, too. Looking forward to hearing about kids classes. πŸ˜€

  8. reginadabean says:

    One thing I know we do is “king (or queen!) of the ring” You can do this either from mount or guard…everybody forms a circle, and two people go in. Lets say we’re doing passing the guard. Person A tries to keep Person B in their guard, while person B tries to break their guard and get into side control, within a limited time (say 30 seconds). Lets say person B wins. They stay in the ring and take the other position (so the new person in the ring will be in their guard). So on and so forth.

    *thinks*

    *brain shuts down*

    If I think of anything else I’ll let you know…next week is a grappling week in my school, I’ll see if I can get any hints for you πŸ™‚

  9. Jen Stewart says:

    I only had the pleasure of doing 2 classes and had the luxury of doing this with my husband and including my 2 kids in the class :). We asked for advice on what the kids wanted to learn and workd with them on drills on their identified interests. Good luck – I’m sure you’ll do great!

  10. slideyfoot says:

    Cool – I look forward to hearing how it goes! Seeing as it’s you, I’m sure there will be a thorough and suitably insightful write-up. πŸ˜‰

    Not to mention I’d still be interested in guest articles from you, which would fit nicely with the ones Chrissy has been doing. πŸ˜€

  11. leslie says:

    @Katie: Thanks for the vote of confidence πŸ™‚

    @Laura: Whoa, crazy kids! Thankfully, most of these seem fairly normal.

    @Jenn: Thanks!

    @reginadabean: I like the short time limit on that — should keep it faster-paced.

    @Jen: Thanks!

    @slidey: I hadn’t come up with a topic for you yet, so this would definitely work. I’ll keep that in mind as I start planning and then teaching.

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