BJJ Grrl

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

10-4, good buddy

on October 4, 2010

So, Friday and Saturday were both busts for training. Friday, I knew none of my favored training partners would be at Open Mat, so I didn’t go. Then Saturday morning, epic miscommunication all around, and there was no one there with a key. So when we couldn’t reach anyone, we all packed up and headed our separate ways. I drove around Christiansburg and Blacksburg looking at houses and neighborhoods. Thinking of getting my own place soon, something small and close to the academy and work.

I also stopped by a new yoga studio that opened near my brother’s store. They’re going to have a 45-minute class at noon each day. I’ve been considering finding some yoga for a while now; I think it might help my joints loosen up. (Muscles are probably causing some of that, too. And I just don’t feel as flexible as I used to be.) So, it’s a possibility, but, wow, I didn’t realize yoga was so expensive! A membership there is nearly as much as I pay now for BJJ.

Have I mentioned that work is stressing me out? Work is stressing me out big time. As much as yoga at lunch might help me with that, I also don’t feel that I can take the time away from the office right now. I eat away from my desk, but quickly, and then go right back to work. *le sigh*


I’m still pondering comments on my progress report. (I will get around to replying, I promise.) Didn’t have too much time to think today at work, but I did come up with knee-on-belly to baseball bat choke or spinning armbar. The reasoning is because it encompasses several things at once — passing the guard, getting on top, getting a dominant position, and transitioning between submissions. So can I skip month 1 and go straight to month 2, Kintanon? Or should I use this month as my “month 1” and build a rudimentary, connected game? Okay, so I’m starting to reply anyway now… 😛

Will came in about 20 minutes before class and wanted to roll. He let me have a quick pass to side control, which went straight in to knee-on-belly and the first grip for the baseball choke. He was moaning and groaning like I was heavy and crushing him, silly boy. And then he blocked my second grip and kept his elbow tight to prevent the spinning armbar. Oh. Crap. I don’t have a backup plan yet. There followed getting swept, and fighting off the bottom, and eventually him sliding in to knee-on-belly with the first grip and going for the baseball bat choke. Haha, very funny. Is my choke. Cannot has. We were going slow, but I was worn out quickly. Body was sluggish. This is really getting old, body. >.< Still, felt slightly better than last week, so we're getting somewhere at least.

Class started with specific sparring of back escapes and back submissions. Worked with Sara. My grips started failing while trying to choke her. Second round with Guillaume. Grips failed, though after a few minutes they came back just long enough to finish a choke, but were done again immediately after. Also, all my knees and elbows were aching and my body was trying to quit on me. Not having this, body. You keep going until I say stop.

Drilling was two chokes from the back. Worked with Sarah and Theresa. Blech, chokes. And Theresa has narrow, sharp forearms, so you want to tap as soon as she gets that first arm across; mostly we’d hold out until she got the second hand in place and then tap immediately. Did have to tell her a couple of times that yes, that was a tap, you’re choking her, let go because she wanted to continue and practice the squeeze. I was feeling a bit light-headed after all the drilling, which thankfully didn’t go on for too long.

Then armbars from the guard. Tim put me with a newer guy, who was trying to correct my technique but was all wrong. *eyeroll* Then Tim paired everyone up for rolling and told that new guy, who had started to wander away, “You, roll with Leslie.” And then he looked all around the room, trying to figure out who that was. “Yo. Down here. That’s me.”

And we had a whole round of him trying to submit me from inside my guard. Seriously? *eyeroll* So I got an Ezekiel and a cross-collar choke before he realized that leaving his head down was a bad idea. He was quick, though, and light on his feet, so I couldn’t get a sweep to stick; he’d just bounce right around and nearly pass, and I’d have to catch half guard. He tried to slam on a kimura or something from top half once, but I grabbed my belt and then started working to fix my position. He commented that he didn’t know you could grab the belt; I said that it’s gi, so you can grab nearly anything. I tried getting out the back from half, but again he was quick and I just didn’t have the energy to match him. So back to guard. After several more attempts to submit me from inside my guard, none of which I even had to seriously defend (and I think he noticed that), he finally asked me if there was anything he was doing wrong. I said, “Yeah, you’re trying to submit me from inside my guard. That’s not really going to work because I have leverage and you really don’t. You need to be trying to pass my guard.” To his credit, he did try, mostly by attempting to leap over my legs… while I still had closed guard. I think you’re missing something here… At the end of the round, one of the guys who’s been training for over two years got his blue belt.

One more round. We had an odd number tonight, so someone had been sitting out (since Tim was doing one last check on that guy before promoting him), but this round, Tim came in and rolled with me. And since he was also the time keeper, it was a long one. (Hurray!) I tried to get on top, and managed it a couple of times, but couldn’t do much with it. Did try for the baseball choke; he blocked. Got his far lapel pulled around, and then tried it again, but he blocked again; realized on the way home that, even if I’d gotten the position, the hand on that lapel was too far away and it wouldn’t have been tight enough. Did get top half once, with only my inside hand in his opposite collar to keep him down, but my base there felt really solid and down for some reason… for about 20 seconds, and then he got me to commit a little too far forward, and over I went. To top half a couple other times, but mostly pulled straight into to deep half and swept. Did have a half-passed guard sweep (I suspect that he lightened his hips up a little to let me get it), though I at least moved my knee in the right arc this time.

Still too tired after class to doing any APC. I think I might start doing it before class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, even though that will definitely make class harder. Oh, well, tournament training is going to be even worse… :/

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5 responses to “10-4, good buddy

  1. Jeffrey says:

    Regarding the Yoga, get a book from the library! Unless you are really looking to reap the benefits of doing it with other people, going to classes, etc. I think you could extract all of the important information from Yoga using a book.

    Great blog! :-].

  2. leslie says:

    @Jeffrey: That’s an idea. I have a video with Rodney Yee, who makes me giggle. He’s always telling me to touch my whatchamacallit to my thingamajig, and I have no clue what he’s talking about — do I even have one of those? (On an interesting note, neither whatchamacallit nor thingamajig was flagged by spellcheck. Hmm.) But the main attraction of the class is that it’s during lunch, which is about the only free time I have anymore!

  3. Kintanon says:

    I would use this month as a Month 1. Do some experimenting.
    When I started doing that stuff I started with guards. I had been using plain closed guard for over a year and a half. I experimented with a couple of different open guards, butterfly guard, then spider guard, x-guard, etc… until I found where I was most comfortable which turned out to be butterfly guard.
    Then I spent a month just working on establishing butterfly guard and not getting passed. I had no integration months at first because I had no Game to integrate into. So I jumped on youtube, and bought Marcelo’s X-guard book (It has a ton of butterfly stuff in it) and had a month of experimenting with butterfly sweeps and so on. It took me another year to rebuild my game. Some months I managed to integrate 3-4 things, other months nothing worked right. Now two and a half years afterwards I’ve got a game that shuts down most purple belts and only has trouble with a small handful of people.

    It’s really up to you though, if you have a guard and a sweep that you like and are pretty comfortable with then you can go straight to month 2 and just Own that sweep. Try nothing but that sweep. Tap out and reset if someone passes your guard. If you hit the sweep spend a couple of seconds establishing your position then bail back to guard.

  4. ~Kat~ says:

    Leslie-

    Great blog! I just started and luckily found your blog-

    As for Yoga- I downloaded a fantastic Yoga app for my phone- so now I can use it whenever it is convenient for me. If that is an option for you, you may go that route-

    Now if I can just find some free time..

  5. leslie says:

    @Kintanon: K. Seems like the most important thing for me this month (well, once work stops leeching my brain power) is to be deliberate in working on something one night, rather than just grabbing whatever seems to be available.

    @Kat: Well, I have a “dumb phone”, as one of my friends recently called it. So no apps for me. (Though, plans to buy an iPad when the new OS gets over there. Sure there’s one for that.) But yeah, the time is the biggest obstacle. Could probably get a book and practice before class starts; there’s usually some time there…

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