BJJ Grrl

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Tactical Errors

on October 15, 2010

I knew better. I knew better, I knew better, I knew better. And I told myself not to do it. Several times. I promised myself I wouldn’t. And then I did it anyway. *headdesk*

Got to Open Mat tonight. Only Rubber Guard Guru was there, along with a friend he’d brought and was teaching incorrect armbar technique to. I knew better than to roll with him, and the first time he offered, I said I was still warming up. And I was.

But 20 minutes later, when no one else had shown up and it was obvious that I was long since warmed up, I 1) really wanted to roll and had a brain-lapse wherein I thought rolling with a known Spazzy McSpazzalot was better than not rolling at all, 2) got tongue-tied and couldn’t think of any way out of it, besides leaving, and there was still a window in which someone else might come in, and 3) temporarily forgot that I did not have backup in the form of higher belted and/or larger guys to glare at him and smash him for me later. So I grabbed my mouthguard (at least that part of my brain was still working) and rolled with the douche. Tactical Error #1.

(Tactical Error #1.5 — I didn’t insist on setting a timer. I get so used to rolling with guys like Justin and Will, and I forget that the normal white belt script is to get more and more frustrated the longer you go without a submission or without being able to pass a little girl’s guard.)

First few minutes, he was okay — tense as usual, just on the verge of going full-on spazz, but mostly contained. And then I passed his half-guard multiple times and attempted several Big Poppa chokes. He defended by shoving me off and thinking that was the end of it, but I’d come back in for half-guard or side control. I eventually caught a slick and deep no-arm D’Arce. And that was my second and perhaps biggest mistake. I submitted him, and in front of his friend, too, who he had been trying to impress with his skillz and his name-dropping of all the guys he’s supposedly trained with elsewhere and all the people he’s submitted with gogoplatas. (I kid you not.) And here a girl half his size made him tap. Tactical Error #2.

Cue Spazz Overload. You know, it’s one thing with a completely new guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing; its another with a slightly experienced guy who knows what’s going to really hurt and who is taking full advantage of it. Right, this is more like what I expect from this guy. But, I was hanging in there and defending… until I made Tactical Error #3 — I hung out too close to middle ground under bottom half. He grabbed an approximate D’Arce, but on my face not my neck, and started squeezing.

I remembered to do as Scott had said last week and to close in for Old School. Got the sweep, but he picked me up and slammed me over. He smelled blue blood and revenge. I defended still for another 30 seconds or so while he stopped breathing and squeezed with everything he had on my face and cranked my neck around until my last remaining brain cell reminded me that I can’t get out and that he wouldn’t stop until he broke something. Oh, right. And it did hurt a lot, though there was no choke. So tapped, and then had to find my contact — he’d been rubbing his arm back and forth across my eye while he was squeezing, and it had peeled out.

Went to put my contact back in and checked my phone. The last of the guys I was waiting on had left a message that he wasn’t coming. Could’ve used that about 10 minutes ago. Would’ve saved me from many stupid decisions. Went back out to the mat to get my mouthpiece, said “Goodbye” to the guy, and left. Now I worry that I left too abruptly, and who knows what he’s telling himself is the reason or what he’ll tell people next week (he always talks about who he taps, so we’ll see), but I was only thinking that, since no one else was coming and that since I’d finally remembered he’s a spazz, there was no point in staying.


Class in the morning. Tim should be there, and he says I get him all to myself. Yayness!


13 responses to “Tactical Errors

  1. ~Kat~ says:


    Sounds like this guy really needs a lesson.

    Hope you are okay! Glad to hear the contact survived too-

  2. OOWWWEEE, 🙂 I hate the “RETRIBUTION SLAM”. It knocks the wind out of you, among other things. However, I can’t blame you for trying to train, even with a not so desirable partner. Don’t worry about what he says next week or next year. I don’t think the guys believe anything he says anyway.

    I have some news that might make you happy. 🙂 The Houston, Texas area now has a women’s BJJ program, which I attended tonight! You are so right about training with other women. My instructor Jeff Messina, at Revolution Martial Arts and Fitness, in Katy, Texas (suburb of Houston), started the program. It’s every Friday night. He went as far as to invite Veronica from Travis Tooke’s school to visit. She kicked by butt 🙂 (me so happy) It was nice to train with an experienced woman. It was also amazing to see women, who otherwise wouldn’t have tried BJJ, rolling and having fun.

    I spoke with Jeff afterward, and he is committed to the program. He really wants to promote women’s BJJ. He also said…. wait for it…. “All of the guys have a lot of respect for you (that’s ME), and they are all very proud of you (that’s ME again).” He also said that if I keep progressing like I am that I’ll get my BLUE BELT around March! That sounds like a skill promotion and not a pity promotion. That makes me very happy. 🙂

    I wanted to thank you, and your blogging entourage. If it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t have had the courage to stick with it. Because I did stick with it, my instructor was encouraged to start the women’s BJJ program. So, I guess one could say that you (that’s you Leslie) have started a women’s revolution at Revolution, and in Houston, Texas.

    Take care,

  3. MC says:

    Why don’t you just stick to specific positional training with this guy? I’m far more likely to sweep or escape than submit people in specific training, so even when I “win,” the other guy doesn’t lose, because he hasn’t been submitted. And if you’re a submission sort of player, then the other guy gets a lot more chances to get you back because you reset all the time, but can’t get too carried away because you stop play once you get out of position. I think it’s a great way for brand new guys to spar but not, because you can go hard with a low chance of causing injury. It’s probably also the only way I can roll with a 320lb guy safely. (And he still managed to step on my foot! Yeow!)

  4. leslie says:

    @Kate: He’s sort of okay as long as there’s supervision. But there wasn’t last night.

    @Jodi: That’s awesome news about the women’s program. Also, Girls in Gis is down around your way (Ashley, who coordinates it, train at Elite MMA) and Georgette is just over in Austin.

    And that’s awesome that your instructor encouraged you like that. Keep it up! 🙂

    @MC: Ha, that would again require being intelligent and thinking. I was stuck in a “want roll now” brain rut. I tend to have to learn things the hard way, even when I already “know” it.

  5. Kintanon says:

    Holy Jesus I would humiliate that guy every single class for months. He would either learn his less or leave.

  6. leslie says:

    @Kintanon: Yeah, that’s why I should have had a higher belt around. He’s not an idiot; he knows what will happen if they see that. So he behaves when someone else is around.

  7. @ Leslie – I talked to Ashley yesterday. She’s very nice. They also have a women’s class at her school and she invited me to come out someday. Thanks for the contact info.

    About rubber chicken guy, I mean rubber guard guy, the fact that he knows better really bothers me. It would be different if he didn’t know any better. Do you feel that if you talked to someone about him, that you would be viewed as a whiney baby, because you’re a girl?

    @ Kintanon – Your chivalry is refreshing. Thanks for watching out for us girls. It really does mean a lot. Thanks also for discussing training issues with us. We often don’t have people available who can help us.

  8. Georgette says:

    @Leslie– I am so psyched for you. You are a tiny girl and you handled this guy wonderfully well! I am in awe 🙂 WAY TO GO!

    @Kintanon– ditto what Jodi said, your chivalry is really heartwarming.

    @Jodi– oh, can’t wait to meet you! Are you coming to the Gracie Challenge Cup in San Antonio on Halloween weekend? I dunno if I can afford to compete in it, but I will be there… would love to say hi in person. Or anytime you wanna come train a weekend in Austin, consider me your B&B.. we have a good handful of girls who train regularly and I’d be happy to show you around!

  9. @ Leslie – I had Johnny in a guillotine today and Chris yelled out, “Von Flue!!” (Traitor) 😉 I tucked my chin and scrambled quick, fast, and in a hurry. They didn’t know that I knew what that was, hehe! Saved by BJJ GRRL yet again.

    @ Georgette – Sounds like I’ll be packing my bags!!! I’m pretty wrapped up for October, buy I’ll definitely head your way! I get to talk to a girl that understands my language!

  10. leslie says:

    @Jodi: They do know, I think, and they aren’t fans of his, either. I just have to remember to not do stuff I know is dumb, like roll alone with guys with known issues.

    And definitely concur on the chivalrous props for Kintanon. It’s nice to know that someone is watching out for you and is concerned about how other people are behaving with you.

    Lol, awesome on the von Flue defense. 😛 The quickest defense is just to open your guard and move your hips (and let go of the head), but so many people get focused on holding the submission and don’t see the easy way out.

  11. Kintanon says:

    Heh, I’m glad you guys appreciate it, but it’s not just you girls I look out for. I’ve been a 120lb noob on the mats with gigantic monsters before and I have a soft spot for the little “guys” both male and female because of that. Having put on 30lbs of muscle and spent the last 4+ years busting my ass at BJJ has put me in a spot where I can be an “enforcer” against that kind of behavior and I take full advantage of it.
    I do look forward to the day when Leslie and you other relatively new girls are posting entries about how you had to breakdance all over some new guys face because he spazzed out on one of “your girls” in class though.

    PS. You should all be lifting weights.

  12. leslie says:

    @Kintanon: I see a blog post in your future 😉 …

  13. Georgette says:

    LOL, who says we aren’t lifting weights? OK, OK, it’s been crazy at work so I have been skipping my 5x/week crossfit… but I still lift weights every day.

    On a more serious note though– yes, absolutely. ALL women should lift weights for the anti-osteoporosis and anti-weight gain benefits, but especially women in jits should do it. Lots of squats! 🙂

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