BJJ Grrl

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

on November 6, 2010

The cage is still in shambles. Some pieces are even sitting out on the mat. And so, of course, we had a full house today, including a few guys visiting.

Had to start out rolling with one of them, a white belt. Knew it wouldn’t be fun because he’s still very much a muscling spazz, but it was roll or be rude. Rats. I don’t like to be rude; I’ll beat myself up for days after. But, dude, haven’t you ever heard of a warm-up roll? Geez… I just worked on going slow and defending without threatening much. Did have a sweep or two, though didn’t fight all that hard to stay on top after; didn’t want his intensity level to increase any more. Could escape most of the time when he’d grab and squeeze or try to grab and rip. Most of them seemed to be targeting my right eye, though — my contact was moving all over, and for a while I was afraid I’d lost it. (Also, at home now, I have little burst blood vessel spots all over that side of my face. So yeah, trying to submit my eye, pfft.) Then he did the step-over kimura from side control all completely wrong and backwards (stepped over first and then went for my arm), but I opted to stay in position and defend instead of trying to escape (which should have been easy because he had no control of anything), so he was able to eventually pry my arm out and throw every muscle he had into bending me in half. Then really did have to go fix my contact because it had slid to one side.

Will was free a few minutes later. We kept having to move around either from other pairs encroaching or from the cage pieces lying along the wall. He let me work a lot on things he’s been telling me over the last few weeks — overhook from butterfly (ah, forgot about the swimming underhook one), pinch pass, defending the Twister setup. Got sucked in to deep half a lot, though. Blergh.

Ez, who’s up visiting, asked to roll next. He’s a purple under Tim and a smaller guy (maybe 145, tops). He went really slowly and let me work a lot on him, too, and stopped a few times to give me advice and tips. When I couldn’t get the Old School sweep — I could feel that there just thismuch keeping him up, but I couldn’t find it or get around it — he reminded me of hooking his opposite foot, and then over he went. I usually can’t reach that far on anyone, so I don’t even bother. He showed me a one-legged triangle, good when someone sticks their neck out while you have the one leg behind their head (he mentioned when someone postures up hard in your triangle & you lose the figure-4 or when someone does the double-under pass and leaves their neck out, which is what I had done) — reach with the same-side arm as the leg and hook your own foot from underneath; you want your forearm to sit along the far side of their neck, while your hamstring is along the near side; can finish it with the one arm, or can bring the other up for reinforcement and squeeze in.

He did say that my mount was really tight and really good (squee! Thanks, Will & Justin.) so he had to resort to what he uses on the really big guys (squee!), which is to scoop under one side and go out the back door, though even when he got the one arm under, I was keeping tight and keeping pressure, and he said he had a hard time getting out of that. He did point out the mounted triangle from there for me, which I could see but couldn’t quite work out how to get; the reason, I realized later, is that I had already moved my knee up to control his head and so was blocking myself. What I needed to do was to flip that leg around and slide it under his head at the same time that he was moving his arm under my leg. May have been more, but I forgot. We also had to stop frequently and move because I seemed drawn to the metal stairs sitting in the corner of the mat — at the beginning of class, he’d heard about my proclivity for smashing my face into metal bars this week — and he said he didn’t want to find out if that would extend to other metal objects. Probably a very good idea.

Longer break next, with some talking to him about the upcoming tournament. Most of the guys were starting to finish up and leave, but Purple Belt Buddy asked to roll. He was, as usual, working on transitioning between positions and submissions so smoothly that they all start to seem the same from my vantage. You’re out of one and right into another. And then when he finally bites with one, it’s tight and you’re done. (Also, crap, why did we ever teach him the Big Poppa?! He was hitting that from everywhere.) Wish I could remember more, because he made a point to tell me not once but twice that I’d been rolling good. I have no idea what I did, though, sigh.


9 responses to “Saturday, November 6, 2010

  1. leslie says:

    Ah, I remembered two more from Ez (we worked for a long time, it seemed) — when attacking turtle, especially against much larger guys, get good grips under there, tuck your head in on the far side of their head, and then roll completely over them. Lets you use more of your body weight against them. (I’d tried attacking his turtle earlier from the same side, and couldn’t get the right angle to make him move.) And then I used that later against Buddy and got to his back. squee!

    Also, he’d let me get his back and try an RNC (well, I don’t think the RNC getting in so deep was quite his idea; he had just a few fingers in there to make space). I had him face-down, but not spread out, and we stayed there for quite a while. I finally asked if I didn’t have it under his chin or what; he said the RNC was in place, but there wasn’t enough pressure because I didn’t have him stretched out.

    And Kintanon, the guys all agreed with your theory that if you can get used to being smashed in the face with an iron bar, then cross-facing won’t hurt so much.

  2. falufalump says:

    I don’t understand this chronic white belt spazzing problem. I’m completely ignorant to it, as I’ve never trained. But, I think you should be rude and blunt. I wonder why you put up with it, do you ever talk to them about it? I don’t understand >.<.

  3. leslie says:

    @falufalump: I think most of them just don’t realize they’re doing it. If you were to ask them, they would tell you that they are relaxed and they are working techniques, when anyone watching them can see that clearly they are doing neither. Mostly, I think it just takes time for them to learn the movements and to get used to being on the mat.

    Also, I don’t know that me talking to them is going to do much good. It’s too easy for them to dismiss me as being a small girl who can’t handle the pressure or whatever. But when the 180-200-lb purple belts talk to them about it, they do listen. They’re not hopeless, but I just don’t enjoy having to roll with them before they start actually doing jiu-jitsu.

  4. Jaime says:


    You should really talk to your instructor about making a rule: no one with less than 6 months experience can roll.

    And NEVER feel bad about being rude. You can’t let someone hurt you just because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Let them get over it.

  5. leslie says:

    @Jaime: I don’t see that happening. Even making them wait a week would be considered too long. I can see both sides, and I admit that I wouldn’t have wanted to give up rolling in my first week. Some guys wind up being okay to work with from their first day; others take a whole lot longer. (We have one guy who’s been coming for almost two years, I think, and he’s just now really starting to understand how to roll.)

    You are very right, though, about not having to let someone hurt me just so I don’t hurt their feelings. I will try to do better to remember that.

  6. Allie says:

    I go back and forth on this issue a lot. On the one hand, training with muscly white belts is the suck. They squash. They yank. They crank. They freak out whenever you move at all. It’s generally unpleasant.

    But, from the standpoint of learning to defend yourself, I think they are most like what a real life attacker would be like, minus the striking. They come at us with all their strength, just like someone on the street would.

    I try to look at it as a chance to test my techniques. If they work on a spazzy, muscly whitebelt, it will work on anyone. But, even as I say that, I just complained Friday night about grappling a muscly white belt. Love/Hate relationship? ;P

  7. leslie says:

    @Allie: Very much. Though, I don’t train BJJ with even any thought of self-defense. If I start thinking of “self defense” at all during a roll, I get very close to punching a boy in the face and becoming a very, very unpleasant partner. And that would be bad. (If I were wanting to train for self defense, I would train ground-and-pound. It’s a whole other animal.) So I just want to play when I’m in class, and I want people who will play with me.

  8. @Jaime – That’s a terrible idea. Teach them for 6 months before they can roll and they will STILL be all muscle an no brains for the first few months while they are rolling. It really isn’t a conscious thing. Your body doesn’t understand that you aren’t actually in a fight. It wants you to do all of the things it thinks you should do to not get killed and eaten. So you get adrenaline response, your brain is telling you to go harder, faster, pry this tiny evil creature off of your arm and run away! All that stuff. There simply is NO WAY to stop it from doing that without familiarizing it with the situation. Once you done it a few hundred times then your brain calms down and realizes that it’s not REALLY in danger of getting killed here.

  9. leslie says:

    “…tiny evil creature…”

    I like this.

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