BJJ Grrl

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

Advice Night

on November 9, 2010

Had a chiropractor appointment right after work. It’s nice to get my neck turning through the proper rotation again.

Will got in to the academy not long after me. The cage still isn’t up and likely isn’t going back up this month; Perry’s having an event in December and will need it for that, so there’s no point in getting it back up only to take it right back down again. The ring was free, though, so we used that. Justin got there eventually and watched us for a little while, then he and Will had some advice for me. Stop thinking — too slow when you think. Don’t hesitate — do it. Feel, then move. Don’t let them settle. You’re defending even when you’re on top; quit that. Attack from everywhere.

Class started. Rolling to warmup. With Will again. Tried rolling with my eyes closed as much as I could. … … *le sigh* I know, I shouldn’t expect to get it immediately, but I do expect so anyway, and then I get frustrated when I don’t get it. Then with James, and again, nothing. Still thinking too much. (I tried to focus on “tiny evil creature,” but couldn’t hold on to it.) I did try the sweep from last night; he passed the knee, so I went for the bicep slicer. Meant to ask him to be sure, but I think maybe I didn’t have the arm deep enough.

Drilling started with basic spider guard drills and eventually went back to the sweep from last night. Started out working with Will, and he said my issue with keeping pressure in spider guard is that I’m moving before I feel where they’re going. So ended up doing most of those drills with my eyes closed, trying to feel where he was. Some better.

For the rest of the drilling, worked with a white belt who didn’t seem very interested in getting lots of reps in. I tried to point out where he was doing it wrong, but he wasn’t listening much to me, though. I couldn’t get many reps, either. Trying to feel it, though. Some better.

Rolling again. Ended up with another white belt. He’s gotten better about keeping his elbows in and protecting his neck, so never had a chance at any of those and couldn’t get enough pressure anywhere to get him to give anything up. Had some passes, some tries at the back, some mount and half guard, and worked some knee-on-belly.

Last round, I snagged Steve. He’s the closest training partner to a girl in my weight class. 😉 He’s also got the same kind of game that lots of little people play, with the endless knees and feet popping in everywhere least expected, so that’s good for me to get some practice against. Tried again rolling with my eyes closed, though it’s somehow harder against squirmy little Steve than against the bigger purples. Mostly had to defend my back and, when I finally escaped, triangles. Still too late, though — I watched the moments pass me right by.

Class was over then, and I was ready to go home and lick my wounds (and rest my hips! Ow, my hips! I started feeling them about halfway through class. Blasted tire.). But, no — Justin grabbed a timer, set it for 6 minutes, and sicced Will on me. Argh. Why can’t I keep track of my limbs? They’re attached; it shouldn’t be that difficult. But somehow, it seems that it is. (Justin pointed out later that I was overreaching for stuff, and that’s what left me spread out and an easy target.) Couldn’t get off the bottom, either. Justin was calling in advice, but I couldn’t get myself to do any of it. Got so frustrated with myself, I wanted to punch something or headbutt something. Threw myself at the ground and missed. (Sadly, did not fly.) This is talent here, folks. I can’t headbutt the floor even when I try. It’s that kind of night… Then I got told not to get frustrated, that this is the point. Still doesn’t mean I have to like being so pathetic.

A short rest while they reviewed a few more things with me — immediately roll back to guard when you get to turtle (I know this, so why can’t I ever do it?), even if it means getting stuck in side control. Stop thinking! You’re having a conversation with yourself in your head (guilty!), and you’re talking yourself out of doing the right thing. You know what to do, so stop thinking about it and just do it.

Then a round with Scott. Couldn’t get off the bottom. Couldn’t keep him from settling. Justin was trying to help again, and again I couldn’t do what he wanted. Had one sweep that was maybe halfway good (or that he let me have; I couldn’t tell). Couldn’t get my hips to stay heavy; they kept wanting to pike.

Reviewed some more. How to pass the half guard with the half-turn pass — for me, don’t try to get the arm across and sit back; it’s too far and they’ll sweep me (as Scott did several times). Instead, shoulder pressure in the neck. If you get that knee almost through the half guard, drop the hip and slide it through, instead of retreating and letting him snatch half guard again. Also, you can go to mount when passing half guard, so if it’s open, take it.

Last round with Justin. Started standing. I was too frenetic, grabbing grips and having no idea what to do with them, trying too hard to do well and not waste their time; he’d strip them easily and then get grips I couldn’t break. He took me down several times and then popped right back up. I finally got drop seoi nage‘d on my head. Startled me more than anything, I think, but I squeaked and he was afraid he’d hurt me. I insisted on continuing and from standing again, but he let me wrap him up too easy and take him down (and it was a crappy, crappy takedown, too). We stayed down this time, and he let me attack his turtle a little first before turning up the speed faster than I could think. Supposedly I did okay there, but I don’t remember; it was all too fast. (I think that’s what I really need — not rolling when I’m too tired too think, but rolling with guys going faster than I can think. Because when I’m too tired, I do dumb, dumb things and get frustrated too easily. But when they’re just plain faster, then my brain sometimes starts giving instructions without asking me first.)

More round table discussion. More forgetting. So much good stuff! Better to expend all your energy escaping bottom/bad position than to wait until they settle in solid. Once you get on top, get a good position and settle yourself. No time limits, so pressure quick and finish; don’t want to use all your energy in one match. Frame up under half guard to keep his head off you; that keeps his pressure mostly off. (There was something else important that went along with that, but I can’t remember it now.) When you’re out further in half guard, you can rest a little there, but once you shoot in deep, go until you get the sweep.

Too much to remember, *sigh*. An insider’s pass into the secrets of jiu-jitsu, tailored for me, and I can only remember a fraction of it (and probably not most of the important stuff, either, bah).

Okay, now I’m ready. Let’s do that again... But we’d already stayed over an hour later, and we all have that pesky job thing in the morning. My guys are the best ever, you see this?

Tomorrow night I have the kids and then half of nogi class. I assume there will be a circuit afterwards, too, and Tim mentioned something about gi pull-ups.

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2 responses to “Advice Night

  1. Kintanon says:

    I really hope you make it to the Bullshido event in february. You’re gonna be a beast from all of this training and it would be awesome to roll with you. I bet your game is a lot sharper than you make it sound in the blog.

  2. leslie says:

    @Kintanon: I’ll allow that it probably is, but I have the worst seat in the house to see it. The guys helping me the last two nights have stressed that I do have good technique overall (aww, warm fuzzies) and that I just need to get these last details and strategies.

    And I was going to counter that since there would be no upcoming competitions, that by February I’d probably be fat and lazy 😉 … but then I noticed a US Grappling tournament scheduled for March in Richmond again, or a Submission-Only tournament two weeks later. So, I will probably be back in Beast Mode by then.

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