Somehow I managed to get myself up, awake, packed, and out the door for Richmond on Saturday morning, heading to an Open Mat at Yamasaki. Even managed to be mostly on time. Sweetness.
Lots of folks for rolling. Blue belt Thomas, purple belt Ben, purple belt MikeByrd, brown belt Keith, blue belt Brain, and blue belts Paul and Laura from Philly. I think I managed 12 three-minutes rounds (?). Definitely know I got 3 with Keith, which was awesome, as he is very close to my size (for reals, this time) and we engaged in what he called “Damn Little People” jiu-jitsu. I did have to take a couple of rounds and attack my left quad with a foam roller as it had one really tiiiiight and uncooperative spot.
Sunday by 1ish, we were back in action at the US Grappling Referee Certification. After the aspiring referees sat through the rules explanation and such, a fair number of us suited up to provide live grappling rounds for the refs to practice on. I ended up doing mostly nogi rounds as a whole bunch of people indicated they only wanted to do gi rounds. I did definitely like that there were fewer refs this time and lots more grapplers, so I did a total of five matches and didn’t end up wrecked by the end. I’ve been at Ref Certs before with lots of refs and few grapplers, and you end up dashing from ring to ring, throwing on or off your gi and jumping in for your next round.
First round was with Barbara, simulating women’s advanced nogi. (Did you know they have to grapple for 6 minutes in that division?! Holy cats! That’s a long time at tournament pace!) (And the ref kept muttering, “Oh my God, this is so hard!”) Then a round with James, another Yamasaki blue belt, and we played crazy monkey jiu-jitsu, which was a whole heap of fun. Between rounds at some point, Chrissy was showing us something off half guard and swept me over in to the coffee.
For the next round, Brain pulled me and James aside and asked if we would simulate someone being choked unconscious during a match. I was to the be the chokee. So when the round started, James started feeding in some tight chokes, but I wanted to give the ref a little more actual reffing first so defended them. And then he sunk in a deeeeeeep, tight choke, and I thought, “Um… I might go out for reals here. Uh-oh….” I really needed to tap, but instead did my best to go limp without sinking further in to the choke.
Someone on the sideline said, “Uh, ref, I think she’s out.” I heard the ref say, “I don’t think she is” (probably because I was giggling at the fact that I might actually be unconscious for reals aaaannnny second now). Then Paul, who was on the far side of the room, heard the guys saying I’m out, saw me (attempting to be) limp on the mat, and barreled over to pull James off of me. I tried to stay limp, but I know I was shaking with giggles at this point. But his actions galvanized the ref, and they both turned me over and started raising my feet… at which point I couldn’t control the giggles any longer and busted out laughing.
When he realized he’d fallen for a trick, Paul glared at me and declared a death match. Several other people also came over to check on me while the next match was going on, also thinking that I’d actually been choked out. Ah, good times.
My death match with Paul came with the next ref, in women’s advanced nogi again. (That was Brain’s compromise — I had to do advanced again, but Paul got to be a woman. Yeah, okay, that works.) And it was about as much death match as a kitten attacking a patient mastiff, lol. One more round — a “white belt” gi match, since most of the other grapplers had left — with MikeByrd, which was much like the previous match but with slightly more blatant white belt “mistakes.”
After dinner, I drove home in the fog and rain (ew!). Nasty weather continues this morning, too.