BJJ Grrl

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

Missing the signs

on January 27, 2012

Whoa, 3 nights off from BJJ? In a row? Feels like I’ve stumbled in to someone else’s life.

Went to get my hair done last night. My stylist wanted to do blonde highlights. However, my last color was a copper, and some of the color was still hanging around. So my hair turned pink…. Dude, not cool. She put a darker all-over color on it to cover the pink, though it also colored the blonde that was in. She said that the overall color will fade out in the next few weeks and the highlights should show through properly. Also, I’m leaning very strongly towards growing my hair out, so she actually didn’t cut anything, just styled it differently. I really like it this way; now I just have to remember how she did it!

Sent Andrew a text last night that I would miss morning class. Was a good thing, too, as another storm rolled in and battered my windows. I knew there was another reason I needed to miss the morning class, but couldn’t remember what it was. Found out when I got to work — 9am meeting. Oh. Crap. And I’m late…


Fundamentals Class, nogi

Several new guys: the guy I grappled last Friday, a guy who came a few times several months ago, and a brand-new guy — as well as one guy who just watched the whole class. They came in all at once, so I didn’t notice who came in with whom. (This will be important later.) A larger number of regulars for a Friday, too. Short warmup, then to drilling. A step-around guard pass, then added to knee-on-belly to north/south kimura, then added transitioning to the far-side tuck-knee armbar.

Drilled initially with Guillaume, then with the brand-new guy, who was wearing a “UFC” shirt. Maybe it was the shirt that first put me off, but my brain decided to assume that he had no training. And then when he did some things wrong in the drilling — like no pressure in KoB and going straight to the can-opener from KoB even though that’s not what we’re drilling — my brain decided to take these as further proof that he had no mat experience. (The can opener should have been my second clue that I was, in fact, quite wrong. The first was who he came with.) Drilled for the whole class.

Open Mat

Open Mat was actually structured tonight, with timed rounds & rest and most partners being picked (largely for the 3 new guys).

I was paired with the new guy I had drilled with. I sat down ready for maybe 50%, maybe 70%, intensity. (I don’t know why, exactly — I had gotten up to the right mindset last week when I knew nothing about the guy. Possibly because I wasn’t in as much pain as last week [whereas then I knew I would have to work hard to defend the injured parts], and possibly because I’d had those 3 nights off [and so thought I had a lot of energy to spare].) We slapped hands and he went for a fist bump. Some part of my brain started frantically trying to get my attention with that detail. But then he asked how did we start, from guard or from just wherever. (More brain frantically trying to get my attention. He said “Guard!” He knows guard! All ahead full! All ahead full!) I said, “Just wherever.” Then, because he’s asked a basic question about how to begin a round, my intensity & engagement with the upcoming round plummeted, despite all the warning bells.

(I know better, of course. New guys do not like having to roll with the girl first thing. I know this. I’ve lived this several times before. New guys who know nothing go bananas when seated across from a tiny girl. New guys who sneakily do know something come out 210% with all their cheap tricks.)

As I later found out, he trained with the guy I grappled last week. (At least he didn’t just learn it from watching UFC, as I for some reason began to fear during the round. Now that would have been embarrassing.) His game was different — a tighter top game and some knowledge of half guard and of leg attacks — and far more difficult to deal with, especially as I was also trying frantically to roust all the intensity-related pathways to come back online. (Although, like his friend, he does some basic things terribly wrong, as they’ve never been taught quite right. This, folks, is the difference a real Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor makes.) So the round was mostly me scrambling to catch up to this athletic guy (though going for far more submissions and sweeps than I ever used to against such a fellow).

Couple more rounds, with Guillaume (who had been mocking my new hair style all night and so was due for a beating), Eamon, and Rob. Hit that pass from Emily on all three at least once. Eamon was tricksy tonight, though, opting for an active open guard, which made finding that sweet spot a little more difficult.

Anyway, was relieved at the end of class to see that this new guy and the one from last week had come together. So that means that he does have training time. And from the round, probably plenty. Okay, good, I did not just nearly get my clock cleaned by an “I train UFC”er. He actually does have some experience.

Note to self: NO NOT TAKING GUYS SERIOUS! NO MATTER HOW INNOCENT THEY LOOK!


Been steaming for a few days over a couple of “women in BJJ” forum posts. So to distract me from the scathing replies I’ve written (and deleted), here’s a couple of women-related BJJ stories:

  • While rolling with Laura at the Open Mat last week, she asked me how much I weighed and commented to Chrissy that I was so little. Of course, I was thinking, “Awesome, a girl who’s just my size!” Apparently not. Seriously, I think my eyes + brain is broke….
  • Aubrey and I had lunch earlier this week. She said that she actually had had no idea what BJJ was before she started. She had asked me if class “would be awkward.” I replied that yes, it sometimes can be, but that really it’s only as awkward as you make it. She let it go at that, and said she told herself that since I did this, it couldn’t be too bad. Then when she got to class that first night, she said she almost freaked out at what BJJ turned out to be. That whole first week she kept thinking, “OMG! Leslie does this?!!” Seems her version of “awkward” was based on the two TKD classes she had gone to in college, in which everyone had to stand up and introduce themselves and then “perform” what they learned at the end of the night. My version of “awkward” was something entirely different!
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6 responses to “Missing the signs

  1. jimbear says:

    bjj is retarded.
    You should count yourself lucky that you had some time off from it.

    And, no offense, in my experience most girls who do bjj (or any form of fighting) didn’t have a dad growing up.

    • leslie says:

      I have no idea why (perhaps because it’s late), but I found this spam so freaking hilarious that I had to let it through just for the lulz, both those it brings and those to come. None of it’s true, but I choked laughing so hard that I wanted to share.

  2. SavageKitsune says:

    No offense, but in my experience men who put down martial arts girls have tiny penises.

  3. MC says:

    I haven’t had my morning coffee, and I think it’s pretty funny, too.
    So are your conflicting versions of “awkward.” That ties in well with the main of your post. People will surprise you.

    I applaud you for deleting your scathing replies. That’s always a good option. Guys who write those incendiary forum posts will either wise up as they are exposed to more women in jiu jitsu, or are not worth any emotional effort. I think it’s more beneficial all around to have those sorts of discussions face to face.

  4. Reese says:

    Hehe what were these posts you referred to? I like to read them and get all pissed off; it’s a good way to procrastinate. Although I too tend to write and then delete things lol.

  5. Aparna says:

    That reply spam was pretty epic–and also not at all true for any of the women I know who train BJJ.

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