Girl Power

Friday night — Nogi Fundamentals

I woke up yesterday morning to the soothing sound of rain. I reset the alarm and rolled right back over to sleep.

Evening class: short warmup that was interrupted by a biohazard cleanup (white belt bleeding all around the perimeter of the mats). So Justin bunched us all in the middle of the mats to drill pummeling first, then added breaking them down, then the front headlock, then the takedown. By the time we got to the takedown and needed more room, the outer edges of the mats were dry again so we could use the whole mat again.

Second class started with rolling. Dmitri and Buddy. Then we picked back up the drilling, now adding a spiral ride to back take to choke at the end to finish it off.

Open Mat after, and Janet and Jen said they’d help me with tournament rolls. My brain immediately switched “on.” It was pretty awesome. Two rounds with each of them. Fast pace from all of us, good pressure, good movement. Assertiveness in action. There were still some things I noticed in there that need more work, but mostly I was moving, working to pass or sweep, working to not be passed or swept, hunting submissions, having a grand time actually doing some jiu-jitsu. Janet and I also landed in some funky 50/50/spider guard/twisted something or other at one point that we were both curious to see how we would eventually work out of.

I need to roll like that more often. As soon as they said “tournament,” everything was suddenly ready to go. I think it helped that I knew that they knew what to expect.

Saturday morning — Nogi Open Mat

Janet & Jen had volunteered to come in and help me work from standing this morning, so I got up and went in. Jen got stuck with some work for school, though, so Janet put me through my paces.

The timer today was set for 10-minute rounds. We took one round to warmup. Then a half round of pummeling and a half round to drill the sequence from last night. Then a round of a single leg takedown that I worked on (and used once!) for the last tournament — 10 minutes is a long time to work that! Then a break, because I was exhausted. Then we did a half round of guard pulling from standing, immediately transitioning to some sort of attack (omoplata, ha!). Finally a half round of live takedowns. My brain kicked in after a minute or two and started actually attempting (and hitting) takedowns, which is nice.

Okay, now I’m exhausted…

White Belt Tale of the Day:

New guy last night. Wearing rashguard and compression shorts only. (Yeeeaaahh, immediately off my list of people to train with.) During warmups when we got on the wall, I noticed that there was a trail of blood all around the mat where we had been jogging; looked to be someone’s toe bleeding. Everyone checked for blood, and it was this guy. He left the mat to deal with it (somehow turned out to be his finger? I have no idea how that happened), so Justin had us all bunch up in the middle of the mat to avoid the blood while Tim started mopping the outer edge of the mat.

When he did come back, he was miming everything that Justin was doing or saying. E.g., Justin said that this position is good because you can sprawl, and the guy threw himself up and back as if he were sprawling on someone, though he stopped before he hit the mat. I was trying not to giggle. And then he tried to argue with Justin about how “in wrestling it’s done this other way.”

But then, there was the smell. He stunk. I was on the opposite side of the mat, near the door, and I could smell him quite strongly. As Tim was mopping, he suddenly looked up and sniffed. He paused the mopping to get some air freshener and start spraying that discreetly around the entire academy. (And then once the guy left, he sprayed a lot more. Yowza.)

As the guy was leaving after the Fundamentals class (said he had to go to work), he told Tim that he was disappointed in the class because “I’ve already done years of front headlocks. I was hoping there would be… something else.” Tim pointed out that this was our Fundamentals class and that we just drill here but that we roll in the other classes. (Also funny because he didn’t seem to have a clue during drilling.) “Yeah, well, I was hoping for… something else.”


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