US Grappling’s 100th Event – June 22, 2013, Richmond, VA


  • 6 matches. Lost all 6 by submission.
  • Heel-hooked in first Advanced match. Knee popped. The “good” knee.
  • Americano cranked in first gi match. Elbow popped.
  • Weight cutting: no weight lost. Stayed exactly the same. Pfft.
  • “Operation: Be More Assertive” was a no go: I scored 0 points.

Advanced Nogi

Because I’ve been training for over 5 years, I’m now in the Advanced division.

Weight class

Leah from Fifty/50:

The one thing I did not want to happen in the Advanced division was a heel hook. The first thing that happened was… a heel hook. (And yes, I do absolutely see exactly how I just handed it to her. I finally got my sweep, but at what cost?) She didn’t crank it, but I still heard and felt my knee pop before I could tap. That is my right knee, the one that had the LCL sprain a few years ago. This is not an encouraging way to start the day…


Megan from Fifty/50:

I was absolutely not going to let her near my legs. So instead I jumped right in to her triangle. There might be a flaw in this plan… I could only just wiggle the tips of my fingers on the arm that was trapped, so I kind of had to squeeze her leg a few times to tap; the pause at the end is her pulling back to ask if that was a tap, and me saying that it was.

Third place match, Leah again:

Andrew had already pointed out that I should not be trying de la Riva and other hook stuff in nogi, so I was trying very hard not to.

Blue Belt

Weight class

Laurie from BETA:

I nod a lot in this match, because I’m hearing what Justin is saying but am half a step behind in the execution, so I’m nodding to say that I’ll do it next time. She had an americano with her legs and bridged hard, which popped my elbow. So I had to sit around with an ice pack (and a handy tourniquet to hold it on that Justin fashioned out of my belt) until the next match.

Melanie from BETA:

She had a death grip on my sleeve in the opening minute, and at one point had stretched my gi so far that my arm, fully extended, was only around the normal elbow point. At the end here, I didn’t actually tap; I was posting in reaction to her kicking me in the head trying to get me over for the omoplata. But the ref thought that I did because I had posted twice in a row. So, yeah…


Michelle from Dave Trader:

I knew what was coming every step along the way, but I could do nothing about it. That was in tight and deep and fast. Lol, air-tapping because I couldn’t think or move fast enough to find a surface to tap on, and the lights were gonna go out fast.

My elbow was stiff & aching since the moment it was popped and kept that up all day. But it seems to be fine and will recover in a week or two. The knee… it felt “off” all day long, and became increasingly stiff, with some areas of pain, as the day went on. I spread on the Tiger Balm after my matches. (Lol, and then as I walked through the venue, I heard people saying, “Dude, what is that smell?!” “Wow, that smells like a lot of Tiger Balm!” Yeah, hi, that’s me.)

I am so very disappointed in myself. I couldn’t even score a single point. I did nothing about takedowns. I couldn’t do anything that even resembled grappling. My brain was only working in half-finished sentences, getting so fixated on the first half of something and completely neglecting the second. Thank goodness Justin and Andrew were there to coach me, or it would have been even uglier than it already was.

And now my other knee might be messed up. Last night I had to sleep with the most restrictive brace on it because any small movement was painful. It’s just so frustrating. I finally get to the point where I’m not worried about training after the first knee and I’m starting to work on being assertive and not just passive, and now this. All I want to do is curl up somewhere and cry.

Well, definitely a week off from all training. Then, we’ll see how the knee is doing and figure out where to go from there.

10 thoughts on “US Grappling’s 100th Event – June 22, 2013, Richmond, VA

  1. This is a bit off-topic but I’ve somehow lasted in BJJ for almost 8 months now and your pages on women in BJJ are still a touchstone for me. I started reading your blog when I was toying with the idea of starting BJJ and I keep finding myself coming back to the resources for women as I gradually come across various issues (e.g. feeling like I’m learning nothing because it doesn’t work on the big boys!) I don’t know if I would have lasted this long if I hadn’t found this blog, and through it, the community of women in BJJ. Thanks for the inspiration and the motivation to keep training ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you. I needed to hear that today, that there’s more to me & my BJJ than just the results of one tournament one day. So, thanks.

  2. What’s that expression? “Sometimes you’re the hammer and sometimes you are the nail.” Well girl, you and I are spending too much time being the nail. Next time…next time we will be the hammers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cry your tears and rest your body for now, but don’t lose sight of the joy of BJJ and the marathon we are running.

    By the way, I know you didn’t tap on that one match.

  3. Hi, just wanted to say, You rock. Seriously.

    Both for being an inspiration (you gave me some really nice advice about being a small female on the mat) and for not quitting in a situation where 90% would have quit.

    Keep doing your thing.

  4. Leslie,
    I’m so sorry! But remember how amazing you are for being on that mat in the first place. I was trembling just reading the description. “Win” or not, you rock.
    I’m feeling your heel hook pain. That’s how I got my injury and it’s not pretty. It also doesn’t seem fair. For me, I didn’t even feel it, it didn’t even hurt or feel stretchy, while my knee was popping. Next thing you know, three months off the mats. Arrrggghh.

    1. Yeah, that’s how mine went, too — nothing, then pop. Right now I’m just resting it, and we’ll see where it goes from there. I hope not 3 months again; I did that last year with the other knee, and it was not terribly fun.

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