BJJ Grrl

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

When everything goes… right?

on October 15, 2013

Attention, UK BJJers: Anyone around Sheffield missing a white belt named Rich? If so, I’ve got him now — and no, you can’t have him back.


Short warmup, then some rolls to continue. A pair of guys, rolling together, were both promoted to blue belt in there. Then drilled omoplatas again for the rest of class, followed by more rolls. I even did 2 extra rolls in Open Mat (and one of those was actually 2 five-minute rounds + the break between).

After one of my later rolls, someone commented that he had never seen anyone get choked as aggressively as one of my partners had tried to choke me earlier. (It hadn’t worked, though, as the guy hadn’t figured on how much smaller my neck is, so the choke was not quite tight enough.) He said he’s had guys roll hard against him, but he doesn’t think any have attacked him as hard as that. Then he asked if, for one day, I could be bigger and stronger than all my partners, would I crush them as they always crush me? I laughed and said yes, of course. But when I thought about it later, I realized that I wouldn’t know what to do if I suddenly found myself larger and stronger than the guys. They would seem so small and weak, and I would be cautious about hurting them.


Things I try seem to be working in rolls right now. Against everyone. I’m even submitting people. (Or nearly enough, with some of the guys. I can tell it’s soclose! because they suddenly go very, very still and their fingers start probing around to find a crack, a fingerhold, anything as they think hard about how to get out. And their faces start turning purple. But then they’re out — and my brain later tells me the detail that I didn’t have perfect that let them out.)

*blink* *blink* I just don’t know what to do with that. I’m enjoying it, sure, but I’m also waiting for it all to go bust, and so am continually surprised when things continue to work. I’m seeing holes and hooks and tipping points and entries and exits; things just seem to be there for the taking, and I seem to be there to take it. I’m also always surprised because I see the long list of flaws in what I’m doing, and yet somehow the overall thing still works. I’m testing new things, repping old things, making stuff up, and they still work. And I’m not feeling as if I’m frantic or rushing or tense or even pouring everything into a single technique; in fact, often I feel as if I’m moving too slowly or the same as usual, with not enough intensity behind it — and yet it’s still working. Even things that don’t work still… work. I go for X, partner counters, and I’m already on Y as if I’d meant to do it all the time.

Another interesting thing is that I’m still tapping as much as usual. Maybe more. I’m still getting swept and passed and crushed and everything as normal — and yet I don’t feel as if that negates the good things that are happening elsewhere. This is perhaps the strangest of all, that I’m seeing everything in a positive light rather than a negative, despite the fact that, most likely, most things are negative. (I have even tried to make myself feel badly, by listing all the things I screwed up, all the times I was crushed, all the things I missed… and the thought comes back, “Yeah, but it wasn’t so bad as all that.” Hrrr? Whose brain is this? [And can I keep it?]) I feel as if I’m learning faster from those things right now, too; as in, I get tapped/swept/passed/crushed, I know immediately what I screwed up, and I don’t (too often) do it again. And most of those, I’m already moving on almost as if I’d meant to give them that (even though I didn’t).

I’m gonna ride this wave as long as it will let me, that’s for certain.

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4 responses to “When everything goes… right?

  1. airistar says:

    That sounds awesome! There are many a time when I don’t want to go to practice, and when I’m there I’m thinking something will go wrong, but then something clicks and it works in grappling! It’s a great feelings, and focusing on the positive while realising the negative works wonders.

  2. Rachel Green says:

    Just starting out in BJJ but I love your blog; you’re so encouraging. I’m very near Sheffield. I don’t know your Rich, but well done him for escaping!

    • leslie says:

      He says he’s finally getting used to driving on the other side of the road and isn’t as disoriented in the passenger seat (your driver’s seat), but that he can’t make a decent cup of tea over here.

  3. slideyfoot says:

    Ha, cool! I don’t know Sheffield Rich either, but feel compelled to comment as someone in the UK. 😉

    What’s he doing there, out of interest? Studying, working etc?

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