BJJ Grrl

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

Girls! In Gis!

on May 21, 2017

I parallel-parked! 

I won a pineapple!

I met Julia!

Oh, there was also grappling. And gis. And girls in gis. 

Yesterday was Girls in Gis: DC edition at BETA Academy. From the moment this was announced, I have wanted to go. I’ve been out of the grander BJJ east coast women’s scene for a few years now, between injuries, having so many women of my own team to train with, and even apathy toward BJJ in general. I’ve looked at going to other open mats, but none of them grabbed me the same way as this one.

No one else from my team was available, but I still wanted to go. Usually when I have a trip out of town planned — even good ones, like going to see my goddaughters — I get up that day dreading having to drive so far. Not yesterday: I was excited to get on the road. Took between 4 and 5 hours to get there, brave the crazy DC drivers, wind my way through DC a (my GPS decided that of course I wanted to swing by the Mall area and all the tourist traffic), and then comb the streets for a big enough spot to park in and decipher all the signs to figure out if I was even allowed to park there in the first place.

I got to see a few familiar faces and a whole lot of new faces. They said there were 150 spots, about half of them white belts. (BETA has two huge mats, though, so that wasn’t a problem.) The event started with instruction by belt level; purples and browns worked with Jen Hall, and she showed a couple techniques involving “inviting” your partner to do something which only serves to let you load their weight and then reverse it. Gonna start playing with these, especially against over/under passes, which everyone at home loves to do. She also had some advice about being the smaller person in general. 

There’s was a break after that for pictures and the raffle (I won a portable USB charging station, shaped like a pineapple), and then there was time for rolling. I had forgotten to look at the attendee list to see if Julia was planning to come — though we’re both in Virginia, we’re on opposite sides of the state, so haven’t had a chance to meet yet — and so had been looking through the assembled blue belts to see if I could figure out if one of them was her. I’d narrowed it down to maybe this one lady near me during the raffle, then saw the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” patch on the back of her gi, and that sealed it. 😉

We got to roll a round-and-a-half and then sat and talked for while before finding other partners to finish rolling with. I left the mats a bit early to change so that I could head out right at 5; the last time I lingered after a women’s event in a city was the only time I’ve been in a car wreck, and did not want that to happen again. My GPS tried to send me into incoming traffic once and almost made me run over a pedestrian another time, though thankfully this time it avoided the Mall. Got home close to 10, grabbed a quick shower, and went straight to bed. 

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