BJJ Grrl

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

Saturday, Nov 5, 2011

November Homework

Pre-class food & drink:

  • Coffee + 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 sausage egg muffins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Class Notes:

  • Some leg tiredness during second roll. Seemed out of proportion to the energy I was expending, which wasn’t much.

Open Mat, nogi

Small class again. Rolled with Adam first, maybe 20min. Then White Belt #1 asked if I would do pass vs. submit with him. Silly me assumed this meant lower intensity and so started easy; he started at Mundials finals level. Yeah, sure, whatever. Couldn’t turn the switch to higher intensity, but then again, I didn’t try too hard to. Sat the next round. Then White Belt #2 was free after being bullied for a round by White Belt #1 and was looking very dejected. Went over to roll with him, me still not going hard. He jumped out faster & harder than he even usually goes — quite spazzy, too, which he’s usually not — and I figured he just wanted some validation/redemption/something for the previous round. So just used the round as a mental challenge to stay calm. Afterwards, gave him a quick reminder of americano from mount and side control, as he goes for it frequently but rotates the whole arm up instead of tucking it first; I’ve been meaning to tell him that for a couple weeks but haven’t had a chance; when he missed one during the round, I remembered.

Andrew & Justin later helped me with another transition if you go for the guillotine but know you won’t be able to finish.

NaNoWriMo

Word count: 6,838 / 50,000

I started writing last night and one character kept insisting she had a scene to tell. But it was from one of the storylines I’ve developed least, so I had no idea what she was talking about. So I made them all talk to each other for a few minutes, and suddenly the scene was just there and poof! on the page. Whoot. And then the character sat around and discussed the scene, which ended up expanding the little bit of storyline I had before into something bigger and maybe pretty cool.

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Friday morning, August 26, 2011

Chiropractor last night. My shoulders have been doing oh-so-much better recently, probably a combination of extra rest and better ergonomics at work. Of course, about 30 minutes before my appointment, they decided to act up. *le sigh*

This morning, only me, Andrew, and Ray. Started with 2-minute round robin rounds, two full rounds, to warm up. Ooo, my joints were not amenable to being twisted around. Then drilled passing half guard straight to americano. Drilled for a little while, and then one more round-robin set to finish up.

I’m sleepy. And it’s a gray, overcast day. My eyelids are trying to slide closed, and I’m fighting to keep them from doing just that, because I know that once they close, they won’t open again for a while, lol.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011, & Friday morning

Yeah, I totally nearly packed a gi last night… 😛

Went to see Dr. Tom again last night. He showed me a stretch I could try: lay on my back and put either hand behind the small of my back, and then slowly turn toward that shoulder. I did try it out at class; left shoulder was okay, though I hardly had to turn before I could feel it, but the right shoulder was atrocious and I could hardly even put it in that position.

Rolling to warm up, with Adam. Then Jess and Buddy.

Drilling was switching between americano and kimura from side control. (We didn’t even actually drill the finishes much, just the switching between.) In other words, we basically drilled the stretch that Tommy had showed me and that didn’t work so well 😮

Also: owwww!

Drilled with Jess, then one more roll with her.


Friday morning, gi

Mornings are early!!

Rolling to warm up, with Tim. Hrm. His “warm up” speed and mine are totally not the same. 😮 I had to wake up quick.

Drilling was a guard pass. Worked in with Guillaume and Robert, and some reps with Tim.

One more short roll, with Tim again. Every which way I looked, he had a choke set up.

Thank goodness for Friday! (Though, I still have 2 training sessions left this week!)

My best friend Jennie and her husband are coming in this weekend and will help me paint more of my house. All the colors are up; the neutral just remains to be done in most of the rest.

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Not yet. But class was a smoker!

So, Tim has been home all week recuperating from something. I finally found that out tonight. We will have this talk eventually…


Nicole, the girl who got knocked out by the Cannonball Kid, was back tonight, but at Krav Maga and not jiu-jitsu. She seems to be okay. Several of us stuck around to watch their class so we could talk with her afterward (and so several of the guys could flirt with her. 😛 ). I didn’t get to talk to her (*snort*), but I talked to the two other girls who were doing the class and who have also been doing some of the kickboxing classes. They said the Cannonball Kid has called them names and has hit them too hard, too — but, oh, he’s such a cute little kid!, they said. (I wonder if he knows they think that way about him… Anywho…) They said they’ve thought about trying jiu-jitsu, but their two fears are that 1) they won’t make it through the warmup and 2) he will tease them for it. I told them not to worry about it, that I didn’t make it through my first night, either, and that if he teases them I’ve got lots of guys who will choke him out. At which the guys perked up, so I explained, and they said, “Oh yeah, not a problem.”

I think when nearly everyone in an academy would love to knock the snot out of a particular person, that something should probably be done… maybe non-violently first, to let him know that he is, in fact, the problem.


I ate more carbs today. I try to eat low-carb, mostly fruits and veggies; today was Mexican at lunch, half a sweet potato around 3pm, and 3 scoops of CarboMax in my protein shake (~50 g carbs just there). Thank goodness I did.


Good group of guys tonight. No newbies, no knuckleheads. Just a group that works hard. Good.

Justin took a page out of Tim’s pre-tournament handbook. O. M. G. Not even sure I can remember everything.

Warmup. Jogging, high knees, butt kicks, side-to-side, bear crawls (2 laps! ugh). Stop where you’re at: jumping jacks, situps, triangle situps with guard pass, squat jumps. Mountain climbers between sets of pushups, 10, 5, 10. Was on my knees after the first set.

Then on the wall. Single line, starting at one corner. Go up the one side, across the top, and down the other side, back to the wall. Alligators (!), backwards bear crawls, forward rolls (I only rolled the two sides — too dizzy!), duck walks, lunges. Maybe something else near the beginning. Actually feeling pretty good until the duck walks and lunges. Quads burning! (But everyone else was equally demolished.)

Are we done? We’re not done. Rolling. Now? Pooh.

Started with Will. Sat down and had to shake my legs out; they didn’t want to move! Um… No idea, really. Seem to recall being stuck at the end of his open guard a lot (what else is new?). Trying to use Scott’s advice and get inside as if after a guard break. Not so much luck; he used lots of hooks. Swept lots. Under side control, turn to my side, top elbow in to defend the D’Arce. Want single leg, can’t reach legs. Pfft. Did get one, though he wedged in for the D’Arce as I did; I took him over, but he pulled me in. Don’t remember if he finished it or if he let me escape. Tapping lots all night, though. Right now trying not to “just fight” a tap; if I have a defense, try it; if not, eh, whatever, just tap. No big deal. (And it’s funny how suddenly it really does become eh, no biggie.) The rest of the round, I have no clue.

Twenty pushups. Now we know for sure what kind of night this is.

Guillaume: Rolled with him later, too, so fuzzy (and brain still tired). Got his back at one point, got him flattened, and got the choke. He tapped with just his thumb; if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have known. Advised him to tap more obviously. Oh, goodness, oxygen needed. Later got mount and could hold it pretty well (thanks to having what I needed to do spelled out by Meg and Penny Thomas). Trying for an americano — and, in my opinion, not doing too shabby a job getting his elbows to pop out and then pinning the arm with my entire body while my arms went to work. He could press his arm out, though, so we finished the rest of the round like that.

Partner drill — one partner stands to start. Other partner shoots/crawls through their legs, then turns. First partner bends over at the waist (and tucks their head!). Second partner then plants hands on first partner’s back and bounds over. 10 each.

Justin: Wanted to try to match his recent fast pace. Had trouble getting anything started from the knees, though, as he’d hand fight if I was hand fighting and defend if I tried to sweep or pass. So really had to wait on him to initiate something, either pulling me in to butterfly or coming in and taking me over. Caught several times, though don’t remember. Did, though, tap early since I didn’t want to hear any more pianos! I think I had a few escapes and defenses that were somewhat okay, though mostly I was defending under side control and knee on belly (ack, knee on belly! Ribs still bruised.) He wasn’t going quite as fast as he had been the last few times, either because he was a bit tired (after practice conditioning last night was apparently brutal, plus he was doing everything with us) or because he was just playing. Some decent posturing up in his guard, though immediately swept with pendulum sweeps. Right to my side, though, and working knee/elbow escapes, not that he stays still long enough for it to work.

20 squat jumps. Was slow. Quads/hips so tired. Was last. But finished.

Sundance: Really starting to get tired now. Justin calls out for all of us to keep pushing, keep going. Oh. Okay. I do it. Don’t remember much except that we actually rolled in to the wall at one point. He caught several things; I tapped early.

20 pushups, 20 situps, 20 squats. Was not last. Could finally see that the guys are gasping and having trouble, too.

Done yet? Not done yet.

Will again: He let me pass his open guard and half guard several times. Once, though, he worked near my back and caught a reverse armbar and nearly had an omoplata later. Got to work knee on belly, though he did the escape from Saturday; tried catching the guillotine off that, but always lost his head. Hmm. He let me transition for a while between side control, north/south, other side control, and knee on belly — a bit stuttering, but moving. But surprised myself too much and didn’t know what to do. Caught his far elbow flaring and wanted the spinning armbar, but he sat up in to me. Tried to get to his back; actually had both hooks at one point but couldn’t pull myself around. Tried to change it up to a triangle, since I still had that arm, but couldn’t work out which foot goes where. He finally escaped and I ended up under side control again. I might have actually made him work a bit there, though. Kept trying to get to X-guard with everyone, but no one really wanted that and moved far away.

Something in there, I think, but don’t remember what.

Guillaume again: Surprising myself with a guard pass right off and lots of transitions. Eventually took his back with the technique Buddy and I worked a little while ago. Couldn’t get the choke because he was peeling my arms off. Tried switching to the armbar, but didn’t do something right with my legs and got the bottom one trapped. Pooh. Took mount instead. He did the knee/elbow escape and got to half guard. I passed his half guard! Had his far-side arm near kimura’d, since he’d handed it to me like that, and pressure in his throat to help with that one. Then tried to finish that kimura, actually trapping the near arm correctly first; he could still lift me with it, though, so switched to knee on belly. Far elbow flared, so went for the spinning armbar. He grabbed his hands. Went for the Oh dearie me triangle (where you “mess up” the armbar to get them to sit up into the triangle), but he wouldn’t sit up. Finally shifted to mount and got that triangle locked up. That thing was deep, and it was tight, and he didn’t tap. Pulled him over (hmm, on second thought, sitting on his face was probably the better choice… gravity on my side), and tried to finish there. (Just remembered, I’ve been pointing out getting the angle to guys, and I probably could’ve had a better angle — although, that thing was tight.) Still no tapping… Ah, okay, there it is. When I let go, his face was purple! He said after class that he’d been trying to see how long he could hold out before he passed out. (Had a talk with him about that.) I think I got back to mount to finish off the round.

On the wall. Nearly crawling, but I got there. Partner up. 5 lifts, then carry down; 5 lifts, then carry back. Partnering up went a little odd, and it was going to be me and Big Tom… Um, that’s not gonna work (5’2″, 125lbs with 6’2″, 220lbs. Yeah, no.) Justin switched us around a bit; I got to work with him. Getting dizzy on that last set of lifts, but managed to catch my breath, clear my vision, and get them done.

Almost there. 3 trips each of single legs and then single leg/sprawl and then done. So. Slow. So. Tired. Everyone else finished. Big Tom and I did the last two runs together, slapped hands, and immediately eased down to the mat. Ow.

After class, Justin and Will wanted more punishment and did pyramided kettlebell swings. Then everyone sat around to wait for the Krav class to end to check on Nicole.

That’s when Guillaume told me he’d been trying to hold on as long as possible in that triangle. (He wasn’t trying to escape, just to hold on.) I said that that wasn’t very smart and that I did not want to choke him out, that I would feel very badly about it. I said that it’s okay to work escapes when you’re rolling with someone who you know won’t try to hurt you for it, but don’t just try to hold on and see how long you can last.

Also talked a bit with one of the other guys, who was asking me how long I’d been training and when I’d gotten my blue belt. (The natives are getting restless… Most guys under Tim get their blue in a year; a year and half, like me, is getting toward the long end, though there is currently one guy who’s trained at least a few months longer than me and is still white.) He said he “can’t wait” to get his blue. He’s a smaller guy, so I just laughed and told him how, yeah, it’s great and all, but then everyone starts smashing you as hard as they can because they want to prove that they can beat you so they should get theirs, too. Reminded him that you usually get your blue belt as soon as you quit worrying about it and just focus on technique and rolling. (This guy, last I rolled with him, was starting to show some good technique. So if he keeps that up, I think he won’t be too far off. I’ve been meaning to roll with him, too, to check on him. Will have to do that soon.)


Ran across this article yesterday from Scientific American. What I got from it is: you learn better when you try but get it wrong (and then, of course, get the right answer), rather than just memorizing the right answers. You know, I remember studying in college and taking the practice tests; on the real test, I always seemed to do better with the questions I’d gotten wrong and had to correct on the practice tests. Hmm… Something to that… Of course, they did this with book learning and not with jiu-jitsu, but still.


Have had some free time at work (!) the last few days and so gave a piece of my mind a new home. Usual ramblings, this time on being a woman and training. Comments, insights, violent disagreements — all welcome.

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Unbelievable (Thousand Foot Krutch)

Small class. Gi class seems to be small this summer. (Nogi is generally big, with all the new high school kids swinging through.) Normal warmup. Same as last Wednesday, but it kicked my butt tonight. Gassed and breathing hard in no time. I think I need to do some cardio work, but when? I’m at work or practice most of my waking hours, and we don’t have a bike or treadmill or anything. I need some kind of interval work. Anywho…

Then worked 10 armbars from guard per side. I was with a white belt who hasn’t seen armbars from guard yet. So Tim had to come over and teach him how to do them. We finished last.

I meant to review what Justin showed me on Saturday, but I forgot to before class. During rolling, random bits would occur to me.

Then to rolling. Same white beltfirst. After we touched hands and I started scooting in — I try to work butterfly guard on him since he’s one of the few I can do it on — I heard Tim say, “Attack, Leslie. Be aggressive. Attack, attack.” Okay, I can do this. Maybe…. He overcommitted to one side, and I got out and around to his back, sliding my hips and knee out like Justin had showed me. He grabbed one arm and pulled it away; I tried the one-armed RNC, but couldn’t finish, then tried switching to the armbar, but didn’t switch my feet out first and so couldn’t get my leg around and over. He tried pressuring in to me there, rolling me over to my stomach, but that left enough room for my leg to come over and fit through; finished the armbar that way. Got his back again, really concentrating on what Justin had showed me Saturday; I don’t think I finished anything there, though. I know I caught something else, but I don’t remember what it was. Had a look at the reverse armbar again, but again couldn’t finish it. (Should transition to an omoplata there; I just saw that.)

Next with a blue belt. He’d just rolled with one of the white belts who was going hard, preparing for NAGA this weekend, so the blue was wiped out; he said, too, that the white had had him in a deep triangle and he’d nearly passed out. He let me have side control early. Tried the Big Poppa choke, but didn’t have my shoulder under his armpit and so couldn’t finish. Tried transitioning to the north/south kimura, but he grabbed his arm; tried transitioning to the armbar (stepped over way too high!), but he hit the hitchhiker and got out. (But hey, that’s 3 moves that I transitioned through! Granted, it was a slow “erm, what should I do now?” sequence, but it’s at least a small victory.) Then wound up under side control most of the round. Appropriate escape was not working; hips were pinned down. He finished a kimura from somewhere, and I think something else.

Then to drilling. Move of the week: Running escape from side control. This looked really simple when Tim showed it, but was much tougher to pull off. Mark and I agreed that we were too often trying the thread-the-needle escape, and that that was confusing us. We drilled for a long time. I finally got it, though very slow and with lots of thinking time, and I was having trouble posting on the elbow to turn under; my shoulder kept collapsing under me and I’d flop on my back. Bah. Thankfully, we’re drilling it all week.

Oh, a note to the partner: before the guy turns back under, post up on your knees to get your hips off the ground, especially if you’re male. Otherwise, that foot sliding straight through might make solid contact where you’d rather it didn’t… We had several guys doubling over during this drill…

Rolling again. Adam first. A clinic in D’Arce defense. Though, of course, that opens me up to lots of other stuff, and he took advantage of an americano I left sitting out. He might’ve found something else later; I seem to not remember tonight very well. But mostly he just made me work and roll and defend. Had moments of remembering Justin’s advice about getting grips and keeping them. Did that successfully a few times, to where it seemed to momentarily thwart what he was working for.

Justin last. Sometimes remembered keeping grips again. He let me work the scissor sweep counter; coming around, I started reaching for his lapel again and then remembered to control the hips. Did that just in time, since he tried to sweep me over next, but my weight seemed to be in a better place so he didn’t force it. He let me over to mount and left his arm high across his face; it’s always a trick when he does that, and I know it, but I don’t have many other options; he let me wrap up S-guard and get the arm, but when I sat back he spun out. Need to keep my weight on him more before sitting back, and probably need to lock up the near leg, too. He got an armbar from mount on me, though he let me defend by swinging around and back in to him (something he showed after class one night; you use their backwards momentum and your generated momentum to come up on top), and then let me work the arm out so he could switch to a triangle-armbar-triangle, finishing that last triangle.


Worked out the sweep from standing that Justin showed me on Saturday, the one I needed two left hands for. Sit around one leg, bringing your back leg around their leg. Grab their near arm with your back hand and pull it down behind their leg; pass it off to the front hand. Reach up with your back hand and grab their belt. Spin around their leg to the back and between their legs, pulling on their belt and sleeve, to sweep them.

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