New Faces

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

Short warmup to start. My hips were burning, which is a weird location and feeling. Quads some, too.

Then partnered up for the bump sweep movement (just up and over the arm, then back). Then to bump sweep to a collar choke. Ended with full-on bump sweep, 10x/side.

Worked with Chase, which made it a bit difficult because he’s so much bigger. And my right shoulder (the worse one) did not like having to get under me and be posted on so much.


During the break, a new girl, Ashley, came in. She’s a student at Virginia Tech and used to train at a Yamasaki school a few years ago, but has been playing rugby for the last few years.

Short warmup, since most of us were warm. Then two rounds of rolling, with Ashley and Chase.

Drilling was a sweep from guard. Drilled with Ashley (and Chase for a little bit, before Tim moved him over with taller guys). Then one more round, with Ashley again.

I bopped my nose…

…and it still hurts! Only small bits of soreness in general from last night, but the bridge of my nose hurts! It’s red and it’s bruised. *insert sulky face*

The good news is that our project at work seems to be working pretty well. The bad news is that means I have nothing to do. And that’s just boring.

I’ve been trying to write out a plan for the kids’ class tomorrow. It’ll be on getting to and maintaining mount; that part I’ve got. But I’m lost on games and drills. Don’t have to be related to the technique, just have to be something to do. The last two months, I’ve used a lot of the same things so I want to start changing it up, but I’m drawing a blank. Bah.

Small class. Theresa has a kickboxing fight in December, so she’ll be spending Tuesday nights over in the adult kickboxing class. Started with armbars from the guard. It seems like I forgot every detail. Got to do some reps with Justin, and he reminded me of them all. Then a round of rolling; with Justin. Couldn’t break down his spider guard; swept easily, and then couldn’t get myself off the mat. I felt jerky and spazzy. Then drilled armbar to triangle. Again with the details. Also worked those a few times on Justin, so he helped. Another round, with John. Again swept easily, and again couldn’t get off the mat. I could block one thing, but he’d just grab another. Then drilled bump sweep. Worked in with John and James. Final round rolling, with Big Mike. He grabbed both my legs with one hand and pinned them down. Under his side control or mount the whole time. He does understand to focus on the technique over muscling things out, so, because he tried to do it right, I had some space to move around sometimes. But he’s a big, heavy boy — just imagine when he actually figures out how to drop his weight! 😮

There are promises of Open Mat after class some nights, and then everyone just fizzles away. *le sigh*

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Urgh, still so stiff and sore from Adam’s circuits this week!

Really small number of us there today: 3 for the cage and 3 for the mats. Will wanted to drill some armbars from guard; then I got a few more reps in on the half-passed sweep from yesterday (harder nogi, but just wanted to get the feel of it); then bump sweep. Will and Justin worked out a deep half guard sweep; I drilled it, too, though I don’t play deep half yet. Still, I can probably pull this one off just from x-guard.

Then Will and I rolled. Justin was busy playing with his cameras, so we rolled for a good long while. Doing what Adam suggested and mostly starting from the top. Swept quickly, though. Squashed most of the time, especially in half guard. Think I need to get on my side well before he passes to half guard (since I really can’t stop him yet). Did think of some correct movements and did attempt them, though probably didn’t do them quite right as he slid right through them. He worked me through some things that he’s been showing me over the last few weeks. I even got to try that deep half sweep, but left my head sticking up and nearly got guillotined. Did get guillotined, Big Poppa’d, RNC’d, and armbarred several times.

He said I had trapped him with a reverse triangle when he pulled a lazy and shallow deep half and couldn’t control my leg (I think he didn’t seem to be trying too hard to get out); the triangle wasn’t quite under his chin, so I went for his arms, but couldn’t quite work out which one needed to bend in which direction (I was even trying to remember the anatomy of the joints, lol, but still couldn’t think straight). I asked about that after the roll, and he said I’d needed to work a kimura and showed me which arm. Aha! And somewhere, maybe off that?, he later said I’d had a legit armbar and he was waiting to tap. But I didn’t quite have enough pressure with my legs so he was able to sit up and half roll, leaving me with a bellydown armbar, and in the scramble of rolling, I switched my hand positioning on his arm and he was able to rotate it and then pull it out.

Afterwards, he also said that he had to put a lot more pressure on me because I was making and going for more opportunities. So, wait, the more I’m squashed and can’t move, the more I’m actually moving well?… That makes no sense, lol!

Frontline (Pillar)

Can’t think of a post title. So that ^^ is what I’m listening to right now.

Move of the Week: Double-under guard pass

Small class. Me, Justin, Mark, Yoshi, and Guillaume and three other new guys.

Rolling to warm up. Started with a blue belt. (Rolled with him again later, in the same spot, and as usual I’m getting them mixed up.) He had a couple of armbars and a kimura, I think. At some point I did slide around to his back with him facedown. Couldn’t finish the RNC because he pulled my arms off and tucked his chin down and put his forehead on the mat. Finally postured up a little to give him space; he came up to try to turn in, but that gave me room to slide the arm in and catch the RNC. He said after that that he really wanted to catch a triangle; he hadn’t caught one in several months. He tried next to get it on me and nearly had it — I would have had to tap soon — but then time was called.

Next with a white belt. Again he went right for the wrestler’s squeeze that Renzo showed a defense for, and again I used that technique — though ridiculously slowly and with lots of extraneous movement — and got the reverse armbar. Had trouble finishing it. You’re supposed to come over their arm with your top arm, above the elbow, and pull down, but I couldn’t seem to get that; switched to the bottom arm over and pulling with the top one. That finally got it. Grr. Need to work the positioning on that one. Had a few sweeps. I love when sweeps work properly — the guy gets suddenly insanely light, and you can sail him right over. From mount once, worked on isolating an arm for a while (his defense is getting better); finally got the arm and locked up the armbar. From inside my guard later, he swept himself to under mount and ended with one arm in and one arm out. Once I figured out which was where, I had the triangle locked. Pointed out what he’d done after.

Drilling. Double-under pass first. Then north/south kimura.

Next roll with another white belt. Had a few sweeps. Caught a few guillotines, but couldn’t finish them. I think they weren’t deep enough to start with. He was trying the guillotine defense from awhile back, but his shoulder was on my shoulder instead of in my chin/throat. The first one, I held for a while. Finally decided to just move on since I obviously wasn’t going to finish it, but first took one more shot at it. Right as I did, he finally got his shoulder in my throat; opened the guard and let him out. He said that whatever I’d done right there at the end had been tight, and I pointed out that his shoulder placement that had let me stay there. The next caught guillotine (I wasn’t looking for them; he was just sticking his neck out), he had the defense quicker.

Second roll with same blue belt. He went for an armbar, but I got both my knees up between his legs, curling up like a cannonball. He couldn’t get his other leg over my head; while he was trying, I slid one leg over his further leg and slid up and over to side control. He said, “What pass was that?” I said, “I dunno; I made it up.” Soon after, he had an attempt at a north/south kimura that ended with both of us rolling. My arm got quickly twisted around in an unexpected direction during that scramble; my shoulder felt like it was going to rip right out. Had to verbally tap, loudly and quickly, so it was more of yelp. (Saw all the other guys stop and look.) Was okay; it was just fast and painful. He felt bad, so he didn’t go for anything after that and just let me work off side control. He let me work the Big Poppa/Jeff Monson choke (Justin was working it on him before class), and then I caught the anaconda choke that Renzo showed. He sat up and said, “What was that?! Show me!”

Just remembered: Before class, I was talking to the new kid that Nick and I drilled with last night. He also did Perry’s kickboxing class last night. He said he was sore from classes last night and could hardly move his arms this morning. Somehow we got to talking about the warmups, and I said that often when we have arrogant new guys (which he was not, btw) that the warmup is evil until one of the new guys pukes. He asked how I would rate the warmup from last night, and I said that it was really light. He said that he was in trouble, then, because it had kicked his butt.

He’ll only get to train with us for about another month before high-school football starts; he’s using us to stay in shape for football. After tonight, though, he was saying that, after football, he wants to give up basketball (he only plays because he’s so tall) and come back here to train. If he doesn’t get in to college for football (which apparently is actually a good possibility), then he says he wants to train BJJ. It’s so easy to get hooked, isn’t it? Some of his family & family friends have their kids in the TKD class, and they got him to come over and sign up.

Someone googled “bjj frustration” and found me today. Darlin’, you’re in the right place. We have lots of frustration running around here. The bad news is, you’re going to get frustrated. The good news is, it’s normal. Not that that makes it much better or any easier to plow through.

Of the four pictures I put up last week, the one that’s gotten the most hits has been Bob Gracie’s. And I hear the as-yet-unasked comment: I’ve never heard of a Bob Gracie…

Bob’s name is really Bob, but he isn’t a biological Gracie; his last name is something entirely different. He’s not even Brazilian, but rather a good ol’ Virginia country boy. But Renzo gave him the nickname “Bob Gracie” many years ago — I still don’t know the story — and it stuck. (And has perpetuated and grown — and most people meeting him think he actually is a Gracie… and then give him a few sideways looks.) He used to live up here and got his blue belt with Tim.

A funny moment from Karate College that Clifton and Nick mentioned last night at the cookout: They had been watching Renzo’s seminar from the bleachers in the rec center. I’d dashed over to them at the end to tell them to come meet Renzo before he went to teach the kids and that I had my camera if they wanted pictures. (I figured they wouldn’t have brought one, and I was right.) So they slowly, slowly made their way over to Renzo, who as usual was getting mobbed for autographs and pictures after the seminar. I took a picture of them with Paul while we waited for the crowd to thin around Renzo.

When he was free, I called him over with a casual, “Hey, Renzo, come meet these guys. They train with me at Tim’s.” They were both apparently in abject hero worship at this point and were completely amazed at how at ease I was in calling him over. But I’d met him last year — and spent more time with him then — and he’s the nicest guy and is laid-back and totally cool, so I thought nothing of it. (I haven’t met any more of the family, but Renzo is my favorite. :)) And he came over and talked to them and let them get pictures before he was rushed out to teach the kids. I waved at them and ran after him. They apparently stood there for a few minutes in shock both over meeting Renzo and over the way I was interacting with him. They said last night, “We could barely get two coherent words out, and here she’s telling him what to do!”