Ugh, whatever it was that made me queasy, it dogged me all day. I drank Coke like it was water. That did at least settle everything down by classtime (but now I’ve had way too much sugar and caffeine, which is its own problem. *le sigh*).

I was doing math today and I realized that a guy who weighs 60lbs more than me is 150% of my weight. That’s 1.5 of me. (Conversely, I’m only 66% of his weight.) That’s not even considering strength. Oh, fine; I’m small.

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

Only 4 of us, no newbies, so Tim had us roll. With Chase first. Then 5/side armbars from guard. Then a roll with Andrew, followed by 5/side armbars from mount. Then one more roll, with Big Mike. (Somebody taught him butterfly guard this summer, so he was flying me around everywhere.)


Class was all blue+ but one (and that was TR, so hardly counts against the total). Fred Thomsen was down visiting; he started under Tim and now is up at Crazy 88 in Maryland.

Class was all rolling. With TR, Will, and Robert. No repeats of the choking issues from this morning, but everyone — and from earlier — seemed to like putting an awful lot of pressure on my ribs.

Friday night and Saturday team practice


Fundamentals Class, nogi

Bit of a warmup. Then straight in to drilling for the rest of class, a reverse armbar off knee-on-belly. Meh, reverse armbars are one of the many things I just can’t quite seem to get the hang of. Gah. Positioning seems good, but I just can’t quite seem to get the pressure right.

Open Mat

Tim paired us up for a couple of rolls. Easy roll first with Jess, then one slightly more intense with new-blue Adam.


Mandatory team training today, with the affiliate gang coming down from Salem/Roanoke.

Started with a warmup. So many folks on the mats that there was scarcely a space between. Multiple lines required on down-the-mat drills. Then partnered up for a little stand-up work, just dropping the level and shooting around to the back. Worked with Sara.

Then the 5-minute death-by-armbar drill. Erm, yeah, ‘pears I left my armbars at home.

Rolling next. Sara, Frank, Jaime. Toward the end of the round with Jaime, I happened to glance up and saw Tim poised with a purple belt. Andrew got a good slapping and a new belt. One more round, with Frank again.

While watching the next technique, I shed so much water that there were several puddles of standing water by the time I stood up. (P.S. It was hot in there!)

More drilling. A butterfly pinch pass. Drilled with Sara again. That finished up the class. Open Mat after, though few rolled. We was all tired.

A girl stopped in toward the end of class, in time to drill the last technique with Janet. Her name is Karen and she’s from Augusta, Georgia. She moved up here recently to go to medical school down in Roanoke. She’s trained for about 6 months already. She’ll probably be splitting her time between the Roanoke school and up here since her schedule is somewhat erratic.

Andrew went to his bag and and pulled out a rashguard, which he gave to new-blue Adam. That rashguard — a long-sleeve Renzo Gracie academy rashguard with a blue band on one sleeve — started with Scott, and then went to (now purple belt) Buddy, Will, Big John, and Andrew, and now passes on to Adam.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big class last night. I counted 26 at one point, and I think a few more snuck in later.

We actually started with a warmup. First time in ages. Jogging, knees up, heels back, turning in, turning out, bear crawls. Circled up for jumping jacks, lunges, squats, sit ups, leg raises (? dunno what to call them — it’s almost like the triangle drill, except you just take your legs straight up, coming up on to your shoulders, and then straight out in front, just off the ground), pushups. So not too bad, but definitely haven’t done that in a while.

Rolling. Theresa then Chase. Drilling was a simple (ha!) hook sweep from butterfly. It’s something that Will and Tim are always telling me to do from butterfly, but not something I’ve ever seen isolated out like that, so I’ve never had any idea what they’re talking about. (Though now I know, so no more blank looks, I suppose, doh!)

Drilled with Blue Belt Buddy. Rolling again. Buddy first and then another guy. I sang “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and reminded myself to think of him like Evan. (Art of Learning, “Investment in Loss” chapter.) One or both of those worked, and I only freaked out a little — but recovered with the chorus — and mostly played my game and frustrated his.

One more kids’ class down

Kids’ Class

The twins were back tonight (I had some success at telling them apart tonight — one is taller, though I just have to remember which one is, and also have to have them standing near each other); their sister did class, too. Theresa and another boy came as well. Perry left me to handle the warmup, and the repeating kids were already asking if we could do some of the warmups exercises from last week, which were on the schedule anyway. I need to use more drills/exercises like that, that “hide” the jiu-jitsu drills inside something that seems fun.

Then we spent 5-10 minutes reviewing shrimping as a group, with me calling out which leg was up and when to go. Several of them were complaining because they claimed they already knew how to do it and wanted to do it on their own to make it go faster — and then I’d have to point out that they had just tried to shrimp to the wrong side, so obviously they did need some slow practice. We did that many, many times until they were doing it right on command about 90% of the time, and then I gave them a few runs on their own.

Drilling was scissor sweep from guard. We did this just the other night in the regular class, and I was glad to have it available to bring up for the kids so I could review it. We’re working from guard in here for the next month, and Justin’s taking us through some guard work in the regular class when he teaches, so I’m getting to see it first and then repeat it with the kids. (Makes me pay attention to how he’s teaching something, too.)

The three siblings made drilling harder because they don’t do so well together right now, but there’s no real way to separate them. Theresa and the other boy are a lot bigger, so I had them work together while I rode herd on the troublesome trio. Kids definitely have a shorter attention span. After drilling only a couple times each, the three were already becoming fussy and fidgety. I need to interject a drill-related (if possible) game here, and then maybe come back to drilling a few more times.

King of the Hill sparring to end. The smaller kids started complaining again after a little while that they didn’t like this game because they kept losing (even though they were actually winning some rounds — both Theresa and the other boy were letting them). So I’m trying to think of a way to get some positional-type sparring in with a time limit and rotation — I’ve got some ideas, but most seem to hinge on having more people. So, something to ponder. I do want them to have some live sparring, but not full-out rounds just yet.

Last week we didn’t seem to have enough time; this week, we had way too much even with dragging out shrimping. So I had them go back on the wall for more shrimping, on their own this time. I told them I didn’t care how fast they went; I just wanted them to do it right. One kid took me very seriously on that and went super duper slow. Well, I guess I deserved that. Then we had a request to do alligators. (Seriously? Are you kids messed up in the head? I don’t like alligators.) So, I had them do a couple trips of those. The slow shrimper finished up his second trip of shrimping as the rest were finishing up their alligators. However, he did do them right 95% of the time, and when he did them wrong, he immediately caught it and went back and did it right.

I think I need to add another set of exercise/drills in the middle of drilling and another here at the end. We can skip the last one if we’re running out of time, but I think switching movements and positions may help entertain the littler ones better.

All during class, I found myself repeating things that Tim or Justin has said during our classes. Like the “do it right” speech during shrimping at the end of class or “shrimping is the most important thing in jiu-jitsu” at the beginning. Lol, I guess some of that really has penetrated my brain.


Made it over to my nogi class right as Justin started on the technique — knee-up guard break and pass. I learned this move from rolling with him, actually, and used to harass Purple Belt Buddy with it (when he was a blue belt) until he asked Justin to teach it just so he’d know what it was and could start countering it, lol. (I was giving him fits on Saturday with another move that I learned that way, until he called Justin over to de-mystify it.)

Drilled with Theresa, then rolled with her. Then we had an odd number of guys, so I was going to sit out the round; I don’t know if someone left or what, but Justin came over to roll with me shortly after. He kept me moving fast. We had to bounce around a lot to find open space because everyone was rolling into us. He gave me lots of positions to attack. I need to keep my back straighter when sitting up in butterfly guard. If I try something and miss it, he generally repeats the same thing right back on me to show me how it’s done. (So sometimes I do things just so he’ll do it correctly.)

After class, I asked Will if I could drill just the passing part of the technique on him (I wasn’t sure if the rest of it would be too much on his knee, plus that’s the part where I have the most trouble — I can break the guard, but then I can’t go anywhere. Mostly a problem of pulling the trigger, I think.). He obliged, and then gave me some advice on using my head more and keeping pressure and no space throughout the entire pass.

Oh, also, Blue Belt Buddy said I felt like a 200-lb man last night. Squee!

One on One

Only me and Adam this morning. Loosened up, then rolled. We were expecting to have some people start this morning, but they didn’t show; he’d had something planned for a larger class, so he was stumped when it came to drilling. Said he was thinking back over our roll to see if there was anything really to work on, but said I was reacting correctly and doing everything right. (Hmm.)

Finally settled on attacking from the butterfly guard; my setup to armdrag is too obvious. So we worked on moving around, distracting, and feinting before hitting the armdrag somewhere in there — and, if they gave up something else, such as pressuring in and giving up an easy elevator sweep, to take that instead. Also, once you hit the armdrag and they react by sitting on their far hip: the near hip is light, so grab it and drive them over.

Then did a little specific sparring from there, me trying to sweep him and him resisting. He warned me that since he knew what I was going to do, he wasn’t just going to let me do it. A little bit of work, going here, going there; the armdrag appeared; he sat back on his hip; and boom! Drove him right over. He grinned and said he hadn’t done that on purpose. (Squee! Some jiu-jitsu has penetrated my brain!) Found a couple of other situations in there that needed some stopping and working out. One: if I go for elevator and he sits back, drop my outside arm to the outside of his far knee and drive forward (so taking him back at a 45-degree angle from the way he’s sitting), turning to drive toward the back if he bases with that far arm.

Talked throughout about the strategies I need to use against larger guys, mostly about thinking ahead and feinting. Get their larger weight committed against one move, then switch to another. Find the techniques, strategies, and details that work for me, and find what works against specific people. Even, be more forward-aggressive against the bigger guys, especially bigger guys that play defensively.

Dr. Tom tonight, then gi class.