If I had a time machine, I would…

…go back somewhere quiet and take a nap. And then come back here and keep going.

The topic came up at work as part of a multi-tasking discussion. And my first response was “I need more sleep,” which probably says a lot about how tired I am right now. Hmmm…

Once I got to class, though, I changed my answer. If I had a time machine, I would go back to last night’s class and wait through half the kickboxing class to when they were doing light sparring on the mat, and then when the idiot kid who doesn’t want to lose to a girl throws a spinning heel kick and hits the new BJJ girl in the head on her second night of kickboxing with the regular class, I would have separated his head from his body.

Justin and Brandon were there. Said she went out cold. When she came to, she was hyperventilating and crying. Took a while to get her calmed down and taken care of. Had a lump on her jaw where he hit her. She didn’t come back tonight.

It’s a good thing I don’t have a time machine.

He was thoroughly chewed out by the assistant instructor, was worked over good by one or two of the good kickboxers, and will probably get both from Perry next week; his football coach has been told (the assistant instructor’s wife is a teacher at his school) and was not happy; and nearly all the BJJ guys know and are not happy. (Several warmed up before class by knocking the snot out of the heavy bags, which they don’t normally do.)

Oooo, makes me so mad!

(I suppose a time machine would also allow me to step in and stop her from getting kicked in the first place, which might be a better scenario all around.)

Tech (maybe Radford, too) is on break starting tomorrow, so most everyone probably left today. Small class, though several came in at or after the start of class, so we ended up with more than we thought we’d have. Short and easy warmup, though I was once again exhausted so quickly. Only one run on squat jumps (lost my squat jump mojo, pooh) and on forward/backward rolls.

Rolling. With Will. Couldn’t pass his open guard. Then under side control and half guard and completely ineffective on everything. Then with Adam. Didn’t matter what I’d try, but he’d do something — no clue — and catch a neck crank. Oww. Then went with Guillaume for a round. During and afterward, he asked if I was okay, said he expected to have to work a lot harder than that while rolling with me. Trying to cheer me up. So tired I thought I’d break down crying on the mat, and for no reason that I know of except that I’m tired.

Drilling. Standard guard break and pass first.

Then this other thing. It made perfect sense when Justin showed it — start like a half guard, with one hook in, but sitting up and going as if you’re doing the elevator sweep. When they whizzer, bring your hand in front of their chest, grab their whizzered wrist, and chicken-wing down on it. Now shoot like you’re going Old School, continuing the roll to bring them across and over. Pass to side control. — but I absolutely could not get my body to do it. My brain knew what was going on but just could not get anything down to my body. Adam even tried showing it to me several more times, and I just could not do it. Nearly cried again.

More rolling. An odd number, and both Justin and Adam were going to roll, so I went to sit out, but then Adam waved me in to roll with his partner. One of the “MMA guys.” One of the ones I avoid. No, really, I’ll sit. I’m tired and moody and cranky– Oh, fine, fine. Could not get off my back again, holding on with half guard or hooks. At one point, he tried to fling his legs up and over to the other side; I caught half guard. He laughed and said that he wanted to try it, that Tim always tells him not to try to jump like that; I said that well, that’s why. His arms are more than long enough to wrap around me in any position, so often he’d just bear-hug and squeeze. When I didn’t tap (because it didn’t do anything), he’d laugh and say that he had no idea what he was doing. Yeah, I noticed.

While I was rolling with this guy, a new wrestling guy was trying to bum-rush Justin. Last night, this guy rolled with Tim and started throwing elbows; caught Tim in the eye, lots of bleeding then, lots of bruising today. Tonight, I heard this guy choking a lot as he tried to outlast submissions.

Next round, this guy comes after me. I tried to get out again, but Adam sent me right back in. *pout* I no likey youse guys no more. He was slower at first with me than he had been with Justin, but he got frustrated very quickly when he couldn’t pass my half guard or, when he finally did after slamming me around, when I’d recover to half guard or butterfly, and then he started trying to slam me around even more. I guess he was trying some wrestling holds on me, because he’d pretzel me around pretty good and then squeeze, but none of it was ever threatening at all. Sit there a moment to find the open side and then pop out, easy peasy. Wish I’d had energy to sweep him or even submit him, but was just floppy. Wanted to try the sweep from tonight, if my brain could work it out, but he must have heard that elbow-in-throat is the way to go. Meh.

Also, I’ve ripped off a good portion of my left big toe nail (ouch); the middle toe on my right foot is doing funky things; my back hurts (I know, that’s bad); my ribs hurt from the floppy guys; and I have more bruises than usual everywhere. The smart, intelligent, and sane response would be to take a break. Instead, while I’m not going to Open Mat tomorrow (might not be anyone there anyway), I am going in early on Saturday.

Funky Open Mat

We’d basically stopped have Open Mat on Fridays because both Tim and Adam were working through the class time, but Will started asking a few weeks ago if anyone was coming in on Fridays. I said I would that first week, but then got cooties and had to sit out for two Fridays. I agreed to met up with Will today, though.

Funky Friday first, though. Overslept and got to work late, but was still there before everyone else. Nothing to do, really, except push some commas around. Then lunch out, and I ate more than any other person at the table, and I’m by far the smallest. (And that was added on top of pizza last night after practice. Oy!) Sluggish and icky all afternoon, with more comma pushing. Finally left early and went to harass my brother at work before heading over for Open Mat.

Perry was starting up his kickboxing class as we were starting. Somehow the topic of guys who don’t stick with jiu-jitsu came up, and he said that there have been about 100 guys since January who have tried out jiu-jitsu and not come back.

Me and Will, and then a guy who hasn’t been in class for a while showed up, too. He came prepared for nogi; Will and I busted out the gis, though, so he eventually changed. I rolled with Will first, and it was one big funk after another. Where do my hands go? Why am I stuck here again? How do I get out of this? What the blazes am I even doing? Ugh, ugh, ugh. He had many opportunities to finish me, but would instead move on. He finally stuck with a D’Arce and eventually finished it. Round was probably 15 – 20 minutes.

Then Will and the other guy rolled for the rest of the time. The guy was spazzing and muscling and jerking and straining — and completely out of breath within 10 seconds — while Will was just relaxed. The guy got Will’s back and was trying to RNC him, though Will defended for a few minutes while the guy continued to fling his legs and arms around. And then he suddenly tapped when Will caught the ankle lock on him.

I’d been meaning to make a comment about how great it is when your former skinny jeans are now your fat jeans. (Oh, yeah, totally nice.) However, with Spin-the-Wheel pizza last night and Mike’s Grill at lunch today, I might need a larger size for a while…

This has to be the most evil website ever invented. It consumed my entire morning of billable hours. (Not that I had anything to do, though.)

Most days…

Most days, I leave class and tell myself, It’s okay; you don’t have to go back. We’ll find something else to do. And I wrestle with that decision the whole way home, through dinner and showering, through writing posts, and until I fall asleep. Usually by the morning I’ve forgotten, and I pack my bag again and head off to work and then to class, not thinking about it again until some time during class when I’m crushed under side control or mount or dragged or flipped into someone’s back mount and my defense is getting blasted through and my brain starts screaming What is wrong with you? Why do you do this to yourself every night? You’re crazy! Add in incompetence, weakness, and mistakes on my part, and I’m almost in tears by the end of class. Time in the dressing room to recollect myself a little. Lately I’ve been leaving after class instead of staying around for after-class conditioning or eating because I have such a tenuous hold on my emotions.

Often it’s only a combination of a faulty short-term memory and a stubborn streak a mile wide that gets me back in there.

I just want to get better at jiu-jitsu. I want to be competent out on the mats. And I feel as if I’m not. And I feel as if I won’t. That this beginner, white belt, sloppy & floppy level and I will be forever friends, that I’m stuck in some low-level jiu-jitsu existence where no one will just be straight and tell me that some people just aren’t made for jiu-jitsu and that maybe I’m one of them. I’m frustrated with myself: I give me lots of mat time, lots of jiu-jitsu internet and book time, lots of brain time, and nothing seems to improve. If anything, it seems to get worse.

Don’t mind me. I’ll have forgotten about it by the morning.

Before class, Clifton was trying to remember the stuff that Renzo showed on Saturday to show Justin. I got dragged in to help jog his memory. Then Justin and Clifton started rolling. Nick started talking about rolling, so I dragged him in to the ring, too, and we played around before class. We were still rolling when Justin hollered for everyone to find a partner. We slid out of the ring and finished the round on the mat. (One of the big smashy guys tried to slide in and roll with me; I said Nick and I were still in the middle of a round.) At least I got to warm up without having to be on the alert for someone trying to hurt me.

Rolled with a white belt next. Spent the round defending under side control and mount. And having my head sat on.

On to drilling. First we just worked the double-under pass from last night again. Then Justin showed the wrestler’s cradle escape, for once the guy has passed to side control.

Drilled with a qhite belt. Then rolling with him. He started off with the “wrestler head squeeze,” which was the first technique Renzo taught a counter to at Karate College. Got the position, though had to work to keep him from rolling (so anyone else would’ve been out); had some trouble setting up the armbar but I think I finally got it. (He said last night, when he tapped because he couldn’t escape, that he’d rather tap when he can’t get out or if he thinks fighting to get out will get him hurt — which is exactly as he ought to do… only I’m now left with the feeling that he’s not tapping because I have it right. *sigh*) Mostly held down the rest of the round. Did have one sweep to mount, though I don’t remember what, but was swept right back over.

Last round with another white belt. Under side control. Did manage to snag a half guard when he tried to jump to guard, but that was the extent of anything. He was trying to catch a D’Arce, I think — hand placement seemed right — but it came out more as a neck crank, and it hurt. He also sat on my head a lot.

Tomorrow is Nick’s last day for a while. He graduated, but hasn’t found a job down here yet and his parents won’t keep paying his rent. So he has to go home on Thursday until he either gets a job here or gets in to grad school at Tech. Here’s hoping he’s not gone long.

We did get a little more information about Adam’s fight. Apparently the other guy was a nervous wreck. He’s also been on the card at Adam’s last two fights, especially the last one where Adam fought a guy who weighed in at 170 lbs (and weighed a lot more come fight time). So he called the promoters on Friday, right before Adam and Justin were to head over to the sauna, and said he was backing out.

Some of us are definitely going down to the NAGA NC on July 11th. (I still need to register. Slacker.) I’m not sure yet who’s going up to Richmond for the Submission Only, though.

Work-Related Stories

Warning: LOLcat links ahead

Technical Support

I left last night during a conference call that three of the guys were having. This morning I get to hear the details. They were working out final details for a website that was set to go live last night, and they had the previous hosting company and the new hosting company on two difference phones. The new company was basically making stuff up about why they couldn’t do certain things. The customer service lady at the previous company was interrupting and yelling at my coworkers before they could get a word in. They had to ask her several times to not interrupt them so they could tell her what they needed help with.

They were assuming she’d had a bad day and were trying to be polite. She put them on hold for some reason, except she forgot to mute her microphone or something because they could hear every word she said. And she apparently turned to the lady next to her and had a normal-voice, non-ticked-off conversation about her sister’s wedding. When she came back on the line, she switched back to evil you’re-ruining-my-life lady.

Strong up here

“Gotta be strong up here,” Tim said, tapping his head. I nodded. I know. First roll picked up right where Saturday left off. He intercepted me after that one. He assured me again that I’m rolling fine and really am doing well, and he promised he would tell me straight if I wasn’t. Alright, I do believe him. I can do this.

By the end of the night, I was somewhat collected. I think maybe I was just more resigned to getting mashed and ripped and overpowered, but at least I wasn’t near hyperventilating again. That’s when it’s worse: I get upset about being upset, and then I’m really done. By the end of the night, I was still upset, but I wasn’t upset about being upset. And in case you hadn’t guessed, I have a terrible poker face.

(You know, though, there is one good thing about the excuse “I’m just a girl and they’re all stronger than me” — it doesn’t give me a reason to quit. So many guys come through, get their butts handed to them, and leave. I get mine kicked, but I’m just a girl so of course they whipped me, so I have no way out based on that; me losing is logically justified. So I’m stuck; I have to keep coming back. =P Anyway…)

Humongous class tonight. Some without gis because they’re just getting back after break and didn’t yet know we’d switched to more gi classes. Warmup… eh. Shorter, but somehow harder. Oh, and then the end — we circled up, all along the edges of the mat, and laid on our stomachs. You had to jump up and start hopping over everyone around the circle; after you finished hopping, you had to post up on your hands and feet to form a high bridge (and you had to hop over people who’d already assumed that position). Then you had to army crawl under everyone and go back to the same position until everyone finished. It was just one after the other, as fast as you can go. And holding that bridge is not as restful as it seems it might be.

One round of rolling. Got the new guy who’d trained previously. He finally figured out that he doesn’t have to muscle me around everywhere, so while I tapped a lot, it was to real stuff and technique. The previous times I’d rolled with him, he’d been ripping everything every which way. Did get frustrated because I couldn’t escape anything and couldn’t defend worth anything, though, and that’s what Tim called me on.

Drilling was another pair of standing guard breaks. Drilled with Adam and Justin, so lots of help.

Rolling again. Nick first, and he let me play and climb all over him. Thanks, man. Then TKD Mike, Will, and the new guy again. Defense. Tapping a lot to the new guy, even though my defense felt the same as the previous two rounds. Not sure why yet. Tried to think, “Ok, I want to pull guard” on resets or “Standing guard pass” when they’d pull guard on me instead. Never worked except when Nick let me. (But Tim said the other day, when we started this standing guard pass series, that he wanted us all to do them more and he didn’t care how many times we failed; he wanted us trying. So I’m trying.)

No climbing after; Mexican instead. Rather glad, as my left arm/hand is still giving me fits and tingling, so not sure how it would do holding me on a wall. Started acting up tonight somewhere in the last three rolls. Tried just to go to the other side and not use that one as much.

Talked to a friend I’ve known since middle school today. He used to be a lawyer. I asked him about being a patent agent, and he agreed that it would be a good career for me. So a little more researching this week, and trying to see if there’s anyone else I know to talk to, and then there’s a good chance I’ll add studying for the patent bar to my To Do list.


I need to adjust mine. Getting all emotional and angry and frustrated and all that mess. Not good for the jiu-jitsu. Need a check up from the neck up, as my pastor says. Forget working on anything else for a while; this gotta get fixed.

Not a good day. One of those days you want to have another shot at — or just give up on it altogether and go back to sleep. Couldn’t do anything right, and that was just on the warmup and the drills, nevermind rolling. There were goals before class, but none of them happened at all.

Small class. Warmup was longer (the newer guy puked). Did okay for the first half, keeping up with the guys, but got behind toward the end. Circled up for a few more things. Then we drilled threading the needle and going for the single on the near leg. Partnered up, but the partner wasn’t in tight; they were just for reference. Worked with the new guy because no one else wanted to after he’d thrown up. Lovely, thanks, guys. You’d think all the practice I’d been doing on this would help, but no, my brain blanked out and did it wrong most of the time, which led to the entire class having to drill it singley and then together again.

Then we rolled. I got to start with the new guy. Once again, new guys make the regular guys who mash seem gentle by comparison. Absolutely refused to tap to several I have nothing but I’m squeezing anyways, even though I couldn’t breathe and my face was getting smashed. Lots of me getting picked up and tossed over. Lots of me wanting to punch and elbow; haven’t done that in a while. Bad. Tried to breathe and calm down, but it never happened.

Next round with Will, and I couldn’t keep up. Couldn’t get my hips out, couldn’t keep my elbows in, couldn’t prevent anything. He got to full mount once and swept me to his guard, and I couldn’t do a thing about it. In several rolls the last few weeks, he’s gotten to a position from which he could easily pry up an arm and try to finish something, and instead of continuing to work or even switch to something else, he just steps off and resets. There may be a perfectly valid reason that has nothing to do with me at all — and I don’t ask because my cranky attitude is making up more stories instead — but I feel patronized. And stupid. And I hate being made to feel stupid.

Then with Perry, and he was moving slowly and using just his weight and one grip on my sleeve, and I still had nothing.

Drilled again, standing guard pass with two ending variations. Drilled with Perry. Having all sorts of issues. Had to get a near private lesson from Tim — took a very, very long while — to get that first pass.

Then more rolling. Will again. Same as before. Then Tim. He was playing distance; I wanted in. He won. Tried to move faster. Felt slower. Gah.

He told me again after class that I’m doing fine — good, even — and don’t need to get frustrated. But I feel as if I’m making no progress when I can’t do anything while rolling (and, sometimes, drilling). I spend so much time attempting the same escapes, miserably defending the same submissions, trying to cling to even a few things to do right, and feeling so often as if I’ve done nothing but flop around. He said he thinks I’d do well against another girl, but I wonder instead if I wouldn’t get owned there, too. And I want to do well against the guys. There’s not “girl jiu-jitsu” and “boy jiu-jitsu.” And then there’s the point about technique triumphing over strength. I know it can; I just can’t figure out how. He said I need to have confidence in my technique, and from Saulo’s advice, I should have sky-high confidence right now. Instead, I have none. Seriously, right now, zilch, zero, nada. … But maybe that’s a good thing. I can’t go any lower. Back to square one, mentally anyway. *le sigh* We can rebuild her…

Sorry, pity party mostly over now. There’s something about jiu-jitsu that gets in more personal than anything else I’ve ever done. Digs in to parts of my life I thought were under control and drags out all the things I still need to work on, like not getting frustrated when things I don’t go my way. (At least I’m past the temper tantrum stage. Mostly.) I still have a lot of work to do on my insides, though.

Adam entered the ProJitsu tournament up in Dover. He lost in the first round, 1-0. The other guy got a takedown and then laid on him. Pfft.