BJJ Grrl

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

MMA class

Really small class tonight. All regulars, except for one random 14-year-old kid whose dad signed him up and left him there…

Shadow boxing with pushups (for the rest round), three rounds. Partnered up for pad work: jab/cross/clinch, then jab/cross/takedown. Then heavy bag work: 10 seconds blasting the bag, 10 seconds active rest. Don’t remember how many rounds. Then one long round of elbow situps, followed by several rounds of 10 seconds of knees on the bags with 10 seconds active rest. Back to the mat for shadow boxing with sprawls and single-leg shots. Then ball sprawls and medicine ball sprawls. Whew. Cardio workout and a half right there.

I think that was it. Fast paced and lots of lots of stuff, so I might’ve missed something.


The other girl who was training with us is not any more. Less said, the better. So it’s back to just me.


Shorts Update

Got an email from Amanda at FighterGirls today. She said she checked on the shorts, and that yes, they are being made smaller. So if you get shorts from there (and I do really like their shorts), you might have to order a size up and/or be prepared to exchange for another size. And she said my exchanges shipped today, so hopefully they’ll be here by next nogi class.


Job Hunt

Still no word from the company I interviewed with. But I submitted my resume to two more companies today. One, I could email; the other, I had to use an online form. But the online form spelled “Portfolio” incorrectly (Porfolio) in one of their headings on that page, so I stuck in a little P.S. to mention it…


Books

In my lazy optimism (i.e., assuming I’ll get a job tomorrow to start next week, so I never start anything), I’d even stopped reading. When I had dinner with my writing friend on Monday night, she asked me what I was reading… and I had to say nothing. And realized that that was silly — of course I can keep reading if I get a job. So I hit the library yesterday. Today I read Austenland by Shannon Hale (love Shannon Hale). It’s about a woman obsessed with Mr. Darcy/Colin Firth who gets a vacation to “Austenland,” a secretive theme park catering to women obsessed with Mr. Darcy and/or any other of Jane Austen’s heroes.

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Ouch and ouch

This morning, so stiff from climbing. Went down and walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, which helped, and then did 10/side bridging and threading the needle drills.

MMA tonight. Warmup, then straight to sparring. Going light with punches, kicks, and takedowns, trying to end every combination with a takedown. Then Tim put two of us in the ring while the rest of us did whatever he called out.

Two rounds of kicks only. I started getting fancy and TKD-ish, instead of focusing on doing the shin kick, and I kicked my partner in the elbow with my instep. Then in the next round, I kicked Scott in the knee with the exact same place on my foot. A big ol’ knot on my foot there. And I think I must have kicked my first partner with my other foot, too, because it has a knot as well.

Note to self: stop kicking with your feet. Thank you.

Then a round of jab/front hand only, and then a round of cross/back hand only.

The other girl and I went together in the ring. It was like last week’s, which means it was pretty good and pretty fun actually. I noticed that I’m backing up too much and trying to punch, which leaves my punches fairly weak with they hit; something to work on. Got the takedown and started working toward mount, but I stepped over too soon and too high, and she flipped me over and landed in my guard. Tried to sweep her but couldn’t; she stood up, and I locked in X-guard and swept her, but didn’t follow up fast enough, and she scrambled to her feet. More standup for a while, and then we clinched. Tim was trying to talk either of us into a sweeping-the-leg takedown, but neither of us could quite figure out what he wanted, and we ended the round there. He said it was a good round, though. 🙂

One more round on the mats of light sparring without takedowns. Then we finished with a round of shadow boxing and sprawling.

Icing both feet now. Ouch and ouch. Hopefully my brain will get the message and work on fixing this bad habit. (I know, it’s from 7 1/2 years of TKD [where it’s a good habit] so it’s probably going to take some time to rewire my brain. But I’m working on it.)

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Little bit of MMA

Watched the UFC fights last night. Saw the one guy’s arm get popped (ew). And today saw a picture of the guy breaking his own leg. Someone posted it on a forum with the title “Did you see this?” I was looking at the picture for nearly a minute, thinking, “I don’t get it, did I see wha — ew, oh, ew, blech!”

And had to listen to the dumb ref tell the guys to “work” and then standing them up or separating them when the one guy had back mount and was working. People who seem to know nothing about grappling shouldn’t ref MMA.


Small class tonight. Exams start tomorrow, which may explain it. Warmup was really light (just the around-the-mat drills and a few single legs). Then shadow boxing. Then we partnered up for the rest of the night. Jab-cross, slip, slip for the first round, then added shooting and grabbing, then added lifting. Then we did a few kicking drills (though after talking about the guy’s broken leg in UFC last night — he was the one doing the kicking — I was skeptical of leg kicks!). Finished up with shadow boxing + sprawls.

I got the guy who acts like it’s his first night. He’s done the MMA class and even the kickboxing classes for months now, but it’s still his first night every night. *sigh* I don’t get it, I really don’t, and I don’t know what to do when I work with him. Do I go light and slow and easy with him, since he doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing? I feel bad going full speed or full power, either in jiu-jitsu or in MMA; he just always seems so lost and confused.


Spin-the-wheel pizza after. No one won the free pizza, but both me and Scotty won a free zeppoli dessert. Had never had or heard of it before. They brought out two large brown paper bags and set them on the table. Scotty and I looked at each other, down at the bags, and back at each other. Then we both peeked inside and said, “Wow!” It’s like funnel-cake dough, fried in small pieces, and then dropped in powdered sugar. Shared the bags around the table; way too much for one person to eat. Now everyone wants to win that on the wheel instead of the free pizza!

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Oops, I did it again…

MMA class tonight.

Warmup and shadow boxing. Then partnered up to work a standing guard break and pass. Did that drill for a while. Worked with the other girl. I think we were both going a bit cautiously, as we didn’t know how much the other would or could take.

Next was body sparring with a partner. Started with the other girl; again going rather light. (Her head was wide open. I wanted to hit it. I didn’t.) Then Nick, and that’s just funny. I did hit a bit harder, but he was trying to hold me in for close work most of the time, so not much harder. (He and I figured out today that, together, we make 1 Greek. He’s 75%, I’m 25%. But I have a Yiayia, too, so he said that made me all Greek.)

Then a guy who’s name escapes me. Dropped the intensity again. Tim came over during that round and called me out for going too light. He said all the things I told myself two weeks ago: you’re not getting any better going light, and neither are the guys you’re going with; get over this “I don’t want to hurt him” thing; you’re not going to hurt them. Come on; pick it up. I nodded and tried not to smack myself upside the head for forgetting — and for forgetting that there’s competition now. He left and I looked at my partner, who had been standing right there. “You ready?” He nodded and we went off. So I was hitting harder, and so was he. A. Lot. Harder. (Remind me next time I’m told to turn up the intensity to be with someone who understands that his rate of change is greater than mine.)

One more round with a guy who thinks he hits hard. He kept pausing to make sure I was okay. Yep, just peachy. I was hitting better, but felt bad hitting him after a while because I’ve had a lot more stand-up training than he has, and he wasn’t getting away from anything. But, I didn’t back off; started trying to work specific kickboxing combos and to move my head and body better.

More partner drills. Jab-cross, shoot for double-leg takedown. Worked with the other girl again. Tim pointed out that my elbows are winging out again on takedowns. Gah, thought I had that fixed! (Then again, Adam pointed that out on the sweep Tuesday night, too. So, watch those elbows.) After a few trips down the mat on that, we spread out again for shadow boxing with sprawls to finish up.


There’s a “Spin the Wheel” night at a pizza place near the school. One of the squares is a free whole pizza. Justin and Adam were hoping I’d win that so they could make me eat the whole thing by myself. I said noooo, not doing that anymore; no more “how much can she eat?” I got 50% off, though, which worked just fine for me. Two slices was as much as I could handle.


Browsing links from other folks’ blogs today as a means to procrastinate job searching. (I do have chocolate, though, so I’ll get some emails out tomorrow.;) Found this post and the related comments oddly comforting. I’m not the first female to encounter the problems I am, and I’m not hitting anything that no one has seen before. As much as I focus on me, myself, and I, here & now, and act like a drahma queen about my issues (don’t lie; I know I do; even I want to choke myself out sometimes), there are other girls out there on the same journey. Some have been there before and are able to give a little guidance and encouragement to those of us just coming along now.


While bowing to the OCD and updating all my tags, I read back over my archives. (Geez, I write a lot.) Noticed that the same guys are still trying the same techniques on me: kimura, armbar, americano, guillotine. Few sweeps except the bump tackle. And that’s it. (I know I don’t name them when I’m annoyed with them, but I still remember who’s who. Freaky memory like that.) I’m reminded of the story Val Worthington told on her blog — sorry, I can’t seem to find it right now — about Carlos Gracie, Sr., and his student who only did ankle locks… and then the kid’s first tournament was against a double-leg amputee…. Just sayin’: if you only practice techniques that require overpowering someone, what do you do when you’re against someone who nullifes what you’re doing? I guess it’s possible they try other things against the other guys and just want to use their “A” game against me…? *shrug*

After I’d already written the previous paragraph, the earlier blog post about women in BJJ gave me a referral to another post about the interaction/etiquette between women and men in BJJ. I feel like printing out the “For the Men” tips and posting them in the guys’ locker room. Especially love that the tips for rolling with a female beginner/white belt and with a female higher belt are essentially the same.

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But I don’t want to hurt him…

Gah. The real problem, it seems, is inside my own head. Somehow I’ve gotten the idea that I’m a lean mean killing machine and am dangerous to let out of the house. Worried about putting my weight on the guys last night. Cautious in takedowns (of course, I don’t like them anyway, which doesn’t help, and is another mental hang up) and in stand up tonight. And the tune in my head was, “But I don’t want to hurt him!”

But then I stop and think about that. The guys who come to class are generally sparring with the other guys, most of whom have little to no idea of control or of working with your partner (rather than just trying to take his head off every punch). They’re probably not worried about little ol’ me knocking them out or being too heavy on them — or pulling a choke too tightly too quickly or any of the other little things I pull back on because I don’t want to hurt someone. And some, like Adam and Justin and Nick, have been training like this for years and can probably handle anything I’ve got.

Obviously, I don’t want to purposely hurt my training partners. That would drastically cut down on the number of willing training partners, for one thing. And for another, a lot of them are my friends now. But going too easy and not pushing them with my best sparring or takedowns (okay, there aren’t any of those yet) or grappling isn’t helping them any, either, and probably gets me less work in return as they ease back on me, too.

Trying to find that balance between “I don’t want to hurt him” (so I’ll go too easy) and “I’m gonna knock him out” (which generally entails me hurting me). Meh.

Anyway…


MMA tonight

Medium-size class, which was rather surprising since most of the students should be heading home for Thanksgiving break, but they were there tonight. Once again, there seems to be a schedule floating around for who comes which nights; more guys who haven’t been around in a while.

Warmup, then shadow boxing. Then partner drills. First, shoulder tag. Open palm touch to their opposite shoulder; they were trying to tag you back.

Then a jab drill. And to make sure we only used our jab, we could only put a glove on our jab hand. (Also kept people from switching stance.) Just jabbing, hitting anywhere. I started with a floater, a guy who hadn’t been to class in weeks, and I guess kickboxing class kicked in: I was only going for body shots on him. He hasn’t had any stand-up training except for what he’s had with us, and he moves awkwardly and drops his hands a lot, so I was just working with him. Then Tim stopped by and told me to start going for his head, too, and to actually hit him. Oh, okay. So I did, still just working around, though.

Second round of that, I worked with Micah, who’s had lots of Muay Thai. It was like sparring Perry — and all he had was the jab! He tagged me lots and lots.

Third round, with Justin. I think I was moving well, though my left arm was getting very tired. That’s also the shoulder that’s been bothering me for a few weeks, and it was trying to act up.

Then we put both gloves on to start takedown rounds. Six pairs of us, so only 3 went at a time. (Clunked heads on takedowns = bad.) Two rounds of that, one person doing takedowns and the other defending for half the round, then switching roles when Tim called out.

I got to work with Justin again, thank goodness. Still, my takedowns stunk. And my defense was hardly any good, either. Tim and Justin both stopped to work with me on my takedowns. My brain gets it, it does; I just can’t seem to do it. And I can’t do it as controlled as I’d like, so I was slamming Justin to the mat and feeling very bad about it. Bleh. Next week, most of the guys will probably be gone because of the holiday, so I’m seriously thinking of asking for takedowns work.

Last round was full MMA rounds, including ground ‘n’ pound if you got there. Still with Justin. Tim told me before our round to “turn it up” and “bring it.” Okay, okay. By this point, too, I’d already been thinking over some of the stuff I mentioned at the beginning of the post, so I was a little more willing to go a little harder. However, I did want to keep it standing because I know I have half a chance up there, while on the ground I’ve got nothing. I still need a lot of work on my stand up, but I think I was doing alright, and I was even remembering some things from kickboxing classes. Ha! We were both throwing leg kicks, too. Just for fun, when he was pulling out once, I threw a kick at head level; his eyes got wide. When Tim called out that there were 30 seconds left, Justin took me down so we could do a little ground and pound. I think I was keeping decent control on him and hitting him back from my guard.

It was actually past time for me to leave for TKD at this point (it had been time before that last round, but I did want to do it, so I stayed), but at this point I figured I might as well finish class. Five minutes of shadow boxing, sprawling when Tim called, “Hit it!” Made it, and then bolted to TKD.


Intermediate/advanced stripe testing, so I wasn’t in charge and I didn’t have anything to do. (Why did I even go? Probably because I’m feeling guilty, knowing that after Saturday’s test, I’m gone.)

Walking in to the gym, I had to go down a few stairs, and my right knee nearly gave out under me. Something is tweaky on the top, toward the inside. Painful when weight is put on it. I didn’t notice it during or right after MMA, though that’s the most likely place for doing something to it. Well, I’ve got a few days off, so I’ll ice it tomorrow and stay off it during testing, and hopefully it will be better by Monday.

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