“All the advantages, none of the crap”


The new location is having a lot of delays. The building wasn’t up to the current code (and possibly the previous tenant left things and/or did things that were not allowed, but which we now have to fix), and it seems as if there’s always something new that pops up. So as of right now, we don’t know when we’ll be in the new place; classes are still at the current location and on the same schedule.

Women’s Self Defense Seminar

On Wednesday night, Tim again helped out a women’s self-defense seminar. He also brought several of us in to help. The same lady from last time spoke about her sister’s domestic violence murder. (The story can be seen in the Dateline “Beauty and the Beast” episode.)

Justin showed two techniques, both against wrist-grabbing scenarios. He asked after the first one if anyone had any questions. A lady asked if it would work with a large height difference (since Justin was demonstrating on Tim, and they’re about the same height). So he had Andrew stand up — Andrew is quite a bit taller — and then, to really make the point, Justin knelt down. And still did it, lol.

Most of the women did not seem terribly interested in practicing the techniques many times. Two, three, four times — yeah, we got it. But they were very curious about jiu-jitsu and “what do you do if–?”

Vitamin D

There was an article on Mark’s Daily Apple last week about the benefits of working outside. Then this week’s post was “How to Work Outside Even if You’re a Desk Jockey”, and I was so tired of looking at beautiful summer days through the plate glass that I packed up my laptop and went to sit outside on the grass yesterday. When I came back in (because my battery was dying), my manager asked if I’d done that because of Mark’s post; when I said yes, he said he may start trying it, too. Heh.


Went in tonight. Short warmup. Still no side-to-sides for me while pushing off that leg, but I did do a trip on the alligators (just very slowly and carefully, just in case).

Drilling was a reverse kimura off Shawn Williams’ guard, or, as Justin introduced it, “All of the advantages, none of the crap” of rubber guard. (And the reason for SW over RG is that in RG, yeah, sure, they can’t move… but neither can you; you lock your hips in place in order to lock them down. But in SW guard, because your hips have moved out first, you get the same control and yet keep your mobility. Also, no twisting of the knees. Huzzah!)

Then the class moved on to rolling. I was prepared to sit out, but Justin decided to sit out and keep time, so then there was an odd number, so I jumped in. Yeah, booooy! Got a couple of good rolls. (Also, Holy Cats! I don’t have any cardio, lol!) Still no bridging. Having people on my back sucks because I can’t really use my legs to get out. No butterfly guard, either. But, hey, it’s rolling. It’s moving. It’s almost jiu-jitsu. I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

Moving Day

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but Aubrey will be moving in to my spare bedroom tomorrow.

It’s here!!!

It Starts With Food.

My weekend is spoken for. πŸ™‚

So much squee!

My face and neck feel — and look — like they’ve been rubbed with sandpaper.

My legs and arms have mat- and velcro-burns all over them.

I’ve had “choke cough” for a few hours.

I’ve been grinning for hours: I could drill and even roll tonight!!

Part of it was the technique — it didn’t involve much in the way of knees themselves. Justin had us build a sequence of kimura from guard, to guillotine, to crucifix sweep. My knee only twinged a few times, and that’s because I’d plant the toe to pop my hips. Did not like.

Heh, being choked was… weird. As soon as there was any pressure, I was ready to tap, but I tried to tough it out until my partners could actually do it.

I watched everyone roll once while I kept the knee moving. It seemed to be feeling okay, so after the round I went over to Guillaume to see what I could do. We didn’t roll for long — maybe 5 minutes — and I did have to stop and shift a few times or rescue my leg from a position that was getting uncomfortable, but it was rolling!! I went for the sequence from class because it was there; he stuffed it and teased that he wouldn’t let me get what we just did. But then a minute or so later, from a slightly different setup, I hit that crucifix sweep anyway. (I admit, I did tease him back, lol.)

Also, I have no idea what my brain has been doing over the last 1.5 months, but it was pulling out crazy inverted stuff, passing & pressure, sweeps and transitions. I was kind of nice, almost like I remembered some jiu-jitsu!

We finally had to stop because I tweaked it a bit hard once when my foot forgot that we weren’t supposed to be doing annoying hooky thingies and tried to do something cute that wrenched the knee. And even though I wanted to keep going and ignore the pain, I figured it was probably smarter to have a little today and build on that rather than set myself all the way back to the beginning by being the tough chick. (Hey, I might be growing up. Maybe. Just a little.)

Home to some ice, just in case. I’ll still be out tomorrow — I have a HUGE list of chores that need to be done around the house — and I’ll be out Monday to pick my cousin up from the airport. But I’m thinking I could get back to full-time training pretty soon here…

Missing the signs

Whoa, 3 nights off from BJJ? In a row? Feels like I’ve stumbled in to someone else’s life.

Went to get my hair done last night. My stylist wanted to do blonde highlights. However, my last color was a copper, and some of the color was still hanging around. So my hair turned pink…. Dude, not cool. She put a darker all-over color on it to cover the pink, though it also colored the blonde that was in. She said that the overall color will fade out in the next few weeks and the highlights should show through properly. Also, I’m leaning very strongly towards growing my hair out, so she actually didn’t cut anything, just styled it differently. I really like it this way; now I just have to remember how she did it!

Sent Andrew a text last night that I would miss morning class. Was a good thing, too, as another storm rolled in and battered my windows. I knew there was another reason I needed to miss the morning class, but couldn’t remember what it was. Found out when I got to work — 9am meeting. Oh. Crap. And I’m late…

Fundamentals Class, nogi

Several new guys: the guy I grappled last Friday, a guy who came a few times several months ago, and a brand-new guy — as well as one guy who just watched the whole class. They came in all at once, so I didn’t notice who came in with whom. (This will be important later.) A larger number of regulars for a Friday, too. Short warmup, then to drilling. A step-around guard pass, then added to knee-on-belly to north/south kimura, then added transitioning to the far-side tuck-knee armbar.

Drilled initially with Guillaume, then with the brand-new guy, who was wearing a “UFC” shirt. Maybe it was the shirt that first put me off, but my brain decided to assume that he had no training. And then when he did some things wrong in the drilling — like no pressure in KoB and going straight to the can-opener from KoB even though that’s not what we’re drilling — my brain decided to take these as further proof that he had no mat experience. (The can opener should have been my second clue that I was, in fact, quite wrong. The first was who he came with.) Drilled for the whole class.

Open Mat

Open Mat was actually structured tonight, with timed rounds & rest and most partners being picked (largely for the 3 new guys).

I was paired with the new guy I had drilled with. I sat down ready for maybe 50%, maybe 70%, intensity. (I don’t know why, exactly — I had gotten up to the right mindset last week when I knew nothing about the guy. Possibly because I wasn’t in as much pain as last week [whereas then I knew I would have to work hard to defend the injured parts], and possibly because I’d had those 3 nights off [and so thought I had a lot of energy to spare].) We slapped hands and he went for a fist bump. Some part of my brain started frantically trying to get my attention with that detail. But then he asked how did we start, from guard or from just wherever. (More brain frantically trying to get my attention. He said “Guard!” He knows guard! All ahead full! All ahead full!) I said, “Just wherever.” Then, because he’s asked a basic question about how to begin a round, my intensity & engagement with the upcoming round plummeted, despite all the warning bells.

(I know better, of course. New guys do not like having to roll with the girl first thing. I know this. I’ve lived this several times before. New guys who know nothing go bananas when seated across from a tiny girl. New guys who sneakily do know something come out 210% with all their cheap tricks.)

As I later found out, he trained with the guy I grappled last week. (At least he didn’t just learn it from watching UFC, as I for some reason began to fear during the round. Now that would have been embarrassing.) His game was different — a tighter top game and some knowledge of half guard and of leg attacks — and far more difficult to deal with, especially as I was also trying frantically to roust all the intensity-related pathways to come back online. (Although, like his friend, he does some basic things terribly wrong, as they’ve never been taught quite right. This, folks, is the difference a real Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor makes.) So the round was mostly me scrambling to catch up to this athletic guy (though going for far more submissions and sweeps than I ever used to against such a fellow).

Couple more rounds, with Guillaume (who had been mocking my new hair style all night and so was due for a beating), Eamon, and Rob. Hit that pass from Emily on all three at least once. Eamon was tricksy tonight, though, opting for an active open guard, which made finding that sweet spot a little more difficult.

Anyway, was relieved at the end of class to see that this new guy and the one from last week had come together. So that means that he does have training time. And from the round, probably plenty. Okay, good, I did not just nearly get my clock cleaned by an “I train UFC”er. He actually does have some experience.


Been steaming for a few days over a couple of “women in BJJ” forum posts. So to distract me from the scathing replies I’ve written (and deleted), here’s a couple of women-related BJJ stories:

  • While rolling with Laura at the Open Mat last week, she asked me how much I weighed and commented to Chrissy that I was so little. Of course, I was thinking, “Awesome, a girl who’s just my size!” Apparently not. Seriously, I think my eyes + brain is broke….
  • Aubrey and I had lunch earlier this week. She said that she actually had had no idea what BJJ was before she started. She had asked me if class “would be awkward.” I replied that yes, it sometimes can be, but that really it’s only as awkward as you make it. She let it go at that, and said she told herself that since I did this, it couldn’t be too bad. Then when she got to class that first night, she said she almost freaked out at what BJJ turned out to be. That whole first week she kept thinking, “OMG! Leslie does this?!!” Seems her version of “awkward” was based on the two TKD classes she had gone to in college, in which everyone had to stand up and introduce themselves and then “perform” what they learned at the end of the night. My version of “awkward” was something entirely different!

Pass the caffeine IV

Ugh, it was one of those days when I could hardly function. Probably mostly due to the cold, gloomy weather, but still. Goodness.

My left ankle, for no good reason, decided last week that it wanted to start hurting. I noticed as the sheets fell across it while getting in to bed one night. Wait, you don’t hurt during training or for hours afterwards, and you suddenly decide to hurt when touched by a sheet? Goofy thing… My right knee is also suddenly aching. So I’m pretty much limping on both legs right now. 😦

Fundamentals, BJJ, and BJJ

Classes bled in to each other again.

Warmup: pretty much a repeat of this morning’s (though now with extra pushups and burpees). Drilling: Bump sweep. Then added the kimura, guillotine, and triangle off it. Drilled with Buddy and later with Ed, too. Then a quick partner drill where the guy on the bottom goes for the bump sweep, and the partner has to decide which variant to feed them (full sweep, kimura, guillotine, or triangle). Then rounds of rolling started. With Ed, Buddy, Brandon, Ratcliffe, and Trey. Then 20 burpees to make sure we were really dead.

It started sleeting just a little while ago. Do not like. 😦

Monday morning, January 9, 2012

I was having a great dream this morning in which I was waking up on Sunday morning… only to finally realize, when my alarm went off, that it was in fact Monday. Crud, no sleeping in.

3 total this morning, so short warmup, then a set of round-robin rolling. Drilled taking the back to choke from s-mount. Then 2 more rounds of round-robin rolling.