Good pops?

Yesterday, the knee was doing so well and staying so quiet that when Justin called for us to jog it out, I forgot all about it and automatically jumped right in line with everyone else. I didn’t even realize until partway through the first lap! And when I did realize, I did a little happy jump as I jogged. Hurray, progress! However, when they continued with the normal sequence — knees up, heels back, side-to-side — I continued to jog. (Well, I did try the knees up, but the knee said that was too much impact, so back to jogging.) Baby steps, baby. Did what I could on the rest of the warmup, including forwards and backwards rolls, though I was careful to land without the knee bent, which, fyi, is totally awkward and weird.

Despite my care, though, by the end of the warmup my knee was aching; this time, on the inside rather than the outside as it usually has been.

Drilling reviewed the side control escape from Monday. This time, I did rotate in and get reps, and even tried one or two using the injured knee as the lead. On my first or second rep, as I recomposed guard, my right knee went pop! There was a stunned, anxious moment as Jen and I looked at each other and then at my knee. She was so worried that I’d hurt it again — but actually, this pop was a good pop, in that it relieved whatever pressure had built up during the warmup. My knee actually felt loose and happy after that for the rest of class, and it hasn’t hurt in that same spot since. (Got a little achy last night, but in the same way that it gets achy every night.)

They moved to sparring rounds for the second class. I stayed for a few minutes to watch the new, big collegiate wrestler. In his second round I saw him deliberately pull guard and try to work from there. !!!!!! So there’s likely hope for this one.

I will not roll, I will not roll…

!!!! I got to class last night, and the knee felt — nothing. No pain. No ache. No twinges. Nothing. !!!!


But — I decided to be a smart, sensible, intelligent adult (yes, that’s a huge stretch for me) and relegated myself to the injured reserve again. Even when they started off with flow rolling for half an hour. Wanted so badly to be out there, but made myself sit. Well, stand & sit, actually, as I followed after whichever pair I felt would have the best jiu-jitsu to watch.

Then drilling was a slick half-guard pass to back take that I’d watched Tim do earlier on Tyler. I could do that just fine passing to the right… well, “fine” except that’s my stupid side, so it was all sorts of ugly. I did not try going the other way, even though the knee was not giving any negative feedback. Just trying to be smart. I could even let Gwen pass to both sides, either pinching my knee down or cutting over that leg. Progress!

I was given grief last night for not coming to morning classes this week. I pointed at my knee, and Andrew said, “But it’s drilling. And it’s half guard this month.” Hrm. Well. I could… yeah, I might could do that. Hrm. I’ve started to love having my mornings again, buuut… So there may be some pre-caffeine training starting up again next week.

Now that I’ve signed up for all the job board sites, I get lots of spam/recruiter emails. Here’s one from today:


I’m so glad to know that they care deeply about me as an individual (which, hilariously, is one of their selling points for why I should want to work for them).

WordPress is being weird about publishing this morning, ugh…

I shrimped!

Heh, it’s been so long since I wrote a post that I’ve almost forgot how…

I went back to class last night after 2 weeks off. I wanted to see what my knee would do, though I was also determined to be very cautious with it so that I didn’t injure it further. And it did wonderful. I didn’t wear a brace because I wanted to feel where the issues were. I’ve been testing it out at home, and it’s already way ahead of the knee injury last year. It doesn’t quite like being fully pulled in, heel to butt, but even without being warmed up well I can almost kneel on it (less than a finger’s distance), and by the end of the night I could fully kneel, though it did give a little token “Hey, I’m injured down here” protest. (The other one couldn’t bear to be in that position.)

And I shrimped. At the end of class, I did some bridging work, which I’ve been working on for the last week (no pain!), so I decided to just see how the shrimping might go. And it worked! Missing the last few inches, but it was a pain-free shrimp. The other knee took a full month before it let me shrimp.

I did the bits of the warmup that I could. Then they partnered up to work side control escapes, so I sat by Jen and the new girl and helped if needed. Mostly I practiced kneeling. I did do a couple of reps, using the new “good” knee to feed inside, but my body was very aware that it was supposed to be protecting a knee, and I think it was getting confused because it used to protect the other knee. So everything was all sorts of awkward.

Then they did specific sparring rounds, so I was smart and just sat. The first class carried over right over to the next class, and they kept up with the specific sparring rounds, which finally culminated in gi drags. So I alternately sat and stretched out my leg.

So, good, able to come back in. Won’t be too long, I’m thinking, until I’m back to everything. 🙂

US Grappling’s 100th Event – June 22, 2013, Richmond, VA


  • 6 matches. Lost all 6 by submission.
  • Heel-hooked in first Advanced match. Knee popped. The “good” knee.
  • Americano cranked in first gi match. Elbow popped.
  • Weight cutting: no weight lost. Stayed exactly the same. Pfft.
  • “Operation: Be More Assertive” was a no go: I scored 0 points.

Advanced Nogi

Because I’ve been training for over 5 years, I’m now in the Advanced division.

Weight class

Leah from Fifty/50:

The one thing I did not want to happen in the Advanced division was a heel hook. The first thing that happened was… a heel hook. (And yes, I do absolutely see exactly how I just handed it to her. I finally got my sweep, but at what cost?) She didn’t crank it, but I still heard and felt my knee pop before I could tap. That is my right knee, the one that had the LCL sprain a few years ago. This is not an encouraging way to start the day…


Megan from Fifty/50:

I was absolutely not going to let her near my legs. So instead I jumped right in to her triangle. There might be a flaw in this plan… I could only just wiggle the tips of my fingers on the arm that was trapped, so I kind of had to squeeze her leg a few times to tap; the pause at the end is her pulling back to ask if that was a tap, and me saying that it was.

Third place match, Leah again:

Andrew had already pointed out that I should not be trying de la Riva and other hook stuff in nogi, so I was trying very hard not to.

Blue Belt

Weight class

Laurie from BETA:

I nod a lot in this match, because I’m hearing what Justin is saying but am half a step behind in the execution, so I’m nodding to say that I’ll do it next time. She had an americano with her legs and bridged hard, which popped my elbow. So I had to sit around with an ice pack (and a handy tourniquet to hold it on that Justin fashioned out of my belt) until the next match.

Melanie from BETA:

She had a death grip on my sleeve in the opening minute, and at one point had stretched my gi so far that my arm, fully extended, was only around the normal elbow point. At the end here, I didn’t actually tap; I was posting in reaction to her kicking me in the head trying to get me over for the omoplata. But the ref thought that I did because I had posted twice in a row. So, yeah…


Michelle from Dave Trader:

I knew what was coming every step along the way, but I could do nothing about it. That was in tight and deep and fast. Lol, air-tapping because I couldn’t think or move fast enough to find a surface to tap on, and the lights were gonna go out fast.

My elbow was stiff & aching since the moment it was popped and kept that up all day. But it seems to be fine and will recover in a week or two. The knee… it felt “off” all day long, and became increasingly stiff, with some areas of pain, as the day went on. I spread on the Tiger Balm after my matches. (Lol, and then as I walked through the venue, I heard people saying, “Dude, what is that smell?!” “Wow, that smells like a lot of Tiger Balm!” Yeah, hi, that’s me.)

I am so very disappointed in myself. I couldn’t even score a single point. I did nothing about takedowns. I couldn’t do anything that even resembled grappling. My brain was only working in half-finished sentences, getting so fixated on the first half of something and completely neglecting the second. Thank goodness Justin and Andrew were there to coach me, or it would have been even uglier than it already was.

And now my other knee might be messed up. Last night I had to sleep with the most restrictive brace on it because any small movement was painful. It’s just so frustrating. I finally get to the point where I’m not worried about training after the first knee and I’m starting to work on being assertive and not just passive, and now this. All I want to do is curl up somewhere and cry.

Well, definitely a week off from all training. Then, we’ll see how the knee is doing and figure out where to go from there.

The difference of 30 lbs

As part of the warmup tonight, we did some partner carries. Janet had come in to train, so I got to use her. (She couldn’t do them on me because of her back issue, but was okay with being lifted and carried.) I can’t remember the last time we did partner carries, and I probably got to use one of the other girls then, but I guess I’ve been training with guys so much in the interim and she just felt so light. Holy cats, it’s so nice to have people your own size so that you can do the drill for its own self without struggling with the difference in body size.

Earlier in the warmup, we’d also done duck walks, and my quads seized up after those and were not enthusiastic about this whole “walking” thing afterwards. And then later during rolling, my calves were cramping up at odd times. I was popping glucose tabs during class, as well, because I was getting light-headed with all the takedown work (even though light-headed = low sodium, not low sugar). My ribs were decidedly unhappy about pressure, which was interfering with that breathing thing. I was also too tired to chew after practice, so I had to go with a protein shake rather than actual food when I got home. Oh, the joys of coming back after a layoff…

I’m not wearing my brace now when I roll. I’m okay with guys grabbing that leg and working on something, but as soon as I feel uncomfortable with what’s going on or feel that I can’t escape or think that maybe it will get wrenched, then I tap. I have no desire to sit out with a bum knee ever again, as far as it depends on me. But I think I’m freaking some guys out because they don’t know which knee to attack and so keep attacking that one and then I tap earlier than expected and they worry that they’ve hurt me. Nah, man, I’m cool. I still need to re-learn how to bridge, or at least how to incorporate it into my game again. I feel pretty silly now, not remembering how to do such a basic jiu-jitsu movement. Oh well.