BJJ Grrl

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

Bring the pression

The theme last week, continued from the previous, was side control escapes, which require bridging and turning. Bah. Knee is so completely unhappy with that motion still. But some of the escapes were quite fun (knee to face!), and I’ll be glad when I can do them totally for real.

I had been holding out hope that the knee would fix itself in these last two weeks so that I could sneak in to the tournament this coming Saturday in Richmond. But no dice. I’m going to have to do something more serious to get this knee all the way back since “train more” doesn’t seem to be doing it. (Though every solution I’ve come up with so far involves getting out of bed very, very early in the morning. Ugh.)

Did get some good rolls in last week, including one with Tim on Friday, in which he submitted me several times with side control pressure only. Then he admitted that he was purposely working on his pressure there, so at least I didn’t feel like I was just being a wimp and tapping to non-existent things.

Oh, we have a new guy, Matt, a blue belt who most recently trained at Fifty/50 but has moved down here for work. He’s nice and squirrelly and likes throwing inverted Berimbolos.


If you want a standing desk at work but can’t get one, hack one:

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Not forgotten

No such luck — I haven’t dropped off the planet. Just have been busy and will likely remain so, and it seems that both training and blogging every day are going to take the biggest hit. The freelance writing work I’ve picked up needs some serious attention during the week, so I need to take 2 evenings to do pretty much just that. Tuesday and Thursday seem like the best candidates, and that also gives me more recovery time between classes, which my body is all but demanding. Then the remaining nights are packed with several classes and then everything that I now can’t do on Tuesday and Thursday, so there’s less time for things like the blogging.

My knee is still being a bum. It just doesn’t seem to be getting better as quickly as I would like (as in, we’re several months past my patience level). There’s the US Grappling tournament in Richmond August 4th that I really want to do — and that most of my team is heading up for — but I can’t be sure if the knee will be up to competition. It’s doing better, but still seems to quit when I need it most. With some smaller and/or trusted people, I’ve been working on butterfly hooks; sometimes they even do some work.

Last week I drilled once with Navid, one of the purple belts, and he had such crushing side control pressure that I decided I want to emulate that. So that will be my focus for a while, I think. (Until I get distracted by something else shiny.) I think it also clicked because I’ve been getting tossed around a lot recently, mostly because I’m not resisting too much in an effort to not strain my knee. But then when I do try to keep top, I’m all twisted around in my head. So, heavy on top sounds like the plan.

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Losing it

I have a problem right now that I’d love to have the week before a tournament: I’m dropping weight. Fast. Four days ago I was 125; this morning, 120. Problem is, this isn’t the week before a tournament — it’s nearly 2 months before! I’m not doing it on purpose. I feel as if I’m eating the same. I eat until I feel full (and so get that slight delay in brain signals, and am slightly overfull afterwards). I’m not hungry between meals, and I’m still eating 5-6x/day — breakfast, (snack if hungry/tired/craving/whatever — have had), lunch, snack, pre-workout shake, and dinner. And it continues to fall right off. I suppose the good news is that 1) my favorite pants fit again (125 is just too much for them) and 2) I know I can make 124.5 for December.

For now, I’m blaming it on work. Stress city. It’s like trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded. Everything’s an emergency. Everything changes almost hour-to-hour. I can’t ever finish one item before I’m shuffled over to something else, and by the time I get back to the first item, it has to be revised because everything’s changed. Again. Now, I do like variety in what I’m working on, but I also like it to be variety of the stable sort, not variety of the running-around-like-chickens-with-our-heads-cut-off sort.


Kids’ Class

I usually take some time on Tuesday or Wednesday to come up with my plan for the kids’ class. But with work being so nuts this week, I haven’t had time. So I had to kind of cobble it together at nearly the last minute. It was not my best foray. And I didn’t remember to update the times in my schedule now that the class starts a half hour earlier. So I kept glancing at my watch and confusing myself about how much time we had left.

Perry and Gary were reassembling the puzzle mats, which is the side we normally have class on. But since the kids’ class now ends before the adult class starts, we could use the other side. … Which spelled more pressure for me, since that’s where my class congregates before class, so I knew they would be watching. (In the end, they actually all hung around just barely on the other side of the dividing wall, so I didn’t feel as if they were all staring at me and critiquing me. But I didn’t know that at first, and nearly psyched myself out expecting it. Ugh.)

And then the kids were in one of their moods. (I say it collectively because the three most driving it are related.) I at least had had the presence of mind to put ball balancing and sprawls at the end of class, since I know they like them. So even if they hated me the rest of the class, at least they’d go home happy. I still had to let them out 5 minutes early because I was getting ready to hurt somebody.

Nogi Class

Everyone comes on the first nogi night. Gi nights this week have been sparse.

I had to run and change out of my gi and missed the first minute or so of class. They started rolling, 4-minute timed rounds, so that left me with Theresa. Tim was rolling, too. I try to roll in the middle of the mat so that I can turn quickly and find another partner — I am trying — but there seems sometimes to be a big dead space around us when everyone goes to switch, and they all rotate around us and don’t make eye contact. :/ So rolled with her a second time. Third round, both of us walked in opposite directions and tried to find a partner, but they scattered. So we were together again…

Only this time, Tim saw us walk back together and asked if we had just rolled together twice. I said yes. So he made kind of an announcement, but made it seem targeted at us, loudly saying that he didn’t want us rolling together twice in a row and that we needed to find other partners. I think some of the guys will take it to mean that we (I) are just being lazy and only trying to roll together (not) and that they have to step in and “separate” us. Let them think what they will, as long as they roll with me.

So then Tim shuffled groups around quickly, and I got to roll with him for a round. Wow. Always, wow. Such pressure. Never any space. Fighting off my back most of the round, just trying to keep up and not panic. Oh, and tapping lots.

Then a round with Scott. Last night, he, PB Buddy, and I had had a short workshop on pinning your hip to theirs; Scott was saying that he’s been working to get hip-to-hip when passing, because once he’s there, he knows he’s past. So my goal then tonight — and paired with Kintanon’s comment about controlling the hips — was to keep his hips off of my hips. Not so much good, but then it was my first time and that’s been his goal for a few months now, but I did definitely feel how important that was. If I bumped from scarf hold and only tried to disrupt his upper body, I couldn’t do much, but if I could bump enough in to him that his hips had to move some, then I could see glimmers of space. So I tried to imagine targeting his hips when bumping, bridging, shrimping, etc., i.e., anytime I had to move him off me. Mostly, I wasn’t reacting quickly enough and was letting him get the position before trying to get him off, but then, that was mostly because I didn’t see where he was heading in time.

Then was partnered with Yoshi, who has apparently recently embraced open guard, deep half, and even some inverted. What?! Totally not what I’ve come to expect from him. So this means he’s working on some solid techniques to back up his speed and everything else, which means that soon I won’t get anywhere with him because he’ll be a total monster. I can see where he even slows down some with me and really works on isolating movements.

Then drilling. We moved away from the move-of-the-week tonight because Tim had sat out that last round and watched, and had seen one guy get in a certain position frequently but then be unable to do anything after that. So, this was for him. Single- or double-under pass. Drilled with Theresa.

Rolling. With Yoshi again. More crazy guards from him. Though, his knees were coming up more this time, and I got a few hooks in and a couple of sweeps, but only passed once. He scrambles too well. I had several “almost” things, where I was just short of making something work.

Last roll. More shuffling. A white belt hunter tried to get himself assigned to me (I think he’s getting antsy for his belt because of the guy who got promoted Monday), but Tim sent Guillaume over for me instead. I completely forgot about knee-on-belly to spinning armbar until I found myself up there and his elbow flaring. Um, okay, sure. Thanks! Did a few things mostly well, though found my hips rising up without permission several times.

Legs were a little stiff today, but don’t seem otherwise to be faring too badly from the Tabata yesterday. Of course, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to know for sure. (But then again, by the end it was mostly a cardio and mental battle, with a few jumps thrown in. So maybe not too bad.)


Not sure if I’ve ever found this before, but looks too good not to post somewhere: Global Training Report’s Jiu-Jitsu Training in Rio de Janeiro Summer 2006. Haven’t had time to go through it yet, though.

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“You feel big”

Smaller class than we’ve had in the last two weeks. Also, several of the guys were over helping TR in the cage get ready for his fight next Saturday.

Warmup — jogging, high knees, heels back, turn it in/out, two-and-two, bear crawls. Circled up for jumping jacks, lunges, squats, situps, triangle situps. On the wall for shrimping, singles, shoot and sprawl.

One round to warm up, with Theresa. Then found Steve for a good work round. Let me tell you, that boy has gotten technical and is getting close to being smooth. I spent most of the round trying to pass his z-guard; I’d get close, and then he’d slip a little knee or foot in the way. Hey, that’s my game! But I got lots of work at being heavy on top and crushing his knees the same way guys usually crush mine, and paid attention to what he was doing to stymie my passing.

Drilling was the same standing guard pass as last night. Drilled with Theresa. More rolling. With her again, and then with Blue Belt Buddy. He also let me attack his guard for most of the round, and I ended up in similar positions as with Steve. I did get a couple of passes out of it, and once I got to side control, I worked on sinking my weight down and shimmying in to small spaces. (I never actually thought the word “Mudslide,” but I think that’s what I was doing. The concepts, at least, were popping in to my head. I still don’t have a new announcer voice, and I think Caleb and Shawn have left. *sad*) Also popped up to knee-on-belly several times (and once remembered to switch sides!) and worked to find a choke or an arm, but he had it all defended.

After that roll, Buddy commented that I had felt bigger and heavier on top than he’d expected. That he’d had this mental idea of how heavy I’d be on top and how much physical space I would seem to take up, all based on rolling with me before — but that then I felt a couple inches taller and lots heavier. Wohoo! Jiu-jitsu’s probably the only place you can tell a girl you think she feels larger than usual, and it’s the best compliment you can give her. 😛


My sister is getting married on Saturday. And I love her and want her to have the wedding that she wants, but I’ll be so very glad when this is all done with and every conversation with my family doesn’t revolve around planning this thing. I have to take Friday off work (and off jiu-jitsu, of course) to help with the last minute stuff and to get a manicure & pedicure. I’m not actually excited about those because they’ll probably try to scrub off the calluses I’ve worked so hard to get.

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More pressure

Up so late between talking to the girl after class and checking out my brother’s new car (he even let me drive it down the street), so this morning was rough.

Me, Adam, and Kay-la. Adam put us through a little circuit to warm up. 2 min each. Sprinting on the TRX; shrimping; knee skis on the exercise ball (fail!); hot hands (switching hands off a medicine ball; no pushups involved); and then army crawls. I’m really, really bad at those knee skis, but he says they’ll help with hip switching, so I may start trying to remember to work them before class.

That was exhasting, but then he wanted us to roll. Wha–? Now?? Rats. Useless. Also, any pressure on my ribs is still too much. I dunno why; they don’t feel bruised or anything, just like my ribs are gonna crack. Wimp.

He asked what we wanted to work. I said, “Pressure.” So we worked on half guard pressure. He also said I need to get mean with my crossface and to react faster for the cut-through when their legs open. Kay-la’s too big for me, and I’m too small for him, so we both had to practice on Adam, since he’s right in the middle.


Somehow my post from last Friday didn’t get published until last night. I fixed the date, though, and it should be in the right order now. Also, my post last night went up without a name. Bah.

Argh! I hit “Publish” and headed off to a meeting, and when I came back, this post hadn’t been published. Grr.

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