BJJ Grrl

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

Blood + Sweat + Tears = Blue

I got my blue belt tonight.

Not expecting it. Even commented to myself during my first two rolls that, yeah, no chance of that tonight — caught every which way, couldn’t control positions, couldn’t pass. Third roll I was excited to roll with Buddy #1, who was gone all summer. I hadn’t rolled with him yet and wanted to because I knew he’d tell me if I’d improved.

I could tell we were near the end of the round. Suddenly, I hear Tim’s “someone’s getting promoted!” yell. I started to turn to see who it is, half-expecting it to be Buddy (to purple), and instead I am getting hit with something. What the–? Who the–? … … No. Way. … … Way! Stunned, in shock, unable to speak or form coherent thoughts.

There was suddenly a crowd of guys congratulating me. Tim gave us a water break, so I finally got to tie it on, and then class continued. Kept having to force my brain off it’s “I got my blue belt!” track to pay attention to the rest of class.

Tim talked to me a bit after class and said that there were a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in making that belt. He said that it says a lot about me that I come in every week and work against guys who are all bigger and stronger than me, but that I keep coming and keep working. And he said that he’s been harder on me these last few months especially on purpose because he saw I was getting close and because I have to continue working with these bigger and stronger guys. He said for a girl to get a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, rolling only against the guys like I have been, is hard to get, and since I’m his first female blue belt, he wanted to make sure the standard was set high. He also said my technique is getting really good (which is the part I really wanted to hear).

Buddy chimed in then and said that while we were rolling, he’d started wondering when I would get my blue belt. And then there it was.

Last summer, Tim told me that I would be more proud of getting my BJJ blue belt than of getting my TKD black belt. Well, he’s right. For my black belt, I had to get through a six-hour test. For my blue belt, I’ve been in one long 17-month test.

Not that I’m suddenly frustration-free. But now I have tangible proof that I’m doing well.


Apparently there was class last night — Justin got back in town and came to teach. But my family was having a small cookout anyway, so I’m glad I didn’t know about class and stayed home instead.

And I’m sore! Little Cindy kicked my butt. My biceps, lats, traps, and hamstrings are stiff and cranky. I had to take a long walk at lunch so I could sit through the rest of the day. … So of course I want to meet all of Cindy’s friends. 😛

Tonight, we started with rolling to warmup. Started with Will. He wasn’t playing so much spider guard with his open guard, so I was able to get in better. Still reversed easily, though, and under half guard and side control a fair bit. I think I had a sweep or two, and he let me get to guard a few times, but I’m not doing well attacking there; he has everything tight. He had a few triangle set-ups from the moments when he did play spider guard, but he let me work out of them. Oh, and I remembered that knee-on-belly exists! But of course, we learned a counter to it on Saturday… Doh.

Then rolled with a guy who was hurt before class, so I was trying to avoid his injury. But it seemed at times as if he wasn’t hurt at all — the injured part was used extensively. Couldn’t keep my base for anything; swept to under side control and mount a lot. Did catch at lots of half guard as he tried to pass every which way. He pulled me in to one triangle from spider guard; I defended for a while but eventually lost the tug-of-war over my arm. Later — I think it was still this roll, or it was later with Yoshi — he tried the Peruvian necktie, but left it loose; I actually rolled out and started to escape, but he locked in a D’Arce (Yoshi had one, too, which is why I’m confuzzled). Defended for a while, tried escaping for a while, but finally started on the way to Blackout Land, so tapped.

These two rounds I was thinking, “Well, you know who’s still a looong way off from her blue belt.”

Another roll, and Buddy asked to roll with me since we hadn’t gotten to since he’d come back. All I was thinking about was getting to roll with Buddy, a blue belt, and find out if I’d improved since he left. Lots of trouble against his open guard — even more sinister than Will’s — and again easily swept and under side control and half guard. Again could catch the half guard from lots of positions, but couldn’t get the sweeps after to work. I think I did have one almost sweep that required a lot of effort to get on top after; not even sure I made it. I was trying to push the pace some because I know Buddy won’t hurt me.

And then at the end of that, I heard Tim yell, and I got whipped quite thoroughly with a new belt.

A short break for water and so I could tie my belt on (it’s so stiff!), and then back to rolling. Oh goodness. So tired. Besides trusting Buddy to play with me and not hurt me, I’d also figured that it was the last roll before technique, so I knew I’d get a break after and so could push a little more. But, no, more rolling. I want oxygen…

With Guillaume. He teased me that I would try to crush him now. I joked back that the belt only came with about 10 seconds of superpowers. … … I think I jinxed it: I had about only 10 seconds of superpowers, and then I was back to being exhausted. He let me around to his back straight off, but I couldn’t get my second hook in or my arm around his neck or my fingers in his lapel. I ended up on top, and actually managed to hold it in some form for most of the round. Remembered knee-on-belly. Tried for the baseball choke, but couldn’t quite work out my hands; tried for a D’Arce, but couldn’t hang on; tried for the north/south kimura, but he’d defend by grabbing his pants; tried the Big Poppa, but couldn’t hold it long enough (also think I wasn’t quite under his chin). Justin was trying to help me out from the sidelines by telling me where to go next, and I was transitioning, which I was happy about, but I couldn’t quite catch anything. Went to knee-on-belly again, though he rolled on his side facing away from me; tried for a gi choke from there, but again couldn’t quite get under his chin. Finally posted one hand on his head and came around for an armbar there, which worked.

Last roll with Yoshi. He pretended to be scared of the belt’s superpowers, but I told him that Guillaume had already used them all up and it was just an ordinary belt now. Very similar to those first two rounds — swept a lot, under side control and half guard a lot, grabbing half guard a lot. A few near sweeps; maybe one that I did manage to follow up on and get to top, though he quickly reversed it. Turtled lots and tried for the single leg from there, but couldn’t hold on when he sprawled. Tried the switch to escape several times, but couldn’t quite get through. (I suppose the reassuring part was that I wasn’t getting upset that I was a blue belt now and was getting my butt beat by a white belt. Not even sure it had quite sunk in at that point. Not that I want to get upset; I don’t. Anyway…) He also got a D’Arce eventually. Same as earlier: I could defend and move and try to escape for a while, but he finally got his weight right and finished it. This seemed like the round that would never end, partly because Tim was the timekeeper but he was also rolling.

Finally to drilling, now that there were about 15 minutes left in class. Worked with the little 14 year old.

Then, even though we were past time for class, Tim sent us on the wall for some drills. Alligators, single legs, single leg/sprawl, then squat jump down/bear crawl back. I was almost through my last trip down on squat jumps when he called out that we were done, but I finished anyway. Ow.

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The problem with taking a day off…

…is you lose that low-level “everything is hurting and tired” buzz, and things that really hurt start to come through. The good news is that I had energy tonight, which I needed.

The kickboxers are off for a tournament tomorrow night at Virginia Beach (who does tournaments on Thursdays?!), so neither Perry nor Gary was there for the kids’ TKD classes (since they’re the coaches), and Perry’s wife wasn’t there for the cardio kickboxing class. I totally forgot about that and got to the academy at ~5:45. The lights were on, but no one was home. Locked out.

Nick showed up a while later; he’d wanted to work out before class. While we waited, we swapped stories of rolling with girls: my weekend vs. his last summer/break at home, when he rolled with Emily Kwok. One of the kids got dropped off, and then three new guys walked up. Adam and Tim are both at church most Wednesdays, so we had to wait on Justin to get there from work with a key. By then it was nearly class time. Then the new guys had to sign waivers, and then another new guy showed up, so we were late getting started.

About 10-12 in class, I think, with the 4 new guys, two newer guys (including the kids), and the rest of us. Nick started the warmup, but he needs more practice. Couldn’t remember the calls. I was teasing him. Some purple belt. I admit I felt a little smug on the bear crawls when I could blast past all the slow new guys. I think I lapped them all.

With new guys, it’s either a brutal warmup until they puke/pass out/drop out or a very repetitive warmup because they don’t know how to do anything. Today, thank goodness, was the latter. Not that it was any less work, just that there’s less chance of me joining them for the puke/pass out part. Shrimping: lots and lots, with Justin and Nick both teaching the new guys and telling them that this is the key to jiu-jitsu. They looked skeptical. (Smug again because I could get 2 runs before the new guys finished 1. [I know, they’re new; they don’t know how to do it. And Adam & Justin would’ve had 2 again for each of mine. I try to write what happens and how I reacted then, and not just give you the cleaned-up holier-than-thou version. You can have your holier-than-thou moment pretending you wouldn’t have thought that way.]) Of course that also meant I did a whole lot more trips down the mat than they did. I just kept going until we moved on. Eventually on to single-leg shots; same deal: lots and lots and lots. Then alligators (ow, my quads!), only 2 runs on those; I’m not crazy. Then squat jumps, 2 again.

On to drilling. Pinch pass first. Second, side control to mount.

I drilled with one of the kids. He has gotten funny this last week, and I’m not sure he realizes it: he’s suddenly perky and bubbly and everyone’s best friend. He knows my name (although, 1 girl = not hard to learn) and talks to me all the time. Before class, he was talking about having so many new guys. I wanted to mention that he’s still considered a new guy, but I didn’t. (He’s still clueless about so many things, but it comes in a cute puppy package, so you can’t not like him.) Then we got to the technique, and he wanted to work with me; Justin told those of us who knew the pass to work with the new guys, so I started to walk off but then remember that, oh right, he is a new guy and didn’t know it.

Again with the questions about techniques, which is fine; I answered again with, “Well, try it.” Ooooh. Always a good way to learn. He asked me how long I’d been doing jiu-jitsu; when I told him, he asked me when I was going to have my first fight. I replied that I really wasn’t interested in fighting. He said, “Then why do jiu-jitsu?” Because it’s fun. Because I like it. I compete in tournaments. Then he asked if there’s such a thing as “women’s MMA.” I said that yes, there was, and it did not involve mud, jello, or bikinis. He said, “Well, darn.” I think he was mostly serious, too. *shakes head* Kids these days…

We were supposed to drill the first, then the second, and eventually work them both together, but the new guys had no clue, so we stayed on the second longer.

Finally on to rolling with our drilling partner. First time rolling with him since he introduced himself the first night and accidently insulted me. I’m not holding it against him, I’m really not; but until some other guy says something idiotic before rolling with me, he gets to keep this distinction. Anyway, he has calmed down considerably since that first night. Soon he may even start doing jiu-jitsu. Since he’d questioned the usefulness of butterfly guard on Monday and I hadn’t been able to show him, I started from there tonight so I could sweep him. Had quite a few of a leg lift/cut the leg sweep, which always seemed to surprise him. Even somehow passed to mount at one point, using the technique from class, though a spazzy roll swept me right after. He had mount at one point, too, from a pick-me-up bump sweep, but he had told me while we were drilling that the only thing he knows from mount is the kimura so I was watching for it; “the key to jiu-jitsu” got me out.

Went the wrong way, though, half-thinking of setting something up, and gave up side control. I moved a little, but mostly waited to see if he could recognize the position and get to the side-control-to-mount that we’d worked earlier. He did get to side control and get his grips right, to which I said, “Good,” but then tried hopping over to mount. Tsk, tsk; now I take half-guard. Shrimped to guard. He said when I got there that he didn’t know how to break guard; his first attempts, thankfully, were neither slamming nor elbows nor ripping my feet. He was doing lots of hand-fighting; I was doing lots of pulling him off-balance with my hips. (Thought later that I should’ve opened my guard, if he didn’t know how to break it, but didn’t realize it until after class.) I tried bump sweep or guillotine, but was coming down between them; I think I need to bait the guillotine, since he knows it and overreacts to it, and then hit the bump sweep as his weight jerks back. He did eventually reach back for my foot to break guard, and I got my hips up and my leg over and almost had that triangle right; pivoted the wrong way though (doh) and couldn’t recover. Tried switching to the armbar, but was too loose and was losing him.

Second roll, jumped in with Nick. Time to play. A few sweeps on him, too. Even working some Z-guard, though I’ve never drilled any sweeps from there. (Seen, yes. Done, no.) From butterfly once, he let me take his back; rolled him over, got my hooks, and tried playing from there. Got a reverse hook (foot goes from outside to in), but then went the wrong way with it (toward the ground on my side instead of going across) and he got away. Hips were moving pretty decently, I thought; caught a few half-guards when he tried to use his long legs to get around and got some decent shrimping action in and out and around. And avoided a D’Arce, which are way too easy for him to grab since his arms are extra long.

I may sneak in to class tomorrow (!), skip Friday, and come see what they’re doing on Saturday. Adam’s fight is next weekend, so Saturday probably won’t be too intense. Next week is Karate College, too. Paul Creighton and Renzo will be here teaching; I’ll probably get over for both of theirs. Maybe take Bill Wallace’s classes, too, since he is also awesome. (But I haven’t worked my kicks in a long while, and last year I was sore for a week after his class! And that’s when I was “in shape” for kicking!)

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I got beat by a girl!

And
it
was
awesome
!!!

I got beat by quite a few girls, actually, both white and blue. (Blue belts — real girl blue belts!) Sweet!

Women’s Open Mat, Richmond BJJ. Girls came from Philly, from Northern Virginia, from Virginia Beach. Alaina Hardie even came from Toronto!

My friend lives west of Richmond, so I left about an hour and a half early to make sure I had enough time to get there. Glad I did: the Richmond high schools were having graduation today at the Siegel Center at VCU, which is right down the block from Richmond BJJ, so there were cops everywhere directing traffic, streets were closed, and there were tons of pedestrians. I kept missing seeing the school because of all the traffic and pedestrians. Drove around for about 30 minutes trying to find the school and then find parking. Finally saw it, got parked about a block away, and walked over.

There was a class from 12 – 2, before the open mat. I had really thought about going, but am also really trying to take my “June = recovery” seriously. So, I got there about 1:30 to watch the end of the class. Eric Burdo was just finishing up teaching; I met Liz and signed in as they started rolling.

I was so nervous! Silly, but I was. My hands were shaking so badly when I signed in. Most of the other girls had gone to the class and were already on the mat. As they got toward the end of class time and rolling, one of the girls, Lisa, asked if I wanted to roll.

She was strong! (They all were. And quick and had tremendous pressure! Holy moly!) Just trying to move and feel her out. Found myself in the first few rolls under side control and mount a lot. Huh. Same place I end up in my classes. Hmm. So, there must be something that I’m doing wrong — especially, probably, when starting off — that backs me up until I let myself be put under side control and mount. Very interesting…

Several rolls — maybe 5 or 6? I lost count — with more girls than I can remember. (So hot in there, though: tired so quickly. But kept going :P). Rolled with one blue, Thea, who showed me a sweep from under scarf hold — set your feet out to the open side and then do a sit-up in to them. Feet out of the way is important; otherwise, you stuff your own situp. And then she showed me a half-guard escape, and by “showed me” I mean she put more shoulder pressure in my jaw than Tim ever has. Whoa. And she was everywhere, fast and tight, and sliding through tiny openings.

Saw a lot of things in my rolling that I need to fix. Some stuff that Tim has pointed out; others, that I’d noticed. Mostly, I seem to have started assuming that I’m going to get steamrolled by the guys and have started playing very passive and really not even trying anything. Haven’t been using any pressure or intensity, because that usually gets a more severe backlash from my partners. … And yet all the girls today were rolling with pressure and intensity and intent. I wanna roll like that. And I bet they didn’t get to there by rolling like I’ve been rolling recently and only rolling up with girls.

But, oh, my goodness, so much fun. Got to talk to a lot of the girls, too. As I’ve learned many times before and learned once again, I’m not unusual; they’re all going through the same things as I am. We talked about tournaments, sandbagging, how to get and keep girls, finding gis that fit, hemp gis, and I forget what else. Lots of girl bonding stuff, which I usually don’t get to do, even outside of class. I had fun. 🙂

And I got a new gi! A black one, which is what I was missing. Chrissy Linzy had a black Lucky gi that had shrunk, so I bought it off her. Fits perfect. 😮 Won’t be able to wear it to class for a while because Justin is still enjoying his new Lucky gi‘s shiny invincibility aura. And the pants are more faded (lovely charcoal!) than the jacket, so I’ll have to start washing the jacket quite a bit to get a uniform color. By the time it’s faded, Justin’s gi may not mind the company.

There’s another Open Mat, co-ed, tomorrow afternoon at Revolution BJJ. Since I now have a clean gi to wear ;), I’m gonna go there before heading home.

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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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The voices…

Rats. Off again. Tried to keep the same routine just before class that I had yesterday, but it didn’t stick as well. I have two annoying voices in my head right now: one that whines & worries about a job and one that whines & wants a blue belt. And they both started talking during jiu-jitsu. Arrrgh!!!

I probably looked ticked off most of the night because I was having a back-and-forth conversation with these two voices, telling them both to shut up and let me roll. The blue belt voice was particularly annoying, as it kept interrupting what I was doing on the ground.

The job voice is upset because I haven’t gotten a call back from the two jobs I’ve applied for. Last time you applied with that company, it’s whining, they called back in two days. It’s been longer than that! What are you gonna do? Ugh, shut it. I’m not worried; I have plenty of experience and skills and references and money saved. (By the way, some of my former colleagues are finding out how to contact me and offering to provide a reference. How cool is that?) But I’m still having to deal with applications and job hunting and paperwork from my old job, so this voice is finding a reason to keep going. This little voice is just vaguely distracting during jiu-jitsu, but it’s still annoying because it’s not jiu-jitsu.

Then there’s a new voice, and one that I can’t quite figure out how it got started. It wants a blue belt, and it gets particularly loud and obnoxious when I’m rolling. It analyzes my technique and complains when it’s not “blue belt level.” It tells me to get a submission on a blue or purple belt because that’ll get me there faster. (FYI, voice, if I get something on them, they let me. And # of subs against a higher belt means nothing.) It doesn’t want to tap to a white belt (hey, genius, I’m still a white belt. Duh.). It even chimes in on the warmups, if it doesn’t think I’m going at “blue belt speed.” It keeps up a running commentary, like a bad Joe Rogan impersonator. Shut up already!

So my own brain is getting in the way of my jiu-jitsu. I need a schedule again so my brain has something to do all day and is too tired to mess with me during class.


BJJ, Advanced class

Huge class tonight. Warmup was fine. Tim kept making everyone slow down because some of them just blast down the mat and aren’t actually doing the drills correctly. Good on that. Squat jumps at the end, 4 runs; I made 3 before my quads overcompensated and burned out — that’s two more than usual! Feeling pretty good at this point. Then we did set sparring for the rest of the night, each person with one objective for a round, then switch with your partner.

First was from the knees, trying to get your partner to his back. Straight-on tackling/knock them back wasn’t allowed. I started with Kevin No Toe, who’s back after a long absence. (He nearly chopped off his own toe while moving an above-ground swimming pool (I think) and has had to have lots of surgery to fix it. Hence the absence and the nickname.) Then Nick, who I couldn’t budge, but that was amusing. Then a new guy who decided that tackling was the best option.

Next set was from side control: on the bottom trying to escape, on the top trying to keep them down. Kevin No Toe again. When I was on the bottom, he was first holding me down tightly; I couldn’t do much so he loosened up and was letting me through. (He’s not as good at pretending I did it all myself as Justin, Nick, and Scotty are.) I asked him to tighten back up because I need the practice at working on it, and he’s a good guy to practice on: pressure not strength, and no random elbows and knees. On top, he was hard to hold down; very wiggly. Next round was with a guy who figured out that he can launch me with little trouble; spent the on-top portion flying. When I was on the bottom, he pinned everything from my head to my hips, so I couldn’t move much. I don’t think I got out once during the side control drill, other than when Kevin let me. I think I’m not bridging explosively enough or not keeping my hips up long enough to try the passes I know… or something.

Next was breaking & passing guard. Back with the new guy who was tackling earlier. I know he’s learned how to break the guard and pass because I saw Justin teaching him once; but he was acting like he’d never been in this position before. I tried to show him what to do, but he wasn’t getting it. I had no trouble breaking or passing when we switched. Second round was with another newer guy. I was just trying to keep guard without using my arms; I’m not sure if we were supposed to do everything we could to keep them in guard, or if we were just supposed to use our legs. Got passed a lot. When we switched, he grabbed my arms, jerked me down, and held me there the whole round; I couldn’t get out.

Open mat after. Scotty wanted a roll, so I went with him. Overall, not a good round for me; the voices wouldn’t shut up and let me roll. (The “blue belt voice” was especially loud after I’d had little success in the drills. Oh, shut up and give me some peace already!) Wasn’t getting to position, wasn’t seeing anything that was in front of me. He let me get the Peruvian necktie (never got it to work in drilling, which is why I went for it) when he turtled up once. Then he showed me a way to escape north/south, where I was getting stuck, by pushing them further toward your head and almost doing a backwards roll. I got the concept, but was having some trouble getting up far enough to get out of north/south. He grabbed Buddy #1 and Nick so I could see it from another angle (i.e., not from upside down under him), and then they showed me something kind of similar from mount. (I have to think about that mount one a little bit more to figure it out again.)


Grump

Currently annoyed with the new guys who get stuck with me* and sit down and say, “Don’t hurt me, now,” thinking they’re being cute or funny or something, I guess, and then they go all out and smash me every which way.

It is cute and funny when Nick says it, because he’s a foot taller than me, nearly 100 lbs heavier, and a whole lot better. He always jokes about me beating him up, which of course won’t happen, and he never beats up on me, either. Or when Justin jokes about me muscle-sharking him, because I can’t and he doesn’t, either.

*That is, they’ve tried to get someone, anyone else (going so far sometimes as waiting to see if anyone’s in the bathroom), but I’m the only one left. They never look too happy about it, though I usually ignore the rolling eyes. But one guy said tonight, when he tried to get in with Adam, who already had a partner, and Adam directed him over to me: “So what are you trying to say?!” I don’t know if he meant it like it came out, but it did come out.

Maybe I’m just tired and have been listening to the voices too long… *le sigh*


Gi decisions

So I want to get a new gi… or two or three or…. 🙂 I have a black Woldorf, which is the brand the academy carries, but I want a blue and a white at least. But I’m just horrible at internet ordering and have rarely had great luck at getting it right, so I talk myself out of it all the time. I like to try stuff on… though that still doesn’t guarantee I’ll get the right size! I’m also used to TKD gis, which we get one size larger. (Although, somehow, I wear a 3 — and it’s big — while every other girl my size wears a 4…. I haven’t figured that one out yet.) And, finally, I’m concerned about the sizing charts being accurate for males but not females.

The Woldorf’s an A2 because the A1, off the rack, was too tight through the shoulders, especially under my armpits; I couldn’t put my arms all the way down. But the rest of the gi is massive, especially the pants. I was noticing last night that I could hardly get a hold on Justin’s gi, but he had me all wrapped up in mine. I think I need to shrink it (I haven’t yet), but I’m afraid to try without another gi ready.

I’ve tried forums and Elyse’s gi post, but I still can’t decide either on the brand or style or size. I’m 5’2″, ~122 lbs (and trying to go lower). I keep reading blogs & forums looking for someone about my size and what gi she swears by, but haven’t had much luck (though I’m keeping track of what everyone’s wearing and looking for a trend… No, I’m not a crazy stalker… yet. Right now I’m just crazy and bored). A0 Koral (!) — or should I go with an A1, since I’m borderline? — competition or classic — blue or white? A1 Keiko Raca — Justin was wearing this last night, and I like it — gold weave, what are the others? — color? (His is black, but faded to a nice charcoal. I want that color.) Atama? Women-specific gi?

The more I try to find an answer, the more confused I get! Argh, decisions…

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