BJJ Grrl

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

Girl Power

Friday night — Nogi Fundamentals

I woke up yesterday morning to the soothing sound of rain. I reset the alarm and rolled right back over to sleep.

Evening class: short warmup that was interrupted by a biohazard cleanup (white belt bleeding all around the perimeter of the mats). So Justin bunched us all in the middle of the mats to drill pummeling first, then added breaking them down, then the front headlock, then the takedown. By the time we got to the takedown and needed more room, the outer edges of the mats were dry again so we could use the whole mat again.

Second class started with rolling. Dmitri and Buddy. Then we picked back up the drilling, now adding a spiral ride to back take to choke at the end to finish it off.

Open Mat after, and Janet and Jen said they’d help me with tournament rolls. My brain immediately switched “on.” It was pretty awesome. Two rounds with each of them. Fast pace from all of us, good pressure, good movement. Assertiveness in action. There were still some things I noticed in there that need more work, but mostly I was moving, working to pass or sweep, working to not be passed or swept, hunting submissions, having a grand time actually doing some jiu-jitsu. Janet and I also landed in some funky 50/50/spider guard/twisted something or other at one point that we were both curious to see how we would eventually work out of.

I need to roll like that more often. As soon as they said “tournament,” everything was suddenly ready to go. I think it helped that I knew that they knew what to expect.

Saturday morning — Nogi Open Mat

Janet & Jen had volunteered to come in and help me work from standing this morning, so I got up and went in. Jen got stuck with some work for school, though, so Janet put me through my paces.

The timer today was set for 10-minute rounds. We took one round to warmup. Then a half round of pummeling and a half round to drill the sequence from last night. Then a round of a single leg takedown that I worked on (and used once!) for the last tournament — 10 minutes is a long time to work that! Then a break, because I was exhausted. Then we did a half round of guard pulling from standing, immediately transitioning to some sort of attack (omoplata, ha!). Finally a half round of live takedowns. My brain kicked in after a minute or two and started actually attempting (and hitting) takedowns, which is nice.

Okay, now I’m exhausted…


White Belt Tale of the Day:

New guy last night. Wearing rashguard and compression shorts only. (Yeeeaaahh, immediately off my list of people to train with.) During warmups when we got on the wall, I noticed that there was a trail of blood all around the mat where we had been jogging; looked to be someone’s toe bleeding. Everyone checked for blood, and it was this guy. He left the mat to deal with it (somehow turned out to be his finger? I have no idea how that happened), so Justin had us all bunch up in the middle of the mat to avoid the blood while Tim started mopping the outer edge of the mat.

When he did come back, he was miming everything that Justin was doing or saying. E.g., Justin said that this position is good because you can sprawl, and the guy threw himself up and back as if he were sprawling on someone, though he stopped before he hit the mat. I was trying not to giggle. And then he tried to argue with Justin about how “in wrestling it’s done this other way.”

But then, there was the smell. He stunk. I was on the opposite side of the mat, near the door, and I could smell him quite strongly. As Tim was mopping, he suddenly looked up and sniffed. He paused the mopping to get some air freshener and start spraying that discreetly around the entire academy. (And then once the guy left, he sprayed a lot more. Yowza.)

As the guy was leaving after the Fundamentals class (said he had to go to work), he told Tim that he was disappointed in the class because “I’ve already done years of front headlocks. I was hoping there would be… something else.” Tim pointed out that this was our Fundamentals class and that we just drill here but that we roll in the other classes. (Also funny because he didn’t seem to have a clue during drilling.) “Yeah, well, I was hoping for… something else.”

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Sneaking in

I played around with doing alligators before class. M’kay, I can do them, though that side stays a little high. Progress!

Did the warmup, though side-to-side pushing off on that leg was a no-go. So I did all of those facing the wrong way. So slow on single legs and on shoot-and-sprawl — and only one trip. Then they all paired up to do armbars from mount. (I could have done it, but there was an odd number so I took myself out, just in case.) On the second round, I got out one of the heavy bags and did my own on that.

Big Jon taught variations off the single-leg takedown. They reviewed that first, then he showed a similar technique off a Russian tie. I worked in on the Russian tie, and then lifting the leg, but didn’t complete the takedown juuuust in case.

Rolling next. I sat for two or three rounds, then with various people needing to leave and others having to sit out, Eman ended up without a partner. So I crawled out there to roll with him (but he is one of the best people for me to roll with now, as he has had surgery on both knees before, so he understands my pain). I did get some knee action sneaking in to nooks & crannies like it used to and some more range of motion than before, though mostly that leg is still worthless when rolling. Too bad I can’t just tuck it in to my belt like I do with my shoulders or arms, lol.

One final long round, where I had to sit again. Several pairs started stopping as the round went on, and I wanted to shake them because I can’t roll but they have the chance to and they’re not taking it and it’s so frustrating whatswrongwithyoupeople!

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The last Wednesday

[My small contribution to the SOPA/PIPA blackout: this post was written on Wednesday, but won’t go up until Thursday morning. Just say “No!” to internet censorship. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog…]

Mornings. Suck. Doesn’t seem to matter how early I get to bed; getting up in the morning is hard. I crashed out again this morning and got the stink-eye from Andrew in class tonight. Sorry, yes, I’m pathetic, I know.

Will have to try harder starting next week, though, since Wednesdays will become MMA night then. And since I still really do like having Tuesdays & Thursdays to myself — I can do stuff! — then I’m going to continue taking those nights off. That means I’ll only be training two nights a week now, Mondays and Fridays, so I’ll have to get in in the mornings in order to make up that training. Ugh. Mornings…

On the other hand, even though I’m mostly asleep in the mornings, I do seem to retain the things we drill and the things Andrew reviews rather well. A lot of what I did at the last tournament came from morning classes. So my subconscious, at least, is learning.

Couple of new guys tonight, but classes still bled together. Warmup — though I gotta say, stuff like alligators really doesn’t warm me up; there’s still too much static holding or something going on, and I’m not loose afterwards. Anywho…

Drilling: single-leg takedown. Then eventually added passing to side control, and then later going straight to the bow-and-arrow choke. Started out with Buddy & Brandon, then later moved over with Ratcliffe (always fun, as he’s one the of the taller guys), and eventually to Guillaume.

Drilled for a long while, then one more roll with Guillaume.

My left hand hasn’t been hurting so much the last two days, but it sure didn’t appreciate the bow-and-arrow choke grip, nor was it happy about gripping in rolling later. Random knot has appeared under one shoulder blade. C’mon, body, stop with the breaking down already!

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Onesies, twosies

The weather has decided to get warm again. However, the wind has picked up. Last night, I discovered that one of the windows in my room is not sealed properly — the wind whistled through all. night. long. Kept me up. So I slept in this morning and didn’t go to class. (And got called a slacker later. Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.)

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

It’s a good thing when the Fundamentals Class is heavy on upper belts. Tells you that this place takes drilling the basics seriously, and that these upper belts are taking full advantage. Tonight we had 6 upper belts and one white belt.

Warm up, which Andrew decided to make a little more brutal than usual. After forwards and backwards rolls, alligators. Eep, no, not when I’m still dizzy!

Drilled taking a shot, using the mat squares as the minimum length. Worked with Nick, which was funny because he nearly sent me flying every time (and he would have, except that he was catching my legs). After a while, added finishing the double-leg takedown; after a while longer, added a finish once you were down.

Then timed rounds of drilling with a partner: first, knee-on-belly transitions, and then spinning armbar from side control.

BJJ

Started out drilling. First a little primer on ways that fights can go to the ground, eventually working around to jumping guard. Drilled stepping guard, instead, though. Drilled with Ed. One round of rolling, also with Ed.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Guess who should have taken one more night off? This girl. Guess who didn’t? Yeah, same girl.

By Thursday of last week, I’d picked up some sort of a cold and so skipped class on Friday and Saturday, and even skipped the home football game Saturday night (which was a nail-biter! Won in the last minute!). Still haven’t quite shaken it by today; I’ve been living on cough drops all day. Ugh.

I did skip the morning class, though found out later that Andrew’s out of town for the rest of the week, so no morning classes the rest of the week.


First of all, a huge squeal and congrats to Buddy, who got his purple belt on Saturday! Stupid cold, making me miss that. Grr. But he was here tonight, so I got to do the squeal and jump and hug anyway.

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

Started with armbars from guard. 10/side, 3 rounds. Worked with Guillaume. Tired after half a set! Rats. Then Tim showed a control/transition around there, if for some reason you can’t get quite through the full armbar to start.

BJJ

I was feeling pretty good at this point, though tired. Hadn’t been coughing, so I thought I was all right to continue.

Short warmup disabused me of that notion rather quickly, but by then I was too wrapped up in class to think intelligently. *le sigh*

Started with seoi nage (I think — except instead of the back hand coming through under the far armpit, we stepped in, reached around, and grabbed the belt first. So is that something different? I can’t find the variation — though from the judo videos I’ve watched, they don’t seem to change grips often…) O goshi. (Thanks, Andrew!)

I love this this quick judo primer. Makes me giggle every time.

Was paired with the same guy from last week, despite positioning myself on the other side of the mat and immediately turning to someone else. *le sigh* Once he got the movement down, he followed it up with a pile-driving knee. Oh, thanks.

Then drilled a loop choke, with a backup option for if they want to be stubborn. Same partner as before. He tried to tough it out a few times, so Option 2 was used to good effect. He was having trouble with it, though, so Tim worked with him, using me, for quite a while until I was gagging (and had a sizable gi burn on my neck); then he called Steve and Adam over to serve as grappling dummies so I could recover. Unfortunately for me, once I started coughing, my irritated throat took over and kept it up for the rest of class. Rats.

Rolling. I’d decided before class at least to sit out during rolling, but of course I forgot by then. *le sigh* Same partner. Took a hard finger to the eye early on, so settled in to just defending myself for the rest of the round. And then I remembered that I’d meant to sit out. Too late… Started coughing, too, which sucked.

One more roll with Guillaume. Still coughing. No energy, no nothing. (Though there was one fabulous back-take when he overcommitted, though we had to scramble away as another pair came crashing down almost on top of us.)

So none of my rolling tonight; mostly just defense and surviving. Gagging and coughing again afterwards. Gonna live on cough drops for the rest of the night again and see if I can’t get this thing kicked out. Meh.


I’m sure you’ve seen at least some of the backlash to Manto’s tasteless comment and post from the weekend. (If not, see Megan’s blog post here.) While I don’t buy Manto’s explanation that they didn’t know what was going on with the photoshoot (and then didn’t have enough brand control to stop it when they did know? Somebody needs a talking to, if that is even true.), I was irritated that they posted it to their Facebook Wall and made a crude comment about the one picture. (Also, just because someone “doesn’t get” your “joke”, it doesn’t mean they “don’t have a sense of humor.” Sometimes it just means that it wasn’t funny.) Irritated, but I would normally just ignore pictures like that (such as those Internet posters of the two models in bikinis “grappling”) even with the immature comment, except for one more thing, and that’s that the models are doing everything all wrong. That suggests to me that the people who put this ad together don’t take women in grappling seriously. Not just that they thought that women grappling together nearly naked would catch men’s attention sell more stuff, but that women grappling have no idea what they’re doing and are only on the mats to be dumb and get attention. The secondary message seemed to be: “Silly girls, MMA/grappling is for boys.”

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