Wednesday, February 24, 2010
...now to find someone to drag along with me...
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I really needed class tonight. My brain's been all wonky at work since I picked up two new hospitals to clean up and class is a good reset button for me. The space between my twice weekly classes is starting to seem really long. It's tempting for me to add Fridays on right now, but I'm going to give it another month or so. Maybe I'm gun shy or lack confidence, but I can't imagine doing two days back to back.
I feel pretty good about my sparring tonight. I only went two rounds, but I feel like I got some really useful feedback. My second round was with one of the blue belts and he pointed out a lot of what I was doing wrong...sadly I already knew not to do what I was doing, but I've picked up some bad habits over the last few weeks.
1) I was pushing. I think I developed this from rolling with another white belt that likes to crush my throat and face. I started focusing on trying to prevent that above all else by pushing her head off me.
2) I was grabbing the collar when I was mounted. I started doing this because well...I just learned collar chokes and figured I'd start grabbing collars willie-nillie just to see what happened. What happened was armbars.
I got a new drill added to my warm-up! Instead of kimura, I'm now doing shoulder locks/omoplata. I've gotten used to doing them from a failed collar choke, but I think I'll be able to pick up the drill since the concept of moving an opponent's head toward the ground is essentially the same, I'm just not pulling him toward me since I'm not trying to execute a choke.
The masochist/linguist in me is deeply tempted to learn all the moves in English, Portuguese and Japanese. No, there would be no real point in doing this, I just uh...like the idea. Hearing Portuguese spoken every day in class makes it REALLY hard for me not to pick up yet another set of Pimsleur CDs and go to town. I like the sound. It has the bounciness of some Romance languages, but there's a pleasant edge that hits my ears much in the same way Russian does. The fact that I just got confirmation (as I was changing for class) that I finished my business Spanish certificate makes it even harder. But no...I'm going to focus. I need to be solidly conversational in Mandarin before I take on any other languages.
...but then...I could understand even more instruction in class...hmm...
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
I'd just finished my time in formal education and being single, moving
is always an option.
Well, I had my annual review at work this week and while I was talking
to my VP, we got on the subject of potential relocation. I've only
been training BJJ for three months, but the idea of moving and leaving
my gym really does make me sad. I think I've found an all around good
bunch of guys (and ladies) and seeing as I rarely enjoy being around
people, the fact that I feel comfortable really surprises me. Things
change, but for the first time since my best friend moved, there's
something in this city I'd miss besides family and my church.
I started some more solo drills tonight. I want to spend a month or so
focusing on bridging. I feel like mine are particularly weak and I
don't have the control I should. I've also decided to make a conscious
effort to fight like a smaller woman while still being mindful of my
unique physical makeup. I want my technique to be clean and being
larger/stronger could get in the way of that if I'm not careful.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I try to leave each class with a deeper internalization of one major concept. I stayed after class tonight and drilled escapes from the mount and side control. I learned today that I'm not making an effort to create space before escapes and am instead just going for it. I wish there were a class after mine where I could watch live rolling and see what I'm focusing on put to use immediately after I'm looking at it. Guess that's what YouTube's for:)
One of the blue belts told me that I'm using strength instead of technique. I really try not to muscle my way through moves, but apparently I am. I get regular comments on how much stronger I've gotten, but perhaps those are just observations and not compliments that indicate an improvement in my jiu jitsu makeup.
I love my mouthguard! No, it didn't save me from any smile-disfiguring incidents. What it did do though, is allow me to roll more freely. I brought it to class on Monday but didn't use it (I know, not the best idea). I finally put it on tonight and noticed I wasn't as overly cautious as I was without it. Having a shoulder grinding against my upper lip didn't cause panic and it was easier to just pause and take my time getting out of uncomfortable situations.
I'm really starting to notice changes in my overall fitness level. The biggest one is my breathing. I've been plagued with respiratory problems for as long as I can remember...from asthma as a little kidbit to sinus infections to allergies. When I last had my lung capacity measured, it was 40% of a normal adult's. I might have it done again, but I'm noticing I'm taking much deeper, much slower breaths.
On a side note, I needed to share this.
Still though, being a larger woman doesn't mean that you're impervious to the concerns of being dominated by a male. I told a cousin that I had started bjj, and his response was "Why? Nobody's gonna mess with you." True...people don't normally mess with me. I remember my first day of high school...it was my first time in a public school and my head was full of stereotypes of what it would be like (nevermind the fact that it was a magnet school). I was in a particularly crowded part of the hallway and I noticed one of the upperclassmen look at me and yell out "I bet none of ya'll b**ches'll mess with her." I was terrified, but no one ever did mess with me. That said, your average 5'8" guy isn't the one that approaches me (not that he couldn't pose a threat). I get the 6'11", 325lb guys and bouncers, and that's who's shaped my perception of what I see as the standard potential male threat.
I've started one-legged shrimping and it's starting to feel more natural. I just started really making a connection between the drill and when it should be used while rolling. I never knew when it was appropriate, but now I can somewhat feel when it will put me in a better position.