Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Going to check out my first tournament...

I was fumbling around Google this afternoon and ran into what appears to be a small tournament in the area. It looks like The Good Fight has been around since 2008 and features both gi and no gi matches. Looks to be interesting. to find someone to drag along with me...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I never thought I'd say this... a person that would choose acupuncture over a back rub any day, this is difficult...
I desperately need a neck massage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Learning what you already know

I swear there's nothing better than a post-class shower.

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 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

Question for any readers...

Does learning techniques on your non-dominant side become less time consuming as you drill more? I'm assuming that it does, as your non-dominant side becomes more proficient and "catches up" to your dominant side.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Work/Life Balance

I stepped into BJJ at somewhat of a transitional period in my life.
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

Creating Space

Quinoa, in all its complete protein-ness (8...count em...8 essential amino acids!), is a great after-class meal.

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.

Big Girls Get Scared Too

My first trial week I tried out both the gi and no-gi classes. Of course, no-gi attracts more of a crowd with MMA aspirations and I'm guessing that's why the guys were bigger. I still remember doing laps and feeling small. That's something that almost always catches me by surprise. I come from a tall family, my father is 6'5" and his brothers are all 6'3"+. My younger brother is 6'7". Still, me being 6' tall, and 190lbs, the bulk of my life is spent around people that are shorter than I am. There was something slightly unsettling running laps with so many men that were larger than me...I felt like I was in bootcamp or prison or the French foreign legion. After a female blue belt explained to me how easily she's thrown in some moves, it sunk in how the more petite ladies that walk onto the mats must feel. Much respect to them.

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 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.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More choking...

Three women in class tonight, all three of us white belts. I had one of those nights where you just...lose...over and over again. I rolled with a smaller lady and she tapped me three times in five mintues. Later though I found out she had some wrestling experience, which made me feel a little better...a little. I have a seriously hard time with shorter opponents. Speed is definitely not my thing and I haven't yet learned how to deal with it effectively. I also still don't have the hip flexibility to take full advantage of my limb length. Mantaining pressure and control are the last things on my mind when I'm rolling and I can see where I pay for it.
We went over a collar choke again. I ended up with one of the blue belts that's injured, so he drills and trains with the beginners' class. He doesn't let me stop and is very detailed, which sucks in the moment, but it's a huge help. I was getting the choke last week, but I learned exactly which bones in my wrists I should be using to cut off blood supply. Details:)


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shrimping Win!

I'm looking at my orange ShockDoctor mouth guard case right now and I HAVE to fit it this weekend. I've had it for almost two weeks and have been putting off the whole boil 'n' bite process. I got a warning tonight though. I was being put into some kind of choke from behind and felt my bottom teeth collide pretty hard with my top. I hope it works out ok, but even if it doesn't fit, I'll work with it until I find one that does. I've already had enough restorative dental work to last me a life time and there's no sense in unnecessarily risking more.
I finished my second round of shrimping today and on the way around to start the third, BeginnersInstructor told me that they had gotten "good...really good". The one legged drills are paying off:) I almost thought he was kidding, but I have to admit, it felt good to hear and I'm glad he let me know.
I learned my first collar choke today! I was partnered with Wuzzup during the technique portion of class and his faces had me feeling SO bad. I wonder if I look that that sad when I'm being choked. It still shocks me a bit when I hurt someone unintentionally, but I'm getting over it and it's good incentive to control my movements properly. The poor guy caught a knee to the head from me too. I now see why white belts can be so dangerous.