Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Can't squat with your heels flat? There's help.

My mind's all over the different inputs goings-on and byproducts of BJJ today...

My body: My squat work is helping! I started the Grappler's Toolbox a month ago and ran into a big roadblock. I can't squat with my heels flat on the floor. It happens generally to those of us that have proportionately long femurs (a lot of tall folk), inflexible ankles, tight calves or tight hips. I'm a combination of all those. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but think about trying to maintain your balance through a standing guard pass while on your toes...it's murder on your knees and you're just waiting to get swept. So I emailed Scott Sonnon (guy in the video), who sent me this link. Well, last night we did my least favorite standing/smashing guard pass...and it went well! I was doing it with a guy that was just under 200 lbs and I stood up with minimal issues! At the time, it didn't even hit me that I could do it because I could keep my heels flat AND at my opponents hips (as opposed to his waist) now.

My gender: I've gone through waves of awareness of being female and training BJJ. I'm back to paying quite a bit of attention. I've been checking out aggressiveness since I'm working on managing mine better and I've got a theory that, in general, in regard to aggression and the maturation of a female grappler vs. the maturation of a male grappler, we run in opposite directions. Women, learning not to fear it, men, learning how to prevent it from being a liability.

My comfort zone: That is, stepping out of it...yet again. I learned an open guard pass that I really like, and finally fully pulled off (though the blue belt did let me slide some) while rolling. Well, though I know quite a few passes that involve applying pressure with the upper body, I noticed I'm only willing to do it really during drills. It's taking me so...long to work through this, that I'm almost annoying myself...but I'll be patient with Megan, she's done a lot in this past year. The other issue is speed. I know it's not a strength of mine, so I never even take it into account. I'm starting to see that there are certain techniques in which speed is a necessity. 

My life: and how it's changed. It's so contrasted now. I work in an office of all women. Have for a few years now. Not being very "girly" or having any sisters, I've learned a LOT about female interactions at work. Well, now, after leaving my office of emergency chocolate supplies and coordinated menstrual cycles, three times a week, I walk into a haven of manliness. I'm learning a lot about men. It's a fascinating balance. 




3 comments:

The Part Time Grappler said...

"My gender: I've gone through waves of awareness of being female and training BJJ. I'm back to paying quite a bit of attention. I've been checking out aggressiveness since I'm working on managing mine better and I've got a theory that, in general, in regard to aggression and the maturation of a female grappler vs. the maturation of a male grappler, we run in opposite directions. Women, learning not to fear it, men, learning how to prevent it from being a liability"

I loved that bit!!! I have a theory that kids are different. In other words, at some point in life, a girl is told by a (external or internal) voice that aggression is bad but a boy isn't told that.

I'd love to hear your opinion on that.

Megan said...

"In other words, at some point in life, a girl is told by a (external or internal) voice that aggression is bad but a boy isn't told that."

I think you're right on that, but I think it goes deeper. I think boys are given subtle (and not so subtle) cues that aggression (assertiveness?) is good and solves many, if not most problems.

The girl side of that coin has me wondering though. I don't come from a culture that really teaches its girls that aggression is bad, and with a father insisting that I learn how to throw a proper punch at age 8, I didn't get much of that message at home either.

After watching myself a bit, I think there are three female archetypes that come into BJJ, at least in relation to aggression.

1)Women that are naturally comfortable with aggression (either naturally, or through conditioning playing sports, having brothers, etc.).

2) Women that are comfortable with aggression, but not with the idea of hurting someone. That's the lady that could punch the stuffing out of a heavy bag, but backs off when it's a person.

3)Women that aren't comfortable with aggression. They probably have a hard time punching a pillow...be it for fear of what people will think, or of what may be in themselves.

Georgette said...

Excellent triad there. I agree.