Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tall Tales

Yeah, so my height's been working against me lately.

I think the strong, stubby-legged people have gotten together and started plotting against me. It seems that all of a sudden, I'm getting caught in their half guards, but WAY up to my upper thigh...almost at the hip even. My thighs are far from thin and I have a good three feet of leg to free if I get caught. The two half guard escapes I know seem almost pointless. Let's just say that my last round, I spent two solid minutes trying to get my left leg free from the death-grip of one of the ladies. I shifted my weight eight ways from Sunday to try to find leverage to get my knee out. 10 seconds before the end of the match I got it to the mat.

Then there's judo. I've discussed this with other en-heightened people, and everyone seems to agree. Falling takes a long you go down in slow motion or something. I've watched other tall people fall and yeah, it looks like that from the outside too. Osoto gari? ...feels like it takes 15 minutes to hit the mat, and then the speed your head is traveling by the time you get there? My days of physics are done, but I'm sure I've got a few feet per second on shorter people. Even if I don't, my neck sure feels that way.

Speaking of judo, my exuberance over judo month has quickly turned to lamentations of discomfort. I know it takes time to properly apply break-fall technique, but my body...I'm not sure it can take too long a learning period. I thankfully was partnered with FireFighter lady yesterday. Neither of us can takes the shock of our full weights hitting the mats well, even from a "soft" throw, so we agreed to drill the setup without the actual throw. It was pretty bad since we both have a fear of falling. I was tensing up and she was gripping my back and collar, taking me down with her. I'm just hoping both of us make it to May in one piece.

But yeah...much props to the ladies that train judo. I don't see how their bones handle it. I've felt beat up from jiu jitsu, but the shock to the spine...that's new. We went and spoke to our new, lady-black belt and she told us of her days in Brazil as a blue belt, jumping head first over a low volleyball net to get over fears of falling.



SavageKitsune said...

I think the strong, stubby-legged people have gotten together and started plotting against me.
Curses! She's found us out!!! >:(

You and Firefighter lady should get someone who really knows what they are doing to review breakfall techniques with you, and then throw you a whole bunch- first very gently, and gradually less gentle as you become more comfortable with it. When you're getting thrown by white belts, yeah, it's going to hurt more. An experienced person can control how hard they throw you.

If you're scared of falling or being thrown, it's really going to hamper you whenever you have to start from standup... so it's a good thing to spend some extra time and effort on.

It would be nice to see fewer women pulling guard every time they step on the competition mat.

Anonymous said...

I totally get the tall girl thing. I have the hardest time getting my knee out too. The move that has helped me the most has been standing up and moving both of their legs to the other side. Usually, they won't let you go all of the way, so I'll move them to the center, donkey kick my leg back, and x-pass. It's been money. If they insist on their half guard at that point, I'll be able to slide my knee through to the ground from there.

Megan said...

Yeah...I'd LOVE to solidly know 3-4 Judo takedowns. I'm glad we're learning them.

I don't know why, but single and double legs never caused me any issues...maybe because I was working with higher belts. Great suggestion on finding someone who knows throws.

Megan said...


OKOK...I need to understand this as clearly as possible. How exactly are you standing? I was able to roll her to the other side and work my knee to the mat. I think I would have been able to make some progress from there.

Liam H Wandi said...

I love reading your posts, so well written :)

If you really get stuck in their half guard, get good at armbarring from half guard a la Saulo (number 3)

Georgette said...

When we train judo, we do 5 uchikomis (setups) for every throw. So sounds like that might help you both.

Megan said...

I like that idea Georgette...I might suggest it next time we train together.