Bunless cheeseburger (with swiss cheese this time!) for breakfast. Beef and cheese for lunch. Carrots. Chicken and cheese wrap with just a little ranch dressing ("light" ranch, and I watered it down a bit, too) before class. I was still hungry after eating it. Didn’t seem quite hungry enough after class to justify a full meal, so I had some corn.
Evening BJJ in Seattle. JM planned to tell Rodrigo tonight that she’s leaving. Last I talked to SK, he still hadn’t quite made up his mind.
Angela was there. I didn’t even recognize her. I haven’t seen her for over a year. I had heard that she’d been injured, and possibly there was surgery involved. I don’t think she’s been training regularly for a while.
Standing choke escape to "chicken wing" armlock (Gads, I can’t get away from chicken even *in* class); the same sweep from scarf that we did Monday; and the same spinning armbar from Monday as well. I drilled with JM, who had sat out most of yesterday’s kung fu class with a pulled muscle. She was still hurting today, so I said I’d try to be careful. I kept asking throughout if she was doing okay. She’s one of those people that- despite multiple reassurances on my part- I don’t feel like I can really trust her to enforce her own healthy boundaries and actually *STOP* when it hurts too much. I also accidentally conked the poor girl in the head three times over the course of the drills. (I was *really* sleep deprived and it was having a noticable effect on my skills.)
I noticed Rodrigo going over to where SK was drilling with another white belt and saying to slow it down and go lighter. I thought, "Dang, SK got stuck with another Spazzy White Belt," I also heard said spazz taking it upon himself to play Professor and give SK instructions on the drill.
SK and JM both got promoted a stripe tonight! That was cool. They were both totally sandbagging at one-stripe white. Also Reuben got his purple. That was UTTERLY AWESOME as well, especially since he is a smaller-size guy. It gives me hope to see the smaller-size guys getting to high levels in here.
Positional sparring. First I got paired up with Angela. Guard pass vs sweep, no subs. I thought, "I’m toast," She has a *LOT* of weight on me, and she’s a purple belt, and I happen to know that she also holds a black belt in karate. Apparently, though, it was true that she has been away for a while- because she was gassing visibly. I was able to do a halfway reasonable job defending the sweep. Well, that is, after the first time- when I shifted my base slightly to try a pass and she immediately tipped me over… the spar had lasted about four seconds total. After that, I was very careful to keep a LOW solid base. No matter how big and strong she was, it was hard for her to sweep me when I was plastered low, flat and heavy to the mat like a stain. But that meant I didn’t get very far with guard pass attempts. I did manage to pass her guard once, which astonished me.
Then Allie. More guard pass vs sweep, then some rounds starting in back mount. Allie’s getting better and better. At this point, I’d say she has grown into her belt and is well worthy of her two stripes. She fights hard, and keeps fighting even when squished under mount or side control. She got a couple of decent guard passes on me. I told her she should do the Revolution, because she’s probably in Sabrina’s weight class.
I left after that, because SK and JM had disappeared right after drills and I didn’t want to keep them waiting too long.
In the car, SK told me that the guy he’d been drilling with was being a real @ss (My words, not his). That the guy was going way too hard and fast even after being told more than once to lighten up; gave copious instuctions even though it was obvious even to SK that whatever this guy thought he knew, it wasn’t BJJ- the basic skills just weren’t there…. and was just generally rude and inconsiderate to boot. SK had bailed out of positional training because he was so sore and frustrated after being roughhoused around by this jerk.
I was aware that SK keeps getting stuck with the Spazzy White Belts, and that it is frustrating to him and not allowing him to learn as much as he would be if he had some decent partners. I have told him that 1)It’s partially his own fault for just grabbing whomever is standing next to him when it’s time to pair up- I’ve told him that he should make a beeline for the colored-belt end of the line and ask someone there to drill with him. And 2)He ought to discuss it with Rodrigo if it is that persistant of a problem issue. Rodrigo goes way out of his way to carefully pair up his more vulnerable students with appropriate people, and try to make sure they don’t end up with someone who’s going to smash the crapola out of them. I have also seen him pair up certain people who obviously needed a little humbling tapping practice with certain people who were well-equipped to perform that duty. I’m confident that if he knew SK was having this problem- and getting injured and frustrated- he would make an effort to see that SK got paired up with some more appropriate people.
I had also told SK before that I’d make an effort to ask some of my favorite colored belts to roll with him. And I had every intention of doing so- only many of the classes we attend together don’t have an open mat afterward; and even when they do, usually one or more of our carpooling group is either exhausted or needs to get home. So we almost never stay for an open mat, which is when I would have had good opportunity to try to matchmake for SK.
I hadn’t really worried too much about the drill portion of class, and now I feel bad that I didn’t. I had to ask myself if I’d been a hypocritical sexist to not pay as much attention to looking out for SK as I have paid to looking out for the girls. But honestly, it’s not a gender thing. It’s a size thing and MA-experience thing. I didn’t worry as much about SK because he’s not in the bottom 5% of weight and strength among the students here. He’s 6 feet tall, and slim but very strong. Also, he’s light-years ahead of the three of us women in Kung fu, which does have *some* carryover here (esp. joint locks)- so I guess I just assumed he could take care of himself. He could probably joint-lock these Spazzes to within an inch of their lives, if he chose to join the testosterone-poisoned egofest. But he doesn’t want to be a jerk by doing that. And he came here to learn, not to engage in daily pissing contests with every new cheeseheaded MMA wannabe who walks in the door. Kung fu prowess notwithstanding, he’s too new *HERE* to be expected to be the Enforcer and administer the rightous educational beat-downs to these buttheads.
Anyway, I brought him in here and I have failed in my responsibility to look out for him.
I encouraged him again to attempt to be more selective when it comes time to choose drilling partners, and also to talk to Rodrigo about the issue. If he stays at this school (which is looking even more unlikely in light of this), and he won’t talk to Rodrigo, I’ll do it myself. And I will also make an effort EVEN FOR DRILL TIME to approach people that I *know* are good training partners and ask them if they would do me a favor and drill with my buddy.