Four and a half down, ten to go. Even if I aim for one pound a week, that gives me some slack.
While I was trying to arrange carpool routes for tonight, I announced that JB and I were going to be in GB Seattle tonight- and was confused when JM said she’d like to train "with" us. I assumed her membership at GB had ended on the first of this month. Well, it looks like they are going to let her still come in on occasion- because "we need girls here". Wow.
Standup: parry punch to overwrapping arm to safe clinch to hip throw. We were parrying with our heads to the inside, and that’s really hard for me to do after being brainwashed for years in kung fu to always go to the outside.
Transitions from side control to front mount- the one where you switch your hips, push the guarding knee down with your hand, and slide your own knee through. Then the one where you start by getting knee on belly, and then slide the knee on through once you have your points for that.
Then defenses to these- the one where you hip-bump the mounting opponent and get half guard, then go to their back and choke…. then an upa. Which one to use depended on where the opponent’s arms were in the side control.
I was drilling with Marc, then I did positional sparring with Marc and then with Nic’s son. I’ve never seen Nic’s son before. He looks about 15, a little bigger than me and probably a couple dozen pounds heavier- solidly built. I drew a breath to give him my "Go kinda light on me" speech and then sighed it out again. I should have gone ahead and done it- especially for a teenage white belt- but I was in one of those moods where I was just feeling pretty sick and tired of asking everyone to "go light" on me.
In the car on the way to class this morning, I had been thinking that it’s way past time for me to move beyond the frantic-random-squirming phase of rolling and force myself to take the extra seconds that it will take for me to analyze the situation. I need to force myself to take the time to observe where my opponent’s balance is, and make an intelligent decision on what move to use. So I was making an effort to do that with Nic’s son.
The kid is good. Decent technique, a little spazzier than I’d like but not nearly as bad as I was braced for. I started to get a bit of claustrophobia-panic tapped under his mount; I can’t even remember the last time that’s happened. I did try to pause-and-analyze… mixed success. He was digging for subs the whole time, so I couldn’t just lie there and think it over.
I didn’t stay for open mat- again. I had to lie there on the downstairs mat for a few minutes before I mustered the strength to walk out to the car. I flaked on both of the workouts I had planned for this weekend and went to bed early- why am I still so tired??? Is it the diet??
I wouldn’t exactly say I got *dominated* by Nic’s son, but he did well enough against me to make me feel frustrated. Same story, different day. As I was walking out to the car, I was thinking about those white and blue belts who get their jollies out of mopping the mat with the brand new guy. When you leave the school day after day having gotten beaten down by everybody in the place, I guess I can kind of see why your eyes might light up when that new guy walks in. I still wouldn’t pwn the new guy- I just think it’s poor hospitality, and selfish and mean-spirited when you’re just doing it to salve your own bruised ego- but I have to admit it would feel good….. if I could just do that once in some alternate reality and then be able to rewind it so that s/he didn’t remember it.
But in a tournament….. you’re *supposed* to try- as hard as you can- to pwn the opponent. It’s encouraged- expected- rewarded.
I’m starting to actually look forward to the tournament (during brief periods interspersed between the fear and the doubt). Just the thought of sparring someone who isn’t a foot taller and forty pounds heavier. I don’t even know what that would FEEL like. The only people my size here are Susie, Sabrina, and Cindy. (Sabrina and Cindy are still a tad taller.) Susie and Sabrina are still too new and breakable for me to do anything but go very light with- and Cindy- well, I’m speaking here in terms of sparring a normal human being, so Cindy doesn’t count!!!
I don’t want to get complacent with the idea that going to a tournament and fighting someone my own size is going to be laughably easy… but I’m REALLY starting to wonder if going to a tournament and fighting someone my own size is going to be laughably easy.
I truly do need to do this, it’s going to be a reality check either way. Do I really suck this bad, or is it truly that the physical disadvantages are this overwhelming? I know BJJ is supposed to overcome such physical disadvantages, but I don’t think I’m at the level of expertise yet where that would show in a dramatic way.
If I cultivate the right mindset, I might even be able to channel my years of frustration with being owned by everyone into my physical and mental battery-pack to consciously use for oomph in the tournment. In a concious, controlled fashion, of course. I’m not looking to make some poor girl into my scapegoat victim. (#CRACK# "AND *THIS* IS FOR ALL THE SIDE-CONTROL STALLS!!!" #SNAP# "AND *THIS* IS FOR ALL THE TIMES I WAS PICKED LAST FOR DRILLS!!!" #POP# "AND *THIS*….") No, I’m not going to be that person! But there are ways to recycle garbage into useful things, and bad feelings can sometimes be recycled into helpful motivation. It might even be helpful *now*, on a day-to-day basis, to just have a mental can on the mental shelf to dump that emotion into, and say "I feel you, I acknowledge you, now get in there and don’t bother me until it’s time for me to take you out and make a cake with you."
I got stuck with a whole bunch of 11:30am-to-8pm workshifts this month, so I am going to miss numerous units of the evening BJJ classes that I usually attend with my friends. This lovely shift also precludes going to the morning class. It sucks. But my boss knows that Tues/Thurs evenings are off the table because of kung fu- so she gave me those off. Meaning, I should be able to do Tues/Thurs morning BJJ, and not be slacking off too much!
Evening BJJ in Seattle. JM had to fade out because she went to her chiropractor today and he ordered her to lay off the BJJ for a couple of days.
"No white belt drilling partners tonight!" I admonished SK as we got out of the car. "Unless we’ve worked with them before and know they’re not a-holes!" "Or I could just drill with YOU." "You could….. but I’m short." I’m afraid that if we pair up, Rodrigo will come over and start switching people around- he does that sometimes if he doesn’t like the size differences- and stick SK with some Spazzy White Belt anyway.
So when drills started, I looked over and there he is with JB. Well, okay, I guess she qualifies as "someone we’ve worked with before and know isn’t an a-hole"… but not exactly what I had in mind. What’s wrong with him? Is he too shy to approach the colored belts? Should I step in and ask somebody to drill with him, or would that be totally obnoxious?
Same techniques as this morning, with the addition of a standing wrist release to armbar which is identical to one we do in kung fu.
Rodrigo was all up in my grill tonight. He came over to correct my technique twice, and came over to correct my drill partner’s technique at least a half dozen times. As he was correcting my partner, he glared at *ME*, which eventually progressed to reprimanding me BY NAME, for MY PARTNER’S technique errors…. Like I was supposed to have fixed that. I did give the guy a pointer or two on the most glaring things he was doing wrong, but I’m really trying to keep my playing-teacher action to a humble and inoffensive minimum. Well, what I seemed to be reading from Rodrigo tonight is that I was expected to make sure the other guy was doing the techniques right. That would have made more sense if Rodrigo hadn’t been correcting *my* form as well…. If I’m still not doing it right, how am I supposed to fix the other guy’s mistakes??
The guy was not really spazzy, he seemed a bit clumsy and more than a bit clueless, but a nice fellow. Somehow during the wrist release to armbar, though, he managed to wrench both my thumbs *and* the wrist that’s been wonky since Carlos wristlocked me three weeks ago. I hope none of them are serious. My left thumb is still not 100% since that last sprain.
It seemed like a ton of drilling tonight… I was getting pretty tired. And pushups and chokes in between positional spars… I hate it when they do that.
More positional sparring- I got matched both rounds with JB (there was no one else there remotely our size). She passed my guard four times tonight with the same technique- grabbing under both my thighs, yanking me up onto the back on my neck, and stacking me brutally till I actually WANTED to give her the pass. She still doesn’t really know what to do with back mount, though…. from either side of the matter. So after we finished the positional sparring, I showed her what I usually try first when back-mounted: grabbing a foot and removing one of the hooks, then shrimping my butt out.
Open mat- I did a few spars with JB, then I had planned to pounce on SK after, but he had disappeared. Again. So I pounced on Peter, even though I was really exhausted by then. He’s really good to work with- he went hard enough to make me work, but he didn’t smash me. He also gives advice but not TOO MUCH advice, you know? We had several fun rolls, and by the time we were done, the place was deserted.
In the car, I asked SK why he keeps running away before open mat. I was pretty sure he hadn’t been injured/frustrated by idiots tonight. Turns out he is discouraged by how exhausted he is by the end of the drills. I told him that I think that’s normal…. Even for those of us who are in pretty good shape and used to hard workouts. This is a different sort of hard workout. I think it was a couple of MONTHS before I felt like I might have enough gas sometimes to attempt open mat. But I did tell him that if he has even a drop of energy left, he should try really hard to stay for open mat- because that’s when you learn a lot of good stuff. And that’s also when *I* get a chance to play with him.
He asked JB and me if we’d done our essay. ESSAY??!!? CN had said (in an offhand tone) to write a couple of paragraphs. I had planned to get my COUPLE OF PARAGRAPHS done before class tomorrow, but I am not writing an essay!
I also reminded JB that CK is going to be in town really soon, and we need to make sure our tai chi forms are whipped into shape. Her reaction told me that she has been slacking in that regard! We agreed to work on Cannon Fist during Thursday class free-forms time.
Oh- and JB got another stripe promotion tonight! Yay! Now she too is a two-stripe white belt.