Grapplethon

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So often I have witnessed things I would never have believed possible that I am more than willing to keep my mind open to the idea that our bodies are home to forces that we don’t fully comprehend. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Spent 5 hours at the Grapplethon, 11:30pm to 4:30 am. I wasn’t rolling the entire time, but I was rolling a lot. If we ever do another one of these, note that we had plenty of people around midnightish; they started dropping off around 2am. I would have been more use from 2am to 6am. But by 4:30, I needed to have a nap because I was due to spend the entire Saturday at work. At least I was able to watch the live stream at work, because The Big Bad Boss is usually not here on Saturdays.

I got to roll with 4 ladies that I have never worked with before. They were all asking me lots of questions- technical questions as well as getting-along-as-a-woman-in-the-gym questions. I’m still kind of dumbfounded when people do this; I keep wanting to look over my shoulder for the Gandalf-like figure they must really be seeking advice from.

I deliberately did not wear my belt. A handful of people there knew me, but it was really nice to be anonymous and no-expectations with most of the crowd. Although one of those women asked me (in tones usually reserved for speaking to movie stars and royalty) , “You’re a brown belt, right?” LOL. See what I get for trying to fly under the radar?

I also rolled with a few guys that I don’t know, and Peter, and Chris, and Griff. I was really happy to roll with Chris, because it’s been a long time. I had to peel him out of his sleeping bag. He had one of those subzero REI cocoon-style sleeping bags set up by the side of the mat along with a grocery bag of food, and he kept disappearing into his little camp at intervals.

I missed Lamont, and also Terry and Chelsea (although I spied the latter two suspects on the live feed later).

Griff not only spent the entire 24 hours on site, he spent most of it actively rolling, and taking the time to roll with almost everybody as well as teaching us stuff. He’s lost about half his weight- I barely recognized him. He tweaked my kneebars (pinch knees together, do not triangle legs), armbar off a failed keylock (turn little finger side of blade hand to floor and lift the propping forearm up a bit) and a few other things that I immediately forgot but I hope will come back to me later. He actually remembered my 16-min fight in the elevated ring in October (I think he might have been reffing that fight… Gods, I was so spacey) and made specific suggestions about things he observed. That was cool.

It had made over $7000 by the time I left, with over 12 hours to go (and- I assume- the biggest crowds to some Saturday afternoon, as it coincided with the onsite promotions class and BBQ). Twenty-one black belts on the mat for this (BEFORE promotions). Luiz was apparently promoted to black belt. Robert promoted to purple.

Amanda Loewen has her brown belt. It’s a relief. It’s kind of ridiculous for a purple belt to be able to fight Tammy Griego for over an hour straight without getting disassembled. I found out she has only been training for just under 4 years. Wonder if she has experience in a different MA.

Toe was mostly okay- I made a little shriek once when I caught it on Griff’s jacket as I was trying to replace guard- it hurt some but was reasonably functional. I did start to hurt more as the night wore on, though. I am going to have to be judicious about training this week. I’m seriously worried about making weight, especially if I can’t train as regularly as usual.

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