Never, in a self-defense situation, do anything half-assed. If you are going to run or hide or bluff or fight, do it with your whole heart. Hesitation is failure. –Rory Miller
Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. I was late because I had to wait half the morning for an electrical inspector to show up and do a mandatory inspection that took literally two minutes.
They were doing positional sparring, various positions. I had to wait a while, but eventually was able to jump in.
Several rolls- Ed, Dave (no-gi), Ritchie, Suranjen. Nice to work with Suranjen- it has been a while. Surprised to see Ritchie again. Thought he washed out. He’s not my favorite person (too rough, enormous ego)- but it does take an ego sublimation to come back after you’ve been out for a long time, so maybe there’s hope for him yet. He gave me a tap right away. Not sure what was up with that. But okay. He was fine for the rest of the roll, too. No spazz, no attitude. Okay, keep this up and we’re all cool. You don’t even have to hand me taps. I just don’t want you to act like Kanye and then tear my arm off.
Went back home and moved some heavy things, dug some holes, ripped off half my left large toenail on a rock in my garden. Hope it will be okay for tomorrow. Will have to tape it up nice.
Saturday no-gi in Kirkland.
Since it was a work day, I had to give myself a serious talking-to in order to get to class. Part of the reason I decided to go was that I figured Jill would be there to work with- so I would not have to get flung and bashed around, and I could sort of coast. Well, turns out Izzy was there too- which is great- but that did land them together and me with Pedro.
Honestly, as soon as I saw the kid on the mat, I was this close to sidling up to Dave and saying, “Dude, can you keep me away from Pedro today…. I am just not in the mood,” and this urge intensified when I found out that we were getting our lesson from an actual visiting wrestling coach today, on actual wrestling techniques. I stood there in line feeling weary and anxious…. and with a sigh, decided “Are you or are you not a warrior? Then woman up. You can eat a bit of a beating from a 14 YO- it’s gonna hurt but it won’t kill you. Quit whining.” Okay. Bring it. I came into class with the wrong attitude. I should never come in thinking, “I’m just going to coast today,” Sometimes it seems like that’s the only way I’ll get in at ALL… but it’s not constructive. The Universe decided to smack me down for that today. Point taken.
Takedowns. Wrestling takedowns. With a strong, rough, spazzy and egotistical teenage boy wrestler who has more energy in his smallest toenail than I have in five of me. FML.
I reminded him right at the start: “Be gentle. I’m an old lady.” There was one really really bad one, where he hit me like a freight train with a load of bricks on board and I hit the ground *very* hard, partly on my head. One other gnarly moment where he came down in a spinny scarf really hard on my ribs (my most vulnerable part). I crawled grimly to my feet after both and reminded him again to go easy. The instructor also came by once to watch us and tell Pedro to go lighter and me to go harder. Miraculously, I seem to have come out without injury from both of those bad takedowns. But yeah- they hurt. Toldja this was gonna hurt.
As one of my tenants of being a good partner, I do not condescend to anyone regardless of age or rank or ability, and try to both give and take good feedback. In this case, I asked him plenty of questions, since he *is* a wrestler, and understands many of the concepts even though it seemed that today’s particular techniques were new for him. It seemed like we developed a little better rapport as the class went on- or maybe he realized that he doesn’t have to prove he can disassemble me in order to get respect from me- and he started taking care to drop his weight on his elbow instead of on my ribs. So he *can* do it. The boy likes those “faceplant” style takedowns, though…. the ones where you take the person down really hard and fast, with driving downward momentum, and in a fashion that ties up both arms or otherwise sends you hurtling at the floor face first with about a nanosecond to try to twist your pinioned body an inch around so as to absorb the initial impact with something OTHER than your front teeth. Cindy likes those too.
I did a few reps with Jill, but before I take down white belts I always ask them if they have good breakfalls. If they don’t, I am not going to take them down. Jill didn’t, so we spent most of the drill time on that. She still needs more work on them. Note to revisit that again with her next time.
Before the sparring portion, I did sneak up to Dave…..
Kitsune (whispering): Give me some NICE people. I’m tired.
Dave: (laughing) Okay. After Jill, you can go with me.
Kitsune: I said NICE people.
Dave: You’re the one who clocked me in the nose last time we fought.
I worked with Jill some more on the upa, which I had shown her the last time I worked with her. She is improving, but still not doing a quick enough or forceful enough hip pop.
Dave: to my disgust, I noticed myself putting that damn arm up three times. He failed to capitalize on it (he seemed to be working on an agenda of his own), at which point I stopped and said, “Every time I do that, please sub the hell out of me as fast as you can- and make it hurt a little.” Note that I need to ask that of all of my colored belt sparring partners for a while, till I break myself of that habit.
Shins ache now- it’s typical to get lots of impact on them doing wrestling takedowns, even if you do it right (which we didn’t always).