Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm still not totally back to "fighting fit". Felt pretty bleh! on Monday, but went to class anyway.

Dear oh dear, even the warm up felt tough... So I was pretty glad that we started with drills. Was assigned a pretty new white belt and worked through one movement drill he knows but needs to practice. And another drill he didn't know. He has a shortened forearm and a hand with less fingers, so we had to modify some grips.

I've worked with him a couple of times before. He's the nicest guy. Very tense and stiff, like all newbies of course. But I think that if he can stick out the hard yards at the beginning, he will make jiu jitsu work for him. I think it's fantastic that he's giving it a go. I have no experience at all with people who (I'm not sure if this is politically correct to say like this, but here goes...) are shaped different to how I am and I can't know how their shape changes/limits 'normal' movement patterns. So I have asked him to tell me if he has trouble doing what I ask and make suggestions on how we can modify it to achieve the objective. This is a learning curve for him, and for me, too.

Anyway, we worked through two of the drills and he made good progress until I was re-assigned.

I worked with another blue belt. We did some open guard stuff. I say stuff because it wasn't anything specific, it was more concepts and experimenting with positions of feet and knees and complementary grips. Instructor called it the glue that holds things together.

I re-discovered a limitation of strength in my lower back in a certain position and experimented with working around that. Helps to have a good partner!! We had a play with a sweep if our partner pushes forward into us. This I had a few problems with, mainly because I felt flat and the brain wasn't fully engaged. Still, I picked up a lot of valuable stuff, both the open guard options and transitions and the sweep.

And then we were told to roll. Well, well. That was where I really couldn't get my act together. Body said "go away" and brain went on vacation. Damn. In fact, I felt so powerless and unco that I virtually laid back like a limp sausage. I actually caught myself thinking: yeah, do it, get it over with, as he started to put on an armwrap from mount and set up a choke. And then I suddenly thought that wasn't good enough and I ought to be ashamed of myself. So I finally started fighting. And I got out of there. He let me work a little, but not without putting on a fair bit of pressure. No freebies. Still, I regained guard, but he was passing immediately by blocking my foot. I couldn't stop him and was getting pretty annoyed with myself. That's when our instructor stepped in (I hadn't realised he'd been watching). He showed me a really simple way to get the other foot in, on his hip and make space to negate the technique my partner was using to pass my guard. It was SO obvious that I was embarrassed :-(

So we went again. Similar deal, I didn't get a good position, in fact, as he dragged me forward, I bruised my right knee. That's what you get when you are too stupid to move well.... Oh boy. Then it went to switch back side control, where I ended up NOT being able to do the bump and sweep technique. It is one of those things I struggle with. And instead of saying I will learn and I will perfect this technique, I've been saying I can't do it and it's so hard against bigger people. So guess what? I can't do it. And I get caught. At that moment, I could have crawled into the cracks between the mats. Still, we reset and went on.

Ended up defending from bottom of side mount. Generally not a place which is too scary, but this time, I flopped and floundered and uselessly bucked around. Not really blue belt standard, that much was clear. We were stopped again, and the instructor pointed out what I was doing. He didn't call it useless or silly (though it surely was!), but he did a good impression of what my legs were doing... Which was bugger all. By this stage I was beginning to really want to be elsewhere. Then he showed us a really neat way of escaping that very position which I'd never seen before. He explained how it worked and why and then unfortunately, time was up.

Not my brightest day. I apologised to my partner for being useless and not being much of a partner. Oh, and for being a tad.... emotional. Oh, how I hate it when that happens. He told me not to be silly, and reminded me we all have shitty days. He's right, of course. I'm lucky to have nice, level headed people around me.

Well, all I want is for my body to return to normal operating levels, so that I can have fun and feel at least reasonably competent :-) I decided against a double session down at Geelong tonight, as I want to make sure my body recovers and I get back to normal. I'm going to class tomorrow, and we have a guest instructor for a two hour session on Friday night. I want to make sure I'm fit as a fiddle by then. On Saturday, there will be a grading. I'm only helping, but it's usually hard going, so I'd like to be fit for that one, too.


  1. I have been there before. Repeatedly. More often than I want to admit. You may feel like you were giving up on the mat. But keep in mind, at least you showed up. A lot of people quit when BJJ gets frustrating. So you have more of a fighting spirit than you might think.

  2. Thanks, Allie :-)

    I went to class today. Instructor asked how things are going (well, he SAW things weren't going too good on Monday). I said I felt like handing my blue belt back on Monday night. His answer: I shouldn't be so hard on myself and that I'm wrestling better than I think. Also, that the guy I rolled with is a high blue and he challenged me at that level, and I defended tons better than a white belt.

    It was a nice way of telling me I was being a fool.

    Should know better by now, shouldn't I???

    I certainly won't quit, that's for sure :-)