Tuesday, August 30, 2011

what a week!

That was rather a long week, last week...

After training every day (including a Tuesday double of no-gi and MMA), I spent Sunday at the Girls in Gi camp in Melbourne. That was a really good day. I had lots of fun, lots of rolls and learned some stuff as well.

Unfortunately, I'm flat out with assignments for uni and studying for two tests this week. So I don't really have time to write about it (yet). But meanwhile, have a look at Laura's post about the camp. It includes a few photos and a short write up.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday work-out

I live on a (small) farm, with lots of horses. After a long, wet winter, we finally had a few nice days. So instead of working out in the gym, I worked out. Outside, that is :-)

- over an hour of pushing a heavy duty mower across rough/boggy ground to mow tall woody bracken fern under fence lines
- trimmed some hooves on a semi-cooperative stallion

- rolled out some fencing wire and did sundry fence repairs
- dug some small trenches to drain water from horse yards
- hung up horse rugs to dry

and finally...
- went out riding

The sunshine is lovely My body and soul appreciate it.  I'm so glad that spring is coming!

And it was so nice to finally go riding again. We had such a long, cold, wet winter, and with work and uni I didn't have a lot of time anyway. It seemed to always rain on weekends when I did have time. But spring is on it's way, there will be long and warm evenings. Which means sitting outside on the verandah watching the sun go down or going for rides on a good horse.

It also means no more cold feet at the beginning of BJJ classes. Some of the guys have been wearing socks. But that just looks too silly ;-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

on a roll...

I had another great session tonight. Just open mat. Worked on some of the deep half guard stuff we've been doing in class during the week. Also worked back control, which is my current goto position.

Things have been going well. Not too long before the two comps in September. I'm feeling very positive and I'm getting in enough tough classes that I know I'll be fit enough to compete.

With MMA classes starting up in town, I had my first standup session in over two years. Ah yes, a few things came back, about footwork. I still remember the differences between a jab, cross, hook and uppercut :-) And I still know how to turn the heel for a roundhouse kick. But yes, it's all a bit rusty.

That was a tough night on Tuesday. After an hour long BJJ session (which in itself was quite a challenge with a solid warm up, drilling and plenty of timed rounds of rolling), we did a bunch of striking/kicking drills and then ended with one minute rounds. These alternated between the hanging bags, the ground&pound bags and some Thai clinch work.

I sure slept soundly that night!

The Saturday before, there were Karate black belt trials at the dojo. A couple of us BJJ types were invited to come in and help, as the school has grappling as part of the Karate curriculum. So in order to make sure there were plenty of people for all the candidates to roll with, we were asked if we wanted to come in. Sure we did :-) And we all had fun.

What else is new.. Oh yes, I'm teaching all the Wednesday day classes until at least the end of the semester. I'm taking that in my stride now. It has become routine so I no longer stress about it. I do my best to pass on some knowledge to the guys, even if I sometimes don't feel totally adequate for the task. But wiser people than me said that if we wait with teaching until we are perfect, then we'll never teach. So I just do my best. And we all have fun.

The Girls in Gis day camp is next weekend. It seems like they got 30 girls/women and it's now closed. I just received my info pack (which is pretty comprehensive and the whole thing seems to be pretty well planned and pre-organised). According to the organisers, about half the attendees are white belts, there are ten or so blue belts and a couple of purples and one brown. And ages range from 17 to 47. Haha, guess who's the oldest ;-)

Anyway, I'll report back on that. It will be rather strange to roll with women ;-) But it might be a good prep for the comps. In any case, a day long BJJ event sounds awesome, and the chance to roll with people I don't know is fantastic. I'm really looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

new instructionals

I just bought Ginastica Natural with Alvaro Romano, as well ans Ginastica Natural For Fighters (Vol.1 + 2).

I've been interested in that set for a while, after watching a few youtubes. But I haven't had a chance to watch any of them yet. When I do, I'll report back.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

a complicated relationship

It's kind of hard to articulate how I'm going at the moment. There are a lot of conflicting signals.

We all have highs and lows (and days inbetween). Overall, I'm feeling settled in bluebelt-dom. I've finally put behind me the need to justify to myself and others why I should be wearing that belt. Some days I dish it out, some days I'm on the receiving end. That's the way it's meant to be. I feel that I am improving and generally heading in the right direction. Never mind those odd days when I feel my gi is better at BJJ than I am ;-)

I recently had a few days off due to a mild flu. While I was back on the mat with not too much time off (didn't cough, sneeze and splutter), it did take it out on me more than I thought. I didn't realise just how much it knocked me back, but even the following week I was feeling sluggish and stiff. On top of that, one of the first sessions back was a full on no-gi class. Lots of take-downs, high intensity rolling etc. I was wrecked. It was the first time in a long time that I really was gassed. On top of that, my right knee was feeling pretty unhappy. So for the first time sort of ever (that I can remember), I had to stop and sit out. I didn't quit, I rolled again after. But I had to concede defeat to un-technical, cranky front chokes because I was too stuffed to defend properly. But what mostly pissed me off was that I felt I let my training partner down during the drilling part of the class.

At that point in time I felt that I was going backwards big time, with an injury hanging over my head. With 3 comps coming up, not a good way to be.

At the same time, rolling in my gi classes was going pretty good. I was actually kicking some butt, as long as I was being a bit careful with my right knee. What I figured out though is that I can roll for very long times now because I preserve so much energy. My cardio is only average, but it doesn't matter because at the level of intensity I usually roll. With my energy-preserving skills, it's well untruly enough. So on one hand I'm happy, to have that sort of fuel economy :-)

On the other hand, it won't do for the comps. Totally different intensity. So I do need to crank it up. What I need to work out is which line to walk in terms of the time I have left to prepare and keeping the knee happy.

I was driving myself batty about the issue of letting people down in training. I was doing ok in the gi classes, but in the no-gi classes, where the intensity and the amount of take-downs are being stepped up for the comps, I felt like I wasn't holding my own. Worse, that I was adversely affecting others. I missed several classes due to procrastination. And then I decided to ask. I was prepared to let it go until after the comp and then go back to training there when they are back to normal. But the answer I got was a resounding NO. That I am part of the team, am holding back nobody and to get my arse over there and train.

I did. And it felt good. My cardio isn't as bad as I thought. He's finding takedowns that won't tax my dodgy knee so much. It's all good. But I had to ask.

You see, all things aside, it's still a matter of pride. I know it shouldn't be. But I'm the only woman in both schools. I do NOT want to be the weakest link. I'm a realist and I know I can't be the best (what is good/better/best anyway??), for all sorts of reasons. But my little ego is not happy about being the weakest/worst team member. I am not going to be the one the others shun as partner because I'm perceived to be weak/wussy. Don't get me wrong, I don't need to tap people out all over the show. And I don't mind getting tapped out. But I do need to feel that I am giving everyone problems when rolling. I need to be good enough to challenge my training partners, same as I want them to challenge me (in a positive sense).

I think if it got to the stage where I don't feel I'm giving enough, then I'd rather not be there, rather than being carried by everyone. That is probably an ego thing. Oh well.

On the positive side, I'm making progress in several areas: holding mount, transitions from/to back, attacks from the back, attacks from the closed guard. And sweeps. Yes, sweeps are starting to happen. All in all, I'm going to be able to go into my first blue belt comp with an actual game plan. So in a way, I'm actually really looking forward to the comps. If nothing else, to test it out against people my size :-)

So that's where I'm standing at the moment. It's complicated, my relationship with BJJ!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

more teaching

Looks like I've scored the Wednesday lunchtime classes for the next few months at least.

Cool. Should be fun.

sadistic bitch ?!

So we were working on armbars from mount. A tight, slow version, where you use your posting arm against their neck, to make them a bit uncomfortable. My partner's comment: you do that really well! (the grindy forearm on his throat, that it..). My pleasure.

So then we were drilling cross lapel chokes from mount... Next thing, he tells me I'm a sadistic bitch. Wo-hooo!!

And there I was, thinking I was being "gentle", trying NOT to grab skin. But hey, it's BJJ :-)) Anyway, it was said in jest, and we both laughed.

Someone suggested I should use it for a gi patch :-)