Saturday, March 31, 2012

comps coming up

Two big competitions coming up in Melbourne soon:

Hmmm, I'm pretty sure I'll go to the Aus Champ's. Not sure yet about the Vics....

Friday, March 30, 2012


Why does it have to be that I roll like an old woman, and then behave like a #*@$(#&* girl???

(not the best session last night... grrrr)

Pretty, pretty please, can I have the ability to roll like a girl and then act like a mature woman? That'd come in really handy.

camp report

Finally, a chance to catch up and post a report on the AGIG camp which I went to on the 17th and 18th of March.

As with the first AGIG camp, Jess Fraser did a great job. It was well organised, there were great instructors, the program kept us busy and the food was good, too. The camp was hosted by Jodie and Deon, who own Perkins Jiu Jitsu in Ringwood (eastern side of Melbourne). Deon did a great job keeping things running, taking photos and reffing in grand style at the Sunday mini comp. Jodie looked after her kids, played hostess, took part in the seminar and comp, kept things running and still had time to be a good friend. An awesome woman!

Saturday:  we had Esther Tavares-Tutida for a couple of sessions. Lots of interesting techniques. Sadly, I missed the first half of the first session, as I was running late. Stupid me underestimated the time it would take to travel across Melbourne on a Saturday... Esther showed some interesting stuff, especially open guard sweeps. Unfortunately, I found it really hard to take in three variations of techniques in one gulp. I'm one of those people who need time for stuff to sink in and I need to rep it a few times.

Part of Saturday afternoon were rounds of free rolling. We certainly all did plenty of that :-)

Then we had Murray Ballenden in for a talk about health, eating, training, good posture and how it all relates and what we should consider if we want to live well and train well. I found that presentation extremly interesting and useful. I know I've made a lot of changes to my diet and other things since I started training. And I'm aware of areas where I need to do a lot more. He helped put it all together. I was happy since I'm obviously on the right track, but I sure need to do more. First and foremost, posture-related adjustments. But more in the food department, too...

In the evening, there was a bit of the competition on who could wear the most "offensive lycra". I thought I was doing really well in my Scramble spats, which I paired with my Honeybadger rashie. But that rainbow of colours was nothing, NOTHING compared to what some of the others wore. Think leopard pattern bodysuit under a lemon yellow set of skimpy bathers. Think a big lady with a black body suit and pink g-string bathers over the top. .... think iridescent coloured morph suit covering all including the head. Wow....

Anyway, after that, a couple of the little girls did a presentation and then most of them watched a movie. As I had no interest in the movie, but a uni assignment due, I settled down in my temporary bed on the mat with my trusty laptop and hammered away at the keyboard.

Sunday: Jess gave us a Yoga session. Very interesting. She tailored it to address some of the areas where BJJ is a bit one sided for our body. Ie: we did some stuff that opened the hips and stretched hip flexors. Unfortunately, I don't function well in the mornings at the best of time. I only slept moderately well, and I was a stiff as a brick and didn't feel human until after breakfast

Thiago Stefanutti did an outstanding session on Judo for BJJ. I loved his style of teaching. And I was lucky to be paired up with a young woman who is a Judo Brown Belt. So she was able to help me with my rather clumsy efforts at some of the throws. Actually, we did start with grip stripping and then did three lots of two throws. Each time, we learned one, and then another which fed from the defence to the first one. That was just outstanding. I skipped the randori after, as I still felt very stiff and tired.

The next section was with Fiona Muxlow. We had another good warm up, then did some standing pummeling and proceeded to takedown techniques from there. Same as Thiago, techniques were presented logically and with good explanations, and we had ample time to rep them out.

Last part of the day was the mini comp. We were allocated to teams, and the teams sent their membes out to fight others in the same division. So we had two big white belt divisions, and two small coloured belt ones. Two fights for everyone. My first fight was with Jodie, who absolutely destroyed me :-) I was actually really pissed off with myself, I was like a wet rag... My second fight was with Kirsty who hails from Sydney. I was getting a good flogging there, she was well ahead on point, but in the end, I rolled her when she attempted a choke from mount, and somehow ended up in halfguard top. As she was turning into me, I went for a D'Arce choke. I was getting really excited about pulling it off, when the bell rang. Oh well, I lost on points, but at least I felt I put up a fight. We had Thiago as ref, and it was nice that when he said to me "well done".

There were no awards for individual fighters, other than best takedown, best sub etc. And our team didn't win, so we missed out.

What I learned from that is not to be such a bloody woos, not to give up before the bell rings, that I can do ok even if my body feels like crap and that competing isn't THAT bad. :-)

I got home after 2.5 hours driving and pretty much fell out of the car. I just had enough energy to feed the cats and dog and check the horses, have a shower and have a feed before falling into bed.

What a weekend :-)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

how I'll be spending my weekend

This is where I'll be...

Oh, and I'm starting to wear in my new Scramble gi. What a NICE piece of work. Yes, yes, I'll take it to the camp, of course.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

back to uni and BJJ as sanity control

Oh, yes, back to uni, let the grind begin :-)

The nice thing is that I only do two subjects per semester now, and it's my last year. Yes, YES. Last year!! One more year of exams and assignments. Unless I decide to do honors... But this year will be full of fun and excitement, with lots of teamwork and a big software project. Of course, I'm working also. So there is never a dull moment.

On the mats, I'm cruising along. Good days, shit days, normal days all mix in. I still teach Wednesdays, and the more of that I do, the more I feel it's necessary for my own learning. However, I enjoy being a student most of the time.

We've recently had an influx of new people. In our small school, six new guys within a few short weeks does make itself felt. That means spending a fair bit of time taking newbies through basic stuff. I'm trying to figure what works best when explaining new things. Teaching is hard :-) Good teaching is very hard. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I really want to get things right. Not only because I know how hard it was when I started myself, but also as a matter of pride. Funny, even in classes I don't teach, I end up teaching...

I'm continuing to play around with deep half guard and back control. I tend to only go to closed guard and attacks from there when I feel pressurised or when, by mutual decision, we go hard. Armbars are definitely crystallizing out as preferred technique. Oh, and cross lapel chokes. Slowly, slowly, I'm starting to swap from choke to armbar to triangle and back. I need to work omoplata attempts in there as well. I also need to be more deliberate in planning the next move, so that the defence to one attack leads to a better opening for the next one.

Interestingly, I'm starting to have a bit of luck with getting mount lately.While that still feels a little alien, things are starting to happen there. I managed the first ever armbar from mount last night. OMG... I'm still prone to being rolled though. Side control still gives me trouble, I can't stop people from re-gaining half guard. On the other hand, I'm getting quite handy at taking the back, keeping the back and transitioning to side mount and back to the back.

We recently had a series of classes on head arm chokes, will all entries from side control, but variations depending on the bottom person's arm position. I liked the pressure used in thosed techniques, but at present my side control sucks and head/arm chokes are not my strong attack. So I'm filing these for future use. On the other hand, we've learned some more side control and bottom half guard escapes/sweeps. They are of immediate use :-)

I was talking to one of the guys after open mat last night. He said the first thing in his life is his family, the second thing BJJ, then his job and all else. He emphasised how much BJJ keeps him sane and how much he looked forward to the next session. Since starting BJJ, he has lost around 20kgs, and he feels much better. We agreed that BJJ is a serious addiction, and sometimes we pay the price in soreness and tiredness. But the payoffs are so worth it.