August 18, 2010


I have not posted since March.  I'll keep my explanation short: (Well, I'll try):

The Worlds.  My training commitment was substandard,which resulted in (shock!) a substandard performance.  Followed by a few, okay, MANY moments of banging my head against a wall.  The sucker in the dirt routine.  The small glimmer of light in that otherwise dark couple of days, was the (now required) dinner at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in Long Beach with my wonderful husband, my training partner, her husband, my sister, and my nephew.  Good food and camaraderie fuel the soul.  I also met Jen Whitcomb at the Worlds, who was rippingly cool and gave me a flyer for a women's grappling camp.

Family.  My grandmother has had three strokes in the past year.  She is 90.  Elderly family issues are a new life experience for me, and I am completely ill-equipped for the task.  Each trip to the hospital this year (and there have been many) was followed up by a short period of being positively drained.  I am convinced the mere act of walking into a hospital just sucks the life force from your brain.  So.    disconcerting.  If anyone needs advice about coping with an elderly family member send me an e-mail, as I am slowly learning these new lessons.

Work.  Changes at work.  Long crazy story. Finally turning into a good thing.

So there it is in a nutshell.  I have put training on the back burner more than once this year (never good);  And  every time I received one of BJJ Girl's (twice daily!) updates in my e-mail I thought, ohhhh I'm not training......So, I would like to thank BJJ Girl for motivating me to get my training back on track.  I also want to thank Georgette for sending me an e-mail the other day asking my whereabouts on the blogging front.  Writing is good medicine for me and I like sharing my martial arts experience with others.

Onward to brass tacks.

I have been training BJJ consistently twice a week, along with sets of hill repeats and push-ups, Bikram yoga, kettle bells and club bells.  The last three weeks have been particularly liberating, as I have pushed through one of those pesky training plateaus.  Side control has become my "beans and rice" position, but getting there, and then really using it used to be a daunting task.  I am starting to find the invisible yellow brick roads in weight leverage and faking one move to achieve another.

Example, we always start from the knees in class, so I fake like I am going into a spider guard by grabbing both sleeves, which causes my opponent to move forward, then pull back to protect their base.  I look for the one split second when they are unstable, then switch grips to the collar and upper arm.  I drive forward with the collar hand and pull their upper arm toward me to cripple their base.  I am careful to push forward with my legs whilst keeping my hips low to the ground.  Then I prepare to deal with my opponents knee and legs, which inevitably present themselves in the form of the threat of an arm lock.  If I attempting to gain side control to my opponent's right side, I drop my left knee over their right thigh, use my right shoulder to press their creeping left leg away, then I drop close, shooting my right arm straight in to trap their left arm.  If I am able, I re-position my hips and legs into side control, otherwise, I work my way out of half guard.

As for using side control....I went through a period of obtaining side control, and then....then!...hell, then nothing!  I went out for a coffee break.  One of my trusted training partners told me he felt like he didn't even have to do anything in my side control, because I wasn't doing anything other than hold the position.  So I started taking chances, going for knee on belly to get the arm lock, faking one arm lock to achieve a different arm lock, north-south, mount, anything to get a submission and/or keep my opponent in a weak defensive position, so that I control the chess board.  I forced myself out of a comfortable position to build strength and more strength of position in a repertoire of moves.

The result is that my moves are changing, my offense is starting to feel true and calculated.  The moves are coming from the subconscious, instead of me sitting around and over-thinking every next step while my opponent taps me out.    Monday night I went to open mat, and I just ripped into positions in a graceful flowing manner like never before.  What a great sensation!   No thought, just movement and position.

Train well everyone, till next post.



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