first day with my Gi

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

27 Years of Weakness

I’m starting to realize why Jiu-Jitsu is an art for a lifetime. My Jiu-Jitsu is progressing veeerrryyy slowly, and 3 months of Fight Training is really just a starting point. 27 years is a lot of weakness to overcome. I get my ass beat on a regular basis and I get frustrated just practicing not getting squished for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks. Gary told me that practicing not getting squished - is practice. Encouraging… I Think?

During mailbox sprints, I visualized explosive shrimping power for when I get stuck under bigger people. And, since, I am the smallest person at the gym… that seems a quite common occurrence.

Right now, I struggle to create the tiniest amount of space to keep my ribs in tact. While simultaneously practicing playing my guard open and closed in different ways, I look for a point of attack or escape. From all I’ve been told about the guard, it does not make much sense to me that somehow, I could be successful at keeping someone in my guard, and still, feel that I am the one searching for the emergency exit door.

The silver lining: I do think that crushing weight on my chest will make me a better Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. It means that my technique needs to be particularly correct to become effective. I won’t be getting away with ‘muscling’ the fight, and I know that. Although this week was quite frustrating with some moments of slight emotional instability, I am coming to terms with the fact that I may be stuck underneath for quite some time… but the day I gain control, I can be confident that it is skill and not luck.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sweeps Week

Before class, practicing a scissor sweep and arm bar to windmill sweep exercise with Gary, I was thinking about how much instruction I’m getting, and how all I can really remember when I’m rolling is, “TURN TO YOUR SIDE.” I practiced that a lot today! All of the details of the moves I learn seem to evade me. The one or two moves and details I practice with Gary each time, I am starting to remember though. I need the repetition and the learning more details little by little as I start to understand the move and how I can get it to work for me. Gary gets frustrated that he shows me things over and over. I just tell him to stop being a jerk.

Today, in class we learned the hip bump sweep. I think it could be a good sweep for me because when the person’s not on top of me, and I get to use my hips and a more full bodied/up-right movement, it seemed more plausible for me to shift the person’s weight over.
Rolling with a blue belt today, I think I did better than the last time I rolled with him, a month or so ago. I didn’t get flattened and pinned, which I recall falling for a time or two before, and I think I evaded some choke attempts. Still in survival mode, but I worked hard for it. Even rolling with Gary, I of course felt stuck at times and unable to work a sweep I tried, but I didn’t feel frustrated enough to almost cry, which is good ☺

For Kettle Bells, we did a shorter circuit, not timed. Gary w/ 30 lb, me with 10 lb
-5 R Halo
-5 L Halo
-5 R swings
-5 L swings
-5 R snatches
-5 L snatches
-5 R Clean and Presses
-5 L clean and presses
-6 sit out jump backs
-10 sprawl jumps

This time, I practiced sit out jump backs before the circuit to be ready. My kinesthetic dyslexic tendencies usually kick in with these. I also made sure I knew which exercise the sprawl jumps are. Last week, when Gary called out Sprawl Jumps, I fumbled. I couldn’t remember which exercise these were. So Gary proceeded to yell “Sprawl Jumps” … “Sprawl Jumps” , frustratedly. like yelling the word at me over and over was gonna make me know what Sprawl Jumps are. After my circuit, he was the one getting yelled at!! Not Helpful.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Well, it looks like I may have to do it wrong 100 times and get stuck, until I finally figure out how to make the game work for me… I’ll keep at it. Looking forward to the hundred and first time where I can practice some offense.

Class this week was somewhat uneventful. Aside from unintentionally getting dumped on my head in training and working through a small neck injury, I worked on my open guard. It’s likely I’ll be there a lot, and I can’t just get passed by some muscley person pushing my knee down. I’m playing around with positioning. Each time my open guard attempts failed, I just turned to my side as the person approached to be on top of me. Yes, I was careful about being ALL THE WAY on my side. Actually, being ALL THE WAY on my side, it felt good that one person who usually goes for the pushing my shoulder down method couldn’t get it. But I did find myself grabbing half guard, but facing the wrong way again. The whole time I just told myself “get on your side! Get on your side!” but then realized, Shit, wrong way. How did I get here, again?

At some points I was just curled up underneath, pretty safe for probably 30 seconds while the person was trying to flatten me out. Safe = Good, but Stuck = Bad. Next Step… Be On the Correct Side! – and figure out an escape plan.

Shout Out to our new kettle bell recruit!! Welcome to Fight Training With Mr. Gary Gross. You did great.

Kettle Bell Circuit after class:
(Gary 7 minutes – 30 lb/10 lb, Elissa 5 minutes - 10 lb/5 lb, WM 6 minutes - 10 lb/5 lb)
5 Right Halos
5 Left Halos
10 Right Hand Swings
10 Left Hand Swings
10 Right Hand Snatches
10 Left Hand Snatches
10 Right Hand Clean and Presses
10 Left Hand Clean and Presses
10 Two-Handed Swings
24 push-ups, 6 variations, 4 each (I did 12 - 2 each)
16 Right and Left Shot Lunges
10 Sit-Out-Jump Backs
10 Sprawl Jumps

“REPEAT AS NEEDED” – this is the part Gary hates, because he usually finishes the circuit with a minute and a half or two still to go. He wanted to give up at 5:30 upon completion of one full circuit, and refused to start circuit again, but I made him keep going for the 7 minutes, and at least do jumping jacks and jog around. That’s what training partners are for.