Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Open letter to gi manufacturers

If you make a gi for women, we will appreciate it. If you take a woman's build into account, we will be even more likely buy your gi. It is not necessary to cover the gi with Pepto Bismol pink accents (or, Doogie Howser forbid, make a solid pink gi) to entice us. Really, standard white/blue/black gis are fine. Honest. Just make them fit us and we'll be happy. Honestly, I don't even care if you want to keep making the pink ones for the women that like them, but could you please, PLEASE give those of us that don't want to be dressed like a Care Bear some decent options?

Grumpy Bear

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


After nearly 5 years of training BJJ, I have my first black eye. I don't think it's going to be a terribly impressive black eye, but it's all mine.

In other news, I had four women in class again tonight, and I feel like I'm getting the timing of the class down a little better. Tonight, we had a brand new woman, so that slowed things down a little bit and I didn't show the submission I was planning to show. Ah, well...next week. I'd much rather make sure that they feel good about what I did show, instead of rushing them through the things on my lesson plan. I also feel like they're getting the things that I show them, which is cool. I wish I had more time to watch them sparring in the regular classes to see if they're remembering things and trying them on larger opponents. I'll have to remember to do that soon.

Now that I'm done icing my eye (with a bag of lima beans), it's bed time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One month down

The first four women's classes are in the books. Well, technically, they're in my handy little Sasquatch notebook. True story. The classes are going well, and Rachel gets a gold star for perfect attendance (or she would if I had any gold stars). Last night, there were 4 women in class, which is a new record. I was really excited to have 4 women last night because I showed my favorite armbar from s-mount. I'm figuring out the timing of things, and keeping another idea or two for each class in the back of my head in case I need filler. More often, I end up needing to skip something in order to make sure we have time for positional sparring. I've noticed that some women tend to bail at the end of regular classes without sparring, so I want to make sure that they're getting a little bit of that in this class.

Speaking of sparring, I'm back in that achy saddle. I sparred for the first time last Wednesday (5/19), and then again Monday and Tuesday nights. I'm taking tonight off so that I will be semi-fresh for tomorrow night, and then heading off to Orlando to look at a venue on Friday.

In other news, Brian should be able to officially destroy his crutches in a few more hours. I'm keeping my fingers crossed - the sooner he's off of the crutches, the sooner he can walk around and get things off of the top shelves for me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 so far

My faithful readers (all 3 of you) probably remember that I was hoping for 2010 to be a better BJJ year than 2009. So far, it's been a little rough, but I think things are finally getting back on track. After finding out about the gallstones in February, I couldn't train until April 1. I managed to train 10 times in April, even though I'm not really able to spar yet. Just 12 more days, and the stupid anti-sparring device gets removed, so I can get back on the mats for real, though.

In other BJJ news, I taught my first class last week. I know, I'm a blue belt. Blue belts shouldn't teach. I have believed this since I started training, and I'm sure I've said it on more than one occasion, too. At any rate, I'm officially a hypocrite, but I've come to grips with it. Klint and I talked about a women's class a few months ago, and I tried really hard to get him to convince Marie to teach it, but she doesn't really have the time to do it. Klint asked me if I would teach it, and I told him there was no way I should be teaching anyone. Then, I spent 2 months off the mats, and I started thinking about teaching again. I've always thought I didn't really have any interest in teaching BJJ. I thought I just wanted to be a grappler, not a teacher. Then, I realized that teaching will actually help my grappling. I will improve my own technique by paying attention to the details, and so on. So, there you have it. About halfway through April, I asked Klint if he was still interested in having a women's class some day (thinking that some day would be 6 or 8 months down the road). Klint, being the quick mover that he is, decided we would start in May. Crap. I had 2 weeks to come up with a plan (and students). So, I sent a panic-stricken email to women I know that teach (or have taught) women's BJJ classes (Addie, Alaina, and Jen), and got some advice. Then, I put together some lesson plans for the first 9 weeks (May and June), and sent them to Val for review. I'm pretty sure that without the support of those 4, I would have spent the entire first class making people shrimp or something. Anyway, now that I've made it through one class, I'm feeling much better about the whole thing. We had two women the first night, and I showed 2 mount escapes and a few ways to maintain mount that I like. Then, I asked both women that came for feedback, and they said nice things. I'm hoping Klint also talked to both of them, so he can give me some feedback, too.

In non-BJJ news, I'll be picking up Cheryl's puppy tonight and keeping her at Casa Linzy for the next few weeks, while Cheryl is off lying on a beach and NOT thinking about MRSA test samples. Puppies are fun and all, but I'd much rather be on the vacation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Things that I wish I learned before I was old

1) Lentils are delicious. In soup, in salad, as a side dish - so far, it doesn't matter how you serve them. They're just good.

Hmm. That's all I have so far, other than wishing I had heard of BJJ (and started it) when I was 15 or so, and still full of piss and vinegar. Now, I'm more filled with pissing and moaning about the aches and pains caused by jiu jitsu. So not the same thing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh, the bruises.

My return to BJJ has left me with lots of new bruises, including one on the top of my left foot. That's a weird one. I think it came from someone trying to kick/scrape my foot off in half guard.

At any rate, class last night was HARD, but I had a blast. Let me see if I can remember how it went. First, I helped out with the kids' class. There were two new kids (brother and sister), so Klint worked with the brother while I worked with the 5 year old girl. Working with her went something like this:

Me: Aliya, the first thing we're going to learn is how to stand up.
Aliya: I know how to stand up. I can kick, too. Can I play on that stuff?
Me: No, no playing now. We're going to learn a special way to stand up, just for jiu jitsu. Sit just like me.
Aliya: I want to run around. Can I run around?
Me: No, you can only run if you're on time for class. We run to warm up.
Aliya: I'm cold.
Me: Are you sitting like me? Let's practice standing up now. Pretend your elbow is glued to your knee.
Aliya: Glue! Hahahahaha! (Falls down laughing.)

This was the first 3 or 4 minutes. The next 40 minutes were more of the same. I did get her standing up in base, scooting up and down the mat followed with standing in base, and then we semi-learned what guard, side control, mount, and back mount are. I let her hold onto Brandon's back while he rolled her around. She liked pretending to be a spider monkey.

After making it through the kids' class, the adult class started at 6:30. Dan started the warmups, and Klint said something along the lines of, "Dan, make them do something awful now." So, Dan lined us up and broke us into three groups. We did wind sprints for 30 or 45 seconds/group for 2 rounds. Then, wrestling shots up and back in groups of three again, but I was trying to show a new girl how to do wrestling shots, so I got a little break there. Then, Dan paired us into groups of 3 and we lined up across the mat (think monkey in the middle scenario) to work on takedowns and other awful-ness. Center person runs to person 1, takes him down, bear crawls to person 2, takes him down, run/breakfall/run back to person 1, take him down, bear crawl...until you've done 10 takedowns. Whew. Then, we circled up and did this weird hand thing. Hold your arms straight out in front of you. Make a fist. Now, open your fist, exploding your fingers outward. There must have been 20 people in class last night, and we went around the circle and did a 10-count for each person with arms in front, arms to sides, and then arms overhead. Ow ow ow ow ow.

After that, we did 10 minutes of drilling a butterfly sweep to side control/recompose butterfly guard, sweep to side control, etc. I did that with MikeByrd, who was having big fun trying to sweep me right into being mounted (which he did more than once).

Next up, king of the hill. Marie, MikeByrd, Todd, and Mark remained kings through the entire session (maybe 15 minutes?), regardless of who won. Sweep/submit/pass are the goals...no closed guard. I got a pass that Mike Crawford showed me on Saturday to work on Marie and Todd, and a variation on Mark (I never got matched up with MB during these rounds), so I was really happy. Then, Klint broke us into groups of 3 for 2 minute rounds with people similar in size. Same rules, starting in butterfly guard, and resetting when there was a sweep/submission/pass. I worked with Rose and Marie, and had more success with that new pass. Seriously, this pass is money, yo. That's how much I like it. I had to get all street on you.

Finally, time to bow out, and then we started competition-type sparring. 5 minute rounds, 1 minute break. No resting rounds...you need to rest a round, you're done for the night. I did 2 rounds with Amy, one with Eric, one with Marie, and then one with MikeByrd, and then there was no one left to grapple. All in all, a very long night of hard work.

I'm achy today, but I think the endorphins are still hanging around, because I'm in a pretty darn good mood. Back to the gym tomorrow and Saturday for more of the same.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thus far, 2010 has been work-heavy...

...and BJJ-light (by light, I mean nonexistent). I plan to remedy that this weekend, when my antibiotics have had a few days to work some magic on this sinus infection. Then, just in time for my grand return to BJJ, I'll have loads of women coming to visit.

Right now, it looks like Brian will be in upstate NY Saturday - Monday, and I'll have company coming down on Friday night. Kelly, Arial, Leslie, and Jessy will be here Friday night, and then Tori gets down on Saturday afternoon sometime. On top of the traveling women, Cheryl, Andi, Thea, and maybe Barbara and Kinsey are going to come out and train some over the weekend, too. I've also spread the word to Liz, Lo, Cecily, and a few others that I'm hoping can make it to at least one of the three times we'll all be training. Klint is going to open the gym on Sunday morning for us, too. Oh, and I can't forget Marie, Amy, and Meaghan, the women that already train at my gym. It should be the girliest, grappliest weekend in ages!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

BJJ in 2009

In 2009, I trained 100 times (remember my calendar coloring?). I competed once.

Here's hoping 2010 is better than that.