OOOPPPSSS, I Did It Again…

Yeah, I gave Jeff the instructor another black eye…  😦  It’s the same eye as two weeks ago.  😦  Sorry Jeff 😦 

     On a positive note, there was another girl in class tonight.  Girls are starting to become common place at the Katy school.  That’s where they have the women’s BJJ class on Friday nights.  However, the Pinemont school continues to be a testosterone jungle.  One of the guys has told me that his wife wanted to come, but that she didn’t want to be the only girl.  Well today I remembered to text Jeff and he called her husband.  Then lo and behold when I walked in, she was there.

     Her name is Angie, she is about 5 foot 2 inches, and 115 lbs.  She’s absolutely beautiful.  She’s very smart and coördinated, too.  Jeff had us do some basic drills.  Armbars from guard. The guys started working something more technical.  Jeff said I could do the harder stuff but to let her just do the armbar drills.  I opted for the armbar drills, cause I suck at them.  Then we did sweep or submit drills.  Then Jeff gave Angie the go ahead for a REAL ROLL.  (Angie’s had 4 classes at the Katy school.)

     We started out real slow, with me telling her things like, “shrimp, now replace guard.”  “Remember two hands together on the same side when you shrimp.”  I would pass her guard and go to side control or mount.  Then we would start the sequence over again.  As she became more comfortable, I let the roll develop more freely.  I talked her through taking my back and doing a rear naked choke.  I let her get a couple of armbars.  However, I didn’t totally ignore my training. 

     I worked a few transitions from spider guard to x-guard.  I would get my feet in the right place, but forget my head and right hand or vice versa.  Then I would think I had it and try to sweep, and it wouldn’t work.  That probably means, I didn’t have the x-guard quite right.  One time, I had what I thought was an x-guard and she escaped by doing a split.  The guys don’t do splits…  🙂  It’s gonna be real different rolling with girls. *girls are tricksy*  I tried to be very gentle, even when I did sweeps.  I tried to let the roll flow back and forth.  Let her work a little offense, then make her work some defense.  A couple of times she got a little intense.  I realized that she was trying to escape at those times, so I would just let her go.  I didn’t go for any submissions.  There was one time I set up a rear naked choke from back mount.  I didn’t try to submit, I just talked her through the escape.  All in all, I think she did very go and no spazzies!

     We talked a little after class.  I gave her BJJ GRRL’s web site and my number.  She said that if it weren’t for me, she wouldn’t be there.  I remember her husband telling me that he really wanted her to train.  Maybe I touched someone’s life, in a good way.  I think I may be rolling with new girls a lot in the future.  I want to give them the best experience possible.  If anybody has any advice, PLEASE give it to me.

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11 Responses to OOOPPPSSS, I Did It Again…

  1. Here’s a video of me rolling with my instructor, and overall I was having FUN:
    http://www.facebook.com/v/483693446654

    He’s a 1 stripe brown, I’m a 3-month-in white belt (no stripes), and yet I had an absolute blast. He, and the people in my class, are what keep me coming back.

    Open up opportunities for them to do what they learned in the class, give praise, smile, have fun, look engaged, and also use the moves you were practicing on class on them. To be honest, for me it had nothing to do with the technical part–it had everything to do with letting a mental guard down and relaxing. I needed a person to person connection in order to relax, and thankfully there were a few guys at my gym who were able to do that, even though one of them was seriously nearly 7″ taller and I could have worn him as a suit. 🙂

    It can also help to talk them through things like you did. I remember one of my first rolls a guy said “Okay, now pass my guard” and I heard “Okay now BLAH my BLAH” no clue what a guard was, let alone what it meant to pass one. Everything is a foreign language. It would have been more helpful to say: my legs around you are my guard. You want to move over my leg and get to my side–that’s called “Passing my guard.”

    So, teach some new vocabulary, let them try out what they’ve learned, both on the giving and receiving ends, and help them RELAX–connect with them, keep it light, and have fun.

    True, your miles may vary–I’m specifically talking about a woman who may look a bit nervous, has not had grappling background, looks a bit overwhelmed or shy or withdrawn, knows nothing about BJJ, etc. If Cris Cyborg walked into your class for her first BJJ lesson, THIS ADVICE MAY BE NULL AND VOID. 😀 This advice would be perfect for MY first lesson, and later on it’s exactly what I would do with other women.

    Actually, the connecting thing is still true, regardless, so a great first question to ask is: what brought you here, or have you ever done BJJ before, or how’s everything going for your first class?

    Ps I may end up cutting and pasting some of my response into my very own blog post later on. You’ve inspired me.

    • Thank you so much. I’m so nervous about rolling with other women. I don’t want to scare them off. She did say BJJ was a foreign language. It was for me too. It took me a year to understand BJJ speak. I still have some problems with it. So I will try to remember to translate into Texan. You are so right about the connection. Me being the only girl for the longest time was hard. I found a comfortable spot with the guys in the day class and hung out there mostly for about a year.

      • LOL–I have to read your post again, now understanding that you are a woman. hahahahahaha

        One thing that my current instructor does that I LOVE is he will pair us with our sparring partners. Sure, we can influence it by grabbing the person’s arm or whatever, but I remember at my first school they didn’t do that, so I ended up feeling like the ugly nerd at the high-school dance. 😦 This way it feels VERY comfortable.

        One thing I find hard about sparring with larger men and women (and I’m larger also…192) is that my legs are fat, so when they have thick waists, I can’t sit in mount very comfortably, and I can’t get them in closed guard easily. Most of the women I know are large (size 20ish pants), so I sometimes cringe when I have to be paired with them, but only because of the size. However, Fringe is tiny, so it’s not an issue at all.

      • I have little short legs (I’m only 5 ft tall), so I have trouble with guard on most people. I’ve gotten to where I just play open guard mostly now.

        About the finding partners, It took a short while for the guys to get used to a girl in class. My first day of class, you would have thought I was an alien. I was in one corner warming up and stretching. They were in the far corner, watching me and whispering. LOL. The instructor paired me with upper belts, the first few months. There were times that I would sneak up behind the guys like a ninja. I would tug on the back of their gi like a little lost kid. Then I would say, “Will you babysit me today?” You should have seen the fear in their eyes! I have three brothers and I’ve been training in martial arts for a very long time. So, training with a bunch of guys is nothing new to me. I find that I don’t understand what other women are going through sometimes.

  2. Ps, you’re welcome to direct her to my blog as well–I’m still really new to BJJ and tend to talk about it in a very non-technical way. I try to write in a way that even a non-BJJ person might enjoy.

    I also really like http://www.jiujitsuforums.com It’s the most female friendly public forum I’ve found. Not at all like Sherdog or MMA Underground. They were very helpful in giving me a place to read about and talk about what was going on.

  3. pps. Not all of us are tricksy–I can’t do the splits 😦

    • BTW – I saw your video a few days ago and loved it!

      I’m not technical in my blog either. I try to write more about what’s going on in my head and how I feel.

      I’ll have to try jiujitsuforums.com . I’ve looked at the other two, but didn’t really get hooked in. I’m the breaking ground first girl at the school person. My real word friends don’t understand BJJ speak. I look for blog friends to help me out, give advice and joke around with.

      I’m glad we found each other.

  4. Jen says:

    Congratulations on the new addition to the class! I’m sure you did impact her life. I don’t have any advice to share, sorry.

    Other than my daughter, we have one girl who trains regularly. . I hope this grows at our gym this year.

    • Thank you. She’s a very nice girl, and she seems like she’s going to be very good. I hope she stays. It’s nice having another girl around. I’ve just been training with guys so long, that I have to dial it way down when I’m with other women. Except at tournaments 😉

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