Friday night was family night at the Katy school. The guys were doing open mat. The kids were huddled in little groups (probably plotting the demise of zombies in some imagined invasion, that would surely start at any second). The women had class. The instructor taught some basic positions and a submission from each position. I really enjoy going over the basics. The basics are important and should be drilled no matter how many years experience you have. (That’s a story for later) There were eight women including me and the instructor’s wife (she’s a sweet heart and trains hard. A great inspiration to other women.) Some only had two days of training and some have closer to six months. There is this one new girl, she’s very tall (Amazonian Tall) with beautiful red hair. (I told her that she needed a Red Menace patch) Words cannot describe the expression of pure joy on her face. She was so excited about BJJ, that she had this ethereal happy glow about her. There were a few others that I didn’t know. I tried to learn their names, but I suck at names. I picked the smallest girl to be my partner. It was her second day, but she used to do gymnastics. In case you didn’t know, gymnasts are tough chicks. She worked the drills non-stop and played with the submissions, so that she could understand how they work.
The gymnast was my first roll of the night. I think it was her very first roll. I would carefully put her in different position, side control, mount, and guard. Then I would tell her how to escape. If she accidentally came close to a submission, I would tell her that she had a submission. Then I would talk her through it. I made sure to stress which positions were bad and that the priority there was to escape. She’s tiny like me, so she’s gonna be good in tight spots. At the end of the roll, I did sweep her very carefully. One, because it’s fun and I couldn’t resist. Two, because she needed to know that it didn’t hurt.
My second roll was with a girl who trains in crossfit and has a martial arts background. I think she also has about six months of grappling experience. I knew she was pretty tough, so we just rolled at regular intensity. I didn’t look for any submissions. I just focused on positional dominance. We were having so much fun that we started laughing half way through. Next, I rolled with Happy Red Amazon. She’s tall, probably twice my size. Earlier I heard her talking about rolling with the guys in regular class. Before we started, I learned that she had trained about two months. I checked the intensity and just focused on controlling her with my spider guard. I let her figure things out on her own, unless she asked for help. She was eager to learn as much as she could from the experience. My last roll was with another fresh recruit. I rolled with her like I did the gymnast. She seemed a little intimidated at first and just clung to my lapels with a death grip. Once she realized that I wasn’t going to hurt her, she relaxed and started moving.
Coming from a family of boys, I don’t understand women sometimes. I’m trying to understand their fears and concerns. That way I can work with them in a way that helps them over come those fears and concerns. Even with the new men, the line that separates too hard from too easy is difficult for me to identify sometimes. How do you guys roll with noobs?