October 27, 2011

I Look Like Camouflage Patchwork

Today was brutal. I got to the gym at 6:45 and left at 10:15. I've never spent 3.5 consecutive hours at a gym before. To say "I'm utterly exhausted and feeling like a wreck" would be a terrible understatement. It's more like "what's going on? where am I?" right now.

The weather tonight was pretty awful (cold, icy rain) so not many people were there. I asked Killer, who I'd seen once or twice but never worked with, if he wanted to roll to warm up. 15 minutes later I was thinking do I really need a whole class now? That was enough for one night! The guy is big with strong holds that don't allow you to move at all (of course this is all relative to me; I'm sure more experienced grapplers and/or guys his own size don't have this problem) and, although he was impressed by how aggressive I was, he still kicked my ass up and down the mat. It was a massive effort trying to hold my own, but hey...I want to get in shape, right? What better way than desperately trying to not get utterly destroyed? A few times, I managed a successful takedown by flipping him backwards. Unfortunately, that was normally as far as I got. I'd fling myself down and try to pass but somewhere along the way he'd use his legs to get me into a head lock or flip me over and then that was the end of it. I was hyperventilating and dripping from head to foot by the time we finished and drained my water bottle in one go. Great experience.

When the no-gi class began, there were just 6 of us. After some coordination warmups, Christian turned it into a Q&A, letting us request techniques to work on independently. Homeboy, the smaller guy from Saturday's class, was there again and I paired up with him to practice escapes from side control. The moves are easy enough in theory but freakin hard to accomplish when someone's pushing down hard with their arms locked around you. I managed to do them effectively enough by the end but whether or not they'll work during an actual match is another story.

The gi class, which is usually overflowing, also only had a few people tonight so it sort of turned into an open mat and I stayed for a couple more hours to roll with Killer and practice triangles, armbars and simple sweeps from guard (failed miserably at all of them). Liz helped me out a lot with understanding a basic triangle from closed guard but my legs seem to be defective (or rather too short or not yet flexible enough) to finish the move properly. She was very patient in explaining and demonstrating but even once I understood what I was supposed to do, I couldn't seem to make my legs lock the right way, or get my body to move out to the side properly. Christian gave me a few additional tips, told me to stop stressing if I couldn't magically do everything after only taking BJJ for a few weeks, and noted some specific things for me to practice. Later on, I think I finally did it right one time, although that sort of move definitely favors those with longer legs.

So...great time tonight. Great workout. The only downside? I'm sore as hell right now and covered with so many bruises that I look like I'm sporting fatigues. Didn't even notice until I got home, looked in the mirror and was all Holy shit! I was feeling a little paranoid until I googled "BJJ bruises" and was treated to countless photos of grapplers with the same leopard-like look, so I stopped panicking and applied a few truckloads of ice. It's better now.


  1. Great training, miss.

    Ok, the takedowns -- do they transition a from kickboxing stance into a takedown? Or at this point they're just teaching the technique?

    Do you wear compression gear? When I did BJJ - I had to wear that stuff to prevent my skin from rubbing with my partner's cuz that shit hurt like hell! Maybe I'm just sensitive.

    When I grappled - we would gather in a circle - one person in the middle -- and one by one they would have to takedown and TRY submit each person in that circle -- that was torture. We did the same with kickboxing.

    -The Cas man.

  2. HA! your pics are popping up now. Yes, that's where my skin would rub. Right up under the bicep.

  3. Nope, it's just the techniques. If you move on to the advanced sparring class, that's where they really train you hardcore for MMA competition and integrate the standup and groundwork. Right now I'm doing the fundamentals so they combine clinch and ground but the kickboxing/muay thai stuff is separate (the class right before BJJ).

    Some people there wear gear. Like John always wears that head/ear protector thing when he grapples. Most people don't though. I don't, although I probably should lol.

  4. 3 and 1/2 hrs damn that's a lot! Those bruises are impressive and the tattoo makes it look badass lol.

    "I want to get in shape, right? What better way than desperately trying to not get utterly destroyed?"

    That's the perfect mentality, you're on the right tracks!

  5. Yeah, you eventually get used to those. After five years I don't seem to get them as much. ;)

    What does the tattoo say, out of interest?

  6. Bill - LOL yeah my whining about being in pain is very badass. For the record, it looks much worse after today's class!

    Slidey - 5 years huh? I have heard people say it lessens eventually although it could go on for a year or so first. Good thing I started in the fall and not during t-shirt and shorts weather! Also my arms aren't toned yet so the parts with more fat are the areas getting the most bruised.

    Heh the tattoo...it's actually Elvish from the first Lord of the Rings book, a greeting that Frodo says to the wood elves ("a star shines on the hour of our meeting"). A guy from gym asked me that the other day and I was like no, I'm not a geek, I swear. Honestly, I just like fantasy and I really like calligraphy and when I was in my tattoo-hunting phase I came across a nice scripted version of that line on some random website, didn't know or care what it meant, saved it and went with it. Ten years later I still love it.

  7. Cool. Nothing wrong with being a geek: I love fantasy too. Good thing I have a girlfriend and train BJJ, or I could totally have been one of those people that spends all of their free time playing World of Warcraft or something like that.

    Never been as fond of Lord of the Rings though. Mainly because I always found Frodo and Sam kind of annoying. If they were cut out of both the book and film - so it was mainly awesome battles and magic - it would have been considerably improved IMO. :)

    Either way, take pride in your geekdom, like Julia! ;p

  8. Hahaha I called it Leopard legs, and recently I turned it into a Korean pun.

    I would tell my Korean coworkers that my legs had turned into Korean dogs. They would look confused, I would show the bruises and say "Mung mung mung"

    You see, "mung" is both the word for what Korean dogs say (instead of woof woof or bark bark) and "mung" also means bruise.

    So there you go. Any Koreans in your class - you can PUN AWAY!

    Yes, I'm a geek and proud. I wave my geek flag high. :)

  9. LOL that's awesome. I'll remember that. Leopard legs...Korean dog...good to know :P

    And yes, be damn proud of your uniqueness!