October 22, 2011

Takedowns and Rolling Again

Today's class was much busier than last weekend and there was a guy who was actually around my size, so we worked on takedowns together. It was quite different from the usual grappling classes and good stuff to learn. I had trouble with a few of the moves, mainly because my right quad was tightening up and hurting, but I suffered through it and got a few of the other techniques down well enough for Isley to yell out a compliment at one point.

When the hour was up, I decided to hang around for open mat and, you know...actually try to participate this time. First, I caught Dom and had him give me a little get-rollin' 101 to get a better idea of how to begin a roll without tackling like a drunken tiger. He imparted a few gems that were very useful and then told me to get some defensive tips from Christian, who proceeded to give me a better idea of what to do when on your back.

I stalked around the mat for a bit and when I saw that Big Boy's partner had gotten up to leave, I went for it. BB seemed happy enough to roll with me, even though it was only my second time. He started out light so that I could figure out what I was doing and made it tougher as we went along. He got me down a bunch of times but I did manage to get him into a couple of chokes from behind (when I say "get" I mean he pretty much gave me the opening intentionally, to let me practice) and Christian came by and helped me to tighten up my Rear Naked Choke.

There were two highlights of my roll with BB. The first was when I managed to catch him off guard with one of the takedowns we'd just learned in Isley's class, got him into side control and then applied the submission we learned last Saturday with Dom. When Dom saw what I was doing, he got all excited and started yelling "Oh, son, she's about to fuck you up! You better watch out!" It was hilarious. BB tried to get out but I got an arm under his neck, successfully did the spin around to push my head into his side, dropped to my stomach and squeezed. It took a while because my elbow wasn't tight enough and I had to adjust a few times but by the time I got the tap, it seemed like everyone in the fucking room had stopped to watch. Of course, BB had been going very easy on me beforehand, which was probably the only reason I was able to get the takedown in the first place. But it was still a wonderful experience to have all that encouragement and to see a set through in a way that didn't involve getting immediately squashed.

The second highlight was when I was attempting to get side control and was struggling to maintain the offensive. Without even thinking about it, I suddenly switched my legs and kicked one over BB's head in another move that we'd learned last week. Holding onto one of his arms, with the other one disabled and my heel pushing into his neck, he was stuck. Dom saw this and I got another "Oh shit! Good job!" from across the room. Unfortunately, BB knew what I was doing and bent one arm under his back so that I couldnt easily get to it. He was also way too strong for me to move his other arm to get the kimura that way. Christian told me how to slide a hand under his elbow and pull up, forcing him to tap or release the arm, but I was having trouble applying the pressure properly. Meanwhile, BB had some trouble escaping my leg-neck-whatever hold and we ended up in a bit of a stalemate for what seemed like a few solid minutes. That may not sound like much but when you're exerting every ounce of strength you've got, it's a damn long time. Eventually, I got tired and he managed to flip me over, but it was a really good round and I was proud of myself for the effort.

I was also exhausted at that point, so I thanked him for the great practice and took a much needed water break. After a little while, Ironman asked me if I wanted to roll. Now, I can only describe this guy as the Energizer Bunny on PCP. He literally has no off button. It's pretty fantastic to watch him go, because he just rolls balls to the wall with one person after another and never takes a break of his own accord. I wish I had that level of endurance, it's seriously fucking incredible. I warned him that I didn't know shit and probably wouldn't be useful for training so he offered to let me practice passing guard. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Every time I thought I'd gotten in and gotten a leg or a hold on his torso, he caught me off balance and flipped me over. Clearly, balance is something that I really need to work on because I get caught off guard and flipped very easily. I finally passed once at the end and got side control but I think he might've let me just to cut me a break. It was really good practice though.


  1. "Oh, son, she's about to fuck you up! You better watch out!" Nice!
    See - that's the thing about martial arts - it's such a community. In my experience - you get more support (moral and other wise) from your MA peers than anywhere eles.. *in my life* anyway.

    Kumura! that's pretty high-level stuff, no? And you're practicing that already?!

    I trained with a guy who had ridiculous cardio -- it was freakin' annoying lol -- only because my cardio sucked. It was impossible trying to spar with him.

    I'm a shy person, but I never felt more comfortable than I did practicing because martial arts is so raw and there's such comrodary because everybody's there to try to accomplish something. I usually don't like people looking at me for an extended period of time (exept a cute girl maybe) but when I'm doing my thing - I don't mind at all -- it's stange but I like it. + I'm great at what I do, so...

  2. You're right, it's definitely a real community, which is a big part of what makes it so addictive and enjoyable.

    I don't know about the kimura. There are so many variations of it, so some of them might be tougher. Two of the ones we learned were really straightforward. The other was more complicated. Either way though, it's not an ideal move when there's a real size difference. I could defintely try a kimura on someone in my own weight class but against the bigger guys it's pointless because it's impossible to move their arms into the right positions.