November 9, 2011

Ice Packs are a Girl's Best Friend

I got squashed last night. Like a bug. Annihilated by multiple people over the course of 3 hours. If this keeps up, my ass is going to be in shape much sooner than I thought. I keep trying to tussle with the bigger and/or stronger guys and they just trounce me without trying, every time. I must have a bit of a masochistic streak because I keep coming back for more abuse.

While the kickboxing class was wrapping up, I warmed up by rolling with KGB for 15 minutes. And when I say "warmed up," I mean that I nearly died from exhaustion while he barely worked up a sweat. When we began, he got me into a guillotine or triangle or something in the first 10 seconds. It happened so fast, I literally have no clue what kind of choke it was. All I know is that I attempted a takedown and was suddenly tapping for dear life. 10 seconds. If that's not pathetic, I don't know what is. But we reset, kept going and I just kept on trying (and failing, but that's okay). It was an amazing workout but damn...guys like him, it's like grappling with a brick wall. I don't know enough techniques yet to be effective against someone that much stronger. I kept trying to do an armbar or, hell, anything at all and if you've ever been 147 lbs trying to pull someone's arm down when their arms are, like, 2-3 times the size of yours, and they're pulling in the opposite direction, you know what I'm talking about. I need a hell of a lot more practice to be able to counter the difference in strength even somewhat effectively.

Also, I can drill techniques over and over but when it comes to rolling, I get overwhelmed and forget everything. By the time I remember how to do a particular move, I'm already being subbed. Trek, Carlo and a bunch of other guys I couldn't see properly while upside down came over and stood around to watch and call out advice, but I still got my ass kicked over and over. The newbies in for their trial class were watching us with a measure of WTF? They seemed to be trying to understand if guys beating up girls was commonplace there. I think they eventually figured out that, awkward positions and pained expressions aside, I was having a lot of fun.

The no-gi class was really busy today. There were three or four people who came in for a trial plus more of the regulars than usual, and Christian worked us extra hard. Yanitza decided to once again brave the sweaty mosh pit that is no-gi training and join in, which was a good thing considering we were primarily working on side control escapes and butterfly sweeps and I had enough trouble pulling off the move even with her being smaller. I can just imagine how well it would've gone if I'd paired up with one of my usual partners.

Since I was running on a total of 7 hours of sleep for the previous 3 nights, the smart thing would've been to go home after Fundamentals. Unfortunately, I'd finally caved and bought a gi the day before, a nice looking dark blue Fuji with a crispy white belt, and I thought it would be a shame to not put it to use right away. So insanity set in and I stayed for the 2 hour sports BJJ class that followed. All things considered, the choice was probably a mistake. I went home feeling like a total wreck, not to mention somewhat ill, but I'm glad I did it anyway. I alternated between drilling with Liz and Yanitza, and then we spent what seemed like an eternity rolling. I don't know how long each set was, but Christian went into drill sergeant mode as we switched from one partner to another, and there were virtually no breaks. I did kind of sneak out for one round and collapsed with my water bottle for a bit. If that makes me a pansy, so be it. I was fucking tired.

After Yanitza, I rolled with Killer, who is another one of those brick-wall types. Big, really strong, crushed me into Reese's pieces...the usual. I think he actually enjoys trying to kill me...payback for all of those triangles I practiced on him a few weeks ago, no doubt. I almost had to tap a few times just because he's so heavy that I either couldn't breathe or was being squeezed so hard, I thought things might start going crunch. Seriously. But I do love the challenge of rolling with guys like him and KGB, even if it's basically just asking for pain.

When the class ended, there was a surprise promotion as Christian announced that Curly had been bumped up to blue belt and we all got to line up and whip the shit out of him as he walked and then crawled back and forth once across the mats...shirtless. It looked painful. I felt somewhat unqualified to join in considering I'd just bought my gi the night before, but I figured I'd honor tradition and gave him a good slap or two with my brand new white belt as he went by. Fun night. It's always nice to see people rewarded for their hard work.

I went home afterwards, took a long shower and then strapped 5 different cold packs to various parts of my arms and legs. I used to hate the feeling of icing bruises and joints but it's become an unavoidable part of my life. I've come to embrace's the only way to ensure that I'm somewhat recovered enough to do the next class two days later.


  1. Please don't get yourself killed. Or squashed. Glad you're loving it so much though! Almost makes me want to try it out :)

  2. So, what did you think of your first gi class? Did collar chokes take some getting used to? The different grips? Anybody stick you in spider guard? :D

    Also, any general thoughts on the whole belt whipping thing? I'm not a fan personally, but I can understand the appeal (wrote something about it here).

  3. Geoff - you should!

    slideyfoot - I definitely prefer no-gi because I think it appeals to my inner streetfighter. That said, I would like to do gi classes once a week or once every other week to start, just to get the extra experience since it's quite different. I'll admit, I got freakin annoyed with people holding onto my sleeves. I kept thinking, "if this was no-gi, I'd already have side control! get off my damn clothes!" lol. It was very enjoyable though. I look forward to learning more of it. And yes, Yanitza killed me with a collar choke once or twice and I was not pleased. I didn't even know you could that!

    Belt whipping...hmm...I'd seen youtube videos of it so it wasn't a total surprise. I guess I don't have strong feelings about it either way. Some places do it, some don't, it doesn't really bother me. If the person getting whipped is okay with it and doesn't get hurt, I don't think it's a problem. I really like your post on the matter and yes, it's definitely got that frat boy hazing element but I don't gym is small and has a very strong community aspect so at least in that case it struck me less as intense macho bonding stuff and more as a fun tradition that everyone kind of looks forward to. From Liz's comments, she got the same treatment when promoted to blue and then purple and had no problem with it. I think it just depends on whether it's a safe environment and it's all in good fun or if it's a grittier atmosphere and people are just doing to be dicks, you know?

  4. Cool: thanks for the response. :D

    I think the main division between people who like belt whipping (or at least don't mind it) and those who don't is whether or not it was done at your first school (which may end up being your only school). It wasn't done where I started, so I only saw it later. Perhaps if it had been done to me from the start, I would be on the other side of the fence now.

    Also, you should tell your inner streetfighter that people normally wear clothes on the street. ;p

  5. "people normally wear clothes on the street."

    This is true lol. I guess I just meant the raw contact feeling instead of being in a more traditional martial arts uniform. I appreciate them both though, for sure!

  6. Reeses's Pieces! Nice! Love it!

    I also love that getting thrashed doesn't discourage you -- most people can't handle it.

  7. It would probably bother me more if I wanted to get into competition and really wanted move through the ranks quickly but I'm just enjoying getting into shape, working with good people and learning stuff in the process. Winning doesn't matter...obviously, I want to improve and eventually want to start submitting people now and then but I'm not in a rush and I understand that it takes time, so it's all good.