Archive | October, 2011

NOW I’m confused

26 Oct
So before I start this, let me just say how thankful I am that anyone even reads my blog.  I appreciate any and all feedback, but more than that it’s nice to have a place where I can just think “out loud,” in a manner of speaking.

But I am really curious to know…who are the people searching for:

“ovariectomy hook storz”
“ian and jessica aperna (sic)”
“andre galvao forearm tattoo”
“lifting neophyte”

I kind of understand where most, if not all, of them come from (the tattoo one is the only one that confuses me).  But what I really want to know is, are these people that I know looking for me?  Are they finding what they want, or are they looking for something completely different?  And for all those searching for “grappling vet,” are you really searching for me, or for some veteran of grappling?  Also, I am sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping I was Jessica Martin or Mike Harmon. 


Saturday class

22 Oct
The women’s class this morning was a little…sparse.  I showed up while the kickboxing class was still going on, which Jess does.  I got changed and sat around for awhile after 10, thinking that maybe the schedule changed and the women’s class started at 10:30 now–until I asked Jess what time we were starting, and they all realized their kickboxing class had gone over.  It didn’t really matter much, though, because I was the only one who showed up for the women’s class. 

We managed to convince Nicole, the lady who teaches the kickboxing class, to join in for BJJ, and since it was just us three we also invited a new guy who was in the previous class to stay as well.  Nicole only had a little BJJ somewhere else, and the guy had none, so Jess kind of did an intro lesson for them.  They picked up things like forward rolls, backward rolls, shrimping, and break falls REALLY fast, and then she moved on to armbar from mount and the upa escape from underneath mount (which Nicole called “buck and roll”…that made me lolz a little).  The guy was decently sized, and both of them are pretty damn strong, but they had really good body awareness and I was impressed at how quickly they learned things, and how controlled they were when we did a little bit of open rolling at the end of class. 

For me, Jess showed a variation on a cross choke from guard, and taking the back when someone sprawls.  It worked off of a side control escape she showed me a few weeks ago.  After rolling, she also went over some small things to improve my game, which mostly involved making more aggressive grips.  Combined with Jack’s little lesson on grips from open guard over at Jiu Jitsu Forums, I tried to put it all together for next class.

Open class was next, and there were only seven of us that showed up.  Apparently, Fall Festival is going on and we just can’t compete with that.  Mike had us drill 30 guard passes apiece, any way we wanted, but starting with our posture broken down.  After, he went over a guard break to do when still broken down and hugging your opponent’s chest, by making sure their hips were pinned between your legs, your body, and your arms.  I really need to work on that one.  Open rolling followed, where I (unsuccessfully) tried to work my grip game.  I got myself steamrolled by the Tucker boys

This is the first time I’ve done both the women’s class and open in awhile, and I’m sure my body won’t be happy tomorrow but it felt really good.  I figured I should take advantage of the rare weekend off.  I just wish I had a little more time/energy on weekdays to work out even a little, so it wouldn’t hit me so hard when I do want to push myself on the weekends. 

And I finally got John’s match uploaded to YouTube:

I should probably let this go

18 Oct
Leslie‘s last post on pulling guard got me to look at my own “guard-pull” attempts in tournaments.  I only intended on watching the beginning of the match, but I ended up watching the whole thing.  I always felt like I could have won if it was submission only or another minute longer, but I’m also pretty sure that my triangle at the end was a doomed attempt (she defended those really well!)  What I’m wondering is, at 3:35, would I have been better off working for an armbar?  Any other comments/suggestions about this match would also be appreciated! 

Tennessee State BJJ Championships

17 Oct
Yesterday our school headed down to Maryville for the annual TN State BJJ champs.  It’s a pretty local tournament, and luckily not even a half hour away, so a lot of our guys (and some of our kids) were competing.  Unfortunately, none of our women were (vet school, injuries, etc.), but I was still looking forward to seeing what my competition would have been if I could have competed.  My boyfriend Ian was also competing, for the first time (and as a blue belt…talk about nerve-wracking).

I totally meant to go to the women’s class before going to Maryville, but of course I totally overslept and woke up right after it started.  Later I found out Jess was the only one who showed up anyways, so while I didn’t feel quite so guilty, I was annoyed that I missed an hour of rolling with her.

The kids’ matches were still going on by the time I got there, and let me just say–damn.  Some of those kids are effin’ amazing.  Yeah, there was a bit of silliness going on, but it always amazes me at what you can teach them and how well they can learn.  I saw one kid pull off a sweet uchimata.  And for the most part, they were all really good sports, along with their parents.  I know I shouldn’t care so much, but it made my heart glow a little every time I saw a little girl win against boys, and I really hope that most of them stay with it.

The women got started while the kids were still going, and I was impressed at the number of white belts competing.  I couldn’t really figure out how many weight classes they ended up with, but it seemed like everyone had at least one match (most had more) against someone close to their own weight.  It wasn’t quite as large as the NAGA I went to in Atlanta, but I wouldn’t have expected it to be anyways.  The blue belt division, unfortunately, was quite a bit smaller–for gi, there were only three girls, and two of them from the same school, so they had to go against each other.  One of them was Shakia, who I didn’t even realize was there until she was fighting.  I saw her, and I was like, “Hey–that looks a lot like Shakia Harris!”  I’ll let her talk about the match (if she wants to), but I will say that she did really well.  Her opponent had a lot of weight (and four stripes) on her, and it was a very solid, technical match, as opposed to a lot of the women’s white belt matches–five minutes of whirling fury that honestly made me hope they don’t get promoted and enter my division any time soon! 

At 1, they cleared the mats and had the black belt superfights.  Two of them involved my coaches, Mike Horihan (against Dave Vannest) and John Hosford (against Tommy Wales).  The third was Brandon Bledsoe vs. Adam Arebalo.  Mike, fresh off a successful black belt test, went first.

 Unfortunately he lost by one advantage.  I was behind the scoring table, so I couldn’t see where Vannest got the extra advantage.  Brandon and Adam were next, so I took the opportunity to move to the other side of the gym so I could actually see the time left and score.  John went last, and won by three points.  Later, he told us he had been studying videos of this guy for months, and saw that no one could pass his half guard.  When he found himself stuck in that position, he decided to get in Tommy’s full guard and pass that instead.

Once they were done, the men’s gi matches resumed and Ian finally got to fight.  He lost his first match to some guy who was like two feet taller than him, but came out with his head held high.  His second match went better, and he defended well.  Unfortunately, he lost that one too, but I’m glad he gave it a try.  He’s really not the competing kind of guy, and that’s ok–it means that I’ll always have someone to support me on the sidelines, who doesn’t have to run off to his own matches!

We had success with the rest of our men’s team as well–we went home with another two golds and two silvers that I can remember.  I wish we had a women’s team, but hopefully we can get something together by the next tournament (and maybe I’ll have a mildly lighter schedule).  While it seemed like there were quite a few open rings towards the second half of the day, when there were still plenty of matches left, overall I think this tournament went pretty well.  BJJ tourneys have gotten such a bad rep for being disorganized and running late that any kind of improvement is a huge step up, and I’m pretty sure our guys were done by five.  Honestly, it would have just seemed longer that it actually was because my butt was getting so sore from sitting on bleachers. 

Call me crazy?

5 Oct
…but I’m thinking about running the Knoxville Marathon in April.  This isn’t entirely random, as I was a cross country runner in high school, and ran a half marathon in undergrad.  However, I haven’t been running at all since the spring when I wanted to do a trail race in town (the timing of the race didn’t work out), but while I was training I felt really good about running.  Ideally, I should have been running all summer, but I think if I start now my body should be able to handle it. 

Things to consider:
1) Do I have the time to actually do it?  Clinics not only takes up time when I’m actually there, but also time when I get home–reading up on the next day’s cases, finishing up that day’s paperwork, and then studying for boards.  However, of all things to do, running should be the easiest thing to slip into a schedule.  I can do it completely on my own time.

2) Do I have the energy?  Today I came home and kind of…crashed.  Maybe giving myself a real training schedule will force me to not crash right when I get home.

3) Will it take away from BJJ too much?  I’m only training once a week as it is, so it really shouldn’t, especially if I go to class Saturday morning and count that as one of my “cross training” days.  Part of the reason I’m worried about this is because of the last time I “quit” BJJ.  I wasn’t even training that often, just four times a week.  But the commute left me exhausted, and my grades were starting to do downhill, so I chose to take a break and instead trained for a half-marathon.  That “break” lasted almost four years, and I don’t want that to happen again. 

4) Can my body actually handle it?  I did cross country, but had injuries almost every season–shin splints, bad knees, a torn medial gluteus…it just never ended.  But I’m not training hardcore, every single day, the way I was then. 

All the evidence points to me going for it.  Someone tell me I’m forgetting something and convince me that this is a bad idea…