Tag Archives: BJJ

BJJ in Asheville, #1

29 Mar

I started my Humane Alliance externship in Asheville on Monday, and it’s been great!!  It’s a 2 week externship that teaches students how to perform high-quality, high-volume spays and neuters, and throughout the two weeks we also learn about the other parts of running a program like that, between transporting animals, selecting the right patients, what kind of peri-operative care they get, and so on.  Then I’m staying for an optional third week that’s all about surgery.  This morning didn’t start off so great, but my afternoon spay when a LOT better and with any luck, I’ll be spaying cats in under ten minutes when I’m done here! 

Last night I checked out the first of the Asheville-area BJJ schools on my list.  I went to Ichiban MMA, owned and run by BJJ black belt Erick Jordan.  Unfortunately, he was out of town, but one of his blue belts was teaching.  It was myself and another white belt in the class, which is actually bigger than normal.  Apparently the gi class is usually just Erick and the blue belt (whose name escapes me at the moment). 

The kids class was just wrapping up as I finished, and Blue got me signed in.  He got us stretching some, showed us a bow and arrow choke, and then we just rolled for awhile.  Apparently, the white belt (Ronnie) has done MMA for about a year, and was a wrestler, but this was his first gi class.  He was really nervous about it, but I went with him after rolling with Blue and it was obvious he knew what he was doing on the ground.  There was an accidental slam, and of course the obligate freak-out, but it got sorted quickly and we were both back to rolling.  I was playing mostly defense, and did get submitted a few times, but I think overall I did a pretty good job of frustrating their submission attempts.  Ronnie finally felt confident enough to roll with Blue, and then after that we went over a few gi grips.  I got in one more roll with Blue before the MMA class started. 

While the class wasn’t very structured, I still had a good time rolling.  Obviously when Erick is back in town I expect things will be a little different, but since the class is usually pretty small anyways it seems like it would be informal.  It seems like the school is more oriented towards the MMA and no-gi stuff, so I’ll definitely need to try a no-gi class (or at least a class when Erick is teaching). 

The basics:  There’s a nice big sign on the front, so it’s pretty easy to find.  There’s one bathroom for changing, and the mat fee is $10 (but Blue wouldn’t charge me).  The mat space wasn’t huge, but everything was pretty neat and clean. 


New Training Buddy

25 Mar

I intubated a lioness on Friday!!

Like this guy, but with fewer helping hands.


I was pretty excited to get it on the first try.  Cats can be difficult, and with big cats the bigger tubes can be floppy and don’t always go where you want them.  Plus, it’s hard to see all the way back there.  Clearly, I was meant to do this.

Saturday saw a great women’s class.  I finally convinced Rebecca to come in for a class, and it was a blast.  She hit it off great with Jess and Michelle, and we all had a blast rolling and chatting about being women in BJJ, or in their cases, work.  Turns out that Michelle and Rebecca know some of the same people through work, and it was hilarious listening to them talk about their jobs.

We started off class with a warm-up and then some rolling.  Rebecca and I rolled first, and it was pretty great for both of us.  I definitely had some height and weight on her, but for both of us it was the still the closest we’d ever come to finding someone our own size.  Even knowing that I was slightly bigger, she still felt tiny!  I can’t imagine what I feel like to bigger guys.  It was great knowing that whenever I got swept or couldn’t escape, it was pure technique–no muscling and definitely no fat boy jiu jitsu.  It makes me even more sad that I’m leaving Knoxville so soon, after having found such an awesome training buddy! I rolled with Michelle next, which is always great.  It was good to see that she could stand to roll so well after her surgery, and she’s even made progress since Monday as far as what she can do with her knee.

After, Jess went over some “small guy” techniques–her variation on the knee-through guard pass, and different ways to take mount from side control.  I always love when we go over the basics.  At some point we got so caught up in talking we just sort of stopped drilling until Michelle (the one white belt! lol) got us back on track.  After class, we took some pictures (which I plan on shamelessly stealing from Rebecca’s blog once she posts them) and discussed trying to start a women’s open mat in Knoxville.  Even if I’m gone, I really hope it works out.  In any case, I hope Rebecca comes back soon!

Open class started soon after, and I got my wish from Monday–we started drilling takedowns, and then went live for two minutes from the feet.  As always, the old “be careful what you wish for” adage remains true–a minute in, I brilliantly decided to headbutt my partner with my nose.  It’s not broken and it wasn’t bleeding, but it crunched loud enough for another blue belt to notice and check on me.  And of course, when I went to go ice it there was no ice in the freezer–go figure.  I decided to stay for the techniques and go next door to Walgreen’s for an instant ice pack during the rolling part of class, and we worked on some half-guard passes.

I’m starting an externship in Asheville, NC tomorrow, so I won’t be able to train during the week unless I find a school there (any suggestions?).  I’m planning on coming back for the weekends though, so at least I’ll be able to hit up Saturday classes…and pack…and start saying goodbye to my life in Knoxville.