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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Body Surfing

Last night, I grappled a guy named Derrick. He is one of the senior blue belts at our school and one of the most flow-y, talented grapplers I know. He moves a lot and I am always exhausted after grappling him, but in a good way.

When we were grappling, he kept sweeping me. Sweep. Sweep. Sweep. Most of the time, the sweeps came as I was trying to pass his guard and come into side control, or when I was in half guard. After the roll was over, he pointed out some of the mistakes I was making.

He said I get myself into a tight little ball, for one thing. I do tend to do that. When I am on the bottom, it works out because my arms and legs make a nice frame to keep space. But when I am on the top, i make myself easier to sweep. He told me that, when I feel like I am being swept, I need to make myself as big as possible.

I am like this:


I need to be like this:


He said also that I was using my shoulder to pin him at the neck, instead of just using my shoulder to block him from turning into me. The result was, I was gripping onto him and making it easier for him to take me over.

What I need to do instead is be more mobile. Me? Need to be more mobile? Big shocker there.lol. I guess what I have been doing is, when I am grappling bigger guys, once I get into a good position, I want to hold onto it. But getting rigid and gripping them actually works against me.

Derrick said that, because I am small, I need to be able to surf on top of my opponent.



I need to feel what they're doing and adapt, move my hips, adjust my balance, shift my weight. The way for me to keep a position is not to pin someone down, it is to be mobile. When they move, I have to adjust. Otherwise, I'm like a big weight on top of a lever. If I don't move, he will get leverage on me and I will go over.

Monday, November 29, 2010

If You Have Kids Who Believe In Santa...

...then they will love this.

http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/XSi4PoFVLSFt2A3Y8BO5cA

A friend of mine made a video message "from Santa" to her daughter and she told me her daughter loved it. I made one for Noah too and he absolutely flipped out. He said, "Mommy! Santa actually knows me! He really knows me!"

If you have kids who believe in Santa, this is a really cute little way to make Christmas a bit more special for them!

Can't wait to get back into class tonight. Feeling like a tub of whale lard. Haven't grappled since last Wednesday! My neck is all stiff and achy. I have found that it hurts a lot worse when I am NOT grappling as opposed to when I am. Guess everything is more stretched out when I'm consistently grappling.

This is a snap shot from my Thanksgiving. That is my husband with his back to the camera, dueling his Mom on Toy Story 3 on the Wii, with his older brother and the kids jumping in front of him trying to make him lose. Don't ask me why my brother in law is wearing sunglasses indoors, at night. My husband was very upset that he lost that round. This just supports my theory that boys never grow up. They just get bigger and fart louder (and smellier).



This week, my main focus is still on hip movement from the bottom. I need to be on the move more, since I can't go inverted; take the back, sweep, return to guard. Attack, attack, attack! Being out of class has given me some time to peruse the internet and find some nasty little treats I can't wait to try out in class. Hopefully at I'll be able to at least mimic them! ;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting Girls to Engage

How do you get girls to engage? No, I am not talking about getting girls to get engaged. I am talking about getting girls to engage in grappling.

We've had good luck getting girls out to the barn and, even better, getting them to keep coming back. But I am finding that it is difficult to get some of them to want to grapple. I've also found the same is true for some of the younger boys we have coming out to the barn.

They sit down on the mat and stare at their opponents, clearly terrified. When they do engage, they are tentative and deferring, not resiting when they are swept and just laying there when someone is in mount or side control. It takes every ounce of self control I have not to start "coaching" them from the sidelines. Usually, they only want to do one or two grapples each class.

I can remember feeling like that when I first started. My first grapple, the teenage guy across from me said, "Attack me." I just stared at him. He was like, "Come on. Attack me. Get into a dominant position." I remember thinking, What the heck is a dominant position?!?!? But it didn't take long for my competitive nature to take over. I was spazzing like a champ in no time. I couldn't get enough grappling.

Some of these girls are different. If they didn't keep coming to class, I would think they didn't like grappling. I never push them to grapple. But I would like to figure out some ways to encourage them to be more aggressive. I know everyone has different personalities. And I have no problem if they want to take things slow. But should I be challenging them more? Or is this one of those things that just takes time?

I know part of it is that they know very few things at this point. All we have taught them so far is what the basic positions are, one main guard pass, the rear naked choke, an armbar from mount and the americana.

That's another thing. I am so tempted to overload them with techniques every class. I think to myself. Oh, we really need to teach them the basics of side control. But wait! They don't know anything about taking the back! And then there's guard. We haven't gone over anything from guard! AHHHH!

For me, training has been going...Ok. I am still not allowed to go inverted because of my neck. And I am still not adapting well to doing other things. I see some glimmers of progress. A random sweep here. A break down of posture there. But it is really slow going and I find myself cheating sometimes and going inverted. Then Fabio gets onto me. "Porra, Allison, I saw you go upside down like five times that round. You need to stop." lol

I noticed the other day that I am starting to pick up some Portuguese. There are a few people at our school who are Brazilian and Fabio talks to them in Portuguese. I was grappling one of those guys and he went for a gi choke on me. I heard him talking behind me in Portuguese and I can't tell you now what he said, but I immediately said, "No, it's ok if he chokes me. That doesn't hurt my neck." Both Fabio and the other guy looked at me. I shrugged. Fabio sighed and said, "You need to be careful. No chokes for now. We'll see how it goes later." lol! Ok, so maybe I'm not actually picking up Portuguese, but I can at least tell what they're talking about sometimes!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Instant Turn Off

Despite the upcoming holidays, I'm in a bad mood today. This post is going to be crabby. Sorry. Just need to get something off my chest.

There are few things that instantly repel me more than arrogance. I know we all say dumb stuff sometimes, but I really dislike it when I hear people talk about how they want to fight people. I'm not talking about fighting people in the ring, in an organized competition. I'm referring to guys who talk about how they want to beat some guy up because they talked crap or because they looked at them wrong or whatever. Some guys seem to be looking for offense just so they can have a reason to get into a fight.

Example: Koschek on this season of Ultimate Fighter. I know that he's probably hamming it up for TV or whatever. But he isn't making himself look awesome. He's making himself look like an idiot.

It's even more annoying when I see this kind of attitude in young guys who sometimes come through the gym. You know, the ones who know a little bit; just enough to get themselves into some real trouble. They're still newbs (like me lol) but they don't realize they're still newbs.

So, macho guys, let me tell you how girls view your I'm-going-to-pulverize-anyone-who-looks-at-me-wrong attitude. We are not impressed. We think you're meat heads who don't have enough intelligence to solve problems with words. You're not as awesome as you think you are. Grow up and learn how to act like adults.

Now I am going to grow drink my coffee and transform back into a non-rabid human being.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another One Hooked

Last night, we had six girls and Phil (the lone ranger--lol) at my barn doing Jiu-jitsu. Three of them had never done jiu-jitsu before. We would have had three other boys, but one couldn't get gas money and the other two didn't do their chores and weren't allowed to come! (This made me laugh because I am an evil youth pastor).

This is us attempting to be scary. I generally fail at intimidating expressions.



One of the girls who came last night one that I have been trying to get into jiu-jitsu for about six months. I tried everything. Begging. Bribing. Sweet talking. Nothing worked. She said she didn't like closed spaces. I let it go for a while, but when she recently moved in with my husband and I due to some circumstances going on, I picked up my jiu-jitsu nagging right where I left off. I was convinced that if she tried it just once, she would be hooked. Finally, after questioning her further, I found out the real reason why she didn't want to try it.

She had a stepbrother (who I also know) who had trained jiu-jitsu for a couple years. Being an older brother, he frequently tortured her with what he learned. Didn't hurt her, but wrapped her up like a pretzel and kind of bullied her. This kid is well over 200lbs, and the girl is about my height, so she felt helpless and it really bothered her.

When we started doing jiu-jitsu out in the barn, I told her she could come and watch if she wanted, no pressure to practice. I told her if she wanted to try some moves, she could do them with me only if that would make her feel better. So, she came out.

We were waiting for the rest of the group to get there and she asked me if I could show her how to get out of something that her boyfriend does to her that really makes her mad. I said I would try. She told me he gets down (he was in her guard, but she didn't know what guard was) and would pin her arms down and then tickle her. She said he was too strong for her to get off. I have had people do that to me in class on MANY occasions, so I knew several techniques to show her, which I promptly did.

After the very first technique I showed her, she said, "Ok, Allie. I will be doing Jiu-jitsu with you from now on."

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees!! I knew she would love it! She stayed for the rest of the "class" (I don't know what else to call it) and talked about Jiu-jitsu all night. It was so funny because, afterwards, she came up to me and said, "I don't want to bother you, but do you think I could come out here and learn more than just two days a week?"

Clearly she fails to realize how obsessed I am with Jiu-jitsu. I said absolutely. It would be great practice for me to go through all the basic positions and submissions again. You can never practice those enough.

The other two new girls are hooked too. We started warming up at around 5:30 and the last few stragglers didn't leave until almost 10 at night. It just brings me so much joy to see these girls light up as they realize that they CAN do jiu-jitsu and that it DOES work.

Can't wait for next class on Sunday. :)








Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Triangle Escapes

I needed last night's technique. When I get submitted, it is usually by triangle. So, when Fabio said we were going over triangle escapes, I was really happy. I forget so many of the little details that make triangle escapes work. This time, I am writing them down step-by-step so I can reference them! By the way, I am making up all these names for these escapes. I don't know if they have other names.

Escape One: Stack and Block.

- When the person goes for the triangle, immediately look up and brace the elbow of your trapped arm on their pelvic bone, at their hip/led socket. Wrap your other arm around your own arm for more support.
- Stack toward their head, bringing your back knee up behind their butt and hip to block their hip movement.
- At the same time, swim their head with your free arm. A variation is using the bone in your forearm across their jaw or neck. But that's not as nice. :)
- Break your hip towards their head, always keeping your hips lower than your head as your hips come around.
- You should break free.

Escape Two: The Reach Around
- Begins the same as the first one. Look up. Brace your elbow. Support with your other arm.
- Instead of stacking, bring your free arm around to their opposite hip, breaking your hip toward their head at the same time.
- When I practiced this one, I found that the more I hugged the person's leg with my head, looking up at the same time, the easier my head and arm came free.
- This one was the hardest for me to do against a resisting partner.

Escape Three: Pressure Break
- If the person pulls your arm across their body, don't fight them trying to pull back. Go with them to that side, locking your arms in a gable grip and bracing on the ground. Always look up.
- This will put their bottom leg flat on the ground with their other hip facing up.
- Put your far hip right on top of theirs and drop your hip into them.
- Their legs will open.
- If they don't go after your arm trying to armbar it, come around the back and establish side control.
- If you think they will go for your arm, slide their top leg off your neck when their triangle breaks and slide your hips over both legs, rotating around to the front while keeping pressure on their hips.
- As you rotate around the front, swim their head.
- Your arm will be out of danger then.

Rolling went a lot better tonight. I am starting to see slow progress in adapting to not being able to go inverted.

Went with Rhino, a big, strong blue belt guy who is really technical. He is one of the biggest guys in the gym, but he never crushes me when we grapple. A few times, when he was sweeping me or something, I noticed him being careful not to roll on my spindly little limbs. He somehow manages to look out for me while he is grappling the crap out of me.

I did laugh at one point though because I tried this guard pass where I bring both legs together with my arms, shove them down to one side, break my hip around and then basically push the person's upper body flat with my hip as I come up. Usually, it works. When my hip hit his torso it was like slamming my butt into a brick wall. He was sitting almost upright. My "hip pressure" did nothing. I started laughing and he just kind of smiled and shrugged his shoulders. He's a good guy to practice things with because, if a technique works on Rhino, it will most certainly work on a smaller guy. If it doesn't...well, it probably needs some tweaking. ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dealing With Perfectionism

I hit the wall this week. Had a crying spell in class, which is always embarrassing. None of the guys cry. lol. Had a talk with Ben, a brown belt at our school who used to be one of my instructors at Summerlin. Without even realizing that what he was saying was having an impact, he straightened me out.

But I wish I didn't need straightening out so often.

Practicing Jiu-jitsu is like standing in front of a mirror that shows you every strength and weakness of your character. Take me for example. Jiu-jitsu has taught me that one of my strengths is determination. When I see a challenge, I want to get through it no matter how hard it is or how long it takes. But, on the other hand, Jiu-jitsu has shown me that I am a perfectionist and that sometimes I am the one putting unnecessary challenges in my own path.

I did a brief google search and found this Check List for parents to see if their kids struggle with perfectionism in sports:

Here are the top eight signs of perfectionists. They:
1. Generally perform better in practice than game situations.
2. Want to excel badly, which makes them anxious and afraid of failing.
3. Are afraid of making mistakes.
4. Worry too much about what other people think about them.
5. Try too hard to ensure their performance is “perfect.”
6. View performance as either good or bad, with no middle ground.
7. Harbor unrealistic or very strict expectations about their performance.
8. Are fearful of letting others down if they make mistakes.

I can check off every single one of those items. The question I have is, should I try to change this aspect of my personality and is that even possible? I think it is ironic that I feel like I have to "fix" this part of me, since that feeling is very possibly related to this whole perfectionist thing in the first place! LOL

The negative aspects of being a perfectionist affect more than just my Jiu-jistu performance. I psych myself out in a lot of things. At my job, in relationships, with my body image, on big projects that I undertake. A lot of people might be tempted to say, "Just relax. Don't put so much pressure on yourself." But that's kind of like telling my dog, "Don't chase that squirrel." Anyone who has the same personality as me will know that it is not that easy. You can't just flip a switch and stop thinking this way.

Like everything else, it takes time.

Here is where being a Youth Minister comes in handy. I know how to change destructive habits. I TEACH on how to change destructive habits. lol It is a process that happens step by step and begins with identifying and getting to the root of harmful attitudes.

For example, I know that I shouldn't go to extremes when trying to change my perfectionist habit. Being a perfectionist isn't all horrible. For one thing, my personality drives me to succeed. That's not a bad thing. Also, my personality drives me to not only succeed, but to do things well. Also not a bad thing. Perfectionism becomes only a problem when I take it to extremes and put unrealistic expectations on myself.

So what can I do? To answer that question, I thought about what I would say to one of my youth struggling with this same thing. Here is what I came up with:

1. Realize that your performance doesn't determine your worth. My family and friends are not going to love me any more or less because I win every tournament I enter. They will be happy for me and maybe they will admire it. But my worth to them does not rest in what I do, but who I am.

2. Accept that you are imperfect. This may seem like a no-brainer, but for me it is a big deal. Logically, I know I am not perfect. But then why do I set expectations as if I should be? I have to understand that I am not perfect and that this is OK! That doesn't mean that I don't try to improve. It just means that I accept the fact that I have strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else and that this is ok.

3. Set realistic goals. Self-explanatory.

4. Make your own decisions. Part of being a perfectionist is wanting badly to please others. For me, this translates to anxiety over how other people perceive my performance. In Jiu-jitsu, I am constantly looking for re-affirmation from my coaches and friends. I ask for lots of advice. I worry about whether or not they are upset or disappointed in me. In this case, what I would tell my youth is that they need to decide what their own goals are, not look to everyone else to make those decisions for them. And then they need to be able to stand on their own convictions and not be slaves to what everyone else thinks about them. Simple, right? In theory yes. In practice? Heck no.

5. View mistakes in a positive light, instead of tearing yourself apart. There is a difference between making a mistake and being a jerk. If I am a jerk and I punch someone in the face, then I should feel guilty about it. If I make a mistake and i don't execute a sweep correctly, I didn't do anything morally wrong. I just have things to improve on with that sweep. I think people who struggle with perfectionism connect their success to their worth in character. This is not healthy. Having good character does not mean you don't make mistakes. Having good character means that you do your best and admit when you make mistakes.

In jiu-jitsu, I have been learning to let my mistakes be more like mini-lessons. I pick one from each class, for example, a failed sweep, and try to figure out why it didn't work. I refuse to beat myself up about it but instead turn my attention to figuring out what I can do next time to make the sweep work.

6. Don't back down from challenges. Perfectionists like to hide from major challenges because we fear failing. That is why, in my opinion, it is so important to meet those challenges head on. The reason is, you will fail sometimes and then you will realize that failure is not the end of the world! :)

Anyways, that is my long-winded, pep talk for myself. I go around and around with this, but over the last year and a half, I have seen a lot of improvement in changing my self-destructive attitude. The reason why I know I am getting better at it is that, even though I still struggle with it, I don't beat myself up. It took me 28 years to get this way. It will take me a while to learn to handle stress in a more healthy way.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hip Movement -- I Have To Commit!

I've been trying to get more hip movement going when I am on the bottom. So...I guess I could rephrase that as: I am trying to get more hip movement when I grapple. :) The main thing I struggle with is getting stuck half way through a move. Someone starts to pass or move, I hip the way I am supposed to go in order to either take their back or get a sweep, and then...nothing. I get stuck. And passed.

But I think I am beginning to see where my problem is.

We worked takedowns the other day (I am not switching topics. This applies the above quandary)and, at first, I had the same problems I always have. I was too tentative. But this time, I was actually getting to spar against a girl my size instead of a giant man beast. So, my confidence grew. I started committing when I shot in and had a lot more success.

Later, after class, I was complaining to Fabio about how frustrated I was because of something I MUST be doing wrong with my hipping. I was not getting sweeps. I was not taking the back. At best, I was able to defend my guard.

He said he did notice one thing I was doing at one particular point. I was trying to take this guy's back and I hipped out...but not enough. He said I hipped out once, a little bit, then tried to go. It didn't work. He said I needed to commit and really hip out.



I wasn't committing. It was the same problem I have when I do take downs. I do the technique a little bit. But a little bit isn't going to get the job done. I have to really go for it.

Which means I have to abandon my guard. Ooooooh....No me gusta.

You guys know about my love affair with guard. I can't seem to get myself to let go of it. Or, er, of the person inside of it. But I have to if I want to be successful! If I am going to sweep, I need to commit to the sweep, not kind of try the sweep while I'm still trying to keep guard at the same time. That doesn't work!

I just have to take the risks. Sure, sometimes it STILL won't work. And then I'll be stuck in some yucky bad place that I have to squirm out of. But it sure as heck isn't going to work if I don't commit to it.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Teaching Noah

A few friends of mine came over to the barn tonight to grapple and Noah, my son, was begging to come out with us. I decided to give it a shot. We did some basic warm-ups, drilled and arm-bar from mount and Noah "grappled" with me and with my friend Phil. In all, he was out there for about thirty minutes.

He absolutely LOVED it.

I will say, though, it is hard to explain how to do BJJ moves to a five year old. We had to get really creative. Like, when we were trying to teach him how to hip out, I had to make him pretend like something was chasing him at his feet in order for him to learn to use his feet to push his body backwards. He never quite got the real motion of the hip out in drilling, but he did do it randomly when he was grappling with me.

It was really fun. And hilarious. I have a video of Phil trying to teach Noah how to do jumping jacks. Pretty much the entire class went like this. It was awesome. And yes, he is wearing a ninja costume with a whitebelt on it. He doesn't have a gi, but he really wanted to wear something "like mommy's". This was the closest thing we had. lol



He did end up getting it eventually. And he was so excited. It made me happy. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How Do You Measure Success?

Tonight was a small class, so I ended up rolling with some people I don't normally grapple. One is a white belt guy who has been grappling about a year and is very strong. The whole grapple, I had to fight to keep myself calm. I kept trying to pass his open guard, but he kept doing sipder guard and yanking my arms a lot. He was pulling on my sleeves so much that I spent literally the last minute and half of the grapple with my gi top up over my head.

I would try one pass, break his grips, start to pass, get muscled around, sit back in my base, come to the other side, start passing that way, get yanked around, sit back in my base. Rinse, wash, repeat. Much of the time with my gi over my head. I started to get claustrophobic at one point and had to silently tell myself, "You can still breathe. You're fine. It's nothing. Keep going."

I passed only twice in five minutes and did not retain mount or side control for very long before he heaved me off and I would have to perform evasive maneuvers to keep from getting squashed. The whole grapple, I only went for a couple of submissions, and mostly they were threats in order to distract him from flinging me around more than solid attempts.

Afterwards, I felt like I hadn't done well. I felt like I should have been able to pass more and maintain the few dominant positions I had gotten to. I asked Fabio after class if he had seen that roll. He nodded. He told me I did good. I asked him another question, telling him that I had felt frustrated and he said, "Porra, Allison, I am telling you that you did good."

So I dropped it. And thought about it.

Some of you guys on here talk about how sometimes victory is not in submitting someone or dominating someone, but in surviving. I think I am finally starting to believe that. I am a small(ish) girl. That guy is bigger and stronger. When I started BJJ, he would have trounced me like a bug. Last night, he couldn't trounce me. He couldn't submit me. He couldn't get into a dominant position on me. And I was on offense, albeit a lame offense.

To me, that if progress. It's not mind boggling, genius level progress. It's more like short bus progress. But I'll take it.

I think I have to learn to notice the small steps forward, and not set my sights on perfection. I could get down on myself and lament over the fact that I didn't dominate that guy like I wanted to. But instead, I am trying to accept the fact that, with guys like that, it is a victory if I don't spend the whole five minutes eating mat.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cutting Weight -- Is It Safe?


Once, a friend of mine was cutting weight for a competition he planned to be in. He had to drop a lot of weight and ended up cutting 28lbs in two weeks, then 12 more two days before he was supposed to fight. Unfortunately, my friend couldn't get rid of the last pound. And, he got sick in the process. By the end, he was actually spitting blood.

He has cut weight before successfully. A lot of weight, like this. And was able to rehydrate before his fights and do perfectly fine. This was the first time I know of that things didn't go as planned.

But it all worries me. And it got me thinking: When does cutting weight become dangerous and how can you do it safely? Or better yet, should you do it at all?

Here's my personal (uneducated, largely inexperienced) opinion. I have only cut weight once and it was a minor amount. Only six pounds. I did it over the months leading up to the tournament and ended up staying at that weight ever since. But now, I have decided to just fight in the weight class where I actually am.

My reasoning is as follows:

1) Cutting weight is no fun. I like to eat.
2) I know that cutting too much weight weakens you. I like being strong.
3) Cutting weight is no fun. I like to eat. Did I already say that?
4) I think it is more fair if you fight at the weight that you actually are, instead of cutting weight for a tournament and then re-hydrating the night before the fight and coming into the actual fight several pounds heavier than you were at the weigh in.

I do have a couple of exceptions to my "no cutting" policy. If I am one or two pounds above the next weight class, I will drop down. One or two pounds is no big deal to lose in a healthy way. But much more than that, and I don't really like it.

What are your thoughts? Do you cut? What are the advantages and disadvantages? When does it become dangerous?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Submitting Whitebelts

I wasn't planning on doing another post today, but I just read an excellent post by Georgette about the struggle she has--and that I think a lot of us have--about whether or not we should use our training time with whitebelts to work things we can't work with more experienced people.

I am no authority on the issue. I have the same back-and-forth conversation going on inside my head when I grapple newer whitebelts. Should I catch that submission or let them work? Should I sweep or let them pass? Recently, though, I had an experience that has changed the way I think about training with whitebelts.

I have a female, whitebelt friend of mine who trains at the gym. She's doing really well, growing by leaps and bounds. But from the moment she started, I struggled with the idea of submitting her. It was not just her, I struggled with the idea of submitting any of the white belt girls that come to the gym.

She and I talked and she said that she wanted me to go for things on her so that she could grow. Ok, I thought. I'll go for some more things. But I kind of didn't. I still felt guilty, like I was taking advantage of her by going for things. I moved a lot more and got more dominant positions, but I still didn't submit her very much.

Then, we recently went to a tournament. Her boyfriend, who also trains, was talking to her before her match and he said something that really took me aback. He said, "Remember, these girls aren't Allie." I wasn't sure exactly how he meant it, but I think he meant something to the effect of, "Remember, these girls aren't going to be nice to you like Allie is."

This girl fought and she did really well. But the girl she went up against was a very aggressive attacker. As soon as my friend escaped a submission, the girl would go for the same submission again, keeping my friend on constant defense. My friend never got submitted and never gave up any positions, but the other girl won by advantage.

The thing is, the submission the other girl kept going for is one that I know and use on other people. I just never used it on my friend.

When we got back to training after the tournament, my friend asked me to start submitting her more. She said she needed to learn how to escape things. I felt horrible because, this whole time, I was kind of doing her a disservice by not catching submissions on her. This is something Fabio warned me about. Her boyfriend warned me about it too. I just didn't listen. She could have learned to work out of that submission that she was faced with in the tournament, but because I held back, she had never seen it before.

Now, I know that this isn't the kind of story that applies to everyone. My friend has an excellent attitude. She know that if she wants to grow, she needs people to attack her. Some people don't have that attitude.

Also, I know that no matter what, there are always going to be submissions that she could have been caught with that she had never seen before. She fought well, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That's how it is. I know. It just bothered me because I love that submission and haven't done it on purpose because I didn't want to be a jerk. And now I managed to be a jerk anyway. lol

Anyway, moral of the story for me is that I am going to go for more submissions on white belts. I'm not necessarily going to finish them and I certainly won't be a jerk and crank anything. Bu I am going to at least catch them, though, and make them work out of it. Same thing with sweeps. That is what the higher belts do for me.

Thoughts from Last Week

My life has been stuck on full throttle for the last week, so I neglected to post here. Since I know all three of you that read this blog are just dying to hear what I've been up to (Hey! I can see you smirking at me! Stop it!) I've come up with my Top 5 Jits Thoughts for the Week!

1. The Gym Feels Like My Home Away From Home-- With everything else crazy going on in my life, Fabio's is the one place where I feel like I can go and just completely relax. Well, relax in the I'm-fighting-not-to-get-choked-out sort of way. What I love about being there is that everyone who is there is there to have fun. We can just relax, grapple and laugh. Priceless!

2. Home Away From Home At My Home?-- We "christened" the mats in my barn by rolling on them for the first time last week. It was awesome. Me, Stephanie, Phil and his girlfriend Kara, who has been training for a few months now, all grappled. We even went through a mock technique lesson just to get used to teaching. We haven't brought in the newbies yet. We are working on a waiver and trying to work out some insurance issues too. But we think by next week we should be starting with the kids. I'm excited, but still nervous. Also, a guy who had a wrestling school in the same shopping complex as one of my fellow youth pastors is closing his doors and selling his mats. I might get to buy real mats!! We'll see, though.

3. Side to Side Guard-- I went to open mat on Saturday and rolled with PP, a purple belt at our school, who told me that my guard needs some work. I am doing too much back and forth movement and not enough side to side hip movement. If I get more side to side going, I will get a lot more sweeps and will be able to take the back easier. That is my focus for this upcoming week: side to side hipping in guard!!

4. My son who is 5 asked me this week when he was going to be allowed to start training "wa-jit-su". This is not the first time he has asked. A few weeks ago, we asked him what sport he wanted to play this year: football, soccer, basketball? He said "wa-jit-su". I'm kind of torn on the issue for several reasons. Might do a post on that later.

5. I got my MRI for my neck on Tuesday and am STILL waiting to find out the results. Grrrr. Patience is not my forte. I am wanting so bad to be able to roll like normal again. I know, I know...I need to be careful and wait it out. BOOOOO! :)

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