When I grapple a lot of the guys at my school, this is kind of what it's like.
I am doing everything in my power to try to get them and they are just relaxing and having fun! :)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
When I grapple a lot of the guys at my school, this is kind of what it's like.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 2:21 PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Big knee to the face tonight. No, not to me. By me. To Fabio. Really bad.
And here I thought I was getting a little better about the whole unintentional MMA thing. Man, I clocked Fabio right in the forehead with my knee. It made that horrible "twunk" sound. Afterwards, I apologized. He said, "It's ok, I'm used to it. You do it all the time." Crestfallen, I asked him, "Really? Do I kick you in the face every time?" He kind of smiled and shrugged, then nodded.
Well suckity suck. :(
It is now my mission to make it through my next grapple day of grappling without ANY face kicks! lol For real. This must end. I need to get my knobby knees under control.
I do have some sunshine for you.
Some of our new girls have started training in gi! I see many choke and sweep techniques in our Women's Class' future. :)
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:55 PM
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
In the last few months, the techniques that have most held my attention have been ones that involve using levers for getting your opponent off balance and then using force in the right direction to take them over. I am always thinking about it when I grapple. What can I trap and how can I take them over?
Here is what I look for specifically:
1) Where is their weight distributed? If they are leaning back, that is the way I am going to try to go. If their weight is forward, then I am going to take them that way.
2) Based on there their weight is, what will they use to steady themselves if I push them that way? Whatever it is, I try to trap it. Usually, it is an arm or a leg, or the hips. I am finding that hip movement is MUCH more important to sweeping--and defending sweeps--than is arm or leg strength. In fact, if I am straining, then I can be pretty much be sure that I have the angle off and I need to hip a certain way to fix it.
3) Be prepared to go the opposite way. Every time I push, I am expecting the person to resist in the opposite direction. Because of that, I try to get ready to pull and block on that direction so they go over.
The Trickity Trap:
A lot of the higher belts I grapple are really trickity. They like to pretend to be setting up a sweep, but then when you counter it, they take you over another way.
Anytime a higher belt appears to be letting me pass their guard... Trap.
Anytime a higher belt sits still for a minute while I am coming around to one side or driving into them...Trap.
Yeah. It's kind of not fair. ;)
But the cool thing is to think about how that could be me in the future. All I have to do is keep dragging myself out onto the mat and keep trying new ways to trap and trip up my opponents.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:46 AM
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:31 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Have you ever had a bad habit that you wanted to change? Ever noticed how, the more you try to change that habit, the more control over you it seems to have? If you are trying to stop doing something, then the more you think about NOT doing it, the more you want to do that thing. It can be disheartening and make you feel like you are incapable of "getting better" in whatever area it is.
What I have been learning is that, the best way to change a bad habit is not to focus on that habit or on changing it. The best way to change is to focus on the healthy replacement that you want to adopt in it's place. For example, if you want to eat healthier, going around all day thinking, "I will not eat that chocolate. I will not eat that chocolate," will make you think about how much you want chocolate. You'll be binge eating snickers and kit-kats by 4 pm. But, if you spend your thoughts thinking about creative recipes that are healthier, you will be more likely to make healthier eating decisions.
The general idea is that the focus of your mind determines your actions.
Sounds obvious. But I think a lot of times I--and other people--sink our own ships by focusing on the negative instead of the positive.
In BJJ, it would look something like this: You are having trouble with a certain position. Say, bottom side control. So, before grappling you think, "I'm not going to get into bottom side control. I'm not going to get into bottom side control." But, where do you end up? Bottom side control.
What I have been trying to do instead is focus on what I DO want to do, instead of what I don't want to happen. Instead of thinking, "I don't want to get into bottom side control," I think, "I want to pass." Instead of my mind being focused on bottom side control--even if it is focused on avoiding bottom side control it is still focused on bottom side control--my mind instead focuses on a positive action; passing.
I know this sounds like I am just playing semantics, but it has been working for me. If I start worrying about possible negative outcomes, I tend to see those become the reality. On the other hand, if I think about what I want to accomplish, I see a much higher success rate.
For me, this does NOT mean laboring over the details of a specific pass in my mind, like, "I am going to grip here and then shift my weight there." I think of very general things like, "I want to pass" or "I want to sweep" or "I want to escape". Then, I go by instinct, trusting the hours and hours of drilling and previous grappling that I have done and trusting my muscle memory to know how to accomplish those goals.
This helped me a lot at my last tournament. Instead of focusing on possible negative outcomes--like being taken down or submitted--I tried to keep what I wanted to do at the forefront of my mind. It helped me to manage my nerves because I had a plan (a very lose, general plan but still a plan) and it helped me keep my confidence up because I was thinking about my strengths instead of my weaknesses.
I don't know if that makes sense or not. But it is really helping me to grow both on and off the mat.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:47 AM
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This has nothing to do with Jiu-Jitsu, but it was so funny to me I have to post about it.
My son, Noah, is 6. They were having baptisms this morning at our church so he had to come sit through the adult service. While they were getting ready, the pastor was talking about how baptism is an outward symbol that you are joining the family of God.
Noah asked me, "Am I a part of the family of God?"
I said, "Well, do you love God and want to be a part of His family?"
He said, "Yes."
I said. "Then you are. Do you want to be baptized?"
He thought about it and then said, "I'm not quite ready yet."
I said, "Ok," and because of the way he'd said he wasn't ready yet, I was curious, so I asked him, "Why not?"
He said, "I don't want to get naked in front of everyone just yet."
I choked a little bit trying not to burst out laughing. It was during a really serious moment, too. I told Noah, "You don't have to get naked, buddy. You get baptized in your clothes."
He smiled and said, "Ooooooh."
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:17 PM
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Happy Saturday Training!
Posted by A.D. McClish at 4:31 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2011
She emailed me some pictures of my former self from a couple of months before we both started bjj in 2009. I am in a bathing suit. It is one of the most haunting, horrifying images that I have seen in a long time. And, before you ask, there is no chance in hell that I will be posting these pictures anywhere on the internet. It would probably be deemed an act of terrorism and I can't deal with being arrested right now.
Here is one that is still uncomfortable for me to look at, but doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out with #2 pencils:
I am thankful that jiu-jitsu had become a part of my life. I'd still be a beluga whale without it. I know so many women who are unhappy with where they are as far as health and weight goes. They feel like they don't know where to start. I know Jiu-Jitsu isn't for everyone. But I can also say without a doubt that it works.If you consistently train bjj, you will lose weight, gain muscle, be stronger and healthier. It has also changed how I eat--I look at food as fuel instead of entertainment, now--and it helps me live healthier that way too. If you are thinking about making a change, try BJJ. It's not a diet. It's a lifestyle change.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:58 PM
Friday, November 11, 2011
Good news! I've got your random right here!
Random Topic #1
Have you hear of Hyperbole and a Half? If you have, you get one gold Allie star. If not, you will lose a gold star unless you immediately go look at it. Georgette introduced this internet gem to me via her fantasmic blog. Today, this amazing cartoon illustrates my life. I have fallen way behind in every area except those that are absolutely essential. In case you were wondering, BJJ falls into the "absolutely essential" category along with other things like: feeding my child, taking regular showers and making sure I have enough coffee to last me the week.
But I miss blogging. Especially when so many fun things have been happening that would talk about if I weren't falling horrendously below my median productivity line. Anyway, here is one of said fun things:
If you are my friend on Facebook, then you have already been spammed with the news that Fabio won gold in his division at the No-Gi World's Championship in California a couple weekends ago. Go Fabio!
Random Topic #2:
An interesting topic came up as a result of Fabio winning at the No-Gi Worlds. He won gold at the PanAms last year, which is a gi only competition. A local MMA school in our area was talking about how Fabio was good in gi, but wouldn't be able to hang in no-gi. Now I guess that debate has been put to rest, at least for Fabio.
For me, training primarily gi has helped me develop my technique a lot. I do have to actively practice no-gi grips (neck and biceps, for example, instead of sleeve and lapel), but I would take the risk in saying it is much easier to train gi all the time and transition to no-gi than the other way around. Liam did a post about this a few weeks ago.
He said, "What they never count on, however, when they venture into the world of gi jiu jitsu is that grapplers with a comparable experience in the gi have their own tools to make the no-gi levers obsolete or at least less effective. Suddenly, their trusted cross face is just a little weaker. They smile giddy as they suddenly have gi pants to grab to pass the guard with their heads driving low only to get caught in a loop choke or swept with a leg lasso spider guard sweep. Every single session you learn in the gi you learn grips and grip breaking (or at least you should) and they afford you an offensive and defensive advantage that cannot be ignored. "
Here are my observations: When I grapple in no-gi, it seems that speed and strength play more of an active roll than they do when a gi is involved. Sure, there are some things that don't translate from gi to no-gi if the person you are grappling is shirtless--like collar chokes--but I think that training with a gi makes you think more about things like your base--since you have so many handles on your body thanks to the gi that make sweeping easier--and like breaking guard--because again, the handles mean the person has a tighter hold on you. You have to be more aware of sneaky submissions, like the loop choke Liam mentioned, as well as the more traditional submissions you will across the board.
Of course, I might be biased (just a little) since I go to a school where people primarily train in gi. What do you think?
Random Topic #3:
Apparently, I give people death glares pretty regularly when I am driving. A friend of mine, Lucky, who trains with me said that he saw me driving and honked at me and that I looked at him like I wanted to kill him and kept driving. I apologize for the stankness. My face shows everything that I am thinking. And at that moment, I was thinking unpleasant things about the unknown person honking in my general direction.
Here is an example of my rage face. I'm dressed up for Halloween--80's costume--and though I'm not really sure what is going on here, but I was unhappy:
I do it in the grocery store too. Or when I am walking quickly somewhere. Or when I am grappling. Basically, if I am on a mission, I will probably not see you in my peripheral vision. And, if you call out to me, I might not hear you. If you then try to touch me to get my attention, or honk at me, I will likely turn and glare at you for a few seconds until I realize that I know you and that you have not been sent to stop me from accomplishing my mission.
The ironic thing is that when I actually need my rage face--like, say, at a tournament--I cannot muster it to save my life. When I try, I end up looking either terrified or very, very ill.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 12:59 PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We had a visitor at our Women's Class tonight, Monica Holley, all the way from Okinawa, Japan. She has been reading my blog for a while and, when she knew she would be in Florida, emailed me about coming to class. We are so glad she did! Yay for my blog finally being useful for something! LOL
Monica is competing in her first tournament coming up in December and she wanted to have the chance to grapple some other girls.It was great to get the perspective of someone who trains BJJ in another country. And, after meeting so many people this past weekend at the Open and then getting to train with Monica tonight, I am feeling so lucky to be a part of a community of women who are untied by a love for the sport and for fellowship with friends. I am kicking myself that I forgot to take pictures tonight!
We worked on half guard--both top and bottom--during the class because that is the position that gave me the most headaches in my first two tournaments. We also played Team A, Team B...again. LOL The younger girls beg to play this game every class. Poor Stephanie has her broken nose and had to fend off a bunch of people going bananas all around her. I was dealing with a few injuries too, so I had to get creative to keep from getting overwhelmed by all the crazy girls! They did great, though, and it was fun.
Monica, I hope you had fun visiting us tonight and we wish you good luck at your upcoming tournament and hope that you have safe travels back home!
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:46 PM
Sunday, October 23, 2011
This was my first IBJJF tournament, and it was definitely a different experience than any other tournament I have been to. First of all, I was impressed by how organized everything was. I was able to see my bracket before I even got to the tournament. They ran a pretty tight ship, too, with ring coordinators keeping things moving for the different divisions. It was a little nerve-wracking to have to weigh in right before I fought, but I like that you actually have to be at the weight that you are supposedly fighting at.
I had only five girls in my division, including me, so I only had 2 fights. But the girls in my division were awesome and I made some new friends! One of them spoke only Portuguese, so I got to try to talk to her with my broken Portuguese. It didn't go well. LOL! But we were at least able to communicate on a basic level...with the aid of a lot of hand gesturing. Some shots from my matches:
I met some new friends at the tournament, including Susanne Strobak all the way from Sweden! She came to Florida for vacation and decided to compete while she was here! She was so nice, the girls from my team wanted to adopt her. We cheered her on while she won the blue belt absolute division. This is her in the blue belt, below. Congrats, Susanne!
But she showed us!
Two years later, she faced one of her biggest fears and stepped out on the mat in front of everyone to compete. I couldn't be more proud of her tenacity and bravery. GO JOYCE!!
Another of my friends on the team, Amy, came to compete at her first tournament, but unfortunately, she had no one in her division so she didn't get to fight. She will be back to try again in December at NAGA, though! Congrats to Brian "Beast Mode" Moore, Anthony, Jimmy, Orlando, Alan, Mark, Stephen, "Pinkbelt" Brian, Alberto, Joe, Ray, James, Brian, Mario, Mike and Jeremy! It is cool to see how everyone moved from ring to ring, cheering and coaching each other. It makes me really proud to be a part of Team Fabio Novaes!!
Posted by A.D. McClish at 5:13 PM
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Almost all the girls at Fabio Novaes BJJ have a Fenom Kimono. The prices are hard to beat, the gis are of great quality and the customer service is top notch. A few weeks ago, Triin, who runs Fenom Kimonos, contacted me about doing a blog on the Women's Class. I was more than happy to oblige! The blog also features stories about other women's classes in the country. Check it out!!
I also have some exciting news!! Stepahnie, over at http://jiujitsunista.blogspot.com/ was promoted to blue belt on Monday night, along with seven other students at our school. Congratulations Stephanie!! Well deserved, my friend!
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:21 AM
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:39 AM
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Posted by A.D. McClish at 8:14 AM
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Last night at the Women's Class, we worked side control escapes. To me, side control is probably the hardest bottom position to escape from because the person can be so mobile. We drilled 3 basic escapes. Because we had a small class with 6 girls, we had time to do 2 games. :) I love jiu-jitsu games, even though I am an adult. lol
We did a side control escape circuit where two girls would be on the bottom, while the rest of the class cycled through being in top side control for a minute, then jumping on the next girl. Once each girl had been on bottom side control with each person, they'd hop up and get in the circuit line to be on top and one of the others would lay down to do the escapes. It was pretty fun.
But after that was when the real fun started. Back at Summerlin, Ben used to do this game he learned from Fabio called Team A, Team B. You split the class up into two sides, line up on opposite walls and when the instructor says "go" it is a free-for-all. The main rules are that you start from your knees and that other jits rules apply (no striking, gouging, etc.). But you can double up on people. At one point I had three of the girls on me trying to submit me at once. lol. The teams were me and Jen (another blue belt female under Fabio) against the rest of the girls--Stephanie, Joyce, Shelby and Rowan. We put three minutes on the timer and went at it. As you might suspect, it was chaos. There was much laughing. Much screaming. Much hilarity.
The girls asked if we could do Team A, Team B again next class. lol. They really seem to like the games. What are your favorite Jiu-Jitsu games?
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:08 AM
Monday, September 26, 2011
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:45 AM
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Posted by A.D. McClish at 10:24 AM
Friday, September 9, 2011
This has been circulating around the internet, but in case you haven't seen it, here is an interview with Kyra Gracie about what her experience as a woman doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been like. So inspiring!
Posted by A.D. McClish at 3:41 PM
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
...that I do worse when I try to "go in tournament mode" than when I just relax and go with the flow of what the other person is doing. When I try to amp myself up and be uber-aggressive and fast, several things happen that aren't good for jiu-jitsu:
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:57 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:07 AM
Saturday, August 20, 2011
I tried to get creative at the Women's class on Thursday night. I knew that the older girls who normally come weren't going to be able to make it. I had a class of two 6th grade girls. Both girls show a lot of promise and really enjoy bjj. I wanted to cater that night's class to them: what I thought they needed to work on the most. But bjj is hard work and I also wanted to try to make the class fun for them, so we tried a couple of games.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:36 AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I couldn't train this week, so I sat out and watched a lot on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon. Even last night, at the Women's Class, I didn't grapple, but watched the girls. It is amazing how much I learn whenever I get opportunities to watch other people experimenting during rolling.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 7:19 AM
Friday, August 12, 2011
The Women's Class was really fun last night. We did something we used to do at Summerlin a lot, and that Fabio has taught us several times in Lakeland, that I have missed: boxer vs. grappler. Ok, we didn't actually do any punching. But we started working on techniques to deal with a boxer vs grappler situation.
Posted by A.D. McClish at 6:39 AM