Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Do You Think I'm Trying to Do???

This may be one of my favorite Women's Class moments yet.

During grappling, one of my 115 lb teenie tiny terrors was grappling one of our much stronger girls. The stronger girl had our little Mighty Mouse in mount and I saw her struggling so I came over to help her. I told her, "Try to get on your side and trap her leg into half guard."

Mighty Mouse stops moving and looks at me with the best eff-you face I have ever seen. With as much patience as she can summon, she says, "What do you think I am trying to do?" LOL!!!

It's ok, I feel your pain Mighty Mouse. I have been there before.  A lot. I am still there on a regular basis. You learn these techniques, then you have to try to use them against someone bigger and stronger and it just...doesn't work. You start to wonder, "Does this crap even work for someone as small as me?"

The answer is, yes. But unfortunately for us Lilliputians, it takes time to learn how to use the techniques we learn against someone bigger and stronger who is actively trying to resist. There are no short cuts. Time spent in trial and error on the mat is the only way to overcome our size and strength disadvantage. However, I do have some tips that I have learned that help me when I am stuck.

1. Switch between escapes.

If you are trying one escape and it isn't working, switch to another one. Be able to transition back and forth between escapes just like you would transition from one submission to another or one position to another.

When you are learning escapes during technique and drilling, think about how the escape works and why. Ask yourself: When does this work best? Where does my opponents weight need to be? Where does my weight need to be?

Use your grapples with bigger stronger people to learn when to use the different escapes. If you spend the whole time getting smashed, ask your instructor or a higher belt for corrections to what you're doing or even new ideas for escapes you haven't learned yet.

2. Use trickery!

Small people need to be sneaky. Sometimes I use distraction to try to escape. I will act like I am going to one escape, but I am trying to covertly trap them into another escape.

3. Keep moving.

This is the most important thing. If you give up you will never get out. I am not saying you should flail around pointlessly.But, if you are in practice and you have no idea what to do, take a deep breath, think about what parts of your body are pinned down and what parts of your body are free. Then think about what you can do with the free parts of your body to either make space or get the other person off balance or to distract them so you can go for a different escape.

4. Give yourself a break.

Even black belts still have things to learn and we are not black belts yet!! ;) So accept the fact that you have holes in your game and look at them as challenges that you are ready to face and over come. Every grapple can teach you something, whether you spend the grapple getting submission after submission or if you spend the grapple eating the mat.

When you start to get frustrated, remind yourself how far you have already come. Give yourself kudos for sticking with a sport that is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Then, wipe the blood off your busted lip and get back on the mat and try again.