Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Break My Heart!

I've been EXTREMELY busy with work the past several days. I had a 49 hour week last week, worked 12 hours yesterday and had to go in an hour early today! Still, I managed to go on Monday and tonight for three hours each time. Today it was ROUGH getting to class. There had been chocolate at work all day and I was feeling the lack of sleep and yesterday's work day kick in. But BJJ is the dopeness and I needed to burn off the chocolate!

Shaolin always seems to catch me when I'm getting swept from the top in half guard. Not that it's a rare occasion, but I'm glad he always sees it because he takes me aside and tells me what I'm doing wrong. On Monday he saw me get swept and said "Ayanthi! (or in Shaolin's case Aaanthi!) you break my heart!" He showed me that if someone grabs the arm on the same side as the trapped leg, I should not post the leg on the opposite side, as they will just sweep me the other way. Instead, I should pressure downwards, sprawl my legs, and pass to the side of my trapped leg. I've really been working my top game these past few days and I can see lots of improvement. I feel as though every class it gets harder for the other students to sweep me when I am on top in half guard. I've also gotten a lot better about exerting top pressure and making sure the person doesn't have enough space to move.

Today I finally got out of work early enough for the 5:30pm nogi class. Shaolin taught it today and it consisted of a pretty tough warmup with lots of rolling. I wish there was more nogi in the schedule. I'm of the belief that nogi is not as simple as just taking off your gi and rolling; there's different techniques you need to use when you can't grab onto lapels, sleeves or gi pants. (For the record, I am NOT a 10th Planet fan!) It's important to drill passes, sweeps and submissions that are more effective in nogi than in gi BJJ. Nogi was followed by two more BJJ classes. As Shaolin noted today "Ayanthi loves the mat! She is my sneakiest student- she managed to get in three classes- how?!" The perks of being a girl and above a white belt are that I can take any and all of the classes.

The reason Shaolin lets girls above white belt take the beginners class is because he always wants the girls to roll together. He has no problem when girls roll with guys, but it is definitely different rolling with men than it is with women, and I imagine he wants us to be comfortable in competition against women. In today's beginners class I had the chance to roll with Jody, who is a 3 stripe white belt with a pretty fierce spider guard. She is determined to get all the techniques correctly, and I think she'll be a competitive force if she continues to train consistently.

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