Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jiu Jitsu, Bahamas-Style


I have been sunning myself like a reptile in the Bahamas. Here is the extent of my jiu jitsu over the last week.

Shark Girl, ever the good wife, decided to surprise Husband with a frozen margarita. Besides, they were on special for $4.95 each. Booze, a bargain, and brownie points—three Bs I can’t resist. Of course, I had to get one for myself, too. Truthfully, the only reason I got Husband one was so he wouldn’t complain about the one I was most definitely purchasing for myself. Such is romance in a 16-year marriage.

Balancing one frosty, foofy glass in each hand, Shark Girl carefully maneuvered to the elevator, spilling only a little of the liquid emerald.

I got off the elevator. Daring to look up, I spotted a man and woman walking toward me.
            “Hey, is one of those for me?” the man said with a smile.
            “Ha ha. . . .” Shark Girl replied. No. But I noticed he was wearing a “Tapout” shirt. As he stepped on the elevator, I chanced it.
            “You do jiu jitsu?” I asked, pointing at him with a carefully controlled nudge of my margarita.
            The question surprised him. “Yes.”
            “So do I,” I replied. Probably not what this muscular, testosteroney poster-boy for whey powder was expecting to hear from a tiny, middle-aged mother drinking fruity drinks in a tropical paradise.
            “Oh . . . where?” he asked.
            “In                                .* You?”
            “New York.”
 The elevator doors closed, and I brought My Beloved his drink.

Here ends my week’s worth of jiu jitsu. I hope you have enjoyed it. Plus, I’m still nursing that injury and, frankly, a little nervous to get back on the mats.



 * You really didn’t think I was going to give it up that easy, did you?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Use of Excessive Force


If you have been reading Shark Girl, you know that the only thing I hate more than 30” of snow is being muscled by a big dude (you can read some of my previous tirades here and here. I also especially liked this one from leaahh).

At an astonishingly small 4’11”, pretty much everyone is a big dude to me. Most of my classmates are great about working their technique when they roll with me. Some of my favorite rolling partners weigh in at over 250lb (113 kg). But then there are a few guys that I pretty much want to, well, choke out. I have dropped hints, told them directly, stopped rolling with them, all that $h!t. Nothing works.

Let me describe a typical roll with this kind of d-bag training partner (DBTP for short):

1.      DBTP works to get some kind of mount or side control
2.      DBTP uses their body weight to flatten me out.
3.      DBTP goes for a submission.
4.      DBTP can’t get a clean sub because I am in high defense mode.
5.      DBTP keeps their body pressure on me, fearful that any space they give will be used as an escape route.
6.      DBTP crushes their forearm into my jaw to try to move my chin up and steal a choke
7.      This usually fails so . . .
8.      Shark Girl stops struggling and just lays there because I don’t want to tire myself out
9.      We are at a boring impasse.
10.  Go back to #6.

And on it goes in a dull, infinite loop until we are so bored I would rather be doing a book report on the Yellow Pages or chatting with my accountant about the new tax codes.

The last time this happened to Shark Girl, DBTP, unwilling to give up his position but unable to submit me, actually entered a conversation (not even about jiu-jitsu!) with some guys sitting on the sidelines. Highly insulted, Shark Girl told him to take a walk.

Anyway, as you may know, I am buried in a cocoon of snow and nursing an injury. I decided to open my copy of Jiu-Jitsu University to a random page to keep myself sharp and see what tips I could pick up. Saulo did not fail me. Here’s what I read:

“Once you decide to use your jiu-jitsu on the bottom without resorting to strength, you will find that you gain confidence as your partner tries to use more and more strength to surpass you. To help with your mental development, try this drill: every time you feel your opponent having to muscle through your defense, take this as a mental victory that your jiu-jitsu holes are getting smaller.”
 —Saulo Ribeiro, Jiu-Jitsu University, p.43

It’s good to know that my jiu-jitsu holes are getting smaller. If only I could make jiu-jitsu a-holes smaller, too.

PS: Pardon my coarse language. Husband was offended that I told everyone to "suck it" in my last post. It's just how I feel in the dead of winter. I promise I'll have more decorum once the sun gets back to my part of the world.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard of '13!


Mother Nature dumped 30” (that’s 76.2 cm. for all my metric readers!) of white stuff all around me. Jiu-jitsu was canceled—which is okay with me because my injury has not healed sufficiently to go. Even if it weren’t canceled, and if my knee were feeling great, I still couldn’t go because my street has not been plowed. That’s right. There are two-and-a-half feet of snow clogging my street. That’s up to the fullest part of Shark Girl’s thigh.  I can’t go anywhere without snowshoes (which I don’t own).
SG's street
            Now, before all you warm-weather readers start saying how much you would love to see all this snow, just suck it, okay? 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rolling with the Dot


Ladies, it’s that time of the month again. And if you’re like Shark Girl, you don’t want to let a little blood coming out of your crotch stop you from . . . oh, crap! We’re not drilling triangles tonight, are we?

Of course we are. Because I’ve got my period. And it’s some law of jiu jitsu that when I’ve got my period, we have to drill triangles, so that I can wrap my leaky regions around some guy’s face. It’s like when all that broccoli you ate last night gasses you up, you know it’s going to be “Knee on Belly Night.”

When I started training, I wondered what I was going to do when “That Time of the Month” showed up. I didn’t worry with other sports. I just popped a tampon in, and if I was really worried, added a pad, and was done with it. In jiu jitsu, my problem was three-fold: I only had my gym-issued white gi; I wondered if a pad could be felt; I was worried there might be womanly scents wafting around.

The first thing I decided was that I needed a black gi. Now I don’t worry about stray blood on my gi, because if it’s there, I can’t see it, and neither can my training partner. Problem #1 solved.

The second and third problems, scent and touch, were a bit harder to get over. It was Georgette (and my advanced age) that let me say, “What the fuck? Why am I worrying about that?” It was in a post (I can’t find it now, but maybe someone else remembers . . . this is a job for Slidey!) where Georgette discussed jiu-jitsu pantsing. You know, another thing we ladies worry about. What happens when your pants come down in jiu jitsu? Her reply was “Guys don’t worry their underwear showing, so I’m not going to effin’ freak out if mine peeks out,” or something like that. And I thought, “She’s right. And guys don’t worry about their periods, so I’m not going to worry about mine, either.” I pay good money for my gym membership and I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on 25% of it.

I’m pretty sure some of the ladies at my gym take a pass during their periods. They are mysteriously “gone” one week a month. Kind of like the Jiu Jitsu National Guard.

Now, for those triangles. I’ll admit it makes me a bit uncomfortable, but once I start drilling, I’m really focused on the moves and I hope my teammates are, too. I’m a woman of childbearing age, at least for the next few years. So, if the men in my gym can do math, and if they went to that awkward class in 5th grade where they explained puberty with puppets, and they see me at the gym without a break, then they must know I’ve got to have my period sometime. It’s a part of life, it’s a part of the human condition. I’m not going to deny it happens or lock myself away.
 Okay, there actually is a puppet musical about puberty. Just thought you would like to know.

As I was writing this, I found this post over at Bunny JiuJitsu that talks about some ways of stopping the flow from getting in the way of your jiu jitsu habit, like a menstrual cup. I’ve never seen one before and will admit to being a little wigged out. Husband hadn’t seen one, either, until he walked in on me googling “menstrual cup.” I wish I had taken a picture of his face to share with you. Priceless.
Step aside, boys. Now there's a cup for women!
Anyway, if any of you lady athletes have experiences with a menstrual cup, I’d love to hear about them, as I’m considering one.

Oh, one last period caveat. Ladies, remember that your ligaments are looser during your period. I wish I had remembered. This morning I hyper extended my knee without even feeling it. I feel it now, and will be taking some time off.
 Here's Ellen to tell you about another great, new product for women!

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