Dragon's Tale

Just another female BJJ enthusiast

Archive for the month “July, 2011”

It’s about time!

Last Tuesday I went with my husband to BJJ class just to sit and watch since I was still not feeling quite up to par. It was torture having to just observe rather than being on the mat myself. I could feel myself shifting slightly to mimic the moves on the sidelines. 🙂 While I was dying to be on the mat rolling I appreciated the new perspective I got from simply watching. Usually my coach separates the class into sections depending on who is in attendance and their skill level (not always by belt). I had the opportunity to see what was going on in each of the two groups he had that night and it was nice change of pace.

Last Thursday I finally decided to brave Kickboxing and BJJ class. My cardio was most certainly down. I was lucky in that my mother-in-law was in town visiting so she also came to class with my husband and me. I got to work with her during kickboxing and appreciated the slower pace. Sparring was not fun, to say the least.

BJJ class was awesome! 🙂 It was wonderful be back in the swing of things. We worked on two half guard passes…my first time working half guard at all! Then I got to work on this cool variation of a scissor sweep. I was in a group of 3 working the half guard pass with my husband and another guy. I was silly enough to tell my husband to stop treating me with care and that he could work the pass on me…not my best decision. As he was passing, I could feel the pressure on my ribs and a bit of pain. It stuck with me through the rest of the night but at least it was not unbearable. I rolled with 3 guys that night and did pretty well. My husband told me recently that I should just come to class to work technique and do some light rolling, to which I replied, “I have no idea how to do that.” Perhaps it’s a white belt thing but I truly do not know how to go light when rolling. I feel like if I don’t put forth full effort then I didn’t work hard or something. Not sure exactly what that’s about but something to that affect.

We were not able to train this weekend because family was in town and because we had a fun party to celebrate our new home! 🙂 But it will be back to the gym this week and for many weeks to come…I say this, of course, with a huge smile on my face! I am so looking forward to get back to what I love…it’s about time!!!


I hate you, ribs…

Let me start by saying I am having a genuine “hate” relationship with my ribs, or the muscle surrounding my ribs. 😦 It is still a bit sore and achy and I find this to be a bit more than an annoyance at this point. I thought by now it would certainly be better, especially since I have not really trained in over 2 weeks…but it is what it is…

This past weekend, my husband and I drove down to Atlanta, GA for the NAGA competition. Several of our team members were competing so he and I wanted to be there to support them. We arrived a bit early so I took the opportunity to watch the women’s divisions in preparation for my next tournament and I must say, they were rather intimidating. I don’t believe a single female adult was my size. While watching, I felt the “itch”…the itch to want to be down there competing but at the same time, with my most recent loss, competing was the last thing I wanted. I was feeling torn between not wanting to be disappointed yet again by a loss but also vying for another opportunity for a possible win.

We had 5 guys competing. Our coach, Josh Cate, competed in two no-gi divisions and dominated. He won first place in both divisions and really showcased his BJJ skills. Another guy from our gym went down for his first BJJ competition and won first place in his division. I need to throw in here that in his first match, his Judo takedowns were awesome! 🙂 Three other guys competed and all did a great job!! I was (and still am) so proud of our team.

When my husband and I got home, we started talking about competitions and my “record,” so to speak. I was feeling rather jaded about competing again at this point. In my head I understand that part of competing is losing and learning from a loss but I am so disappointed by losing that it’s difficult for me to fathom experiencing it again. I not only struggle with losing for myself but also for my coach. This is not to be arrogant or anything in terms of feeling like I am so important to my coach but it’s that I hate training and getting pumped for a tournament and letting him down after he spends his time and energy helping me. I explained this to my husband and he was wonderfully understanding about my feelings and concerns (I must say that I am lucky to have married such an amazing man).

I realized during our conversation that I was far too timid in my first tournament and was really uncertain what to expect. I went in very doubtful of my skills and abilities and allowed this doubt to cloud my performance. As far as my most recent match, I think I may have walked into that perhaps a little too confident. The general opinion of others were that I was going to dominate and that this particular teams ground game was not top-notch. I think I let this too much into my psyche and thought I had it in the bag. I was still nervous but I recall being positive and confident going into the match that day. After having made this connection I decided that I wanted to compete again and do so in the right mindset. I can no longer continue to make excuses for my past performances but rather can only get back in the gym and train for the next tournament in the hopes that this will be my opportunity for a win. 🙂

So I decided to try getting back in the gym last night after much rest to see if I was able to start training again. It was not nearly as bad as it was following my match but it is still very sore and achy. I rolled a couple of times with my husband only and even then it was definitely hindering my abilities. My hope is that, after resting it a little more this weekend, I will be back in the gym Monday night for no-gi and kickboxing. P.S. I hate you, ribs…

11 days later…

So it has been many days since my last post and my no-gi match has most certainly come and gone. To start, since we recently moved into our new house, we have had spotty internet, not to mention trying to settle in. It has been pretty hectic but we are loving our new place and are enjoying making it our own. So to bring you up to date on the happenings of the match and my life… 🙂

First, I lost…again… 😦 I am really trying to look at this as another learning opportunity but it has been tough. I felt very positive going into this match and felt good about my training and the fact that my opponent was my size. I felt such a let down when I lost. During the rules meeting, they informed me that the match would consist of 3 two minute rounds and that the best 2 of 3 submissions would win the match. If no one submitted then it would be a draw. I was a little shocked by the 3 two minute rounds. Initially, my coach was told that they would be 3 three minute rounds. I am used to training for 5 minute rounds and felt a little intimidated by what I could possibly do in 2 minutes.

While preparing for this match, I worked a lot on being aggressive and not allowing myself to wait for things to happen. I warmed up before the match with my husband and coach and was nervous but felt pretty positive. It was a brand new experience walking into an actual cage. Definitely surreal. My coach and I had discussed, again, me pulling guard instead of working take downs. I will say that the whole match is a little bit of a blur with certain highlight moments that I do recall. One thing that was consistent about my opponent’s strategy seemed to be “crush” and “grind.” And believe me, she did plenty of that. The majority of the time was spent with her forearm bearing down on my windpipe. One annoying aspect that stood out to me was the ref who spent the whole time talking to us and telling us things like “you need to work” or asking “are you ok?” Do you think I can talk to you right now?!?!

Anywho…one thing about my opponent I did not appreciate…being slammed into the mat or whatever you call it in a cage. They did not specify in the rules meeting that this is or is not legal but I know that slamming is not allowed in BJJ tournaments. And let me just say, it is a disorienting experience, indeed, to be slammed like that when you are not expecting it. I spent most of my time on my back…again…it’s as though I completely forgot how to sweep! At one point in round two she got her arms in for a guillotine and then pulled guard. In that moment I heard some strange popping sounds and this caused panic and so without thinking (or even trying to defend), I tapped. 😦 I cannot say for certain that I would have gotten out of it but I certainly should have tried instead of tapping immediately. I was very angry with myself for allowing this to happen.

Before the start of round three I looked over to see my opponent sitting on her butt with her legs sprawled out in front of her and drinking Gatorade. I was not very tired at this point but more angry. I thought I could get 2 submissions to win in the last round. Knowing the rounds were only 2 minutes caused me some panic and, rather than ensuring I had good position for submissions, I was just going for them because I felt really pressed for time. I went for several omaplatas and didn’t finished a single one. I also went for several arm bars and didn’t finish that either. During the last round, I had one…a good one. She looked at me and at the ref and said something to the effect of, “it’s not gonna happen.” That was a definite test of my patience and self-control. She then proceeded to slam me into the mat again. And that was the end of the match.

I know that I fought hard during this match and that I probably gave her a run for her money but I was utterly disappointed to lose. It is a difficult lesson to learn, especially when I can clearly see all the things I did incorrectly in hindsight. It will be a little while before my next match or tournament. She definitely did a number on my body. My upper chest has been hurting ever since the match. I was obviously sore for a few days after but my upper chest has continued to hurt even today.

I went to the gym to train Tuesday night for BJJ and lasted through drills but was not able to last past one round of rolling. I went back Wednesday night, stupidly thinking I was better…I was not. I had to sit out and watch and that was frustrating. I was ready to be back in the gym and training again…but alas, I am not able to yet. 😦 I will probably be sitting out again this week since I am continuing to have pain but hopefully will be back next week! 🙂 The majority of my time has been spent getting our house in order and unpacking.

On another note, I broke down and started a Twitter account so if you are interested, please follow me! 🙂 My user name is (surprise, surprise): dragonladybjj

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