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  • Writer's picturekatherinemello8

A Solid Week for BJJ

Updated: Jan 12

23 outubro 2022

This week was a good week:

COMPETITION - 15 outubro - Del Mar Fairgrounds (Jiu Jitsu World League)

By now, I suspect it's pretty obvious that I like competing. I'm not sure if it's the competing against other people or the competing against myself that I like more. There's nothing like a just-you-and-her-on-the-mat setting to really measure how much you've learned. And there's nothing like a competition to help you learn more, too. And learn I did. Specifically, I had four takeaways in terms of things I'd like to improve:

  1. How to prevent people from pulling me all the way into closed guard when they inevitably pull guard. So far in my competition matches, there's been 100% rate (8 for 8) of people pulling guard on me. As much as I really do want to get decent at takedowns (and, yes, I do plan on making my brother teach me when I see him over the holidays), I think it's even more important for me to learn to stuff a leg or whatever it takes to prevent that guard from closing.

  2. Finish a triangle - In one of my matches, I was losing by two points and had a triangle locked. Unfortunately I forgot the key part where I move the arm over to the opposite side. I was also missing a few other details. But honestly I was still proud of myself for even getting there.

  3. Switch to an arm bar when the triangle fails.

  4. Guard passes - As of right now, the knee slice is the only one I feel competent at.

Things I felt good about:

1. I got two submissions! I won't reveal the submission because, you know, I compete at a high level and my readership is off the charts, so my career really can't afford to reveal these things, but it felt good. (Though I will say the submission-that-shall-not-be-mentioned still feels kind of like cheating to me.) I ended up going 2 - 2. The two losses were by two points and to the same girl. Overall I just felt good about not getting annihilated by anyone.

2. I felt strong. I considered -- and tried for a month or so -- to cut down to <130 lbs with a gi, but my body was feeling really weak and I decided it wasn't worth it. It's just for fun, after all.

3. My mental game felt strong, too. Being well-fed and fueled up probably helped. (As did, I imagine, several years of track and cross country pre-race nerves.) Not to mention being surrounded by my supportive teammates (shoutout Alex, Caitlin, Vanessa, Eric, Joe, Eddie, Nadeem, Amer!) and Professor Leo, too. Marcus had my back mat-side too, though I found out that I'm really bad at keeping my ears open when I'm competing. I also learned that early 2000s is my jam for warming up / getting in the right headspace.


As much as drinking from the garden hose can be good for learning, I still have a yearning for the fundamentals. And I got a good taste of that during this week's training.

In Professor Jim's gi classes, we went over opening the guard, the over-under pass, and escapes from the back.

In Coach Marcus's no-gi classes, we reviewed the hip-bump sweep plus two attacks from a "failed" hip-bump sweep (triangle and arm bar).


This time it was Coach Marcus who awarded the stripe since Professor Leo has been out of town.

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