An (impromptu) New Years Prayer

Dear God,

I can’t sleep tonight. For whatever reason. But mostly this: I worry a lot about my parents. They are getting older and I worry about loosing them. This year, two of my friends have recently lost a parent–Please keep giving Dani and Kim strength and perserverence–and last year’s scary trip to the hospital is still very near in my memory.

I don’t know if I’m ever going to be a mother. But I have become an unofficial aunt to the beautiful glorious and wonderful Madelyn Leigh, and I worry about her all the time. Please keep her and her family safe, I don’t know how I would survive without them.

I am so lucky and blessed. I have family and friends who love me–and whom I love right back, a job, a warm house, food to eat. There are so many people out there who are missing one or more of those important neccessities in life.

In this coming year, and all the years to come, please give me the strength to continue to grow as a person and to get over the hurdles that will come my way. Help me to learn from my mistakes and guide me to make better decisions. Help me to protect the people I care about and keep them safe.

Most of all, keep safe all of my family and friends–strong and healthy–for this new year and all of the years that have yet to arrive.

Thank you so much for everything.




Being a Good Partner :)

We have all had experiences with amazing, average, and, well..not average training partners on the mat. Personally, I think taking a reflective look at what kind of partner you are will help not only your training partner but yourself as well.

The following information was gleaned from The Grappler’s Guide, as they had an article that was much more organized then my own spastic thoughts on the subject ๐Ÿ™‚ Please feel free to click the link for the orginal article ๐Ÿ™‚

Different parts of class have different goals, so consider the goal of the portion of class you are in:

Goal Type 1: Learning a brand new move

Goal Type 2: Reviewing a newer move or a common move (ie armbar)

Goal Type 3: Slow roll

Goal Type 4: Live roll

Goal Type 1: Learning a brand new move

When you are learning a brand new move, you need to be able to move slowly and accurately, so you can teach your muscles the correct way to apply the move. To be a good partner while learning a new move, you should do the following:

1. Be cooperative–don’t put any unneeded resistance towards your partner–you are trying to learn, not compete

2. Don’t be 100% unresistant. If your partner wanted to roll with a floppy doll, they wouldn’t be coming to a class! You prevent your partner from properly learning the technique if you act like you don’t have any bones in your body. In addition, you may prevent them from being able to complet the move becuase some moves require the partner to put their weight in different places.

3. Unless blocking a technique is a part of the drill you are doing, you will not make any active attempt to resist your partner completing the move. Your job is not to trick your partner when they are trying to learn the move–save that for a live roll!

4. Keep a strong base. This goes along with #2. You want to make sure your partner is completing the technique properly. The example that The Grappler’s Guide gave is excellent, so I’m stealing it–If your partner is trying a sweep–lets say a scissor sweep–if you were rolling, would you just topple over? No, you would at least put some minimal resistance into the move. BJJ is all about momentum. If you don’t give enough resistance so your partner can learn how to use your momentum to their advantage–you are doing a great disservice to their training.

Goal Type 2: Reviewing a newer move or a common move (ie armbar)

During this part of class, you are reviewing a move you have already learned at least once before.

1. As your partner becomes more familiar with the move, add more resistance. Don’t go from 0-100 in sixty seconds–you aren’t a car–but as you feel your partner’s comfort level rising, slowly increase your resistance. This gives your partner the opportunity to see if they really understand the execution of the move.

2. Pay attention to what you are doing–if you aren’t executing your part right, your partner will not be able to execute the move, either. If they give you a suggestion, don’t freak out…push that ego aside, the world will not end–you’ll both be better martial artists for it!

3. LISTEN TO YOUR PARTNER! If they ask for more resistance, give more resistance. If they ask for less–Give LESS! Smushing your partner does not help either of you become better martial artists. If you aren’t sure if you are giving enough resistance–ASK! Communication is great–“hey is this enough resistance? Do you want more or less?” Easy, right?

Goal Type 3: Slow roll

This is NOT the same as a “live roll.” This is an opportunity for you and your partner to try out new moves without feeling pressure that you are going to get totally squished if you do them wrong.

1. At most, you should be giving 50% resistance.
2. You and your partner are working as a team–you are NOT at a tournament! Slow rolling is a LEARNING EXPERIENCE!!!! If you notice your partner struggling with a move, or they miss an obvious move, you should be rolling at an easy enough speed that you feel comfortable pausing and saying “hey, you have an opportunity for an armbar here if you do this”–and then reviewing what to do. OR, if you or a partner does something cool, you should feel comfortable saying, “hey I’ve never seen that before, how did you do that?” or “I don’t know how to defend that move, can you show me?”
3. Give your partner the opportunity to work submissions and escapes. An example: If you have your partner in side control, don’t smush them down to the mat–remember you are going at only 50%. Give them some room so they have the opportunity to practice how to correctly escape the position. You aren’t looking to completely dominate the game…it’s no fun that way!
4. You are not competing with your partner! You aren’t trying to be in a dominant position–you are just trying to roll–explore different techniques and escapes. Communicate–is there something you want to work on in particular? Tell your partner!

Goal Type 4: Live roll

A live roll is a safe, controlled roll that resembles a tournament roll

1. Safety FIRST! You are practicing–your partner is your teammate, not your competitor in the ring! Be careful when applying a submission–apply slowly–no quick or overly rough motions, and be aware of your partner and stop the INSTANT they tap.
2. Ego at the mat edge, please! If you are caught in a position or a submission, don’t get frustrated or ego-crazy. Use it as a learning experience. What did you do wrong? If you don’t know, dont’ be afraid to ask–“hey, partner, how do I get out of that?”
3. Be aware of your partner’s limitations–and be honest with your own. If your partner says, “hey be careful with this arm, I had surgery on my shoulder awhile ago”–be aware! Don’t ever get so “into” your roll that you forget those limitations and accidently do more damage.
4. You are not an MMA fighter. Okay, maybe you are an aspiring MMA fighter, but your partner does not deserve being mistreated–for example, digging one’s elbows purposly into the person to break their guard. OWCH!
5. All that said…your roll may become competitive at times. Just remember you don’t win any rewards for breaking someone’s arm–you just loose training partners for being too rough. Be aware of what your partner wants out of the roll–if you are going to be competitive, you should both agree on it.

Posted in BJJ.

Side control

I think I mentioned this in another post, but I recently found myself volunteered to be the moderator of a bjj group for my school.ย  It is a private blog, just for members of my school.ย  I struggled with the idea of giving out my personal blog as a reference, but one of the things I like about this blog is there aren’t really many people in my real life who know about this blog and I wanted to keep it that way.

Meanwhile, I also am having difficulty writing information for BOTH BLOGS–especially considering they are on THE SAME SUBJECT!

SOOOOO…I feel like I’m cheating a bit, but for a while I am going to cross post on both blogs the same info.ย  So I apologize in advance for random references to class and if it sounds like Im speaking to a particular audience…well..I am…sorry!ย 

Reginaย  ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the positions I positively DESPISE is side control–well I mean, when somebody has ME in side control, not the other way around. I struggle to understand how to escape from side control–its definitely NOT my strong point. This Monday, we briefly spoke about why we do the “superman” exersize and how you use it to escape from side control. One of my difficulties is somehow I have it hardwired in my brain (possibly from our regular classes) that the best way to escape is to try and pull guard…which…well…is hard!

Since I’m currently (like everyone else) snowbound, I did some hunting and pecking on youtube for some videos on side control.

This first shows several scenarios and switching weight and position to get your partner to change their position. He also brings up some good points about how to deal with a partner who has a very solid strong base, and the importance of giving some resistance when you are practicing! He also talks about committing to a move–even if you are trying to fake someone out, you have to 100% commit to the move or the fake out will not work.

This video shows a different technique for escaping side mount…I particularly like his attention to the grips–if your grip technique is wrong, it is unlikely your move will be successful–this video shows off proper grips well (in my opinion!)

Questions, Comments Concerns???

Wishy Washy Holidays

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth–just been busy….and uninspired.

I have a love hate relationship with the holidays…

I love the lights and the hustle and bustle and presents and stuff

And I positively hate how ALONE the holidays make me feel.

In addition, last Christmas totally SUCKED…my mom was in the hospital…her blood pressure went thru the roof Christmas night, and I had to call 911…it was soooo scarey…and now I’m afraid to go home for the holidays…so much of what we think just isn’t logical.

So, anywho, I’m hanging in there…trying not to be to loopy…I’m probably going to spend some time at one of my friend’s house between now and then so I’m not all by myself…cause…well….that just sucks…

A new cooking low: I burnt an entire jar of peanut butter!

Yup, you read it right, burnt peanut butter.

How does one manage that?

Well, when someone puts a jar of all natural peanut butter (read: no hydrogenated oils–so the oil migrates to the top and needs to be mixed in) in the refrigerator without mixing it, the oil becomes solid on the top. Eww.

Then said someone decides, “yum, apples and peanut butter would make a yummie snack tonight” and takes out said peanut butter and realizes that she can’t use it the way it is…

SO, said someone puts said jar of peanut butter in the microwave for 3 minutes. Oops.

My microwave smells SOOOOO bad right now ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I had an energy epiphany!

I recently noticed the number on my scale increasing instead of remaining stable/decreasing. YES I KNOW, WEIGHT IS NOT AN ACCURATE MEASUREMENT.

However, I noticed a consistant increase, which concerned me.

So, I took a look at what I was doing. One thing I noticed was that since the evil time change, I haven’t been sleeping very well. I’ve been waking up exhausted in the morning, barely getting through my work day, coming home, napping, dragging myself to karate, showering, and going to bed. Repeat.

It occured to me, that beyond the evil time change, the other thing that changed about the same time is my marching band ended, which meant I come HOME right after school. Prior to the time change this did not occur. There was no NAP!

At the same time, I read an email of exersise tips sent to me by Sparkpeople, and it mentioned a good way to get by mid afternoon blahs is to do some exersise instead.


I swear the difference was IMMEDIATE! On Tuesday of this week, when I got home from work, I dropped my school stuff and immediately got changed into work out clothes and spent a half hour doing stuff on my wii fit, and took a shower afterwards.

AUTOMATIC RESET BUTTON! That evening, I went to Target, the grocery store, and a choral concert held at the hs I work at. Not tired at all.

Go to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. next morning wake up: Bright Eyed and Bushytailed–Well, as much as I can be in the morning *grinz*. Had energy all day, came home, and repeated the “home” procedure of the day before. Yet another successful day.

I am so excited to have noticed and been able to correct what was wrong. I know that even last year, I wouldn’t have been able to fix what was wrong and would have continued to try to take a nap after school, being “tired.”

I was thrown off because I wasn’t having trouble getting to sleep, I just wasn’t sleeping WELL. I’m still sleeping the same amount, but the QUALITY of sleep has changed. Now I am waking up feeling much more rested and reset to start my day.