Bottom Up!

I was dropped on my head once – not as a baby but as a 17 year old, under a tree at debating camp by a dude I had a major crush on.

He was easily 6 ft tall, we were being boisterous and without warning he grabbed me around the waist and hoisted me up to throw over his shoulder.

Whatever force it is, he misjudged it and I went flying up and over – crashing head first onto the ground… like one of those tennis balls in a stocking if you ever played with one in primary school, wound it around your head and let go – but think tennis ball sailing dowwwwwn.

I was stunned, felt pins and needles … everyone panicked – but I was ok!

Maybe it stems from that, maybe it doesn’t – all I know is I have this mental freak out when rolling that sees me often put an invisible ‘block’ on moves that should see me forward/backward roll or fight off my shoulders.

For example, instead of rolling out of an omoplata I’ll stop down and struggle then cop the submission.

Last night I did my first proper class in a couple of months (happy to report the back/groin whatever injury it is, pulled up ok!)

We did this shoulder roll drill – well, everyone else did… picture me simply falling sideways … and that’s about as far as I get.

I’m a curvy girl, I often tell the guys I feel like one of those bottom-heavy blow up punching bags that will always spring back up no matter how hard you try to put their butt in the air. (Bobo The Clown rings a bell?)

I want to be able to do this roll! And comfortably spin in and out and around all over the place.

If you have any drilling tips/links/suggestions to get me more comfy on my shoulders, I’d love to read them.

Author: gypsy girl

An Aussie in Alsace, trying to be braver in jiu jitsu and life in general.

4 thoughts on “Bottom Up!”

  1. Spotted this post on my instragram, well anyway i have a few drills i’ve used to improve my tornado roll/guard. The first is to do it between the legs of a partner, this will both allow you to use your hands to control the movement and it will allow your partner to control your feet if needed

    Second drill is to use a wall to your advantage using your feet to move along

  2. We do these rolls every class for warm-ups. I found what really helped me was to have someone physically move my body through the roll the first couple of times until I truly had the feel for it. They would lift and move my legs and control my shoulders for me. Once I had the feel of it it was largely a matter of practice. One thing to help is to get to the halfway put of the roll when you are upside down with your feet on the floor and just hold that position for 5 seconds. It helps you get used to the way you have to breath in it, and just builds comfort and confidence. The more you do it the longer you can hold it. I hope that helps!

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