Getting Closer

Oh and this turned up in my Facebook newsfeed today – totes a sign! Though I like my jits girl courtesy of Stevie better, of course =D. I’m jetting off mid July.

Image

Another Seminar? Sure!

This one was for a great cause, too – helping Livia fund her trip to the 2013 World Championships in LA.

A physio visit and week off training had settled my back, and since I wouldn’t be full on rolling I figured it could cope! 

I learnt my lesson when I woke up in pain the next morning .. but oh well.

Dan Shaw and Lachlan Giles took this one at Absolute, we went through an attack series from closed guard and did some lasso spider guard. All very impressive, and I kind of had the hang of things by the end, when I wasn’t muddling my left and rights.

The guys were cool with us filming them going over everything again, too – and Dan also posted some vids of the moves on Facebook for us later, so hopefully I’ll be able to start drilling some things when I get back on the mat.

Image
Photo credit: Livia Gluchowska

A couple of pearls of wisdom I took away from this sesh – Break Grips and Move Your Hips!

“Jiu Jitsu is a grip fight, whoever gets good grips will win, so get your grips and work on what technique you can get off that grip.”

Image
Photo credit: Livia Gluchowska

Meantime it has been another week off jits for me, I did drop by my gym for a class, just to watch. Have some back exercises to do three times a day, and I’m hopeful it’s not too long until I return to training.

My First BJJ Seminar

Sophia (McDermott) Drysdale, Australia’s first female BJJ black belt.

Recommended by AGIGI honestly didn’t know what a BJJ seminar involved! I was envisioning a uni lecture where you sit and listen to someone speak, and take notes.

Or I figured you just watch them demonstrate moves.

Thankfully I asked, found out it was more like a class and made sure I packed a gi!

Cool vid put together by Jess Fraser.

I brought a notebook and my phone out on the mat too, though it’s up to the individual whether they allow photos/video and since I didn’t ask Sophia before she started, I decided to play it safe and keep my phone to the side.

Ditto the notebook it turned out. Other than a couple of scribbles in drink breaks and during the Q&A at the end, I really didn’t have the time or the thought to take notes.

After a quick warm up Sophia got us into pairs and we took turns moving around our partner who was flat on the floor, chest to chest, arms behind our backs.

It was all about using your whole body when on top to keep the pressure on your opponent, as opposed to most of the strength coming from your arms. Also altering that pressure as your opponent tries to escape (“be like a water bed”) and being on your toes so you’re able to move and adjust quickly!

From there we worked on the most effective positioning when in side control, and step by step went through a few of Sophia’s favourite armbar moves.

A few things I’ll be working on (no brainers but hey, unco white belt I be!)

–       Move on your feet, not on your knees, ‘duck walk’ around for the far armbar.

–       Be more parallel than crucifix to apply the correct pressure to the best areas in side control, including hip to hip.

–       Hips forward ladies!

–       Post/grab your gi as you’re settling in for the armbar, you don’t have to lean back for it until you’re ready.

– Do your warm ups and drills fast if you want to roll fast – sprints not long runs, short but intense push ups, sit ups etc, rest then do it all again.

At the end Sophia invited questions, and talked briefly about her journey through the ranks. She revealed while she never felt a BJJ gender issue in Australia, training overseas including in Brazil she was treated differently as a woman on the mat.

But at the same time she says we have to accept we’re participating in a male dominated sport “you’ve chosen to be in it, don’t expect special treatment, although also don’t be afraid to speak up to say this is what I need” ie. to sit out, or to go over something again.

Sophia believes there’s nothing wrong with tweaking an instructor’s move a little to make it work for you and your body.

And just in case I wasn’t finding this seminar with Australia’s first female BJJ black belt inspiring enough, Sophia told us she’s planning to compete at the Worlds in less than two months time, despite the fact her second child will only be about four months old!

My BJJ motivation has definitely returned.

Sophia Drysdale Melbourne seminar 2013.
Sophia Drysdale Melbourne seminar 2013.

BJJ slump.

So I hurt myself playing with the big kids again.

I joined a grading class last weekend, Andrew was going for his orange belt (coach uses the kids system to give adult white belts ‘stepping stones’), lots of the blue belts were there to give him a tough rolling session, we drilled while he went through the techniques he had to know, then he got me for some scrambly white belt relief!

I felt a lower back twinge and hobbled off straight after class to get a massage. I have had three bulging discs in the past (not jits-related) so am very wary when I get back pain in BJJ.

Thankfully it’s not very often. But it’s also the reason why I hate being stacked – I freak out about my back and pretty much let my training partner pass straight away to avoid the pressure/potential injury. Not great, I know.

I haven’t trained all week – I haven’t exercised all week actually except for a big walk. Shame on me.

To be honest the motivation died pre-injury though, when the local Gi comp I entered got cancelled due to the organiser being unable to pull it all together. 

But tomorrow I get back on the BJJ train. Sophia Drysdale (old interview, I believe she has 2 kids now!), Australia’s first female Black Belt is holding a seminar at Dominance, so with a week of rest behind me I’m hoping I can participate without much pain, and learn a new thing or two.

Just being around some of the incredible AGIG crew should get me back on track.

** I have been told to ask Sophia tomorrow, but as it’s my first seminar and I’ll probably be sitting out some bits, I’m wondering what the general rules are when it comes to note taking, photo and video recording? Can anyone enlighten?

That Awkward Moment When..

IMG_6298

I don’t think about these things on the mat a lot – most of the time I’m too busy defending myself from every angle to be very aware of what possibly odd-looking positions I’m getting myself into with dudes.

But there are those occasional moments when I DO think about it – and wonder at what point in my BJJ training did I become okay with virtual strangers sweating all over me, straddling me, pinning me to the ground and choking me out with their thighs? (not necessarily always in that order)

Some of my male teammates I’m pretty sure I had a bit of (clothed, obvs) crotch-to-face action with before we’d even had a proper conversation!

Bec Hyatt knows the fastest way to get a submission. Invicta 5.
Bec Hyatt (green crotch) knows the fastest way to get a submission. Invicta5

It’s funny how a fart on a mat can create awkwardness and clear out a space for a few minutes … but a tough roll between a guy and a girl in no gi, getting super up close and personal – no one including the participants bats an eyelid at.

A great reflection of the equality in the sport, mind you.

I have been single throughout my BJJ journey to date, so it hasn’t been an issue – but I do wonder if my next romantic interest will have a problem with my  hobby.

Are you in a relationship with someone who doesn’t train jits? How do they feel about you rolling about and accidentally kneeing the privates of sweaty men and women on a regular basis?

And I’d love to read YOUR awkward moment stories!

Dream achieved – time to chase the next one.

Working on a top rating breakfast radio show in your hometown – it doesn’t get much better than that. Until it does – you’re moved to a top rating drive radio show in your hometown.

Hello sleep ins! Hello life!

That’s the bliss I have found myself experiencing this year, after three incredible years reading the news for the Matt and Jo Show on the Fox – and being a ‘Best News Presenter’ finalist at the 2012 ACRAs.

Photo: In2Events.com
Photo: In2Events.com

 

'Star' themed party. My boobs had help.

I’ve worked hard, I’ve moved states for job opportunities, I have set alarms for 2:32am (yes, newsreaders wake up even earlier than breakfast announcers).

I’ve loved every minute of my radio journey – from the clunky graveyard shifts at SYN, to walking to work at 2LM and ZZZ in Lismore with a torch to make sure I didn’t step on cane toads, to the bright lights of Bris (go Roar) Vegas and Nova – to (Melbourne versus) Sydney, and back home to Melbourne.

After I graduated Swinburne’s Commercial Radio course at age 20 and scored my first full time job, I told myself “cap city by 25.”

Grad Dip Arts/Commercial Radio, RIP.
Grad Dip Arts/Commercial Radio, RIP.

My welcome home party was also my 25th birthday bash.

It’s a really weird feeling when you realise you’re working your ultimate dream job, the job you secretly think you may never get to do, but if you come close that’ll be pretty awesome.

And then you realise as awesome as it is, it’s also leaving you craving the next dream.

So I’m taking off in a few months time to chase it, so proud and grateful for everything I have achieved, and all the amazing friends I have made.

I’m nervous and excited – feeling those same emotions I felt when I sat behind a radio microphone for the first time.