Bikram Yoga – some kind of hell.

I knew what I was in for – I went through a phase about a year and a half ago where I was going to Bikram Yoga classes three times a week. I was a wobbly, inflexible mess then and I am even worse now.

Just add back injury to the above. But THAT’S why I have returned to the hot room.

My Osteopath thinks I have a disc herniation of sorts, something I’m familiar with having a sister who needed an operation hers was so bad, and having had three bulging discs previously myself.

So no Jiu Jitsu for me until it settles down… I am allowed to walk, do the prescribed back/butt strengthening exercises and pilates/yoga – backward bends are ok, forward bending not so much.

So I went into the room knowing there would be a few moves I would sit out, ok possibly a little smug in that knowledge too (weeee unscheduled rest/water breaks!). What I didn’t expect was how crazy dizzy I would feel ( I totally ate and drank beforehand in preparation too). I ended up having to sit out a good half of the class.  

Thankfully I didn’t embarrass myself by fainting! And I did stay in the room the entire time, which scored me points with the teacher. 

Something I forgot about which I will have to erm, rectify before my next visit – open plan showering after class = lots of female nekkidness!

Supermarket stop for some wax on the way home.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.”

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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..

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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!