This one was for a great cause, too – helping Liviafund 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.
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.”
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.
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 inspiringenough, 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!