Monday, 31 August 2009

Highs and Lows

The last few months have been pretty up and down and full of changes. Firstly I graduated from Uni, then my parents called it quits on their marriage with my mum moving back to the UK from the middle east, and now I'm in the process of packing and tying up lose ends before I head back to Bahrain. Hopefully I'll be able to find a job and start saving up enough money to travel and have a year to build upon the sporadic amount of skills that a course in sports science actually indented in me. Over the three years I have acquired an interest in health and nutrition as opposed to the biomechanics and training of elite athletes, although the last year of training bjj has increased my interest in the latter field.

Soo why am I rambling about all this, mainly because people are always nagging at me not to bottle things up and constantly be in a state of panic about things I can't control. Easier said than done, But i do feel that I'm ready to embrace change and have a fresh start so to speak, which is probably why the last few months and probably in the next few weeks, I have been extra stressed out. It doesn't seem to have affected my training too much, in fact its nice to have those few hours a day where I just focus all my energy into training and with most of my friends being back home I haven't had too many distractions or people nagging at me to come and party. I don't think many people realise how much time and effort I put into training or how much I enjoy it, I like that I feel healthier and stronger both mentally and physically as cheesy as that sounds.

Anyways to put an end to my jibber jabber and return to the matter at hand I think I will be leaving on the 14th which is a couple of days after grading. Me and Alex are going to try and actually get the same flight home which for some reason over the last 3 years we have only managed to organise about once. It would be cool to make it to the Scandinavian open and I just saw online on a blog called (check out the highlight video)that there will be a bjj camp on 30 October -1st November in Stockholm. I still need to find more info on this but it looks like it would defiantly be worth going to, but I'll have to see how much money I have loser to the time. Got training tonight, monday classes have got so big with about 20 people, I think everyone is stepping it up as grading is in 2 weeks time. Grading also marks the 1 year anniversary of tolly teaching classes in eastbourne and will hopfully leave the uk on a high with lots of new skills to bring to the bahrain club. Anyways check out the video and if anyone has any more info regarding the camp please leave me a message.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Catfight gi needs a good home & another 10hours training week

Well its nearing the end of another busy training week, Saturday at canton and Sparta, Sunday at slough, Monday at canton, Tuesday slough and today at canton. This week I feel a bit more focused have been working on my guard game alot which seems to be improving, I feel like I can really control most people from there and have been using spider guard to sweep or get a triangle or controlling one arm and going for a collar choke, arm bar or sweep.

Saturdays class was pretty chilled it was just me, Alex, Ian, Ben and Isaac who came down from slough, Saturday class was open mat style although tolly threw in a drill where your in the push up position and your partner holds your legs and dead lifts as you press down, we did this just twice for a minute each time for 4 minutes in total but by the end my muscles were quivering especially during the push up part! After lots of rolling me Alex and Isaac went to Sparta and just messed around and drilled some stuff, practiced my sweeps even though gripping was still killing my fingers.

Sunday we got to slough kind of lateish it was just me Alex and tolly that went up, practised a sweep using x guard when someone stands to pass your guard, It took me a while to understand and Alex has a good base even when drilling but at least it gave me more to think about when people stand up in my guard in terms of where their balance and weight are.

Mondays class was hard, to start off the mat space was smaller than usual because the gym is getting a boxing ring put in so it was messy as hell in there with loads of junk lying around and dust all over the mats, it also happened to be a really busy class with about 20 people compared to the usual 13 so things were a bit cramped during the warm up. Tolly made us do a circuit of the push up/deadlifts, bucking our hips with our partner lying across of us in side control type position, leap frogging over and crawling under, triangle situps then side jumps over our partner. I didn't get too gassed during this but my legs were still stiff from Saturday so I nearly fell on soph a couple of times on the last few side jumps. Then we did an abs circuits of crunches interspersed with pushups, again I felt OK doing these just closed my eyes and listened to everyone counting them out as I was second from last. We drilled passing spider guard and going to either a choke or armbar from knee on belly position, then as one of the passes involved rolling your opponent back into turtle position practiced a clockwork collar choke from there. I rolled with Sophi, Joe, Ben, Alex, dean and Paul and Chris. Managed to control Sophi and Joe pretty well with my guard game same with Paul although i find it hard to escape from side control with him I just tried to keep him in guard the whole time. Ben and Chris still go quite hard when they roll, so i tend to slow right down, was stuck in Ben's guard the whole time but he wasn't attacking too much more controlling. Alex and Dean tend to roll alot slower sometimes give me tips which I usually am too stubborn to listen to at the time but usually manage to think about after.

Yesterday up at slough more x guard followed by lots of rolling, had a good roll with another white belt, they tried to pull guard, i passed into side control, took mount, worked on controlling and tried for the ezekyl but he freaked and swept me tried to lock one of my arms in an Americana, i defended with my foot, haha out of nowhere my foot was there kicking his arm away, went to spider guard had the perfect triangle set up and time went! Had another good roll with a purple belt I hadn't seen before, had control of one arm and was going for the collar choke when ze came over and showed me how to do an arm bar from that position which I'm going to try drill some more tonight. Manj helped me with passing spider guard showing me to go to the right side so I didn't get sweeped, I think he's the only person I can take advice from while I'm rolling because he makes me do it till I actually understand what he means.

In other news I'm thinking of selling my green cat fight gi as its just a bit too big for me :-( so if anyone would be interested in buying it let me know will post pictures and sizing after training tonight I've only worn it a handful of times so its in really good condition, its an A2 I think it would do for someone 5"7 bigger build than me. If anyone wants to check it out now their website is and its the green cat skull style.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

graduation, celebrations and vacations

As i predicted in my last post the weekend after the competition was indeed the calm before the storm, the last ten days or so have been hella busy! Got back from Valencia on Monday morning at about 4.30 after trekking all the way from stanstead to eastbourne, me and alex just about avoided killing one another on the trip back as we were both so grumpy after all the travelling. I'm Looking forward to getting back to training after a weekend of lazing on the beach and eating my weight in puntillas and paella!

Scotland was good fun, got to see pretty much all my family and spent a nice day sailing with my aunt and uncle, I've decided that I'm determined to overcome my fear of the sea and sailing seemed like a good place to start. I even managed to steer the thing for a while without capsizing and only felt somewhat seasick towards the end. Managed to check out Royce Gracie Scotland in Rutherglen on Saturday morning, Megan who I had met at one of the competitions trains there and it was fun to have a roll with her and some different people. Scott McVeigh, a brown belt, took the class which involved a good warm up with some circuits before drilling some guard passes and a knee bar that I failed to master!

Went and trained at btt in slough yesterday, got there late so basically spent 40 minutes just rolling and it was sooo dam hot! I like training in slough because i get to train with purple and blue belts which is nice because i know they'll roll more controlled and fluid whereas in eastbourne theres alot of new people at the minute who go completely crazy every time! That plus the 20kg most of them have of me always makes me a bit paranoid about getting injured. I tend to get to practice alot more stuff in slough although i hardly ever tap anyone.

Tonight's training was fun, had a good warm up and then drilled scissor sweep to mount escapes for about 15 minutes, I was with Dan and felt like I got the hang of it really well by the end. We then went over an armbar from back defiantly would need to drill that more, still not a huge fan of armbars. Then much to Alex's annoyance, tolly went over bow and arrow choke which Alex had slowly working his way through the class killing everyone with, the bow and arrow choke seems pretty much impossible to get out of when someone has it set up, I've been killed with it countless times by isaac in slough and by Alex drilling it over and over haha. The last part of the class was spent rolling I basically tried insisting more on things and making a point of countering sweeps and really working on my guard game which went well.

Just chilling at home now and owwwww my poor fingers have been rubbed raw it always seems to happen after I've not trained for a while. Luckily I don't feel too stiff and cant complain of any other injuries so I guess I'll count my blessings but still owwwwch! Think our grading is coming up on the 12th september, some of us have been training for about a year now so it should be interesting to see if anyone gets their blue belt, till then heres some of the competitions i'm thinking of going to, if anyone reading this is doing them let me know as the number of girls competing is always a factor when deciding what ones to do.

Competitions I'm thinking of doing
matrial games - loughbrough - 5th september
bristol open - bath - 6th september
CBJJE europeans - switzerland - 19th september