Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Highs and Lows

I started out this week with a serious grappling high on Sunday. After instructing the ladies class, I was able to get in a few great rolls between Ryan and Brian. I finally felt as though I was beginning to move the way I need to - and without gassing out.

I went to my class for grad school Monday morning then went in to work, and by the time I got to the gym I was pretty burnt out. Luckily, Ryan noticed that I wasn't myself and instead of pulling his usual "toughen Jen up" mode, he was extremely encouraging. I think he's trying to turn over a new leaf in how he talks to me and the desired effect was achieved. However, I seemed to have lost the sense of BJJ ease that I had arrived at on Sunday afternoon.

I woke up this morning with a renewed desire to work hard at developing my BJJ and the fire was stoked even more when I heard from my friend in Richmond, Son Duong. Son is moving back home, and his home happens to be here in the DC area. Why was I so excited you may ask? ...because Son is a 115 lb man who also happened to place second in the adult blue belt division at the Mundial this year!

Tonight, I ended up with a training partner slightly larger than normal and one of the drills we were doing just didn't quite feel right. I made an unconscious adjustment due to the size/height difference - which was right - but due to one crucial piece missing it took Ryan a little bit to see that I wasn't just trying to be difficult, I was having a specific difficulty (my explanation skills are still lacking sometimes). And my "fix" made it harder for me to feel the piece I was missing and for him to see it and explain it. Ryan noticed though and changed tactics so I was finally able to understand what he was trying to get me to do and, of course, it ended up working in the end.

This slightly frustrating class was followed by a less than ideal rolling situation. Despite two good rolls with Brian - one where I finally got his back (he is the squirmiest dude I've ever met), I left feeling less than thrilled about BJJ.

Something odd that I've noticed the last few days.

Ryan is the first person who has ever coached me (in anything) who is harder on me than I am on myself. He has yelled and demanded more when I had given my all. We had a conversation about my mental needs as a student/competitor last week (thanks, Alex!) and he has noticeably changed his tactics to be more encouraging instead of mentally debilitating. Ironically enough, now that he is going slightly easier on me, instead of being mad at him for talking to me a certain way, I am suddenly instantly harder on myself. Talk about some sort of unintended reverse psychology...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Someone actually PAID me to travel and teach BJJ!

So I'm a little late on posting this which may make you think I wasn't completely stoked, but in reality the complete opposite was true (I've just been super busy b/t the new place and my day job and grad school).

A little while back, I received a phone call from a friend who used to train at Lloyd Irvin's (in Baltimore) with us. His name is Fred Ramie and he is a Gracie Barra Brown Belt originally from Boston BJJ. Fred called me to ask if I would come down to his new school in Orlando (non-affiliated) and give a private lesson to one of his girls and teach a few classes. I was so surprised it was ridiculous. I had to tell him maybe because I needed to check with Ryan on what I should charge since I had never been asked to do something like this before. He actually wanted to pay for ME to come down there AND pay ME to teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It was nuts!

Long story short, we worked it out as I happened to be traveling to Tampa on Oct 3 for a wedding anyway. I actually got PAID by someone outside my own program to teach other people (men, women, and children) BJJ. He must have been crazy, lol!

I definitely can't thank Fred enough for believing in me and giving me such a fantastic opportunity! Plus we had a blast catching up and that girl he has is going to be kicking ass very soon.

To me this experience represented a big step forward in my growth in BJJ.

And now I am teaching the ladies two times per week!

BJJ Rocks! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fifty/50 BJJ is MOVING!!!!!!

That's right. It's done! We have officially signed the lease on our new location and construction is expected to be completed by the end of next week.

We will have approximately 1500 sq ft of mat space, all completely OPEN! No columns or anything and TONS of windows. We will have two locker rooms (one for men and one for women). On top of that, we are bringing in another Muay Thai coach and are about to almost DOUBLE the amount of classes we offer.

And BEST OF ALL, the women's class will now be TWO days per week! Thursdays and Sundays the ladies are taking over! And second best of all, now that we have full freedom of the space, my wrestling coach can come to our gym and work with Ryan for an hour then me for an hour and I no longer have to drive out to Fairfax. Woohoo!

I'm so excited because we've only been open 10 months and already outgrew our original space. Our new address and schedule will be up on the website very soon! Fifty/50 BJJ

Only bad thing going on now is..I feel a little guilty about encouraging Ryan to compete last weekend. When I picked him up from the airport late last Wednesday night (he just arrived back from Spain), one of the first things he says to me is that he doesn't feel good and doesn't want to compete at NoGi Pan Ams. Knowing how many times he's pushed me when I didn't feel like doing it, I encouraged him to compete anyway since he was going to go coach regardless and he'd already paid for it. This was the first time (in 3 years) Ryan has EVER told me directly that he really didn't want to compete so maybe that should have raised a red flag that something wasn't right. But I continued to push him towards competition every time it came up.

Things of course didn't go so well at Pan Ams, he was sick AND still jet lagged. He is so hard on himself whenever he thinks he screwed up and this time I feel like it's partly my fault since I pushed him to compete when he clearly was in no frame of mind or physical condition to do so. I'm sorry sweetie, from now on I will listen to you and help you make a better decision. I promise.

In the meantime...YAY for the new place! I'm so proud of you, Ryan, for managing to deal with all the coordination, lease agreements, construction issues on top of training and competing for ADCC. You are MY hero!