Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Christmas EVER with Ryan & Fifty/50

Recounting the holidays with Ryan and Fifty/50...where to start?

How about with the text message I received from Ryan while I was at work on December 23 since that shaped the rest of our holiday, "Murilo Santana and Ana Lowry are here. Sweet!".

They had arrived to train at Fifty/50 that afternoon with news that they would be in town through New Years. Ryan was thrilled at the thought of training every day with one of the top BJJ black belts - who is also (by far) the best to have ever come out of the DC area. Murilo grew up training at Yamasaki's school in Rockville, MD but now lives and trains in Sao Paulo. And I of course was thrilled to have an excellent female to train with every day!

I can't even begin to describe how happy the two of us were over the course of the entire Christmas holiday. Ryan and Murilo have spent hours training together every day since Dec 23 - even on Christmas day! I was able to roll with Ana for extended periods of time on Dec 24, 26, and 27th and I have totally reclaimed my love of BJJ through the chance to be able to train with a good female every day. Ana's technique is sharper in a broader range than most women I've ever trained with or competed against - not that I was surprised since she won the blue belt division two weights above me this year at the Mundial. We are doing a lot of flow rolling and it's so awesome to be able to move around with someone this way. They will be back in to train tonight, and tomorrow night Murilo was nice enough to offer to teach class and Ryan of course enthusiastically said YES! I can't wait!

So anyway about Christmas...after training with Murilo and Ana on Christmas Eve, Ryan's parent's and 8-yr-old sister came over for dinner. It was their first time in our apartment and I cooked for them since they have been so great helping us and the new gym in so many ways over the last year. Then we went over to our friends' house to play Rock Band - Ryan is gearing up for his week with Jeff Glover, lol! ;)

For Christmas I gave Ryan a glass chess set and Bobby Fischer's book on how to play chess as he's taken a new fancy to playing on the computer recently, and I gave him Dan Gable's book on how to coach wrestling. He was surprised so I think I did pretty good. *patting myself on the back* Ryan bought me the new Shoyoroll gi (so excited!) but it doesn't come in until January. I can't wait to put our new purple Fifty/50 patch on it!

Christmas "morning" around noon we had "breakfast" with Ryan's family and opened up presents. Then we met up with Murilo and Ana at the gym. Ana didn't feel well so we chatted and watched Ryan and Murilo train. Then Ry and I headed off to Riverdale, MD to my grandmother's house for Christmas dinner and gifts with my family. Ryan had been kneed in the face last Friday and had gotten eight stitches below his eye in the ER during the snow storm - so my mom (don't worry she's a nurse) cut them out in my grandmother's kitchen after Christmas dinner with quite the audience peering over her shoulder. Lol! Only in my family... :)

The Saturday after Christmas we trained in the afternoon then headed to my uncle's ginormous house in McLean that Ryan says always makes him feel like he's going to the Batcave for another Christmas dinner and gift exchange with my dad's family this time. Good times!

Sunday was freaking AMAZING! Chrissy Linzy from US Grappling had said earlier in the week that she was coming up for our women's class Sunday afternoon so we quickly announced a semi-impromptu open mat. I taught a women only class to 4 white belts and 4 blue belts and two more female blue belts joined us after during open mat. That's ELEVEN ladies total who made it (counting myself)! OMG it was sooooo much fun to train with everyone! I'm in BJJ heaven!!!!!

This was the best Christmas ever! No seriously. Ever.

Murilo Santana v Andre Galvao

Ana Lowry - Blue Belt Lightweight 2009 Mundial Champ

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lottsa' Ladies!

Twice this week we had 6 women on the mat (normally we don't have more than 2-3 on the mat at any given time). Hells yeah!

Then yesterday I talked one of the purple belts' wives to come in and try it out so she can learn how to respond when her husband practices his techniques on her, lol! Her first class will be next Sunday. And last night while watching the UFC fight at Baileys, I met two more women who are friends of a couple of the guys who want to come in and check out class. One of them grew up doing Judo for years since her Dad and Mom owned their own Judo dojo and both trained, so she'd be a really great addition.

Finally, today Shanna finally came back in to train. I used to love training with her before she took like 6 months off (she was close to getting her blue belt then too). Seph and Bill live with her and say they're going to start making her come in every day with them.

Alright! Bring it on chicas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Teaching again- this time wrestling class

Monday night Seph and I realized that we were going to have to do something about wrestling class on Wednesday. We hadn't bothered to put two and two together before this to note that Anthony would be gone on Wednesday as he was flying out to meet Ryan in Vegas on Tuesday to train at Drysdale's and compete in his first GQ pro division this coming weekend.

Then Seph asked me if I wanted to teach wrestling. Having only just recently taught my first co-ed class at Fifty/50, I was now on the line to teach wrestling, something I've only been doing since early May. The first thing I did of course was call Ryan to see if it was okay, and to my surprise he thought it was a good idea.

Tuesday my wrestling coach texted me about something else and after responding to his text, I wrote back, "you'll either get a kick out of this or be totally offended but Anthony is out of town and now apparently I have to teach wrestling class tomorrow night, lol." His good-natured response surprised me yet again - as I expected him to be offended, "sweet".

The class was pretty full as it always is but overall I think it went well. It's a particularly difficult group to teach because of the varying levels of experience with wrestling. It's hard to manage just how much time to spend on any one thing because there are a bunch who have been taking Anthony's class consistently since July and for others it was their first or second time and I don't want to bore anyone or go too fast for anyone.

But mostly everyone seemed happy with what they learned and when I talked with James today about what I went over, he seemed to think I opted for the correct tactics. So perhaps my learning curve for how to teach is slightly improving...but in all likelihood learning to teach is an even longer road than simply learning to do.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another New Woman!

We had another new lady come in today to try out BJJ class! She has had 3 years of Judo and (a very little) BJJ before coming to us. I'm super excited to add more women to our ranks.

It's especially great because now we have a group of women at the higher weight class, a couple in the middle, and a few tinies. So a little bit of good training for everyone!

We could potentially get up to 15 women by the end of January at this rate! That would be AWESOME!!

Keep 'em coming Ladies!!!!!

p.s. And Quang is going to come to Muay Thai on Wednesday to train with me! I asked him to because he is my height and has more experience than most of the other guys/gals - he just hasn't trained it in a while. Quang is awesome because he's going to come train just because I asked him to, even though he's more interested in BJJ. Our guys (and gals) totally ROCK!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BJJ this weekend...Not so much

I meant to go to Muay Thai yesterday morning but accidentally slept in and barely made it to the gym in time for open mat (it was my responsibility to open up since both Seph and Ryan were gone).

Unfortunately, though, I didn't get the opportunity to train because I spent the entire time working on a presentation I have to give in class at 8am tomorrow morning (I should go to sleep soon). Then I had to rush off to meet with my group partner for the presentation and proceeded to work with him for about 4 more hours until we broke for dinner.

I was supposed to finish all the details today but have procrastinated all day instead. I don't want to do school anymore. Working full-time and BJJ basically full-time and going to school is way too much for me. I need some down time.

So I accidentally slept in again today then rushed out to teach the women's class too late to pick-up my inhaler from the pharmacy (my old one is completely tapped out). Without my inhaler, I can't train hard, so I just worked with the women. The ladies did well, we are working on all closed guard this month after having worked on escapes from bottom of mount and side-control all last month. I rolled with Mary Ann twice and Kate once and watched them roll with each other twice. I want both to go to their first BJJ tournament on January 9th so they will be training a little harder than they have been the last few months in order to get ready.

After finishing at the gym, I stopped by Ryan's parents' house (thats where our computer system is located until we get internet at the gym) to add a couple of the new contracts from this week. I ended up staying for a while talking to his mom, eating dinner and playing Wii with his 7 yr old sister (she kicked my butt in cow-racing, that tank game, shooting, and ping pong - apparently I suck at video games, lol!)

Despite not having accomplished all the stuff I wanted to today (finishing my presentation, cleaning the kitchen, washing clothes, putting up christmas decorations, etc) I still feel like I was pretty busy this whole weekend. I definitely need more hours in the day or to drop something in my life so I can actually get things done.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Muay Thai is a lot of work

My shoulders BURN and my arms can't stop shaking after finishing Muay Thai class. Yikes, Muay Thai is a LOT more work and much much harder than BJJ.

But, today Mauro told me that my kick is finally looking better. Yay! I just can't wait for the day when I will feel like I know what I'm doing. :)

One thing that bothers me is that I'm having a hard time holding the thai pads for the guys. I can't decide if I'm missing some super important detail or if it's just THAT hard to hold pads for someone who has 50 lbs on you. I brace myself against the impact, digging into the mat as I've been shown and I brace my arms and meet the kick with a little force, and BAM...I get knocked backwards anyway. Today Mauro finally had to stand behind me and use his arms to show me how to hold the pad - like you would do for a small child. (I guess it helps that I'm the size of a small child). But even after that, I still feel like I'm getting knocked back too much. :(

I like MT and Wrestling because they add a little diversity into the training environment. Unfortunately, my wrestling coach hurt his back pretty bad so we missed our lesson this week. I hope James feels better soon, he's a pretty tough guy so if he says it hurts - it's probably pretty bad. But luckily, he thinks he'll be good to go by the time we are supposed to have our lesson next week and if not it's okay to miss another lesson because he is giving a wrestling seminar at our gym the week after anyway - on December 16th!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Opportunity Knocking for East Coast Women

April 17, 2010.

Keep the date reserved ladies. Arlington, VA will have a special visitor!

Just sayin'.

Details to follow upon the finalization of plans. I will post the announcement here as well as send it to the ladies email group once everything is set - if you aren't on the email group or don't know what it is see here: Calling all Female BJJ Practitioners