When I walked into Lincoln BJJ Center for the beginner no-gi class yesterday, and I saw a bunch of guys whose names I didn’t know, I wanted to walk right back out, because training with strangers is stressful for me, and currently my level of trust in grappling with men who I don’t really know is all the way down to 0%. Then I saw Sweeney Todd, who’s been gone for awhile (but not long enough to become a stranger!), so I was glad he made his return yesterday, and he told me he was ready for me to write about him on my blog again. I picked a fight with him before class (which helped calm my nerves about being surrounded by strange men), during which I accidentally kneed him, and he said “Yeah, welcome back to Jiu-Jitsu!”. I partnered in a group of three with him and Jeff for the drilling, and it was fun!
I was the senior-ranking student in class again, and due to the high number of strangers, and my high level of nerves about being watched by them, I thought about telling Conan that I didn’t want to be his demo dummy, but I decided to face the fear. We were working on a side-control escape that wasn’t complicated, but since my brain seems to shut down when I get too nervous, I felt stupid in front of the class. Then while we were grappling, I pulled off the escape against a fully-resisting partner, which cause Conan to say “You see how when we were practicing, Gina acted like she didn’t know what we were doing, but then she gets it!”.
Except for my nerves, training actually went well for me yesterday. Before class I had told Conan that I didn’t want to roll with anyone I didn’t know, but by the time we started doing king of the mat, I was more relaxed. I ended up going against several people I’d never grappled with before, and I was able to get a submission on two different guys (both were armbars, one from the top, and one from the bottom).
It was funny when I was grappling with Conan, and I actually tried to grab my own gi collar to trap his arm, before realizing that I wasn’t wearing a gi, because it was no-gi class! I really miss my grips when doing no-gi, and I’m getting more used to it, I just think there’s so much to love in gi (especially spider guard!), and no-gi isn’t as much fun, but I still plan to continue going to the beginner no-gi class once every week or two, so hopefully soon all those new dudes who were in class won’t seem like strangers to me anymore!