I made a rare appearance at the Saturday open mat at LBJJC yesterday, and I’m super happy that I went! I rolled with The S.O.B., Tumbleweed, Blue J., MMA J., and Triple J., and I did some good things, but I also did some stupid things, so here are a few general thoughts from each of my rolls:

Andy is an old-school bro who moved away from Lincoln for a few years, so I hadn’t trained with him for awhile, and I’ve definitely improved since the last time we rolled, but so has he, and he can still choke me (but apparently not with a clock choke!). I tapped to a guillotine (although I was suffocating more than choking), but I’m just glad he didn’t render me unconscious with a baseball bat choke, like he’s done to a couple of my other bros! I didn’t give him the nickname The S.O.B. (stoppage of breathing) for nothing.

My performance against Mike yesterday, in his own words, was “The best Gina I’ve ever seen.”, because I wasn’t worried about anything for a change, I was simply rolling. Even when he had me immobilized, and I felt completely helpless, I didn’t freak out, and I never gave up! I was really just trying to flow, and I don’t know how many times he ended up submitting me, but I don’t think any of those taps were easy to get.

A river cuts through a rock not because of it's power, but it's persistence.

Be like water.

Then at the end of my roll with Jordan, I had to make an unfortunate mental note to myself: When someone is attempting to armbar you, and you’re trying to clasp your own hand to defend, do not, I repeat, do not accidentally clasp their hand instead. Unless you’re just planning on shaking it, to congratulate them for submitting you!

Rolling with James started informally, when he threw a kick at me as I was standing on the mat, and I caught his leg and swept his other foot, then we landed precariously close to another pair, which did not make The Professor very happy. Another note to self: If the mat is crowded, do not, I repeat, do not sweep the leg. Additional note to self: Always roll with James on “leg day”, because at some point he might just allow you to pass half-guard to side control, due to his legs hurting.

My final roll with Josh was only five minutes long, and he submitted me with an ankle lock, but there were several moments where he would try to do something, and I would defend, then he’d say “Good!”, and he gave me a lot of pointers afterward. He’s one of the instructors at Lincoln BJJ, but he and I usually attend different classes, so we don’t get to roll very often, but each time we do, I feel like I’ve gotten a little better, which is really the most I could hope for in BJJ!

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” ―A.A. Milne

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