The Gun Show

“It must be the addiction, the madness of consummation…”

I swung by  a neighboring BJJ gym in Toronto today and was burned for 2 hours. I don’t recall the last time my hands were shaking so hard from a workout – but the best part was that I was high as a kite for 3 hours afterwards! Here’s a brief synopsis of my visit.

It’s actually a much larger gym than it appears from the outside. In fact, I lived around the corner from this particular gym for a year before I moved to the other end of the city. The women’s change-room was clean, and had shower stalls, benches and lockers that were neat and tidy. I can’t imagine how cramped the male change room is, considering our mid-day class had about 35 people, of which 2 were females (myself and another girl). I suppose there’s always a little apprehension about attending a new class and I was seriously thankful that many of the drills I had done with R in the past.

I still had to laugh a little when the head instructor came up to me during the drills, and told me it was okay to do pushups on my knees… I wasn’t doing the Hindu pushups (rotator cuff issues) and did my standard wide stance pushups, on my feet/hands.

After the drills and warmup, we worked on passing the half-guard. I naturally went to pair up with the other female and we jumped right into it. She was smaller and faster than I was, which was great practice for me! I felt bad that she had trouble passing my half-guard, but I’m still learning to dial down/up the force accordingly depending on my partner. We sparred a bit afterwards and I managed to take an arm bar submission for one of our rounds. I finally feel like I’m picking up on working on trigger drills with R. It’s a small victory, but it means that putting in this extra training is working!

I got to roll with R, and we’ve finally figured out a way to roll that helps me think on my feet, figuratively. He coaches me while we actively roll, to help me be aware of openings and gaps. I’m feel like I’m gaining a little more confidence, and a little less hesitant when I want to attack. I also had the chance to roll with a senior blue belt from the club. He was great at giving pointers, and I really appreciated the way he rolled with me as a complete beginner. Afterwards, I found out that he joked my arms were bigger than his, and he was surprised at my strength… which I suppose is a compliment? I’ve always had a larger upper-body, and put weight on my back/shoulders/chest fairly easily. I blame all the years of competitive swimming and dragonboat racing!

By my third or fourth match, I was having trouble opening my water bottle, so I took a break to watch R roll with some of the senior belts in the class. It was – for lack of a better word – inspiring!

I jumped in for a couple more matches before we called it quits to the class. I was thankful to change, get home, eat and shower! My heart was still racing when we left. Even though I was wearing a tank top under my down jacket – I was sweating the whole way home!

I was so pumped on endorphins the entire way home, I was still bouncing around the loft during my meal. In fact, I was so high.. I went back for more. I went to my evening no-gi class at my gym! Call it an ‘obsession’ if you will, but there’s something about getting my heart rate up and the anticipation of getting on the mats. I couldn’t resist the opportunity for more practice in the evening.

We worked on taking the back from guard, and one of my favourite partners – N was there, so we naturally paired up. She’s smaller than I am, but faster and a little more advanced. As fun as the class was, I could really feel the effects of the earlier class on me. I was wiped after the first few drills and powered through the rest of class, even though my form was sloppy. It was one of the more entertaining instructors (who likes to play reggae music while we roll!) So, it made for a pretty fun class!

What a crazy day. I’m wiped. Time for bed!

About T

A female BJJ practitioner in Toronto, Canada. View all posts by T

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