I always liked to dabble in jiu jitsu. It has often been a welcome break from my striking training, and a large number of my friends back home are grapplers, so it was a great way to spend time with them and have a little fun in between fights. (pajamas and cuddles! I mean, c’mon!)
Going into MMA, I know I need to work my ground game A LOT. I am far behind the pack, but with no regrets as I have spent this time developing my striking skills. In the beginning I struggled to find the motivation to train consistently because I naturally wanted to go back to what I knew.
I really enjoy live rolling. I always have. But it was never really enough to keep me interested. How was it that I spent 2 years doing 12 Muay Thai sessions a week but 5 BJJ sessions a week seemed impossible? Why would anyone want to do that?
Fighting on the side has meant constant interruptions to my BJJ training, which personally, I haven’t minded. I have felt that by taking a few consecutive days off the mats, that I come back and new things click into place and make sense to me. It gives my tired old body some time to catch up to my brain.
One of the biggest problems I faced, was that I have always loathed training in a Gi. Mostly because I got choked out with my own Gi a lot (which is both hilarious and frustrating) and I felt like no gi was the better fit for MMA. I used that as an excuse to avoid training in a Gi. Also, if I’m being totally honest, having a valid reason to buy colourful spats and superhero rash guards was also a big draw card….
Before I went on my holidays, I found a new enjoyment in my BJJ sessions. It didn’t matter how tired I was, I didn’t want to miss out on a roll. I put it down to it still being so new, that the novelty would wear off. But to my surprise – it hasn’t.
One of my friends tagged me in an article we were discussing last night, which I felt excited to read. The BJJ community is so large and there is a huge amount of information out there, passed down by people, once walking in our shoes.
I’ve been searching for tape to buddy tape my busted finger and to protect my poor poor spidey fingers because I love spider guard drills so much that I don’t want to miss out because my fingers are raw or bleeding.
I recently watched some great videos on foot and ankle control and guard passes because I get stuck there. And then I realised. It’s happened. I’ve turned into a BJJ girl.
I had that great light bulb moment where I rolled with a blue belt, and used his Gi to manipulate his and my own movements and finally understood why people enjoyed Gi training so much. There are so many creative ways to maneuver, submit and roll in a Gi!
It’s nice to be able to continue learning and growing so much and doing what I love. I am shocked that I have found so much love for this sport and I’m excited to keep pushing and seeing where I end up.
I’m joining an amazing team in Berlin next month where I hope to start working towards my blue belt (something which never really mattered to me before).
Maybe it’s time to buy that second Gi….