Thursday, 29 October 2009

Injuries and the visit from the LEGEND! edited

OK I haven't blogged for a longgggg time. I've had lots of modelling shoots which have kept me away from the computer (but not from training I hasten to add...)

About a month ago I started taking some vitamins and supplements to see if they really do help in the way they say they would.
Firstly my dodgy joints....... I started to take cod liver oil capsules and glucosamine sulphate to help my knee. Whether its all in my head or not I don't know but my knee feels great after only injuring it a few weeks ago. (It doesn't even click when I bend down like it did before I even started BJJ!)

I follow the Atkins diet as I have done for years. I lost a lot of weight on it and continue the diet now to keep the weight off. The downside is that the lack of carbohydrates and sugar in my body decreases my energy levels. So I started to take vitamin B and Coenzyme Q10. The vit B didn't work at first but since I started taking the Coenzyme I can really notice the difference in how I feel and the extra energy I have, especially in my performance! (I guess we'll see if thats really true at the comp on Sunday)
On Saturday 24th October, Roger Gracie came down to Andy Roberts BJJ Academy or 'The Clinic' as its more known to us!

It was an amazing day. I usually train in the advanced class but to make it fair and to keep the classes more even anyone under a three-stripe white belt was in the beginners and any above were in the advanced. So for that Saturday I was in the beginners.
Roger took our warm-up and we drilled some take-downs.

He ran us through some side control and mount escape techniques. He demonstrated with Andy some guard drills where you can end up taking someone's back. If someone is in your guard, this involved getting hold of a grip on one of the wrists and dragging their wrist across to the other side of your body, pulling at a force to get them off balance and to a side. You would then get the underhook and scoot round behind them to take their back.

We then sparred for the second half of the class which was nice for the guys who usually take the beginners class, as they don't usually spar until the advanced.
Roger is the biggest gent and the most laid back guy I've ever met. He took the time at the end of the class to pose for photos with everyone and sign belts etc. I bought my brother a Koral blue belt for his birthday and had the following inscription embroidered into it: "Quanto mais voce suar quando praticar menos sangue perdera em combate" - Matt obviously didn't believe it said what I told him so he asked Roger to translate it from Brazilian and it was right :) *Ahem thanks bruv!* "The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in combat".

Competition this Sunday - myself, Matt (Passfield) and Dave (Woollaston) are competing in the No-Gi British Open in Walsall. Andy will be coming with us to to coach and to referee. Lots of preparation, training a bit lighter this week to avoid injury. Will update after Sunday :)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Stripes, Chokes and Comps

Well I haven't blogged for a while, so thought it was about time I gave you an update.

Last Tuesday was a very interesting training session to say the least. I went to the advanced lesson and at the end we were king-of-the-hill sparring from knees. I was waiting in the line and I could hear my brother Matt in the corner asking some guy if he was going to tap. Matt had him in a choke and the guy wasn't giving up. Well he got choked out and started to fit. I had never experienced something like that before so was scary to watch! Everyone reacts differently when they are choked out, I assumed everybody just drifts off, so it was horrible to watch someone actually having a fit.
Rachel's Rule of the Lesson - DON'T BE A HERO - it's only training and if you can feel the choke coming on, just tap. There's no point pushing yourself to the limit and getting hurt in training. In a competition its different :)
On a lighter note - at the end after the cool down I was called to the front and Andy gave me my first stripe! :) Matt I'm catching you up! lol.

The following day was Antony's funeral. It was a lovely service and he had a brilliant send-off. Well done to Jamie for his speech, it was beautiful! xx

The rest of last week involved lots of back control work (which is my favourite) and also practice of takedowns. I was paired with Matt first for the takedowns and got him with a really good cheeky throw. Completely caught him off guard and I was very proud of myself to say the least. Lol but that was short-lived coz payback is a b*tch and he was throwing me all over the academy after that!

On Friday we were sparring 5 minute-rounds from knees with everyone. I loved it although I was shattered by the end and had to sit out of the last one. I'd learnt some new chokes outside of the academy [ ;o) Thank you ] and managed to use one of them when I took someone's back.

I was supposed to go to the Bristol Open on Sunday but I managed to get a knee to the face on Saturday with Dorian when we were sparring take-downs (thanks for that lol) and I woke up Sunday in agony. I thought my nose was broken. No bruises luckily but a pretty bump in the bridge!! I'll be sporting cauliflower ears next! Lol pretty!

I'm unsure of which comps I'll be going to. There's so many to choose from!
I've already bought flights to the Scandinavian Open on 16/17 October, and now the Amsterdam Open is the following week - 25 October and I'm really up for that!
There's a Girls Only camp in Stockholm on 31st October which clashes with the No-Gi British Open on 1st November and also there's the Kent Open which I really want to compete in.

Lotsss to think about over the next couple of weeks preparing for the competitions. Need to prioritise, but I'll definitely go and support all the guys even if I don't compete myself.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Fallen Fighter x

Sad times at the academy. An announcement was made at training last night. One of our guys lost his life on Friday.

Antony Loobey (who is featured in my post "3rd Grab and Pull Competition") was a fantastic guy who put his all into his training. I didn't know him outside of the academy but what I did know of him was enough. We were the only two fighters representing Andy's at the Brighton comp in July and he did everything he could to help me train and warm-up, helping me through only my second competition. He touched a lot of people and was such a kind person who never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything.


You were a wicked training partner - you will be missed on the mats at Andy's! Hope you're dishing out cheeky arm-bars and triangles up there :) We'll miss you!

R.I.P Antony xx Vaya con Dios
1982 - 2009

Thursday, 20 August 2009

"The gi is your weapon" lol

Friday 14th August 2009

Last Friday's training was brilliant. I had all intention of just going to the beginners class as I was a bit stiff and thought I'd skip the sparring. But I had to go a different route and ended up in traffic up the wrong way of the M25! (Being a natural blonde definitely shows sometimes!! lol)
So I managed to get back round and headed for class. I made it in time for the intermediate class.

We warmed up, the usual back-to-back sit-ups, knee-on-belly / sit-ups and some painful top-to-toe swapping thing that I can't even describe. Even thinking about it makes my legs hurt lol.
We carried on with fifty arm bars, fifty paired push-ups with high-fives in between and fifty kimuras. By the time we'd done all this I was ready for the sit down to watch Andy run through the techniques.

We learned some chokes from mount using the bottom of your gi - very cheeky! :) We ran through a few variations of the choke and then lined up for the sparring. We drilled passing guard, mount escapes and escapes from side control. I was with Sheena, we took time to run through the techniques we'd learnt earlier as well. All in all a very productive lesson!!


Wednesday 19th August 2009 - No Gi

Last night was fun. I am still very new to the no-gi classes and its amazing the difference between gi and no-gi. You don't realise just how much you use your gi in chokes and sweeps etc.

We warmed up in pairs. There were some very new warm-ups I'd never done before and I was with Rich. We then did the usual warm-ups; snaking, spider-man, shoot and lifts etc.

We practised a choke which I think was the arm triangle. We practised it from side-control in the scarf position. It was very effective with an added variation on the end to make sure you can finish off the choke using minimal energy and effort. This included walking your legs round by your opponent's head and leaning back, thus pulling them harder into the choke.
Andy showed us the defense for this as well, which looked very funny to try and do but worked so well! Myself and Rich were running through this and then taking each others back and seeing how we could finish off the defense.

Andy then put us into weight groups and we ran through king of the hill sparring. Take-downs, guard passing, mount, side-control and mount from the back. I'd never drilled no-gi before so was getting agitated when I went for submissions where I would usually grip their gi (or my own). When in mount I had my hooks in and the heat and the sweat made us all slippery and we were just all over the place. No-gi definitely takes some time to get used to!

My strongest was on mount from the back. I enjoy attacking from the back, I feel strong in that position.
Jadon hurt his knee so sat out for the end bit. Although I think we were all quite glad of that - his rashguard is definitely at the end of its life!! Lol ewwwwww! (Sorry Jadon) He tried submitting someone by shoving his armpit in their face!! Was hilarious!

I'll definitely be making some room for no-gi lessons from now on, it was thoroughly enjoyable and is good to learn more submissions without the use of the gi.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Latest Training News

I hadn't been to training for a while. My best friend's wedding and swine flu kept me away for a week and a half!! I was very keen to get back on the mats and I went on Friday.

The session was good. Warm-up included thirty arm-bars, thirty triangles and thirty cross-collar chokes. I was paired with Jadon, which I enjoyed. He takes the time to show me the technique thoroughly (and some cheeky deviations as well lol).

We ran through mount and side control escapes which I needed to work on. I still have a dodgy rib so I could feel the pain but felt these were techniques I did really need to concentrate on.

We spent half hour drilling guard passing and then at the end of the session we sparred. I think Andy was a little over-excited as he kicked James in the face twice on two separate spars. I like sparring because it's not just running through the techniques, we get to really practice what happens and how we go from one technique to the next.

I'm looking forward to now spending more time training as my week has opened up and left me available for more nights. I tend to vary between the beginners class and the intermediate, the only difference being the sparring at the end. I guess it depends how sore I am from the previous session! :)
(Pictures are no-gi training some weeks ago).

Thursday, 6 August 2009

3rd Grab & Pull Competition - 25-Jul-2009

Right here goes.....

This is my first post so I thought I would start off with writing about the Grab and Pull competition in Brighton. Its the third one this year and was held at the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove.
I'd been there back in April this year but only as a spectator - Matt was competing and I went down to watch him fight. So I already knew the place but not from a competitors-eye-view!

We had to get there to register for 9am so it was a pretty early start for me. I picked up Jadon (see my blog list - Jadon Ortlepp "Tapping Like Riverdance") and we headed on our way. Jadon was coaching, although when we got there it was only myself and Antony Loobey who were competing from Andy's academy! Unfortunately we had some injuries in the training leading up to the comp - Andy pushing us too hard! Hehe.
But we had fantastic support, and I'd like to thank Sheena, Anna, Jadon, James, Scott, and my mum, dad, Matt and Eve for coming to support! :)
Antony was up first. I missed the first half of his fight but if my memory serves me right, I believe he lost on points. It was a brilliant fight to watch though, both guys had a lot of talent and it really could have gone either way.

The women were on pretty quickly at 12 noon. The ladies white belt weights were so similar that we were split into the lower and higher categories between our weights.

My first fight was against Rachael McMillan who I remembered from the British Open in Birmingham in June. She got points for the takedown and mount. I'd injured my rib the previous week in training and was finding it difficult to sweep her. I went for a choke but had no position at all so tried again to sweep but Rachael had me in an ezekial choke and I tapped. It's very confusing with all the coaches and spectators shouting instructions at "Rachel" and "Rachael" lol.

Within minutes I was called up for the Absolute open weight. My first fight was against Camilla Parker. I got the points for the takedown but she pulled guard. She had a tough grip and was constantly pulling half guard as I was passing. But I passed and got to side control, then I got points for the mount and eventually she tapped once I had her with a cross-collar choke.

My second fight was with Rachael again. It was all kind of a blur, I don't quite know what happened but as she was on mount and I was bridging I felt this surge of pain and I was in agony! I tapped. It's a shame because I had really been looking forward to seeing my potential but my injured rib had got the better of me! I didn't even get the chance to get presented with my medals. Pippa got them for me and I left early to get home and get my injury seen to.
It was a brilliant day and I went home with so much new experience. I'm going to concentrate on my difficulties in training from now on and can watch the videos back and see where i can learn. I'm not sure which competition I'm going to enter next but it's going to be hard training up until then. I've always got more to learn!