Thursday, March 27, 2014

BJJ personality quiz...what training character are you?

I'm a sucker for online quizzes. I take them all the time. I've been assessed to be everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to imperial China, to a complete slob, to a Saint Bernard. Obviously, these quizzes are all extremely accurate and I take them all super-seriously.

In this same spirit, I decided to design my own  BJJ personality quiz. Now, there are sites that will give you entertaining lists of just about every BJJ personality you can imagine, but for the sake of simplicity, I am including only the top 7 that I encounter. Of course, these are all grossly exaggerated and I am thinking of no one in particular as I come up with these caricatures. I am also making fun of myself as much as anyone else (if you train with me on the reg, you can probably figure out who I am among these choices).

Ready to begin? Let's see where you stack up!

1. Choose a gi:
b) I don't train in a gi. There are no gis on the skreets 

d) I left my gi at home. I can't train today



2. Choose a song:
a) Tu-Pac "Hit em up"
b) The walkout song for the cage fight I have been planning for years
c) DJ Khaled "All I Do is Win"
d) Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song"
e) Right Said Fred "I'm Too Sexy"
f) Nicki Minaj "I am your Leader"
g) Lynyrd Skynyrd "Ew that Smell"

3. If your training partners could describe you in 1 adjective, it would be:
a) mouthy
b) douchey
c) competitive
d) whiny
e) hot
f) helpful-ish
g) smelly

4. How do you react when you get tapped?
a) Run my mouth and bait him to do it again. I've got something for him next time!
b) Punch a wall. Then ice my hand
c) Think about what the Mendes brothers would have done differently
d) Know it is only because he is bigger, stronger, faster, and more flexible than me
e) Worry that my gorgeous face is now covered in gi burn
f) Teach my training partner how she could have tapped me better
g) Fart on her

5. What is your training pet peeve?
a) rules that prohibit talking during instruction time
b) sporty rules
c) people who roll for illegal moves in practice
d) to be honest, I haven't trained in a while
e) mat hair
f) people who don't listen when I am trying to help them
g) idiots who try to make me wash my belt

6. How do you spend your free time online?
a) blogging. Or talking smack to my training partners
b) watching street fights on youtube
c) watching BJJ tournament highlight compilations
d) emailing my instructor to explain why I haven't been at class this week
e) shopping for a cute new rashie
f) sending words of encouragement and helpful hints to those who need it
g) I can't find my computer right now. It might be buried under my pile of dirty dishes and laundry

7. What is your training motto?
a) Talk big to roll big
b) Stand and bang
c) A win by advantages is still a win
d) I'm going to start training again next week
e) Stay pretty and always protect your face
f) I am the assistant to the instructor
g) Get as much use out of my gis between loads of laundry as possible

8. What do you do when you are stuck in a disadvantageous position?
a) Talk smack to bait him to move on
b) Curse, panic, and spazz out. This would be death on the skreets
c) Scold myself for losing tournament points
d) Remind my training partner of my bad wrist/knee/shoulder/neck/pinky toe
e) Trust my raw sexual magnetism to get me out
f) Show my training partner how she can set up a submission from there
g) Wait for him to give me space voluntarily, due to my offensive odor

9. Choose a "going out" outfit: 


d) I can't go out tonight. I need to call my grandma




Ready for your results??

If you got mostly a's...
You are a Mouthy Grappler. The one thing you enjoy more than training is talking. Whether you are blogging, gossiping, or talking smack, you always have something to say.

If you got mostly b's...
You are a Tough Guy Wannabe. You are untrained but don't realize it. Eventually, you'll learn. Tough don't make up for stupid.

If you got mostly c's...
You are a Sporty Grappler. Winning tournaments is your bag. You don't tell anyone, but you keep track of advantages while you are rolling.

If you got mostly d's...
You are an Excuse Generator. There are a million reasons not to train, and you have a dozen on hand at any given moment.

If you got mostly e's...
You are a Good Looking Grappler. You kick ass and look hot while doing so. Carry on.

If you got mostly f's...
You are a Self-Appointed Assistant to the Instructor. No one in the gym will ever be as helpful as you think you are.

If you got mostly g's...
You are a Stinky Grappler. You are no one's favorite training partner, for obvious reasons. When there is a staph outbreak, everyone looks at you.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jiu jitsu and aging...another year older, with one hand deeper in your collar

I'll be honest with you - I'm not a huge fan of birthdays. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be aging, since the only alternative to doing so is death (there - see where my mind goes?). But my birthday is generally something that I dread as it approaches and then try to embrace at the last minute as it finally rears its head.

My main beef with getting older is twofold:

1) I had a fairly religious upbringing and did 13 years of hard time in Catholic school. Yet, I am not much of a believer myself. I've spent too much time immersed in religion to not give serious thought to aging and what finally happens when we stop. But I can't tell you what ensues from there. It is possible that I am slowly inching my way toward becoming worm food, and that's a hard concept to grapple with (pun intended).

2) Before I even found jiu jitsu, being an athlete has been a huge part of my identity. Kicking butt in sports is a major aspect of who I am. Yet, reality dictates that we start to lose our athleticism as we age. Over time, we become slower, weaker, less flexible, and require longer recovery time. (Yes, thinking about getting older makes me into a bit of a Debbie Downer).  

So far, I have refused to compete in the IBJJF masters division because I am still competitive among the younger folks. Eventually, though, I expect this to change. I will fight it kicking and screaming, but one day I will come to a point where I can no longer safely or effectively compete with the 18-year-olds in my skill division.

This week I turned 33 and, true to form, I did not acknowledge my impending birthday until the last minute. When I finally did, I began telling people I was "23 and 10." 33 is a really high number that I didn't want to cop to. But "23 and 10?" That's not nearly as bad.

But here's the awesome thing about jiu jitsu - technique is more important than strength and athleticism. I know for a fact that 33-year-old Kim could beat up 23-year-old Kim. Now, 23-year-old Kim was a pretty tough gal - she was strong and quick and spent her free time doing marathon open water swims. But she had never even heard of jiu jitsu and knew squat about fighting or self defense. I could choke that bitch, without a doubt. And I am certain that 43-year-old Kim will one day be able to choke out my current self.

And that's what drives me to keep training as I get older. Technique overrules physical attributes. It motivates me to know that I will continue to get better, and to spar better, for a really long time. So if getting older means getting better at jiu jitsu, then maybe it's not so bad.


Friday, March 7, 2014

IBJJF rule changes - new female weight divisions and new black belt requirements for the mundials

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation has made a couple of rule changes over the past few weeks:

1) They have added 2 new weight classes for women. Since weight classes were lacking for the lightest and heaviest gals, the IBJJF has added rooster and superheavy weight divisions, beginning this year at the mundials.

Until now, the lightest weight class available for women was under 114 lbs (118lbs with a gi on). There has been a grassroots petition circulating on social media to add an under 105 lb division and it looks like the petition was answered!

Also until now, the heaviest weight class available for women was heavy weight - over 158 lbs (163 with a gi on). 158 and up is a pretty huge weight range. That meant that women who couldn't make 158 have had to compete in a weight class with no ceiling. Adding a super heavy weight division, in effect, puts a reasonable ceiling on the heavy weight division (somewhere around 170 lbs).  

I cut weight to make medium heavy and have always said that I only do so because otherwise I would be in a weight class with no limit. Well, as it turns out, I was full of shit. Even with a new division available, I will continue to compete at medium heavy at the mundials because I feel faster when I am a bit leaner. The new division does take some of the pressure off to cut weight for lower tiered tournaments, however.

My only concern with these changes is that having too many divisions for women makes our divisions too small, with too few competitors. However, I had the same concern when women's masters divisions were added, and those divisions are growing steadily.

Read here for more information: New Female Weight Divisions

2) The IBJJF is now restricting which black belts can enter the mundials
The new rules state "Athletes eligible to participate in the 2015 World will be:
- Black belts with minimum of 50 points in the IBJJF black belt adult ranking
- Former Black Belt adult World champions
- 2014 Brown Belt World Champions (all weight divisions)."

I am all for making the mundials more competitive, since doing so legitimizes our sport. After all, the world championships of most sports are extremely hard to qualify for. But it is ridiculous that any white, blue, purple, and brown belt can sign up for the mundials without restriction, while it is only the black belts who have to qualify. 

Earning a black belt in BJJ is an ernormous achievement in itself. If anyone should get a free pass to compete at the mundials, it should be the black belts. If the goal is to make the mundials more competitive, it would make more sense to eliminate the white and blue belt divisions altogether, than to impose these standards only on the black belts.  

Winning the mundials as a blue belt was one of the athletic highlights of my life. Yet, I am well aware that I only had to go against blue belts to win. The true world champions are the black belt world champions. While I am excited to go back to the mundials to compete this year as a purple belt, I recognize that every single black belt has more of a right to be there than I do. That is why I don't like this rule change.


For more information, check the IBJJF website:
Black belt adult division requirements for the 2015 IBJJF Worlds Jiu-JItsu Championship