Room for Improvement: Week 52 of Jiu-Jitsu

My one-year jiujitsuversary is this week. Before we get too festive, here’s a collection of training snippets from Week 52.


Competition class is not as horrible as a couple of weeks ago. Then again, Coach has decreased the intensity of the exercises, it’s not just me adjusting to the vibe.

I’m so bad at getting my hooks in when the opponent is in turtle. Like, how can that be difficult? Mika tries to show me some fancy slide to get one leg in, it only helps occasionally.

At some point Coach tells me to do something I had just been trying to do myself a bit earlier, but just physically couldn’t. I should probably feel ashamed for yelling “I’m too tired!” back at him. And I was a bit, afterwards. Can’t even remember the situation, something vaguely about trying to slip out of someone’s back control. For most of my life, I have quit everything I started as soon as stuff got too real. Taxing situations still put me back in that place, sometimes.

It’s only after the rolls, when we jog round the room, that I notice I’m the only white belt at comp class.


Women’s (and my) class is still doing single leg x-guard sweeps and straight ankle locks. I’m going to be so good at this sweep some day. Not that I can yet hit it during a live roll.

Beginner’s class has its last session, so the participants come to roll with us at the end of class. I don’t exactly have to go easy on some of them: a strong beginner lies on top of me for ages, because my mount escapes are so very shit. Another, older, beginner gets me in an Americana and I get them into one a bit later. But an almost-beginner white belt who had moved from another city wants to roll with me specifically. It makes me feel nice.


Brown belt Ville is a very skillful instructor but ever prepared to make us do warm-ups I suck at. Unlike Blue belt Ville, the king of the blue belt’s mini seminar. Bunny hops sadden me. And I still can’t push myself back up from the inchworm. I’d like to be as fit as my peers, who get through the drills without issue. Seeing her first sideways ukemi freaks out the new white belt who has joined us from another gym. And she asks me if I want to pair up for drilling. <3

We’re supposed to shake the other person off our back by doing a forward roll. I’m scared of getting hurt for the first time in a long time. Ville tries to talk me through the roll, and I fail. Of course I succeed the minute he turns away to coach another pair!

“Ville, Ville! I did get the forward roll done with her on my back!”

“That’s good.”


I’d forgotten about lifting the pelvis to get to an armbar from closed guard. And if the opponent stacks me, I so do not swirl in the right direction. But I’m alive.

That’s all that happened in training during my 52th week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.