Friday, January 10, 2014

Looking forward, and looking back.

We started the Women's Class in July 2011, and in July 2013 I took over as head instructor.

We have always run the class under the same format that Fabio runs his, and it has worked just as well for us as it has for him.

However, I realized that Fabio is a little limited in the way he can run his class.  50+ sweaty dudes running around crowds the mat pretty quickly.  I usually only have a dozen women at a time to contend with, so it gives me a LOT more options.  

So, for 2014 I revamped class!  

I was a little nervous, but the girls really seem to like it, and last night two of the girls brought their husbands who also train under Fabio, to participate, and I am pleased to say that they were sweater hot messes than the girls were by the time we started technique.  Granted, I did follow them around screaming at them like a drill instructor for fun, but still.

Basically, we do 10 minute circuit drills, followed by positional drilling.  It only takes about 15 minutes, but by the time we are supposed to drill, everyone is good and tried... Thus they actually have to do the technique properly.  It also saves time so we can grapple more at the end of every class.  Double win.

Since I took over the women's class has participated in two different tournaments.

Leslie and Maria our two most advanced girls were the only two girls to compete in the summer, and both did amazingly as always.  Unfortunately however, they were both on the schedule to fight at noon and ended up grappling after 9 pm that night.  NAGA not surprisingly fell behind schedule... by an absolutely absurd amount of time.  It was also Maria's first time competing so it was an unfortunate first time out experience.  I was worried it would put her off competing, but she rallied and competed again in December, with seven of the other girls.  Three of whom were competing for the first time!
Tammy and Amanda left before this picture was taken, but I took this one before the competition started.

Nessa, on the far left has been training with us for about 9 months, and competed for her first time in December.  She had one of the most intense back and fourth grapples I've ever seen.  She lost on points in the end to a more advanced girl, but she grappled so well I was proud of her before the match was over, and since her division was all of two people, she only had the one match.

Tammy and Amanda are a mom and daughter duo who started training after I took over.  They, along with Jackie, are my only students who have trained under only me, and this was their first competition, so I was extra nervous and felt more responsible for their outcomes then I have in past competitions, but they both did fantastically, and as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

Tammy took second in her division.  She grappled really well, against a woman who has been training for about a year.  We run into her often at the local competitions. And Amanda took first in her division, and second in a 2 year+ division of smaller girls.  She did absolutely amazing, but in the last minute of her last grapple against a yellow belt, she got stuck under mount, and started to cry... and then her mom started to cry, and I started to cry...but she kept her head in the game enough to finish the grapple and take second place.

Erica who isn't one of my students, but one of my favorite training partners competed as well, and came home with two golds and a silver.  Leslie fought really well against a blue belt, and a lasted the whole grapple, taking second.  Maria unfortunately ended up fighting right after they called Tammy in, so I missed her first grapple entirely but she took second.  Spies, the only one who competed in no gi this time, took first in no gi and second in gi.

I am really proud of all of them.

This year, I also promoted someone for the first time.
(After of course double checking with my local black belt.)

Congratulations Nessa!

AND in the beginning of 2014 we had two of our girls return to us!

Ashley Potter came back after a year long absence for the birth of her awesome son, Xander.  And Kim Parker came back after having moved away for almost two years!  So happy to have them back!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome: congrats to them and the success of your women's class! I look forward to hopefully meeting some of them when I come visit this year (only a couple of months away now: so excited! :D).

    I'll definitely be looking to pick your brain about running a successful women's class too when I'm in Florida, as I'm hoping to set one up myself in future. Ideally there would be a woman teaching it of course, but at the moment it may have to be me. Either way, really keen to get that going to encourage more women in my local area to take up BJJ. :)