Rolling vs Sparring


Quick martial arts lesson: Rolling is to Jiu-Jitsu as Sparring is to Taekwondo.

Quick blog lesson: Instructor is to Jiu-Jitsu as Sensei is to Taekwondo.

I’m now at the point of my Jiu-Jitsu journey where I get to attend Reflex and Development class. Your opponent gives indicators like step back, push away, post a leg up, etc., to let you know what move you need to do.

Often I ask, “What do I do?” because I’m not very good at this. The answer is usually Arm Bar or Elevator Sweep or Americana.

“Oh, right, yeah,” I’ll say then do the move.

At the start of 99% of the regular classes, we practice The Clinch. It’s a standing move that leads to getting the bad guy on the ground. We do this so often, I could sleep through this part of class.

Then in Reflex and Development, Instructor stood in front of me.

And stood there.

“What do I do?”

“Clinch me.”

Ugh! Face palm!

Visual interlude:

I often rate my workout based on how messy my hair is afterward. When taking this pic of my sloppy hair for you, I decided to have fun with the mirrors. You’re welcome.

Back to the story: There are a couple of moves that I do well. I can rear naked choke with the best of them, I have twice surprised my opponent with a speedy Kimura arm lock, and then there was this:

Instructor did something, don’t even know what it was, and I locked him in a Triangle Choke without even thinking about it. He had to tap out.

Seriously, I was stunned. It happened automatically.

“A jumping Triangle. That was tight,” he said.

I don’t know if he meant tight as in “not loose,” or tight as in “cool.” I’ll take either.

The Triangle Choke is, after all, the move where I have “the perfect limbs for choking someone’s life out.”

So that RD class wasn’t a complete embarrassing failure, thankfully.

Sparring in Taekwondo, on the other hand, I was made for.

When it was my turn with Sensei, I didn’t feel like I had to hold back or take it easy on him, which was fun. [Can you hear my evil chuckle?]

“You’ve been waiting all day for this, haven’t you?” he said.

“I’m literally kicking your butt,” I said. Because I was.

Then he kicked mine, literally, and I said, “That was fair.”

Next he came at me hard with both arms and a leg. I blocked, blocked, and dodged.

“Good reflexes,” he said.

I wish Instructor could’ve heard that.

At the end of class, when we shook hands, Sensei added a previously unheard of, “Nice job.”

For whatever reason, sparring comes naturally, probably because there’s not a lot of thinking involved.

In the next class, however, I sparred with my daughter, blocked a kick, and jammed my finger.

Purple pointer finger

Then a couple of days later, I took down Surfer Dude 1 in Jiu-Jitsu, and landed with my knee on my hand, smashing the rest of my fingers, particularly the ring finger. It’s so puffy I can’t get my ring on.

Face palm again, anyone?

This past week was the last self defense class at the school. I made certificates for the kids to congratulate them on their hard work this year.

When one mom picked up her son, she thanked me for teaching him to block punches. Apparently, someone tried to sock him in the stomach, and he blocked it!

“Then I punched myself in the face with the hand I blocked with,” he admitted.

Yep. Sounds like he was taught by me.

Have a great weekend, Blog Buddies! ๐Ÿ™‚

87 responses »

  1. Ironically, I also have a swollen purple finger as of yesterday. However, I have no idea why and itโ€™s rather disconcerting! The pleasures of growing old. Literally kicking butt sounds rather fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I was waiting for another post from you!!! Gosh, that finger looks rough. This week I acquired many bruises on my right arm…like many. Like everyone was “so worried” and I’m like “I’m fine ๐Ÿ˜œ” Anyway, sick work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you’re a wonderful teacher. Nothing better than teaching a young person to do the exact same thing you’re skilled at …

    I may have missed this in your past posts, but getting bruises is good, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Love that you made certificates for fight club and one of the kids actually blocked a punch. It’s such a full circle moment of give and take, not to mention the perfect end to your post!

    Nice work on the choke hold with Instructor. Impressive stuff, my friend! Sorry about the injuries but I’m sitting on a bruised thigh from going down a theme park slide with my son that they had just greased. I think getting older might just be dangerous no matter how we do it so you might as well fight it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • The cool thing about the kid blocking the punch (aside from him blocking the punch) was that he told his mom the whole story and about learning to do that from me. So fulfilling! I also appreciated that he was humble enough to admit to both his mom and me that he then hit himself in the face. What a trooper! And so are you for going down a slide with your son! Sorry about your thigh, though. ๐Ÿ˜•

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes – what a good point that it was awesome he told his mom the story, and his slip! Thank goodness for these little moments where you can see what you’ve taught being put to good use – even the humor which probably comes from you in part too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if the kid found it funny. He didn’t smile as he told that part of the story. It was more just matter of fact, which made me all the more proud of him for not ending the story before the embarrassing part. He could’ve just made himself out to be awesome and left it at that. But he didn’t. And that’s the sign of a good kid. I hope his mom is most proud of him for that.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess my comment didn’t go through from last night. Sheesh are people having issues on blogs lately! Anyhoo, Iโ€™m also sporting a purple finger, but I have no idea why. Disconcerting!

    I like the idea of literally kicking someoneโ€™s butt. I remember that was a way of flirting, many moons ago. Stand next to someone and do a backward kick on their butt. Lol, Iโ€™m weird, I know!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Disconcerting about your finger! At least for me, all the random bruises I discover, I now have an excuse for. I could be wrong, but how would I know? Super weird about butt kicking being flirting!


    • Yeah, guess mine didn’t go thru either but I have not had the finger thing…anyway flirting in martial arts usually means hurting each other lol, there was a guy that I liked and we always beat up on each other like as flirting…I never got brave enough to kick his butt tho lol

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gah, sounds like me. You just get the weirdest injuries from BJJ. There was once a big guy landed his knee on my big toe, breaking the nail. Just recently I hurt my middle finger for no reason at all. It just swelled. And now I’m sitting out thanks to a rib injury, which takes forever. Anyway, keep the good times rolling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “keep the good times rolling”–Was that an inadvertent pun, Stuart? ;P
      Yes, the injuries… man, yours sound bad. I had a rib thing that kept me out for a while. That and when my partner bent my foot backwards. That was another bad one. These finger things are nothing. Who knew getting hurt could be so fun, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I know your time is precious. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Lol, jiu-jitsu fingers is a thing, amirite. I used to think climbing was bad for my fingers. Jiu-jitsu now has mine looking like a shaman’s necklace. The good thing about injuries is I don’t need to feel bad about not training. And yes, puns are life ๐Ÿ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just found this comment in spam! Don’t know what’s up with that. “Jiu-jitus fingers”! I love that! I now have Jiu-jitsu fingers and taekwondo toes. I’m a piece of work, Stuart. Lol. “A shaman’s necklace”–nice!
        Where would the world be without puns???

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Whenever I get notified of a new post from you, I know I will read it while shaking my head in dismay upon leaning of your latest injury.

    So imagine my surprise as I started this one. “Holy crow! Look at her go!” I head myself say aloud. “Bets is kicking ass!”

    And then you had to wrap it up with the one-two punch of a jammed finger and a knee on the hand.

    And my head started shaking again.

    Please tell me you will be writing a book about this Jiu-Jitsu stuff to justify all of your suffering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother claims to be my biggest fan. And I should clarify that these injuries barely register on the hurt-o-meter. I’ve given birth naturally, and that can only be described as “excruciating.” All these mini injuries are nothing. Not to worry, Barb! I’m doing fine! You should be more worried about me getting pregnant again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just found this comment in my spam folders. Sadly, no to the getting that on film. Instructor and SD1 are brothers (as you may or may not recall), so they have clearly practiced a lot of stuff together. Their camaraderie is great. But even better is when they entertain us with stuff that is way beyond our belt level. Instructor flips him onto the mat frequently. He’s nearly done that to me twice. He always slows down and lets me down easily. But when he does do it to me for real, I definitely want it on film. And then I want to try to do it right back to him.

        And yeah, super slick maneuver. Then SD1 went down with him. They are cool to watch.


  8. There’s not going to be a quiz on this material, is there? I’m still trying to learn the difference between Jiu-Jitsu and Taekwondo, knowing that both challenge me to spell them correctly. As for messy hair = great workout, that I get.

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Wow it sounds like purple will be your color, I would have to go for adjustments after every class to get my body in alignment it would bother me too much but I do enjoy reading about your adventures on the mat.


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