I spent a few days in Portland, Oregon last week visiting a friend and had the opportunity to train at a local gym. It was the first time I have been to a gym where I didn’t know anyone. I have trained at other gyms in the past but usually to go train with someone or because my coach was there so this was my first drop in at a completely foreign gym. One of the things that is awesome about BJJ though is that we are like one big family. I had talked to someone at the gym about visiting but she apparently didn’t pass the message on. But since we are all family, they were still very welcoming and happy to have me come train.
The online schedule said there would be a class at 12 and then an open mat at 1 but it was an open mat at 12 with just a little bit of drilling at the end. There were 6 people total, including the man leading the class, so it was a good number to train with for a Friday afternoon. There was even another woman which means naturally we were paired up early and often. She was really nice…when we weren’t rolling 🙂
The other woman in the class was that most unfortunate combination of really strong and really new. This meant that she tried to RNC my face at one point until I tapped her on the shoulder and told her to please stop (I was able to tap her on the shoulder because she had caught my face during a scramble and was sitting next to me just squeezing it so my hands were actually behind her body), she passed my guard in a standing guard pass drill by jumping over my legs and landing knee first on my mouth, she ripped my rash guard pulling on it and all sorts of general other spaziness. I was not really upset though because I felt like she was fairly new (she said she had been training two months) and thus probably still a little intimidated by rolling (especially with someone as obviously talented as myself).
I had some good rolls with the other guys in class including two with the brown belt leading the class which were just very nice and flowy. He complimented me on my wrestling from the knees after our first roll. He sure knows how to make a girl swoon! I also got to witness someone get choked unconscious so that was fun too. I left the gym feeling glad I had gotten to roll with new people, happy to have gotten a workout in and with a souvenir of a somewhat busted lip to carry around a few days. Luckily my friend is understanding about BJJ and thus injuries and she got to see firsthand the cost of being a badass, a valuable lesson for anyone.
Whenever I should find myself on the road again I would definitely like to drop in at other gyms. The mat is like my home so it’s nice to find a home wherever you go. And just in case you think it was all training and no fun, here is a picture of the donuts I got at Voodoo Donuts. Sadly the healthy eating for the NY Open(did you know they added a summer NY Open this year??) started yesterday so there won’t be any indulgences like this for a while.