spectacular training at Ground Slam

This morning, bright and early at 8 AM, I went to Ground Slam in Yokohama, run by Katsumura and BJ. I managed to get permission to join the pro practice. I begged them not to treat me like a girl, and train with me just like the rest of the guys.

I was soooo nervous. Scared? Anxious, mainly that I’d get in everyone’s way being a smaller, physically weaker woman. Technique wise, I know I have skills, but come on. What if I bothered the guys when they’d rather be getting a challenge by sparring with another man?

I was nervous I wouldn’t perform well and they’d think I was a pain. I knew that a lot of light-weights trained there, so I wouldn’t be a total waste of space.

I felt like I was going into a fight, I was so anxious.

It was so hot. At 8 PM, I was sweating, just standing in the shade. It must have hit 95 degrees today. (I checked…it was 94).
Finally, people showed up and I aisatsu-ed everyone. (formal greeting) asked what class usually entailed. They said “MMA sparring.”
Me: Only?
them: Yes.

EXCELLENT. That’s EXACTLY what I wanted. High intensity sparring for a short time- about an hour and fifteen minutes. One thing common to many Japanese gyms is the leisurely warm up, technique, drilling, and then three hours later when I’m exhausted, a few rounds of sparring…..everybody paces themselves, but I try and put in a lot of effort, which is probably why I’m so tired but everyone else is still going after 3 hours.

Anyway, it was freaking awesome. I was star-struck. I sparred with BJ Kojima (Shooto), Mizugaki (WEC), and a few more dudes. Of course I got my butt handed to me, but I did pretty well with this one guy. I Judo threw him and arm-barred him in the end.

I chatted with Michihiro Omigawa and would have sparred Katsumura-san but was too exhausted to do any more, and it was okay, since class was ending.

With sparring like this, I’m exhausted, but not bone weary like I’d be after a 3-hour session. I ate a huge lunch of roast beef and rice, and now I have a stomach ache, then and even the next day. Damn, why is beef giving me issues nowadays? My stomach’s been funny lately…

Anyway, went home and PASSED OUT for an hour. I woke up feeling like the next day. Then I did chores.

I wanted to spar at the AACC in the evening, but decided to lift weights instead. My back hurts. I met Megumi and she said, “Hi, you’re not training?” I said that I was tired and in pain. She said, “Your face doesn’t look tired!” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “You look genki!”
Yeah, I was riding on cloud 9 from this morning. This is just the kind of practice I need!

I’m so excited to get back on track. I mean, these guys are as top as you can get in Japan, and sparring with them FELT like American style MMA. BJ was forearming my face when I was on bottom. Mizugaku smashed me against the cage, I managed to sprawl and hold him off for a while, but then he got my legs and dumped me on my back.

In other words, amazing practice.
Tomorrow, I have to talk to my new boss and block off my schedule. I’m working WAY too much. I am almost burnt out. Actually, my new-old boss has transfered. waaaaa ;_; Nooo. So now I have a new-new boss. I met him once and I’ll meet him again today, I hope. If I can get to work. I can barely move I’m so sore….…