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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Calling the Shots

-- Jonna B.

I had the pleasure (or horror?) of refereeing for the Philippine BJJ National Championship last week.  I could be the first female BJJ referee in Southeast Asia, but that remains to be verified.  What I know is that it's hard to be the third man (or woman) on the mat!

The responsibility of taking care of the players and making the right calls is just too much to handle for someone who has seen how some refs have been harassed, cursed and mocked by the disrespectful players and coaches.  My hands were literally cold, as if I'm the one competing!  As the competitors touched hands, my goal is not to take down, nor jump to guard, but to keep focused on the match.  It's such a different, disorienting feeling!

Luckily, I only refereed six matches -- four ended by submission, and two conceded to their teammate.  My coach was there to check on me, too, and to readily protect me should someone start harassing me.  It's a thankless job, and people who harass refs should experience for themselves how hard it is to see and take note of every little detail that happens on the mat.  Every BJJ player should also understand the BJJ rules to avoid unnecessary argument with the refs.  I've heard of players complaining about something ridiculous, just because they are ignorant of the rules.  But no matter how nerve-wracking it is, I will do it again for the love of the sport.


The Blogger is IN!

-- Jonna B.

I have been out of the circle for the loooongest time.  I wasn't exactly out of the loop because I still frequented blogs and visited my dojo once in a while, but I haven't had the time to focus on my training, so naturally I had nothing to write about.  Plus I really wanted to get out of the MANBEATER blog (here's why), so here I am:  7 kilos heavier, a few inches fatter, a little bit short on moves and skills, but definitely back on the mat and the blogosphere!

It's hard to be away from the mat, and for a long time at that.  I have had episodes of laziness before, but nothing this long.  Now that I am back, my cardio is struggling, my flexibility is rusty, and my accumulated fats get in the way of my guard game.  I don't know how long it will take for me to lose the extra kilos I gained and to reclaim my flexibility, but I will definitely work on it.  It's just that a lot of things got in the way of my training in the past months, and even if I was dying to be on the mat, I just couldn't.

So with all the power of the universe, I hope not to have another spell of BJJ drought, lest my cat will take over my gis!  Eeek!

Rue, the cat who loves my barely air-dried stinky gis straight from training!


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