I had a lot on my plate this week, but I’m feeling much better and I’m ready to take on the challenges.


Once in a while, I have one of those weeks when it seems like I never have a moment to sit down and just relax. This was definitely one of those weeks. Every second of every day has been occupied by something I had to do for school or the gym. During my normal hours of free time, I’ve been studying, doing homework, or planning the Scranton MMA kids’ Halloween party.



Breaking Muscle Shop

Being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. I need these stressful weeks once in a while to keep me on my toes. I wouldn’t mind if they were fewer and further between, but that’s life, right? There isn’t much I can do about it besides work through it and patiently wait for Friday.


RELATED: How to Turn Stress Into a Strength


This Week's Classes

Last week in classes we were working on bottom half guard sweeps and techniques, so this week we worked on the top side of half guard. Frank showed us a couple of passes I want to start using more often. One of them is the cut pass. I like using the cut pass when my opponent has their full guard, but I don’t use it a lot to pass the half guard. I mostly use the one where you switch your hips and scoot out. I’ll still use that one when it presents itself, but I want to stay conscious while I’m rolling and make a solid pass I can use from the half guard.


We also went over passes from the lockdown position and the knee shield. These positions go hand-in-hand with the half guard, yet different techniques are required to pass them. I was especially interested in going over knee shield passes because I’ve been having trouble with that lately. Drilling passes during class definitely helped me. I think passing the knee shield will be one of the things I’m going to add to my daily drilling list.


"It’s always tough getting started because I know it’s going to be difficult, but I love the feeling of sweaty accomplishment after I’ve finished drilling."

Speaking of drilling, I have to admit I’ve been slacking on it this week. But like I said before, I’m super busy with school stuff and party planning. I’ll definitely be back at it next week. I miss having that fixed time when I can just go nuts and drill like a maniac. It’s always tough getting started because I know it’s going to be difficult, but I love the feeling of sweaty accomplishment after I’ve finished drilling. I can’t wait to drill every day next week.


Since my disappointing performance at the No-Gi Pan Ams, I’ve been chomping at the bit to compete again. I had been thinking about competing in the Goodfight on November 8th, but I didn’t see any other purple belt women signed up. To my surprise though, I saw one signed up this week. As of right now, I’m going to compete. I don’t want to jump to conclusions because I haven’t been getting ready for it, but I’m so eager to compete that I’m most likely going to do it. I don’t care if I lose. I just want to get back out there and fight someone.


That’s all, folks! See you next week.


Jess Papi is a blue belt at Scranton MMA and also pursuing her degree in exercise science. Read her entries every week for insights on competing, training, and juggling BJJ and life.

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