Back to the Grind (Athlete Journal 65)

This week was all about getting back in the game after a long holiday break.

This has been my first full week of training since the holidays. It’s been tough getting back into the swing of things, but I have to get ready for my super fight in February.

Meet the Parents

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. I get to see family that I haven’t seen in a while and eat food I don’t normally get to eat (I love food).

RELATED: Take a Deep Breath: A Meditation for the Holidays

This year I spent a lot of time with my family and also flew to Texas to visit my boyfriend Frank’s family. I flew to Disney World with my family when I was ten, but this was my first big girl flight. It was scary, but I had a great time. Frank’s family was awesome and made feel at home. I can’t wait to go back to see them and even get some training in next time.

Back to the Grind

The holidays are over now, though, and I’m back to the daily grind. Scranton MMA has a total of four people on the card for the UGC Pro Allstars next month: Frank Alogna, Steve Peragallo, Steve Wilson, and myself. We all know who our opponents are and we’ve already started to plan. It’s kind of soon to start training hard for the event, but we try to keep it in mind during our training sessions.

This week we got back into our daily drilling. We worked on things that we think will best help us in our matches. I got a good sweat going, which I definitely needed after two weeks of eating every delicious thing in sight.

“Lovato’s passing is all about pressuring in on your opponent, so we’ve been working on that a lot during the advanced classes.”

Classes this week were good. Dominic has been watching Lovato’s pressure passing series, so he’s been showing us all the cool stuff he’s been learning. Lovato’s passing is all about pressuring in on your opponent, so we’ve been working on that a lot during the advanced classes.

I’ve been focusing more on my passing game for a while now, so I enjoyed everything we learned this week. We worked on some basic set ups for passing closed and open guards. Dominic wants us to learn how to initiate and control the pass before he shows us too many finishes. We’re all going to be guard-passing machines soon!

Takedowns and Guard Pull Defenses

Along with teaching us all of his new passing knowledge, Dom has also been putting us through the ringer to get us ready for our fights. After classes this week he had us drill takedowns and guard pulling defenses. Basically, everyone lined up and we had to take down everyone in the line twice. After that we have to defend everyone’s guard pull twice.

READ: How to Train Strength for the Closed Guard, Open Guard, and Passing Guard

That all might sound simple, but it was exhausting. By the time I got through the line once my body didn’t want to move. That’s the point of the drill, though. Get tired and use pure technique. It stinks, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

That was my week. I hope you enjoyed reading about it. See you next week!

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