I had a pretty solid week of training. In class, we drilled leg locks and leg lock defenses. We got to visit Balance Studios in Center City and train for a day. And I even took what I like to call a “hyper recovery day” during the week.



Lower Body Submissions

Straight ankle locks, knee bars, toe holds, and heel hooks are a few different types of leg locks. Certain grappling schools are big on leg locks, depending on who the instructor is and who taught him what he knows. These schools will incorporate all different types of leg locks into their regular rolling.


Our school, on the other hand, mainly focuses on straight ankle locks as the only leg lock we use. That’s usually the only one I like to use during regular rolls, considering it’s the only one I’m allowed to do in competition.


Since Scranton MMA is growing, and more students are getting promoted to higher ranks, Dominic and Frank decided it would be a good idea to introduce new lower body submissions to the students. This week, we focused on straight ankle lock set ups and defenses, and knee bar set ups. I really enjoyed it. It’s something that I’ve always had in my mind, but never bothered to work on. I’m going to try to keep drilling them and adding them into my game. It’s good to have a well-rounded arsenal of techniques. I’m excited to keep working on it.


Visiting a Different Gym

Last Saturday, Frank, our buddy Zack, and I drove to Philadelphia to train with guys and gals at Balance Center City. We got to see our friend, Elliott, who used to train with us at Scranton MMA but has since moved to Philadelphia for his new job and now trains at Balance. Black belt Drew Vogel was there teaching class that afternoon and I learned a lot. He went over this awesome chain of submissions that had me scratching my head for a minute. I love when that happens.


After drilling, we moved on to rolling. I got lots of good rounds with great people, but my favorite rounds are always the ones I have with the lovely Chrissie Vogel. She’s one of the only people I know who can use solely basic techniques to defeat even the biggest opponent. I always enjoy training with her and everyone else at Balance.


Hyper-Recovery Day

I had such a good streak of training that my body must have been exhausted. I always train and try to eat right on weekdays, but on Tuesday my body went into hyper recovery mode. I don’t know if that’s a real thing, but I’m making it a real thing right now. I ended up sleeping in late, which I felt kind of bad about because it was my boyfriend Frank’s birthday and I should have spent more of the day with him, but I couldn’t get myself out of bed. I was just so tired.


Also, I was extra hungry all day. I ended up eating way more than I usually do on a normal weekday. Luckily, I had Frank’s birthday to use as an excuse for that. But I think it was actually because my body just needed the extra calories to recuperate from constant training.


I didn’t even really train that day. I taught two classes, and then we skipped advanced class to leave early so we could be with Frank’s family. I felt bad about being so tired and ravenous all day, but the next day I woke up feeling revitalized. I guess my body needed a day to be a slob.


So, that was my week in a nutshell. I’m still getting ready for the Boston Summer Open at the end of the month. I say this every time, but I’m going for the gold. I haven’t gotten a gold medal in an IBJJF tournament yet, but I’m extremely motivated from my last performance at the New York Summer Open. I know I can get it. It’s just a matter of time now. Have a nice week, everyone!


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.