On Friday I started my day off working on my striking and evading with some friends, putting it on camera so we could see what we were doing wrong and what looked good even if it felt weird. We also put together a little combo to work on our reactions, which was a lot of fun.
I went to the lunchtime BJJ class at 4 Points, where we worked on technique and then got in 3 rolls, which left me dead. This is a good thing, although it is counter-intuitive, because it means that I am trying harder. I was less dead after rolls before because I would give up when I knew something probably wouldn’t work, whereas now I keep trying and every once in a while, it works. And even if it doesn’t, at least I am learning and trying things and figuring out new ways to get out of things (that either work or don’t, but at least I know).
Later that afternoon, I went to ACTRA Toronto for the last TAWC meeting before the summer break. We recapped the Nell Shipman Gala, chose the theme for the short film creation lab, and I joined another sub committee. I love being a part of TAWC, and I can’t wait to write and submit a script for this awesome initiative. It would be incredible to be chosen and have all of the support and mentorship that comes along with it, but the best part is that even if I’m not chosen, I will still finish off the summer with a script. That I can film on my own, with the guidance of the TAWC Content Development sessions. No matter what, I plan to create my own work as much as I can, and tell the stories that I want to hear.
On Saturday, Ayisha and I went to Brampton to watch one of our students, who was competing in a Jiu Jitsu Charity Tournament. She is the absolute cutest thing, a tiny bundle in a sometimes pink GI, but she also works hard and practices and dominated every single one of her matches. So proud of her!
Over the drive, we brainstormed a lot about our career and filmmaking goals, including coming up with some projects we want to work on over the summer. I have been pretty lapse in my acting and writing recently, and I am so excited to get back on track and do what I love.
We went for brunch before going back to the gym for the kids class, and then spent the rest of the afternoon walking around and postering for our new summer camp.
That night, Amber and I went to a drunk/live read of Mean Girls, which was awesome. The actors, especially Kayleigh and Mara <3, were hilarious, but it was also really nice to catch up with her. I have been in Montreal a lot lately, and have been doing #allthethings while I’m in Toronto, so I have slightly been neglecting my roommates, and it was really good to not do that.
When I got home, I did some research for those projects we brainstormed, and I signed up for my first BJJ tournament on July 21st. Slightly terrified, kind of excited, mostly just hoping I won’t die.
On Sunday I went to the open mat at Body of Four. Unlike class, where the teacher either pairs you up, or has you choose a partner before everyone starts to roll at the same time, this one was less structured. The timer was continuously going, with a slight break in between, so you had to go around and find someone and ask them to roll with you. Which is not my strong point. But I did. I started by asking every single girl to roll with me, and there were like 5 of them, then a white belt guy, before a black belt who had been to 4 Points before asked me to roll. We started at the end of one time block, so went on for the next one as well, and at the end, he told me I was good and had potential, but need to work on my submissions.
My last roll was with a white belt who warned me that he wasn’t really a beginner, because he had been doing Judo for a really long time. He definitely used some moves I did not know and did not see coming, but I also managed to take his back and submit him with a rear naked choke. Twice.
That afternoon I went to Navid’s birthday party, which was a lot fun. All kinds of delicious food, interesting conversation, and I learnt how to dance Persian. My favorite part though was probably when Shiva explained that it was only for close friends and family, and I was a part of that. For someone who was used to having a lot of acquaintances she hangs out with if they happen to be in the same place, it is really wonderful to have friends.
Monday morning I had a training session for SP work, then got soaked in the short walk/run to the bus stop. And when I say soaked, I mean I looked like I jumped into a pool, and people avoided me for the ride home, because I was dripping everywhere. I went home and changed before going to meet Ayisha. We had lunch, took care of business, got some film equipment and did a self tape before kids showed up for class. We had two new students, and it made me so happy to watch the other students taking the time to show them and teach them all they needed to know. I felt absolutely useless, but this was way sweeter.
As for the two adult classes that came after, the consensus is that I am getting better, figuring things out, and Dave complimented me on my half guard escape (more because I usually try my own thing instead of the technique he teaches us rather than because I was particularly good at it). After class a group of us went out for ice cream, which I thought should be a weekly thing, but they are thinking more monthly. Either way, it was a great day.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I was on set doing background, which was a lot of fun, especially meeting some really cool people and getting stunt advice from the fight coordinator, who was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge.
On Thursday I got back to my normal hustle, writing a bit in the morning and ultimately submitting to a script competition, before meeting up with Ayisha. We did a self tape (she is killing it these days you guys), got me an agent, worked out our creative project for the summer, ran lines, went to an audition and then rushed back to the gym for the kids class. No one came, so we went out for supper, which was delicious, but a terrible idea before the NOGI class.
I worked on my technique for the new NOGI curriculum with Ayisha, who kept telling me how heavy I had become. She meant it as a compliment, like I was getting better at using my weight and strength in an offensive way, but given all the food we had for supper, I wasn’t the most receptive. Almost everything we learnt was new, and she assured me one of them was definitely my choke to use in the future (if only I could remember which one it was), then we rolled together. I felt like she was taking it slow and being lazy with a lot of it, but not like when people are just sitting there waiting to let me do things, more like she just wasn’t really into it. Or maybe conserving her strength because she is competing this weekend. I mostly matched her pace and tried to get a few things, but was pretty sure I would be reproached for not going hard enough. Instead she told me I was getting stronger and really improving. So maybe rolling slower is okay as long as you never stop fighting.
On Friday I went to the lunch BJJ class where we were only 2 of us, so we did a bunch of drills and worked on something I thought I had, because I have been using it lately, but was missing so many steps that will hopefully make it a lot easier for me to achieve when rolling. We also discovered that when I try to move my hips in a certain direction, my brain sometimes has my body stay in place while my head moves and calls it a day. It was hilarious, but not very helpful for the technique. We rolled a few times and while I can now tell that he is always going easy on me, I do think I am getting better at making it not super super easy for him. At least a little.
I spent the rest of my day filming Ayisha, having a working lunch (we were that table where both people are on their phones and not speaking, but we accomplished sooo much) and filming a self tape for Dave. It’s intimidating, because he is usually my teacher, but it was also my first time seeing him act and I was really impressed. And I miss being a reader, so all of these self tapes are really making my week.
On Saturday I spent the day at the Jiu-Jitsu Nationals, where two of our students, and Ayisha, were competing. Everyone did amazing and fought really hard. I went back and forth between “I can do this. Maybe I’ll make it my goal to win bronze or silver…” and “I hope I don’t die…” when it comes to my tournament in July.
Once we were done there, Ayisha and I went back to the gym for open mat, where I got in a few rolls, trying to give people more of a run for their money than I used to, and Ayisha had me working on the things I needed to work on. Then we went out for ice cream, because…because ice cream!
“There is no losing in jiu-jitsu. You either win or you learn.”
“If you cannot win, make the enemy pay a steep price for victory.”