Drills and TAWC

I’m hoping you haven’t, but you may have noticed some weird things with the blog this past week. If you use the www.amandalynnpetrin.com link, it disappeared for a while and now either looks funny and is not secure, or you can’t reach it. Does anyone who reads this have a knack for websites? I will slowly but surely figure it out, but for now the blog lives at wordpress.com and my website is a work in progress. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

On Monday I finally got to catch up on all the things I have been putting off, like figuring out the blog, answering emails and applying to thrival jobs. I also watched the Oscars, and the red carpet, which is always interesting.


Monday was my first time back in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class since the 15th, and if I thought it would be an easy transition back into it, I was wrong. I expected the 7 o’clock class to be drills and situational rolling, like it usually is, but I was definitely looking forward to the 8 o’clock technique class, which did not come. You see, I probably forgot to mention that I signed up for the Next Gen Jiu-Jitsu tournament in Niagara Falls this Saturday. As one of the people who are competing, technique was replaced by drills for me. Guard passes, submissions from guard, armbars and escapes… Gözde and I made it interesting by counting in German.

I was recently warned that you shouldn’t roll and tell, but I feel like I skate over the jiu-jitsu in this blog, and it’s not like I’m naming names. So, my first roll of the night was against a guy, who has a little less experience than me, but still knows what he is doing. And, since I was one of the ones teaching him the moves when he got here, I think he takes it less easy on me (I am so terrible at figuring out when someone is taking it easy on me, so I could be wrong). Although I didn’t submit him, he didn’t manage to submit me either. Which I consider a win. But I’d have to pay attention to the points.

My second was with a blue belt who knows everything so he just found multiple ways to submit me and I tapped out constantly. Not that I have one in jiu-jitsu, but it’s good to keep the ego in check. My next two rounds were also people submitting me more than I should have, before I was paired with someone newer and younger, but also stronger. Luckily for me, he tries to use technique when he rolls with me, not his strength, so although he could have hustled and pummeled me, I ended up getting him with 2 chokes, then trying to nail an Americana when the bell rang. Even if it hadn’t though, there was no way he was letting me bend that arm. My last roll was with Arsen who used it as extra training for me, giving me tips and advice throughout. For instance, I lean too much on one side when I do things, which allows me to be swept. But I keep the half guard. So I thought I was good. Not the case.

 On Tuesday I helped out with an afterschool Jiu-Jitsu program. We had 4 students, 2 of them absolutely new, and every one of them killed it. It was exciting and inspiring to see them trying so hard and achieving their goals.

That night, we did drills again and trained for the competition. Ayisha realized that one of my biggest issues is that I am comfortable being on my back while rolling. I specifically chose to roll with the biggest guys when I was starting out, so I would get used to being on the bottom, with someone’s weight on top of me while I work to get out. However, she also realized that no one ever really puts all their weight on me. So, she told everyone that from now on, they need to crush me, with all their weight, until I understand that I don’t want to be on the bottom. People did go heavier, but Arsen, who Ayisha had singled out, made sure to put all his weight on me, crushing me so I couldn’t breathe. He says it hurt him more than it hurt me, but I’m not sure I believe him.


On Wednesday I had a training for standardized patient stuff, then again braved the snow for a TAWC meeting in the afternoon. It’s crazy to think that a year ago I was attending my first ever TAWC meeting, having only discovered the Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee during their workshop with Adrienne Mitchell at the ACTRA conference. Now I not only attend the meetings, I am actually spearheading our Content Development Sessions, where we bring amazingly talented people (mostly women) in to give workshops or talk on panels that will give ACTRA members the skills and the confidence to create their own work.  Love what we do and being a part of something I find incredible.

That night we had drills again, but after we finished with the regular drills, we started timed drills of the guard passes. Then went (almost) right into rolling. Most of my rolls were with Gözde, and I definitely rolled my eyes the third time I was put with her, but my coach was quick to point out that they kept putting us back together because there was something she wanted us to learn from each other, and we hadn’t figured it out yet.

On Thursday I was doing background outside, so I was freezing, but it was a really cool set to be on, and they did their best with blankets and hot shots and hot chocolate and tea and stuff. I got home and immediately had a humungus cup of tea, then signed up for another BJJ tournament, the Ontario Open, in May. No rest for the wicked, right?

Friday I tried to coordinate the April Content Development Session for TAWC while listening to interviews with Kathryn Hahn. I saw her on an actor’s roundtable and remembered how she used to always play the best friend, but now she has these really interesting characters and she’s killing it and I would love to have a career like hers. I also went to drop off some resumes in person, because internet applications can only do so much.

That night we trained super hard at BJJ. We did 50 minutes of timed drills, then got a nice water break before rolling. I may have taken advantage of the fact that there was a new guy who had only done 3 classes, which I felt bad for since we rolled twice, but I also tried to roll harder and not give in for my other matches as well.

When class was done we went over to McSorley’s for my first steak night in forever. Since I had just decided that I was going to see if I could make it into a lower weight category before the deadline, going out wasn’t my favorite idea, but I had a yummy salad with strips of steak and little button mushrooms in it.

Saturday flew by, with sleeping in more than we should have, cleaning and organizing, followed by takedown class and open mat. Ohenewa taught us an easy takedown we could use for the competition, then Arsen tried to teach me things during open mat. Hopefully it’s all registering somewhere in my brain.

Sunday was back to being a family day, where we went to eat at Arsen’s parents. So much delicious food that I mostly had to stay away from, though I did allow myself a taste. It sucks being far away from my family, especially when big things are going on, but it’s really nice to still have a family that will let me hang out with them.

“Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.”


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