Jerks

BJJ, last night

It must have been “bring a friend to class” night, since nearly half the guys brought a buddy. A few new old guys, too, so it was a crowded mat.

Felt good in the warmup and was even beating the guys on some of the drills. Then we drilled basic triangle from guard (so many new guys). Then rolling.

I defended and moved fairly well and avoided most submissions. Again didn’t go for any submissions, but when they just power out of it or bench-press me off every time I go for something, I start to forget to go for that. Even used the triangle pass that we had drilled a defense against earlier. (Hey, I’ll take everything I can get!)

But overall it was a frustrating set of rolls. Three strong-arming guys. One kept kneeing me in the face and didn’t realize it. One just laid on me for most of the round. They all hurt me, but it was the same type of hurt I get every night from these guys. So while it hurts, I’m resigned to it.

And then the third guy tried to throw an ankle lock on me. We’ve never learned ankle locks in class. He rolled/shoved me one way and twisted my ankle the other way; that hurt enough for me to tap, but he shoved me again to roll me again and out of range of tapping and he continued to jerk on my ankle. I couldn’t reach him to tap so I had to holler, “Tap! Stop!” instead. Half the class stopped to see if I was okay.

He apologized profusely the rest of the night, and I know that he really didn’t mean to hurt me. But it still hurt. These guys try to overpower me for every submission instead of working to set it up correctly. And they can do it, but they hurt me in the process by jerking my limbs every which way, often going too deep (i.e., past the point I would have tapped at). My elbows and ankles, especially, have been injured many times before BJJ and I don’t want them hurt again, so I really will tap if you get me in a real submission.

4 thoughts on “Jerks

  1. Well that tends to happen when there’s no supervision around… It’s important to have a good teacher / coach that matches up proper pairs, in order for that not to happen.

    But even then, it’s no garantee when there’s people who are not from your gym, that they will behave properly (meaning not hurting their training partner).

    We usually have at least one person out “resting” and checking that no one is putting his partner in danger (rolling knee locks, compressions, cervicals, etc…), specially when there are new comers.

    Don’t give up though, like they say, what doesn’t hurt you, makes you stronger…

  2. You’ve mentioned frustration a few times now in the course of the blog. I could be wrong, but I get the impression that it might be because you’re focusing on submitting people rather than just developing your technique, going into sparring with a ‘win/lose’ mindset.

    I prefer to think of sparring in class as a laboratory, rather than a battlefield. I rarely go for submissions, as I’m much more interested in developing a solid defence, looking to improve bit by bit (e.g., hand and arm positioning, using my hips more, timing my bridging more carefully, etc). My thinking is that once I’ve got a good defence, I can then take more risks offensively, as I’ll have those defensive skills to fall back on should I mess up.

    That approach also helps when you’re regularly going up against bigger training partners. Normally, they’re going to get on top of you: perfect opportunity to work escapes. If you’re used to escaping from people larger and stronger than you, its going to be much simpler when you’re competing against opponents your own size.

    I babble about frustration at length here.

  3. Not really so much a “win/lose” mentality. I “lose” all the time to the more advanced technique guys, and I wouldn’t mind if they submitted me even more. It’s more that I just want a good roll where I’m not getting tossed around, smashed, and hurt.

    Much of the frustration comes from not being able to defend as well as I want to (should be able to?) because the guys just overpower my defense. I can hardly even work on any technique, defensive or offensive, because they just pin me down, grab an arm or my neck, and pull. The title of this post was supposed to refer to them jerking and jerking on my arm to pull it out for a kimura (except I forgot to include that bit!). So most of my rolls with these guys end up as me just trying not to get hurt, though even that usually doesn’t work.

    And I get frustrated when I know a technique but can’t pull it off. And when these guys don’t get the technique anywhere near right but still get a submission on me because whatever they did hurts so much. It just sometimes feels as if I’m spinning my wheels and not improving at all. And not improving, more than anything else, frustrates me.

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