Had my post title all ready to go, and then slideyfoot mentioned that I talk a lot about being frustrated. Doh. So I had to think about what expectations I have that keep being thwarted in class:
I want to be as good as our blue & purple belts are now, able to throw nearly anything they want whenever they want, all technique, who know they can submit you whenever they want so they don’t and instead they just let you work. … … Well… that explains that. I’ve only been doing this for five and a half months; they’ve been doing it for 2-6 years. Slight experience difference. So my expectations there, about how good I think I should be now, are possibly set just a bit too high for what I’m probably able to accomplish given my current experience.
I know that technique can trump brute strength, but I haven’t been able to do it. I just get smashed down and cranked around by the newer guys. I think, This should work, but then it doesn’t. I do assume that the problem is first of all mine: wasn’t tight enough, wasn’t quite in position, wasn’t fast enough. And I try to fix it, but then I still can’t get it to work. So I expect that I should be able to do the techniques I’ve learned, especially on new guys. Somewhere in there, too, is the expectation that all my rolls will be like my rolls with the blues and purples, but then most of my rolls are with the new guys. … … So I’m expecting new guys to roll like the advanced belts… Yeah, about that…
So it seems I’m measuring my expectations of what I should be able to do against the guys who have done this for years and against the guys who don’t want to play the technique game and just want to smash. It’s no surprise that I’m frustrated — me being like the purple belts right now or me overcoming the other guys’ strength advantage or the new guys knowing how to roll without hurting me, none is a reasonable expectation at the moment.
Seems I need new expectations…
Everyone had a gi tonight. Several of the guys had to buy their gis right before class, but they had them. Medium-ish size class; about half the class is actually with the judo class that’s after ours, but their instructor wasn’t going to be there tonight so they came early and joined us. Which meant lots of new guys.
Warmup was good. Actually harder than last night’s advanced class warmup, which gassed me, but I was nailing this one. Until we got to partner drills that involved picking up your partner. I tried for Justin, but someone else had him first, so I went with the next-smallest guy I could find… who was quite a big jump. (Why don’t we have more small guys??) Couldn’t lift him at all, though. Could drag him for the second drill, a grip drill. Grab your partner’s lapels and haul him to the end of the mat, then drag him back. Third drill was pullups on their lapels; they stood over you, you reached up for a deep cross grip, and then you did pullups. He nearly dragged me down on his turn, though!
Then some knee-on-belly drills and eventually a choke that turns into an armbar from there. Then we rolled. We had our 3 regular purple belts (Adam, Justin, and Nick) and then a ton of new white belts. Yay, fun for me. (If fun = knees/elbows to the face without an apology… Seriously, though, if you knock someone in the face, say you’re sorry. Acknowledge that you know you accidently hurt them. Takes no time and keeps their annoyance level with you down. You don’t have to stop; just mumble “Sorry” and keep going.) I kept trying to get in with the purple belts, but Tim was pairing them with the judo guys.
So lots of smashing on me for a few rounds. My last roll was with a new guy. It’s his second night. His first night was about 3 months ago. So… At some point, he started trying to “teach” me the armbar from guard. Except it wasn’t right. I was trying to do it right because I’d had problems with it in the previous roll. He kept “correcting” me, finally going so far as to move my arms and legs where he thought they should be. Which did two things: 1) put him in a great position to pass my guard and 2) put me in a fabulous position to side kick him in the face. I resisted #2, but just barely.
Very much cranky at the end of the night, so I was very glad to see the end of class and run away to TKD. Played the Name Game with the beginners, since there are a bunch of them, and then taught random things to the next two classes. Waiting on my gi to get through the wash now. It’s not something that you can leave until tomorrow…