- Faster/more intense/more aggressive
- Play with the gi
All the previous goals, I still look at them, but I’m really trying to work these right now.
No pre-class Couture tonight. Maybe because there were too many people hanging around; hard to get anything like that in when there are a lot of people. But, I do need to work out something like that for before class; I feel slow and soft and wimpy.
Warmup was a little different. Around the mat drills, then we circled up for mountain climbers interspersed with pushups, and then a few partner drills. First one, your partner is on his hands and knees; you put your hands on his shoulder blades and jump from side to side. Second, reverse sit-ups; lay down, hip to hip, heads in opposite directions, and link your hands by going under the other person’s legs (they do the same under yours); thrust your hips up and over to the other side. Then a dragging drill for grips. I had partnered with a slightly heavier guy than I should have, so that was harder for me. I still did it with him, but Justin had to help me on the way back. Meh. See? Wimpy.
Drilling was the flip that Justin did on me last week. Then we added the clock choke.
We drilled the sweep first for a while, then worked the clock choke, and then put them together. I got in with new Adam for drilling, since he really is the smallest guy in the class and he had been stuck with a larger guy for the grip drags, too. The sweep looked complicated, but it was actually pretty easy to do. And it’s ridiculously fun, too. We noticed that putting your weight on their shoulder before you start moving is muy importante to making sure that choke stays tight.
Then a few rounds of rolling. Started with Buddy #1, the blue belt and former wrestler. He was going for spider guard and trying to work sweeps from there, so I was standing up and grabbing his pants. He started switching from side to side, working me forward and backward, and would finally dive for one of my ankles. He hit that a couple of times, followed by sweeps and all sorts of stuff. And then I realized that he had to let go of my sleeve to go for my ankle, so I started baiting him to go for that ankle so I could pass his spider guard. And then he figured out that I was baiting him, so he went to trying to break me down without letting go. But until he figured it out, I actually had a few passes to side control that were semi-decent. Of course, he was right back to guard or butterfly in a hurry, and I couldn’t do much about that. With his butterfly guard, he was floating me up a lot, and I got nothing up there. After he realized I was baiting him to go for my ankle, he baited me by going for my ankle and then switching to X-guard and sweeping me, and then working toward armbar from mount. I managed to defend the first one — pushed the leg over my face back and got my head over that leg so I could turn in — but a few sweeps later and he hit another one and I had no counter. Somewhere in there, I did drop to try the technique from class, but he saw it coming and got away. I was remembering to go faster on counters and to go harder/not give up so easily on everything, and I felt as if I was doing fairly well through most of the roll. Afterward, he said that had been a really good roll. Yay, gold star!
Next with my partner from the warmups. He started at another school and then moved here. He’s not really one of the muscling guys because he isn’t that strong, but he tries to roll like them. Working on figuring out his game. At one point, he tried to ankle lock me. He’s tried it before when I’ve rolled with him, but I’ve been in good positions those times and could get my leg out of the way (again, he’s not very strong), so I never said anything about leg/ankle locks not being allowed for white belts here. This time, though, we’d been in a bit of a scramble, and from where we’d ended I couldn’t both escape and defend an ankle lock that I don’t even know how to defend. So this time I stopped him and mentioned that ankle/leg locks weren’t allowed for white belts. He seemed surprised; I said he could double-check with the instructors, but that we don’t learn leg/ankle locks at white belt. A few times later, I’d start for, say, an armbar from guard, and he would completely blow out of it and dive backwards so we’d have to restart. Basically any position I got to well or anytime I might start something that resembled the start of a submission, he’d suddenly blow out of it and back off. Seemed odd to me. Right at the end of the round, I did go for and hit the spider-guard with knees sweep from last week that I’d had trouble with then.
Last round. Seemed to go on forever. Meh. As Adam said later, it was one of those rounds you want to turn it into an MMA round. My partner pretty much did, too. He’s one of the newer guys; comes a day or two a week. Smaller guy, though, so I should be able to at least move around. I don’t remember much except for the elbows. He was throwing elbows left and right — not on purpose, I’m sure, as he seems like a nice enough guy, but nearly every one of them connecting with my face. Instead of forearm-on-throat pressure, I got a rapidly-descending elbow that then stayed in my throat. I was mostly holding him in guard, and if I tried to sweep or move, I got elbowed again. He tried for a kimura once, except, instead of my wrist, he grabbed my fingers and was bending them backwards. Somehow got away from that. For a while, I was just trying to protect my face and waiting for the round to finish.
Adam and Justin were on the sideline during this round and were calling out helpful instructions for me (they didn’t see any of the elbows or other stuff, though); I really wanted to do what they were saying, but I was getting elbowed so much and the guy was also listening to them and blocking before I could get anything off. I did reverse him finally, though: I think he’d passed my guard, and Adam had told me to turtle, which I did — and then I got punched in the face while he tried to attack my neck — and then they told me to get to guard. How the blazes do I get to guard from turtle?! Do I even know anything from down here? Wait, yes: one sweep. Went for it and somewhat hit it, and then ended up in his guard. Which consisted of him holding me down and me trying to posture. I hate being such a wimp. =K Finally got up and started working on breaking his guard; he dropped one leg over both my arms. Adam and Justin were telling me to pass, but I couldn’t break the grip he had taken on my sleeves; when I’d try to pass, he’d get back to full guard.
And then the third time, as I tried to pass and his leg was across my arms and he was moving back to guard, he kicked me square between the eyes. Hard. I was seeing stars and trying to just get away from him, but he was still moving and trying to drag me in. (Most annoyed about: he never noticed that his elbows were flying into my face, and after he kicked me, he had no idea what he’d done. Aw, c’mon, you had to feel something.) Tried not to be too loud, but said “Stop” a couple of times, which he didn’t seem to hear. Finally yelled it and he let go. Rolled back to the fetal position and covered my face. One: owwwwww!!! Two: I will not knock his head in. I will not knock his head in. I will not–. Justin and Adam were across the mat in half a second to make sure I was alright.
They asked me afterward about the rest of the roll, and I told them about the elbows. That’s when Adam said that that’s the kind of round where you want it to be an MMA round so you could can “fix” the problem. I said that I’d seriously considered it.
I know errant elbows and knees happen while rolling; I sometimes drop them, and even Justin, Adam, and Tim have whacked me in the face a few times. But we always realize that we did and at least pause to make sure we didn’t bust someone’s face open. Because after you bop someone in the face, they’re not always able to contine, especially if you busted a nose or split a lip, both of which have happened in class. A quick “You okay?” lets your partner respond with *blink* *blink* “Yeah,” and the round continues. It’s BJJ class, not MMA ground ‘n’ pound. Half a second isn’t the end of the world. Maybe I’m just extra crabby because I hadn’t been smacked in the face by someone who didn’t notice for a few months now.
Anyway, did have a decent round with Buddy #1. I’m holding on to that. I at least did something right. And hit the sweep I couldn’t get last week; that’s something too. So two gold stars. Make it three because I didn’t throw any punches, even though I really, really wanted to.