So there are nights like last night when everyone works you over, when nothing you do works, and when you seriously start to question why you’re doing this. And there are nights like tonight when you feel as if you could take on anyone and work them over.
Smaller class. The warmups have a new wrinkle — pushups, squat jumps, knees-to-chest jumps, and more interspersed in the jogging part (although, we do stop to do those!). Three laps of bear crawls tonight, too, with some of those mixed in. Toward the end of the warmup, not breathing well, so only 1 run on alligators and 2 on inchworms (of 3); 1 each on forward and backward rolls, but those make me so dizzy, I usually can only do 1 of each anyway. I did, however, feel much faster on some of the drills, particularly on shrimping.
Two rounds of rolling. First with a newer guy. He pinned my feet down and passed to side control… and stayed there for 90% of the round. Not much pressure down, but not much space for me to move. Tried waiting for him to pass to North/South or mount, but he didn’t; he just hung out in side control. Seriously?? He did eventually get North/South and ripped my arm out for the kimura. Reset, and he went back to side control. Ugh. So boring.
Next round with the brand-new guy Will and I drilled with last night. He was muscling but… I could counter it. Whoa. Whole round was rather surreal. Got to mount early (I muscled a bump sweep; I admit it); he pushed straight up with his arms because he doesn’t know any better; switched around easy and quick for the armbar, though it was loose and sloppy. Didn’t even have his arm locked in and he tapped and said, “You got it.” We sat up to reset and I told him not to give up on that so easily, even if he doesn’t know exactly what to do. Reset. Ended up passing to his back and trying for the RNC, but he could just pull my arms off; couldn’t get his arm with my foot to pull it down. (Justin and Adam were on the side giving me directions — everything from here on was with their help.) Switched to mount, and again he extended his arms. Spun for the armbar, deep and tight this time, but couldn’t get under his arm (he did do as I’d said and was trying to work out of it instead of giving up). Transition back to mount, pressure down; arms extended again, so attacked it again. Did that several times; he was grabbing his hand or trying to get under my leg that was over his head and I couldn’t shoot my arm through enough to get the arm. In coming back to mount, was also looking to wedge in a triangle, though couldn’t get it.
He sat up afterward, eyes wide, and said, “You were killing me with technique!” I said, “That’s all I’ve got. I can’t be as strong, so I have to use technique.” Scotty and I did tell the guy not to extend his arms when he’s mounted and to keep his elbows in. Justin came over and showed me how to an alternative way to finish the RNC and also what I needed to do to get that arm. So I’ll hear his voice in my head the next time I’m going for either of those.
Drilling next, armdrag from butterfly to back mount. For when they’re further away in your butterfly guard, not trying to smash you down. Grip the near wrist with one hand; reach across and behind the triceps of that same arm. Pull the foot on that side out. Push across on the wrist while pulling through on the triceps and switching your hips out to the side as your foot is on. As they slide past, drop your weight on their near shoulder. Keep the grip on their triceps. Come up to your knee. The knee that’s still hooked turns out, past their knee. If their posture isn’t broken down as much as you want, pull on that triceps again. Grab their far-side lat with your free hand; bring your free leg up and around and in. Get that hook in; get over/under. Finish the RNC there, or roll them over their shoulder and finish there.
Drilled with the new guy.
More rolling. Started with Buddy #1. And didn’t do badly. Did almost good. Got away from a few things, and got to half guard when he tried the armdrag from class.
Then had to roll with the same stalling new guy. W#$*T%Q&%*(*^Q. Yeah, that about sums it up. Right at the beginning, I’d kept him in my guard and was working decently well; got him in a bad spot and was starting to work for a triangle. He stops and says, “Oh, we’re near the edge. Let’s move back.” We had at least a foot, which is plenty of space to keep working. Urgh. He tried the north/south kimura again but I defended it and got away. He said, “Wow, you’re really wiggly.” I think that was supposed to be a compliment. Anyway, very annoyed with this guy.
Next with Clifton. He sat down and said, “You look mad.” Made sure the last guy was out of hearing range and whispered, “I don’t like rolling with that guy. He sits in side control the whole time.” Clifton said the guy had done that with him earlier, too. We both shook our heads and started rolling. And we were all over the place. Somehow ended up on top. He locked up half guard while I went for the D’Arce. Started to drive my arm under his arm and then under his head, and then remembered that my arms are short and probably can’t finish that; passed over his arm and went straight under his head for the no-arm D’Arce. Locked it up and actually finished it! *insert gaping mouth* I don’t think I’ve really finished anything in months. Clifton’s great; he sat up and said, “That was really tight. Good job!” Reset, and he caught a triangle (though he complained after that my shoulders and neck are too small and he has a hard time locking it up). Then done.
Climbing after. I have purple toes again. More tired after class than I realized, though, and didn’t really do all that much. Felt stronger on the beginning of the Orange route, but still couldn’t get that corner.
Had to get a new mouthpiece. I keep chewing pieces off mine. 😮 New one is neon pink. Am not the biggest fan of pink. In fact, that’s the last color I’d pick for anything. But it was the only one in a kids’ size that they had. Adult sizes stick out past my front teeth!
So, I have up days and I have down days. And I was sure this morning that my down days were more common than my up days. So I went back over the last 60 days of training as listed here in my blog, both BJJ and MMA, and rated each as a -1, 0, or +1. (0 was for days that weren’t bad but weren’t so good, either.) And — further proof that I’m still a geek — I graphed the results not once but twice, once as they were rated and once as a growing total. Just to see. I thought I’d prove that I was getting worse not better.
Wait, what? It’s going up. There are more neutral and positive days than bad days. (And, I’ll admit, I was probably harsher on myself than I could/should have been and probably downgraded several +1s to 0s.) And while there are times when the negative days all lump together and spike the whole thing downward, it fights its way right back up. Seriously? And the linear trend line goes up — up, I tell you.
*snort* Tim and the guys say I’m getting better, and I have a hard time believing them. I make two silly little graphs, though, and suddenly I believe it might be possible.
Still haven’t heard back about the job I interviewed for last week…