Went to Open Mat last night. Got there early since I hit 40 billable hrs sometime on Thursday (thanks, road trip). A few guys showed up eventually. I rolled with Nick for about 30 minutes. Made bunches of silly mistakes — I know to keep my elbows in, to keep my head on the outside, and all that — and he’d catch whatever was available (D’Arce, armbar, kimura, guillotine, triangle, RNC). Did have one triangle escape. Tried the guillotine escape from last night, but my arms aren’t long enough to get far enough over his back to prevent him from arching.
Changed and headed over to TKD. Did get lots of reaction from the TKD kids’ parents with my shiny new belt; most of them assumed I just did BJJ and didn’t realize I already have a black belt in TKD. (I admit it, I wore the belt out on purpose just to see if I’d get a reaction.)
We had 1/3 of one of the gyms, divided by a huge curtain. But it was so loud! Basketball and indoor soccer games going on at the same time. More incentive for the testers to yell louder, though. And a very cool echo when they all yelled together. I was late getting there, but still made it during the first group’s test. We had the space until 11:45 pm, and we took every second of that.
They looked good, and I was glad to see so many of the gold belts from last semester coming back.
There were two black belt candidates. I came in as a fourth for the first one’s sparring. (We do one 4-minute round, with a new person joining every minute. So the final minute, you’re fighting 4 people. You get surrounded and overwhelmed. You can handle 3 surprisingly well — keep them all in front and pivot toward one side. But that fourth can get around the back and cause trouble. Second degree test, there’s two of those rounds.)
I was timekeeper for the other round. The guy was knocked down and almost looked like he was going to pull out. (He has this habit of getting hit with what he thinks is too much contact [sorry, dude, contact for this test is heavy] or in an illegal area [oh, yeah, sorry, we do miss sometimes] and then looking at the instructor/examiner as if to say, “Did you see that? Aren’t you going to stop it?” When he did that this time, he got drilled by Battle’s side kick. And Battle wasn’t playing too nice because the guy had been grabbing the gi of one of the other black belts — which isn’t allowed — and then pulling her around as a shield. Do illegal things, we might not stop it, but we will hit you harder.) The time: 3:59.16. Fourteen one-hundredths of a second between him and his black belt, and he nearly pulled out. We didn’t tell him the time; we just waited. He did continue, though with a little limping fanfare. I should’ve asked if the examiner wanted more time but didn’t think of it until later. So they reset, said “Go!”, and almost immediately I was saying “Time!”
Cinder block breaking was excellent, though. Both of them broke with their downward palm heel, and then the first guy broke it with his side kick, which no one has been able to do for over 10 years. (Part of it is the set up: two people hold the block, pushing forward on it only. Two people hold up those people’s hands; these are actually supporting the weight of the block. Two people brace the block holders. So there’s a lot of give behind the block.) His first two kicks nearly knocked me over, and I was one of the bracers. His third kick, I didn’t feel anything — and couldn’t see anything — so I didn’t even know he’d kicked until everyone started yelling.
Home after midnight; shower and bed. Off to watch my guys spar this morning and then class afterward.