Not that I didn’t already know.
Read The Nerd Handbook today. All the parts about needing to have a project and needing to know how things work — yeah, that’s why jiu-jitsu intrigues me so much. It’s a puzzle, and while it has consistent rules and methods and logic, I see a different face of the puzzle every night.
Last night, went to dinner with a friend. Then a stroll through the bookstore (I’m on the lookout for jiu-jitsu books I don’t have yet or new releases by my favorite authors — struck out on both) before ice cream.
Students are in exams, so there’s no telling if it will be a small class (everyone’s studying or taking an exam) or a huge class (everyone needs a break from studying). Tonight was huge and loaded with white belts; last night was apparently tiny, with 2 white belts and blues and purples. For a while there, we didn’t even think we’d have any advanced belts, but a crew of them rolled in just before class time.
Found out tonight that when Tim promoted Big Jesse to blue, he also promoted Big Tom. Tom hasn’t been to gi class since then, though, so I didn’t know. And while he was there, he wasn’t in class with us tonight, either; he was working with Perry because he’s fighting in the kickboxing tournament this weekend.
Rolling to warm up. Started with a decent white belt. Twenty-minute roll. And he was tired, so he was working slowly and concentrating on pressure and technique. Which is nice, because then I get to work the same in return instead of constantly defending my arms and neck from being ripped off by an overeager guy. Escaping fairly well early, though slowing down toward the end. Not in close enough to attempt anything resembling a submission of my own. In top half guard a couple of times, though couldn’t pass. He went for a gi choke once, and I got out of it and made a play to take his back. He went for it again later and I couldn’t get out that time; didn’t really see it, but looked like cramming both lapels in one hand and twisting. (Caught in that again later with another white belt; since these two were the only white belts in class last night, I’m guessing it was the technique from last night.) Tried many times to pass his open guard, but even going in smaller steps, never got around.
Drilling was knee-through guard pass to the same side (rather than opposite side, which we worked last week). Then after a while of that, we added a basic pass from side control to mount. Both are two of the first techniques I learned, but review always reminds me that I know them. Quite a few new guys tonight, so we drilled for a long while.
One of the new guys said a friend of his had been wanting to try out BJJ, and had asked this guy to go along, but then would come up with an excuse each night when they were supposed to go. So the guy finally decided to do it on his own. It’s not just girls who want a friend to come with them, apparently. (And one of the other new guys is the friend of a guy who started coming a few weeks ago.)
Rolling again. After the 20-minute round earlier, 6 minutes felt really short. With the first guy, couldn’t pass his guard either; mostly under side control anyway. Maybe I’m just too complacent once I get to my back. Then with the second, and he caught me in what seemed like the same choke the very first white belt had used earlier. Again not able to pass (or even come remotely close), and on the bottom a lot.
Last round, I got stuck with one of the “MMA” guys, who randomly showed up tonight. But I don’t like rolling with him because he hurts me — a lot — so I offered to take the timer from Justin, and he rolled with the guy instead. (And watching them, very glad I didn’t take that round.) I’m learning: sometimes it’s better to miss a round than to get beat up.
Baseline & progress: I haven’t forgotten. I still haven’t quite got a handle on what to include and where to start, though.