Wohoo! Adam brought in an old tractor trailer tire, so we now can do fun things with tires again. Of course, that meant today had to start with that…
Some of the guys have been coming an hour early to spar since we don’t have MMA class right now. I usually show up just to watch or to keep time; I’m not missing stand-up yet. But since the boxing ring has been taken down and is currently over at the place where the tournament is being held — and we have a fun new toy — they decided to do crazy things with the tire and sledgehammer and Olympic bar instead.
I was just going to watch. But, no, no, that’s not allowed. This tire weighs less than the big tractor tire we used to have out back, so they know I can flip this one. They were warming up by flipping it all the way down the room and then back. So they had to have me do it, too. First flip, nearly knocked myself backwards — I was anticipating that it was as heavy as the previous tire, and it wasn’t, so I put way too much into the flip. Turned and looked at the guys and said, “It’s so light!” (It still weighs a freakin’ lot, though not as much as the tractor tire.) Because it’s lighter, though, the rule is that you have to flip faster. Grand. Still, down and back, and then I was nice and warmed up.
But we’re not done yet… We love circuits: 2 minutes pad work, tire flips down and back, 10 sledgehammers/side, 10 cleans. They had the Oly bar set up with 35s, and I can barely deadlift that, so cleans were out of the question. They all went and then looked at me. “You’re next, right?” Oh, fine. Adam held pads for me. He showed me how to do an overhand right — which somehow I’d never actually seen — and then had me throwing those. Whew, that’s some powerful punch! Me likes. 🙂 Adam had said before we started that I should just do the tire and sledgehammer and not worry about the cleans since it was too heavy. So I flipped the tire and then threw myself in to those sledgehammers because I’m done now, right? Nooo… Justin points to the Olympic bar, stripped of weight and waiting for me. Aw, guys, for me? You shouldn’t have. (No, really, you shouldn’t have.) Those cleans were so hard after the rest of it!
Arms were toast afterward. Couldn’t bend my arms. Thankfully, Will decided he wanted to try it, so I got to rest while he went. Then we started class. And we still went gi. Because we’re nuts.
Radford’s graduation is today; Tech’s is next week. The Radford guys have probably mostly left for the summer or at least a break, and the Tech guys are still studying for their last exams. So only 8 of us in class today.
Straight to rolling; definitely no point in doing any more to warm up. Started with Adam. Hey, it was almost as if someone knew some jiu-jitsu! He caught something, I forget what, and as we reset, he said that my hips were moving really well — I’d broken and passed his guard — but that I wasn’t getting the underhook as I passed and in other places, and that that was what had opened me up to whatever it was that he caught. (
Brain is so blank right now. Knee-bar. I remembered.) So started working on looking for and securing that underhook all over the place; had an overhook instead a few times. He let me work the pendulum sweep and let me work from top half guard a few times. Tried for the baseball choke a time or two and the gi D’Arce, though he wouldn’t hold still. He caught an armbar from mount at one point and had it extended so quick I couldn’t try the hitchhiker escape; later, though, he went for another one and I did manage the hitchhiker escape (remembered to let go of my own arm, too!) and he let me come up to the side to finish it. Also hit the hip-switch half-guard pass in there, for which I got a muffled, “Good!” Defended a few D’Arce attempts correctly, too.
That roll was 15-20 minutes. Drilling was guard breaks; nothing new, but lots of details and strategy and tips specific for each of us. Started with Justin and Adam talking about strategy in breaking guard and how to decide which break to use. They talked about what to do when guys are breaking down your posture in different ways and how to prevent that in the first place. Then they got in to some of the specific advice for each of us; I was told to work more standing passes, especially the knee-up one, while most of the guys were told not to use that one.
We partnered up — me with Will — to work any guard break we wanted to while Justin and Adam came around and showed up how to do them better. Will and I both tried to do every one we knew, and we tried to look for the things Justin and Adam had mentioned in our partner to help. Adam showed me an alternate way to do the knee-up pass, since I have trouble holding on to their arms as I do it because my torso + arms aren’t long enough, and Nick called over some advice, too. (Adam: once I’ve got my base, start working my hands down their gi, using grips as I go. Nick: reminded me of the swing-around that Tim showed to get the knee in place. Together, made for an easy guard break, even when Will was resisting a lot.) Adam also gave me some advice on my standing guard break, which I’ve had a lot of trouble with, though he also said that it’s not a good move for me to use in class most of the time because the guys’ arms are long and can still hook my legs.
Drilled for a good bit, and then one more roll. Also 15-20 minutes. Rolled with a guy who was working on keeping pressure. (He told me this afterward.) Which he did do, while I was smashed and stuck on the bottom. Sideways turtle a lot of the time while he held a wrestler’s cradle. Worked a lot of defense — elbows in, knees in, staying tight, guarding lapels — and feeling out where he was. Had a few moments where I could get my hips out, but they didn’t last long. Did turn over a few times and grab the single-leg, though couldn’t finish the sweep. Started to get frustrated since I could do nothing most of the time except lay there, but then reminded myself that I’d done the before-class conditioning and he hadn’t, and that was sufficient to mollify the voice in my head. (Yes, the voice is back and has been for several weeks. I’ve tried not to acknowledge it so that it doesn’t get the idea that it’s welcome, because it most assuredly is not.) And then he told me afterwards that he’d been doing all that on purpose.
After class, we tried to hit up the Italian buffet, but they didn’t have the buffet today because of Radford’s graduation. They won’t have it next week, either, for Tech’s. So we drove further in to Christiansburg and ate at Pizza Inn, which also has a buffet and which Adam has been trying to get us to go to for months. They have dessert pizza. Oooooo….
My friend and I talked, and we’re going to dinner/Star Trek tomorrow. Tonight I’m meeting the guys at the kickboxing tournament to see Big Tom fight. (Somehow the fact that he was fighting had never quite registered in my mind; I knew the tournament was this weekend, and I knew Big Tom was fighting, but the two thoughts never quite got connected. Am silly.)