Tim wasn’t at class tonight. I know, I’m being a non-confrontational sissy and am waiting for him to show up rather than scheduling an appointment with him. Baby steps, folks, baby steps. (This coming from the girl who has a near panic attack about answering the phone. I kid you not.)
Large class, even more than usual for Tuesday gi. All the regulars, plus most of the additions from last night. Academy was hot. (Temperature outside has been below freezing every morning this week.)
Warmup, not so great, but not as bad as usual. Maybe because there weren’t any alligators… Was actually not last on single leg/sprawl, but about 4 guys bailed on their last run. Only one run on squat jumps, though.
Then partnered up for two rounds of standup grip-fighting and -breaking. Oh, goody, more practice. Just trading grabbing deep grips and letting your partner break them. I worked with Steve for the first round; got some good back and forth. Then worked with Guillaume, so a lot of it was me coaching him how to break grips.
Then we worked an uchi mata fake to single-leg takedown. Justin taught me this one back in July. Step in and set up as if you were going to throw an uchi mata (which I really only have a vague notion of how to do — which is okay, because we’re not really throwing it here), even lifting the leg back to off-balance them. If they react by stepping back with their lifted leg, turn completely in to them and toward their front leg. The leg that was going to throw them circles around behind the calf of their front leg. Hands drop to control their waist. Now drop your weight down along their front leg to take them down.
Issues, issues. And dizziness. Phooey. I don’t think I ate or drank enough today. Usually have a protein shake before class, but couldn’t today because I was so worked up about talking to Tim… and then he didn’t even show. Guillaume was concerned about me, but I was okay, just needed an extra second to breathe deep after every rep.
Drilled for a long time. All parts of this need lots more work — the uchi mata setup and entry, the turning in, the coming down. Bah. Did not get it today. Will practice more.
Rolling finally. Started with Guillaume. Not dizzy, but for some reason suddenly very exhausted. Was not aggressive, I admit it. Did get to X-guard (wohoo!), though he mashed me down and I couldn’t get the sweep; came out the back instead, I think. He tried to catch me in a reverse triangle, only I’d seen Justin and Scott working a defense for that right before class; didn’t work as smoothly for me as it did for them — I had to rely more on patience — but he eventually toppled me over, at which point I got enough room to completely escape. Under turtle a fair bit and in his guard; couldn’t break the guard, though. Did hit two single-legs from under turtle, though didn’t maintain top for too long afterwards. Tried several switches from under turtle, too, but they did not work so good. He is very flexible and was playing a bit of inverted guard.
Then with Big Jesse. Who also wanted to play inverted guard. What happened to open guard? Silly boys. Whole round, felt like a little kitten being played with by a big cat. He was totally playing, but there’s also that side of, yeah, he could completely crush me if he wanted to. He caught a couple of triangles, one that I dropped myself in while trying the single-under pass and one that he caught after I escaped something else (very slick catch, too — I remember, I’d done a decent, though flawed, “scoop” escape from the back; didn’t get all the details right, though, and he had the triangle even as I turned in). Normally I try to fight for every second, but tonight decided, eh, just tap and keep rolling. Oh, okay. And no problems with it, either. Nearly had some real passes; don’t remember if one, I actually did or if he let me, but saw moments at side control and north/south before he flipped me over. I was trying to work to the top in all three of these last rounds, especially. Few and far between, though, except for half-guard; that was abundant.
Scott next. Asked before we started if he’d work open guard passes with me after class because I knew that’s where we were heading. Sure enough… Crawled in to half guard sometimes. I had a push off in butterfly from being totally flattened out (hey!), and I was even playing spider at one point. He stood up to break that, and I went for X-guard (whoa!). He sat down and back to negate it, but, hey, I got there for a millisecond. Squee! Scott tried the kimura from bottom half-guard; I locked up to counter with my own (found it — Jiu-Jitsu University, “14-0 Kimura Escape from Half Guard”), but he pulled his arm out. Not many sweeps for either of us, if I remember right (but I’m not remembering too well right now) except maybe when I off-balanced trying to pass half guard and he took me right over. He said it was good rolling. Okay, if you say so.
Buddy asked to roll with me next. More open guard passing attempts. Er, bleh. But he has a good open guard. Trying half-guard passes and getting swept again. Great, something else I need to work on. 😛 Under turtle a lot, and my legs would hardly support me. Hey, youse guys, I need you; no slacking. Tried pinching down on the arms he fed through and rolling; first few, not so good, but did eventually get to side control on one. Hey! There are moments when it almost seems as if I might have actually learned a thing or two. They fade quickly, but they were there. He had a slick turtle attack that got him my back and my neck neatly gift-wrapped for the choking; maybe some kind of Ezekiel or bow-and-arrow, I dunno. I left my leg out later, ripe to be kneebarred or ankle locked; he took it and tried to… and somehow my brain worked out the defense for it, the one Buddy and Justin had been working on a few weeks ago. Only, our legs were more tangled, so I couldn’t actually pull out, but I did manage to defend it. (Well, he could have just gripped it and ripped it, but he’s too nice to try that; if he can’t get it on me with pure technique, he won’t try it.) He also said it was good rolling.
After class, Scott and Buddy helped me with my open guard passes, both with specific passes and with strategy. For strategy, one was to get an upright knee in and between their legs, just like you do for a regular guard pass. For specifics, if you can’t pin their legs down with their pant leg because they just lift their legs or pull them in a bit, then actually let them start pulling their legs away and then follow their legs until your hips are in and keeping pressure on them. Then, when they try to push out, as they invariably will, take their legs to one side and let their momentum do the work for you. Oooo. Nice. Me likes.
Also, I complained that I don’t weigh enough to get pressure on that pin to hold them down. Scott pointed out that I was keeping my weight back on my heels. He also let me practice that correctly against resistance, and oh, hey, there is enough weight there. Hrrrmm. Okay. Will fix, too.
Good class. Tomorrow off, back Thursday.