Rest: It does a body good

I didn’t go to Open Mat last night. (On that note: that means I had to drive in rush hour traffic. Okay, small town, so it’s not too bad, but still — I’m convinced that most drivers are suicidal and/or homicidal. Geez, people…) One more night of resting. I was sore all day yesterday, though. Meh.

Went in this morning. Most of the guys have probably already left for Thanksgiving break; there are only a few of us who actually live and work here. So, small bunch.

Rolled with Andrew to warm up. I’m glad that I can add one more guy to the “Safe” list. (The other two who were hanging around are definitely not.) Working to feel, but I think I was still thinking too much about it. (Do I feel him moving yet? Now? Now? Silly fail.) Need to get “feeling” more tied to “reaction” on its own. Kept bungling a sweep that Justin and Will had pointed out on Thursday night, and instead let him pass every time. Finally figured it out, though, afterwards. (Leave the outside foot out; grab behind the elbow; then stretch and sweep.) But, was anticipating where things were leading, so had some decent moments of escaping ahead of time, or at least of having the escape ready. A couple of times in mount. I wanted the triangle, but he knew I wanted it and so was being diligent to keep both arms in front, and was keeping his elbows tight so I couldn’t find anything else. Somewhere in there, Justin was helping me with my half guard and side control. We went for a good 20 minutes or so until he tried a sweep that ended with him landing all his weight on my face. Ow.

Paused for a water break. I was actually waiting for him to come back, since the other guys were partnered up and rolling, but they shuffled around, Andrew went with someone else, and I ended up with Justin. (Yes, please.)

Forty-five minutes of awesome rolling time. Not that I was awesome, you understand of course, but it was a lot of fun and I learned and practiced a lot. He went slow mostly — with bursts of lightning speed and breakdancing when I seemed to get in a thinking rut, so that I could only move and react — and let me work, giving me positions and letting me work out of things. Pausing when I had a good position to see what I would do; sweeping me when I did something wrong, letting me advance when I did something right. He worked me through a whole lot of what they’ve been going over with me for the last two weeks. (That ankle lock again — argh! I saw it ahead of time a few times and got my foot back to safety. Missed it from some different setups, but he let me work through the escape.) The feeling seemed to be working a little better, though there’s still that delay on the reaction. Pooh. He also got me in funky positions from which I don’t know what to do, to force me to feel my way out of it. Afterwards, he said that was the best rolling I’d had in a while. Yay!

(Also, note to self: on that crucifix he let me try, gotta get my hips out from under him so that his shoulders and head fall in the hole. Else he can bridge over me, just like he did, and get out.)

Then we worked on side control to Big Poppa for a little bit. I’d been getting side control, and he’d told me last week to clear the inside arm and sit through, but I have trouble sitting through to scarf hold because the guys can just goose-neck their arm and freeze it in that position, and I can’t budge it. So I’ve been working (and did it on Andrew a lot) to drop my top hip on that arm to flatten it and then to lace over it with my shins. So, good. But the problem, as Justin pointed out, is that then I’m not doing anything substantial; I try for the far arm, but he’s defending with it too well. Plus, while he was just waiting to see what I would do, anyone in a tournament is going to be freaking out and bucking because I’ve trapped an arm.

So he showed me to lace with only the top leg, and then to attack the far arm as if I’m going to do a spin-around armbar or something else. Really attack that arm. When that arm comes up, their head comes up, too. (And it works even better if you go for the far-side kimura, because you can use your top arm to control the far arm.) In gi, use that same setup to go straight to the baseball bat choke.

Resting again tonight and tomorrow. Then I hope by Monday I can train for reals again. Though, with next week having Thanksgiving, there won’t be as many days to train. (And there will be food! Lots of real, yummy food! But I have to stay on weight. *le sigh* Who schedules a tournament a week after Thanksgiving?! ;))