Tai Chi and Flying Monkeys

The Art of Learning is about jiu-jitsu. It really is. He only thinks he’s writing about chess and tai chi. I’m in the part about tai chi Push Hands now, but it’s jiu-jitsu. (And invisible jiu-jitsu at that.) I had to go back and read some things several times, like his sparring sessions with the big ol’ beast Evan and how Evan used to beat the snot out of him until he worked out the small details. Also, he’s really huge on incremental learning (instead of the entite model, “good at X/bad at Y“); everything he talks about is mentioned as small changes, small details, over time, repeated. Eventually so many repeats might get it in my head.

Read the tai chi section right up until time to leave for class. For the first time in two weeks, I wanted more time!

Rolling. With Blue Belt Buddy to warm up, and he was doing some crazy monkey flip flying roll stuff, which often looked like I’d managed a big air-time sweep on him, but usually I’d barely touched him. I was giggling a lot during that roll because of the monkey stuff, and it was a long roll, too. I said something about it during drilling, and he said he was trying to “feel the sphere.” … … Um, okay then. I have no idea what that means…

Another round with James, who did not do any monkey stuff but rather pretzely twisty oozing things, only instead of him flying around every which way, I was.

Drilling was the same as last night, standing guard break and pass. Worked with Ray and with Blue Belt Buddy. Ray had to leave soon, so we let him drill first, and then we both got in some reps, and most under Will’s watchful eye, and he helped make sure the few reps we did get were better.

Rolling again. With Chase, the big little kid. Worked in to mount and made him escape it right and get on his side in half guard. He couldn’t get back to guard, though, so I finally pulled him in to my guard and reminded him of the break and pass from tonight.

One final round with Andrew. That round was very short, though, and I commented on that afterward; he said he’d keep going if I wanted, which I did, so we did. 20 – 30 minutes, maybe. My shoulders were trying to give out on me by the end, though — armbars and the like would generate a tap from the shoulder joint before the submission was really quite on.

I forgot one book in my reading list (doh), and I think I trailed off at the end of my February update and left some people thinking I was miserable. I’m not, actually. It’s not rainbows and kittens yet, but I’m not so miserable as I was (as I was making myself is probably accurate). Making the decisions I have hasn’t made everything instantly better — which is what I would prefer, because that’s easier and I want to get back to everything — but at least now I know where I am and what I need to do. Or have a better idea of it, anyway. My attitude and emotions are making small adjustments, and most days seem to be improvements over the day before. Sometimes I still catch myself saying or thinking really dumb stuff that reinforces the behavior I’m trying to get rid of, but at least I’m catching it and correcting it. My brain still has some crazy ideas and patterns that I’m working to rope in. It’s still not easy, and I feel like I’m out of my element and working very hard.

I was reading in The Art of Learning today (I told you, it’s about jiu-jitsu all along) about even world-class competitors needing to tear things down to basic components and rebuild even the central part of their game. I suppose this is in some way what I’m doing, only I have to do it to my brain and its thought patterns rather than my actual jiu-jitsu. (Although, that should be next on the list. One thing at a time.)

From Krista: Ask Dr. K: Tips for female grapplers. ROTFLOL at “keep your damn arms inside the vehicle!”

Upcoming tournament: State Line Grappling Championship 3 in Bristol, TN. Nogi only, modified US Grappling rules, and run by US Grappling. Divisions for kids, women, men, and men 35+. (I’m not competing, though; only maybe going down to watch and/or help.)

Upcoming seminar: Renzo! Here, at my academy. April 29th. (In conjunction with MMA fights on the 30th that my academy is also putting on.) I have no other details than that right now, though.

And, last but not least, there’s a new addition to the BJJ blogosphere: Aparna has finally started posting. (Though somehow I was already subscribed? How did I do that?!…)

Oh, and–! Late update: I had a meeting with the managers today about a new project at work. There should be lots for me to do soon to help set everything up, and then lots more once the new service is rolled out. And one of my missions, should I choose to accept it, is to write blog posts. I dunno, maybe I need some more experience in that first… 😉