September has been both an up and a down month. This post more closely follows my two-year blue report rather than last month’s progress report because in that blue belt report I vowed that I would start going with more intensity while rolling and would try not to play into someone else’s game just to be a nice training partner. I would say that both of those have been more successful than not. There are still times when I forget and fall back in to that old thinking and start adapting myself to my opponent again, but I’m getting better about recognizing that and then starting to change it.
Soon after I started really focusing on rolling my way instead of my partner’s way, one of my training partners told me that the last roll we’d had had been the best roll he’s ever had with me. And another has recently said that, though he really tries not to use muscle on me (and I’ve always been able to tell that he’s trying not to), I’m giving him enough trouble at times that he actually has to use muscle to finish a sweep or pass or whatever. (Never submissions, though; again, I can tell.) Both comments came from blues with plenty of training under their belts and who I like as training partners. So, that’s something.
But I’ve also been reminded several times — and all in very concrete ways — that I still pretty much know nothing. I’ve had rolls with a steady “this is how purple belt should feel,” and in reply I grappled about as well as mashed potatoes. And rolls in which it was fairly obvious that my partner was bored and/or did not even really want to be there.
As far as creating my own game, still haven’t gotten around to that, now that football season has started and has cut in to my weekend time 😛