The gremlin inside

College is a great time for learning lessons. For example, if you come to morning BJJ while hungover, you might spend the rest of the day puking your guts out. I am glad I learned these lessons 10+ years ago (and mostly from watching my friends make really dumb decisions).

My hips have been giving me issues this week. I think maybe I have a gremlin or something running around inside my innards and picking joints to harass. (I’m sure there’s an appropriate sci-fi creature, but right now I can’t think of it.) So my left hip today has been iffy on whether it would support me when I stood up or walked. Lovely… Although at this very moment, the hip seems fine, but my right knee is doing the same thing.

Fundamentals Class, nogi

Short warmup. Then we each grabbed a UFC ground-‘n’-pound bag from the corner (courtesy of the other folka) and dragged them out on the mat. Andrew said he didn’t want us to kill anyone’s ribs tonight. (Might have also been considering that the 280-lb dude was back tonight, and I think the rest of us combined scarcely weighed that much.)

Two timed rounds of going from side control to knee-on-belly, switching KoB, then dropping back down to side control. (P.S. That sucked.)

Drilling was taking mount from side control. First, going straight over. Second, turning towards their feet and sneaking your leg across. Drilled for the rest of the class.

Open Mat

Was paired up with a new guy. Not too much bigger than me (which could mean up to 30lbs bigger, though I think not quite that big). I steeled myself to be intense and ready to go, and it was a good thing, too, as he was immediately squirrelly and bouncey. Maybe has some wrestling: he played an aggressive top game and tried a lot to run around my guard; also some diving forward to one side or another. So my game was quickly one of getting hooks and chasing his hips, and squirming around to his back when he exposed it. After a couple minutes of me frustrating his guard passes, he paused to remark that my guard was giving him so much trouble and that he couldn’t pass. (And he used the words “guard” and “pass”, so I realized that he had actually trained BJJ somewhere before.)

Eventually he overcommitted and gave me his back. Lost it, got it again, lost it again, finally got it again and this time managed to trap his arms with my feet and finish the choke. He grinned broadly after he tapped, and we talked for a few moments. He said he has trained since 2006 at a school a few towns over that primarily teaches TKD but had some grappling. The instructor recently moved to Florida, though, so he’s been looking around for a new place around here, and is excited to have found us. (Also, our Friday class corresponds to his daughter’s gymnastics class, so it works out.)

We went again for another few minutes, pretty much a repeat of the first.

Then I rolled with Honey Badger-apparelled Jamie, who also has the claim to fame of getting to roll with Marcelo Garcia over the holidays. And Jamie destroyed any notion that I might have known anything about jiu-jitsu. Doh. (Personally, I’m going to make the excuse that it was the sheer awesome of the Honey Badger combined with lingering fairy dust from Marcelo. Yeah, that’s it.)

So I got a brief “Holy cats, I know some jiu-jitsu!”, followed by a “Holy carp, I don’t know anything!” Ah, well, that’s how it goes.

Awesome weekend ahead — driving up to Richmond for Open Mat in the morning, then a US Grappling referee seminar on Sunday. I’ll be at the latter to provide shenanigans.

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