Running out of jiu-jitsu

I have ended up teaching a couple more mornings (including today). I’m getting better at remembering the warm-up, at least. Though, I might already be scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of what I am actually capable of teaching at jiu-jitsu. What do I do when I roll? Er, whatever seems logical at the time…?

And because most of the morning class is white belts, I have to make sure I can articulate it in a way that they can replicate. Speak English? This early in the morning? Okay, guys, so you use your … knee? no… …elbow! This is your elbow.

I also finally made a playlist for the morning classes, which was extra good for this morning as the guy who I usually ask to DJ was not there. (There was also the one morning he played what we dubbed “The Wedding Mix” because it included I Want To Know What Love Is, which is a weird song to roll to.)

Saturday we had our first Open Mat since opening back up. There’s usually a lot of traffic in the area on Saturday mornings, so we wanted to give it some time. College students are back in town now, though (goodness, the traffic!), so Tim decided to test out having the class. Seemed to go well, and had a decent turn-out.

And I know all that because, crazy that I am, I was there for my 7th training session of the week o.0 (I haven’t done that in years!) We had a new lady trying out class last week, though, and she wanted to come in again on Saturday, so I went in to train with her. Thankfully it was just training with her, and not getting slobberknocked by all the guys, too. Sitting down after class was still a big mistake, though, as it took a lot to get moving again.


We always get folks moving to town and bringing their jiu-jitsu with them. I love it because it’s new games to learn from and new perspectives. There’s a new purple dude who is excellent fun to roll with and a blue belt guy who likes to invert. I was rolling with the purple belt a couple weeks ago, and when we finished he said, “So what guard do you like to play?” Me: “Um, er, uh, I play, um, kind of, er, …butterfly?” (And immediately realized I had not touched butterfly at all that round. Doh.) Then we crawled off to our next partners.

But that got me thinking. If a purple belt meeting my game for the first time cannot tell what kind of guard or game I like to play, what does that say about my game? It probably says that my game is all-over-the-place and doesn’t seem to have any purpose to it. Which… yeah, is what it is. I tend to wait on what my partner wants to play, then engage with that. The most “active” I am is in trying to stay safe with white belt boys; I want no part of them doing anything smashy to me, so I do not wait around on them and instead just shut them down as much as I can without hitting their hulk-smash button.

Now, though, I’m trying to go back to playing MY game. It’s butterfly and open and spider and some full guard. It’s the squirrelly, hook-heavy, flippy, spinny, armbarring stuff I used to do. I think I used to be semi-decent at those things, but I let them go and tried to learn new things (like half-guard, blergh — though it actually suddenly seems to finally be working recently) and tried to “work with” my partners, with the end result that I’ve become a hodgepodge of half-hearted techniques and no actual plan when I roll. But, back to working MY game, and then perhaps seeing if other things can fit in or branch off from there.

I’ve already had one encouragement that I might be back on track: I rolled with the same guy just last week, and this time he complimented my jiu-jitsu for being smooth and flowy and said it was fun to roll with me. Squee!!!

As for learning new things, I now have my personal computer sitting on the floor in my home office and playing the How to Beat the Bigger Stronger Opponent series. I’ve watched all of Emily’s two series before (gi and nogi), but I haven’t really watched Brandon Mullins’ series, so trying to see what I can pick up maybe.

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