So. Got kicked out of class. Again.
Slightly larger class than usual for Saturdays. No one is happy to see the kid who knocked out the girl. (I’ve decided to nickname him Cannonball here, mostly off of “loose cannon.” Easier that way, I think.) Everyone’s gunning for him. I have good guys.
Rolling to warmup. Will first. He was playing catch-and-release and sometimes with both hands tucked in his belt. I was just trying to move. Funny, I came to class prepared to tap a lot, to break that stupid mental block that’s been growing again, and then Will just wanted to play. He finally let me around his open guard so I could play some half guard, side control, and north/south. He even let me try some spider guard, though I couldn’t keep pressure well and he passed easily. Even remembered to break grips like Justin had shown me last week. Just flowing around. Kind of slow round, but still hard work.
Then Scott. He did catch a few so I could practice tapping. Again attempting to get around his open guard a lot. Wanted to ask him after class about that, but didn’t get the chance. Under side control and mount a few times. Did have one single-leg sweep when he let me have his leg, though got swept right away. Also tried some spider guard, though he would stand up and pass. Broke a few more grips, too; he nods when I do those right. Afterward, he said my pressure had been good and I’d been moving my hips well; he was having to use more weight to control me. Pace was also a little slower, but that’s also how Scott has always rolled with me so he can really focus on his technique.
Drilling. From half guard through x-guard to the back. Start in bottom half. Shrimp backwards a bit and hook the top leg inside their knee. Shoot under their other leg with your bottom arm; use the hook to elevate them a bit and come under to x-guard. If they stand at this point and you find yourself without the far ankle, then swim your front arm behind their near hamstring; pop your head through to the other side. Reach up with the other hand and grab their belt (or pants or whatever you can get), then bring the other hand up to grab, too. Transition your top foot (the one you hooked with) over to their other leg; this looks like a backwards butterfly guard. Pull down and/or back with your arms a little while kicking out with your shins on the backs of their knees. They fall on their butt in front of you; take the back.
I worked with Scott, which was amusing because his legs are long and mine are short. Scott had me pushing out wider when I kicked so that he didn’t land on my legs. Adam showed me that you can bring your foot behind their knees and push there for more leverage.
Up to this point, I’m fine. I’ve rolled with Will and Scott, and been beat on technique lots and lots. I’m still remembering that I need to tap when I’m in trouble instead of being stubborn and fighting. I’m remembering that I need to keep moving and need to get off the bottom.
I paired up with a guy I like to roll with for the next round. Tried to start with some spider guard/open guard of my own, since that’s where most of the guys start. He locked up an ankle and pulled me up by that leg. Causes problems. Have to figure out what to do now. Got dumped on my back and then passed.
And then Tim stopped us. Said you aren’t aggressive enough, stop being so emotional, need to push the pace, every time I look over you’re on the bottom, gotta fight to get off the bottom, not aggressive enough, need to attack more, didn’t give you that belt so you can just lay there, pull guard at least and work from there, too slow, not even shrimping, you’re better than that, you’re better than him, start over, go harder.
So we reset. I stayed on my knees, grabbed inside the collar and one sleeve, thinking to either drive forward and work a sweep, depending on what he did. He bulldozed me. Oh. Now I end up on the bottom. And got passed. He was controlling my hips and laying across my head and arms. Tried to bump, tried to bridge, tried to turn in, always my first thought now. No good. Trying to wedge my elbows back in; still no good.
Tim stopped us again. I couldn’t hear him because my partner was laying on my ear, with the other smashed to the mat. Again, didn’t give you that belt so you can lay there, you aren’t being aggressive, you’re always on the bottom, stop being so emotional. Start over.
We reset. Partner started in open guard. Great. A hand on either pant leg by the ankle; tried to pull his legs out a bit and pin them to pass. Couldn’t budge his legs. He grabbed a sleeve, kicked out my ankle, dragged me over. Turned in, shrimped; he let me get to guard. Tried to keep his posture down. No good. Tried to break his arms down. Still no good. Tried the scissor breakdown (turn in over one arm). He sprawled on both legs, wrapped them up in one arm, and passed. I heard Tim make a comment from the side, but I couldn’t hear the words.
Turned in and over, going for the single leg. He sprawled. Legs out of reach. He shot in for the D’Arce. Tried the switch: leg posted, arm posted. Head got ground into the mat. Leg came back in reach, though. Grabbed it. He sprawled again. Almost lost it, but kept fighting forward. Pulled it in and posted for the sweep. He sprawled again. Leg gone. Arm shot in again for D’Arce. This time he locked it in and rolled me. I fought the tap, though I knew it was rightfully his. Finally had to. Tim on the side again, telling me to stop giving up like that.
Now I really was upset and trying not to cry as I roll. I can’t do anything right. The rest of the roll is hazy. I tried to fight harder, to fight to top, to sweep, to calm down. Wasn’t tired, or at least didn’t feel it. Tried pulling guard again. The guy wrapped up both legs again. Tried to stay upright, push on his head, scissor my legs open to get them back. He swept me, easily and gently. He was feeling sorry for me, I could tell, but he had to keep pushing, too. He left a leg out, though, and I snagged that half guard. Immediately flattened. Trying to bump in, trying to wedge an underhook. He tried to pull me in for a D’Arce. Bumped back out. Wedged in the x-guard hook, wanting to lift and sweep though couldn’t quite remember the sweep. He passed. Bumped to my side. He was laying on my head and had both legs wrapped up with his arm. Tried using arms to brace and get some space. Nothing doing. Couldn’t free my legs, either. He finally tried moving; got my hips to chase and snag half guard. Flattened again.
There was more of me getting passed, and flattened, and sat on, and swept, but I don’t remember. Nothing I could do about any of it. Tried to shrimp, tried to bump, tried to roll. Couldn’t escape anything; he was tight, as he should be. He had other submission attempts; I tried to explode out of all of them; nothing else seemed as if it would satisfy. Tried to be more intense, more aggressive, even so far as imagining my last tournament rolls. And as far as I could tell, that’s the level I was at during this roll. Which apparently did nothing. Actually was a real emotional wreck by the end.
Time was finally called. Tim called me over. Told me to go get my stuff and go home. Said that whatever problems I’m having outside of class (there are none), I can’t bring them in to class; I have to come in ready to work, with a good attitude and energy (was completely fabulously great coming in this morning). Said I do this every class (I do not). Trying to defend myself, explain it’s none of that; said all the wrong things. He said he wasn’t the kind of coach to not tell you when you have a problem, just trying to make you all better. More about not giving me that belt so I could roll like that.
I know that, and I want to be better, and I do appreciate when he points things out. I just wish sometimes it wouldn’t come with such a guilt trip — that’s when I lose it.
But if I was giving what felt like my best for that one roll, and he says it’s not good enough, then I don’t know what to do.
I know I accept the bottom position easily, and I do want to work on that. I know my reversals need work.
Have I looked better in class? Yes, either with a soft new guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing or with an advanced guy who wanted to play at a fast pace. Then I feel as if I know jiu-jitsu. With any other guy who’s battling hard? No. Then it’s pressure, stay tight, defend.
Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe new blue belt girls are supposed to be able to own all the white belt boys, regardless of size and skill. (The one today should have gotten his blue before me, except he got injured and has been out.) Maybe I’ve been fooling myself and making excuses this whole time. Maybe I’m supposed to be gunning for everyone on every roll. Maybe I’m just a colossal screw-up of a jiu-jitsu player.
Maybe I should learn to knit instead.
Don’t mind me. I’m still upset and embarrassed at being kicked out again and a little angry. I’ll be okay by Monday and will be right back in class. I know, it sounds like I should take a break, and you’ll all recommend it, and part of me wants to — but another part of me is very afraid that if I don’t get back in there right away that I won’t go back at all.