Oh Monday, why you so mean?

A weekend of eating crap makes for an awful Monday morning.

Somehow prodded myself to class, though did have to turn around and go back for my belt, so was a little late. Only 3 of us, so Andrew had us start by rolling round-robin. Couple times through. So tired. Little over halfway through class, he came up a game in which he’d give each of us a secret move and that was the only thing that could win the round for us. Varied from “pass guard” to “armbar from mount”, from general concepts to specific applications. And he’d try to have the two moves work in opposition, e.g. passing guard vs. triangle, so that we both wanted to work from the same setup. And of course you didn’t know what your opponent had, so anything you gave up might be it, especially since getting to positions was also part of it. After a couple rounds of that, Andrew let me take a break (because I was a boneless puddle on the mat) and do the secret move assignments and watch them roll. A few more rounds later for me, too.

So tired. Walking slow. Thinking even slower. I nearly fell asleep driving home. This is no good… And then I got to work and have an early morning meeting. Ugga.

Friday morning, August 26, 2011

Chiropractor last night. My shoulders have been doing oh-so-much better recently, probably a combination of extra rest and better ergonomics at work. Of course, about 30 minutes before my appointment, they decided to act up. *le sigh*

This morning, only me, Andrew, and Ray. Started with 2-minute round robin rounds, two full rounds, to warm up. Ooo, my joints were not amenable to being twisted around. Then drilled passing half guard straight to americano. Drilled for a little while, and then one more round-robin set to finish up.

I’m sleepy. And it’s a gray, overcast day. My eyelids are trying to slide closed, and I’m fighting to keep them from doing just that, because I know that once they close, they won’t open again for a while, lol.


My office is 2.5 miles from the academy. Usually that takes me about 10 minutes, with traffic, and most of that concentrated in the research park where I work. Tonight, I left work at 5:10pm, as usual. I got to the academy at 5:40pm. There was an accident on one of the main roads — the one that I don’t take — and all traffic was diverted on to another main road… the one that I do take.

I was only a few minutes late. Most everyone else got stuck in traffic for over an hour because they were coming in on the diverted traffic, and that narrowed to 1 lane for a good portion. (And Andrew said the way he’d been coming, there had been another wreck, which he thought he’d avoid by going on the first main road, only to find — as soon as he was committed and stuck — that it was not moving, either.) So everyone who was trying to be on time for the Fundamentals class ended up making it just a little late for the regular class.

The VT students are back in town; classes started today. Radford will start next week. So the roads will be packed for a while until everyone gets what they need from the stores and gets settled in and remembers how to drive around here (slow, not Yankee crazy).

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

When I got there, only Tim, Chase, and Mark were there, the three of them having come from the opposite side of town and not the direction of the traffic. I told Tim about the traffic, though Mark already had an idea since he’s a cop and it had come over his scanner before he walked in.

The three of them were doing round-robin, 2-minute rounds, so I joined in. Got rounds with Mark, Tim, and Chase, and then again with Mark and Tim.

There was the end of class, but no one else was there yet, so we sat around and talked for a few minutes, and then got in one more round as a few guys started showing up. A whole lotta guys showed up eventually; just most of them were trapped in the traffic.


Some jogging and such since most of the guys weren’t warmed up. Then pushups, triangles, triangle + guard pass, backwards roll/pullthrough thingy, then that + guard pass. Then partnered up to work standing in guard. Worked with Bobby.

Then a guard pass-type drill. Went for timed reps, constantly switching sides. Worked with Bobby again. Then Tim had us switch partners and do it again, though for a shorter time. Worked with Rob.

Rolling. With Rob, Bobby, and Ray. Then another set of the previous drill, 10x/side, with Ray.

Failure is an option

Took a brain break at work yesterday and read through a past edition of the Harvard Business Review called “The Failure Issue.” The whole magazine was devoted to talking about failure, about learning from it, experiencing it, bouncing back from it, and more. Sure, it was mostly applied to business, but as everyone who does BJJ knows, jiu-jitsu is life. 😉

Things that I picked out: we’re too quick to condemn failure as “bad” even when we know we’re supposed to be learning from it, that the lessons we extract are usually about how not to fail at all the next time. When really we need to be seeing failure not as a bad thing, but as an acceptable (sure, not desirable) outcome. What did fail vs. what did actually succeed. Conversely, when something does succeed, is it an unqualified success or was it really a near-miss with a fair bit of luck? (If we don’t recognize that our success was actually a failure that just didn’t fail this time, then next time our success might fail, and then we’ll be stumped.) That we should see failure as local, as only related to this one thing, and not an inherent part of ourselves. (Heh. Hello, me.)

Fundamentals Class, BJJ

Small class. Warmup, then partnered up for 3-minute rounds of bump sweep. Worked with Bobby and Rob. Then 3-minute rounds of bump sweep followed by partner doing the scrape mount escape to half guard. Then 3-minute rounds of bump sweep with partner doing mount escape to half guard + Old School. (Hm, I seem to have missed something somehow. Well, at one point, different pairs were doing slightly different things, and there was an odd number so someone was sitting out. Sometimes me. All sorts of confused.) Finished off with armbars from the guard. My hips suddenly decided they were tired. Um, that’s bad.


Five of us tonight, so Tim had us do round-robin sparring all night, 2-minute rounds. Will went first; I started with him. That also left me as the last one in at the end. Rob, Will, Buddy, and Jon.

If nothing else, all the thoughts from the articles earlier helped me relax. I wasn’t anxious when I screwed up; I seemed quicker to move past mistakes and start moving to the next thing. So that’s something.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fundamentals Class

I wasn’t as late as I thought I would be, with having to pick up my car from the shop after work. (It needed a new battery. Bah.) Class was a little late starting, too, so that worked out well. Almost had all upper belts, but an equal number of white belts showed up at the last minute.

Started with armbars from the guard to warm up. Ugga, body and brain could not get it together for quite a while. Drilled with Sara. Then drilling was a continuation from there, if for some reason you can’t quite get that armbar locked up but you do have their arm. After drilling for a little bit, we did start adding a finish of some sort (chokes, mostly) at the end.


Rolling to warm up. With Tim.

Then drilled a sweep as a last-ditch effort when they’re passing your guard. We’ve done this before as they’re passing your butterfly guard; tonight was off a failed push-knee scissor sweep (i.e., they step over the bottom leg and hip down to start passing). So much of a timing thing. When you hit this one, you hit it good. When you screw it up even slightly, you know it.

Drilled with Sara again. Later in the drilling, we also added going to any kind of arm or choke finish (though I was still having plenty of problems with the sweep. Mostly timing.).

Then Tim split us into 3 groups of 3 for round-robin rounds. Two-minute rounds. With Sara and Trey. Not sure how many sets we did — three or four, maybe?

I’m off again tonight. Have a hair appointment, and then hopefully I can get to the email pile I have waiting for me! 😮 (For anyone who hasn’t heard back from me in a while, you’re on that list. Promise.)