Last night there was a new menina in class (that’s girl in portuguese..i think ) and we drilled shrimps, shooting drills, escapes, a few submissions, and we both got a lesson on break falls (mine are god awful). She was extremely nice, very athletic and picked up on everything quickly. She said early in class that she was more interested in the art for the self-defense aspect. I could tell that she was uncomfortable with many of the positions so I opted out of the triangle drills. I’m really hoping that she comes back. Here I am a journalist that’s been across the world, worked with hundreds of people yet I was having a difficult time trying to articulate just exactly what jiujitsu is and how we rolled. I quickly found myself tongue-tied, dishevelled so I just shut my mouth and started rolling. I rolled with a few people to give her an idea of what ultimately happens in class and once I saw her face begin to cringe I informed her that I didn’t roll until a month after I’d been training because I too was uncomfortable so she doesn’t have to until she feels comfortable.
All in all last night was a lot of fun and I’m glad that Tuesday is now open mat. I think that having an informal class helped me ease into wanting roll last night.
After i showed menina a few things I rolled a bunch with a new guy, we’ll call him Good Sport, a few bouts with shannon, and then another few with bryce. Joshy poo was there that night but it was mostly tying up some loose ends, decorating, and making the gym look like our gym.
Good Sport has been just that, a good sport. From what i understand he’s trained off and on a few years at other gyms and has even fought one of our guys at one of the amateur MMA shows. I’m glad he’s showed up because he seems anxious to improve and he keeps rolling with me even though the first few times we rolled i felt like a bully. He has a bad habit of leaving in his right arm in guard and I’ll catch him in a triangle a few times. So now i’m trying to make him more aware of it by locking it up just to remind him to keep what we like to call T-Rex arms . This exchange has also helped me with my hip movement and scooping the leg to finish or seek out ways to transition to other things. Whether he’s realized it or not he’s helped me too. One weakness i didn’t even realize I had was my being prone to being caught in funky headlocks and not reacting fast enough. At one point he got close with one of his head and arm chokes and afterward he said something to the effect of, ”Man that’s the first time I’ve gotten close to tapping you, i think we’re like 8-1.” I tried to explain to him to not take it so personally (although it’s inevitable with all of us) at first it seems like we’re always getting smashed, then for a while you don’t get smashed so bad, until finally you’re the one doing the smashing. I advised him to stop keeping count, it’ll only make him feel bad and that’s not what class is about, it’s about seeing where your holes are, realizing your strengths, and everything in between.
Until thursday…it’s gi night!!
*I tried to focus on: leg control from half guard, tried to execute the half guard sweeps from monday night and happened to get shannon in the exact position joe showed and i DREW A BLANK UGGGGGHHHHHHH. It was awful yet hilarious at the same time i was so excited that i recognized the opportunity and then nothing. A total brain fart, and it was funky. Luckily shannon remembered and helped to walk me through it. Ughh brain don’t fail me next time.
* I feel more comfortable: doing no gi lately, i’m glad we got our no gi class back i’m not so preoccupied with not having pants and sleeves and collars to grip i’m starting to adjust to sweaty armpits and rashguards.