My arm is better and I couldn't stand staying home another day :-))
We had a relatively easy class. A a senior guy took us two 3-stripers through the 4-stripe syllabus stuff. 3 armlock escapes as well as an escape from side control, escape from mount, escape from knee ride, pass half guard to mount and standing guard pass.
The escape from knee ride we had worked on some months ago, and I can remember that I couldn't get it together at the time. This time, however, it seemed obvious and drilling it gave me no issues whatever. Same for my partner, who commented that we must have learned something in the meantime :-).
I had been reading up on alternative knee ride escapes as I had been convince that this one wouldn't work for me. It's the one where you grab the guy's pant leg near his upright knee with your near hand (supported with the far one if necessary), then push his knee off you belly with your left while you hip escape away and turn into him. You grab his right foot with your left hand and pull it to the inside or outside (depending on where it is) while bracing up on your right arm to get to your knees. Holding on to the foot, you push into him to make him tip over backwards, a bit like a modified single leg from the knees. Anyway, after going through it all again, it works, and I'm pretty pleased about that.
The standing guard pass isn't my thing. I sometimes have a dodgy lower back, and while I can stand up, there is no way I can lift the guy up onto my knees. Just won't happen. Yes, I've started doing squats and I hope to get there some day, but for now I went through the motions with my partner's back on the floor. I found if I jolt around enough, he still opens his guard ;-)
The headlock escapes are reasonably technical, but I think I can work them out. I'm not sure how I would fare in a roll with one of the two really big guys, but the sweep version, while painful with a big guy (ahh, my ribs!!) should work if I get my technique right. And I think I understand the critical parts of it now. The other two escapes will be a challenge against a big guy with big strong arms, when they are clamped around my neck with their weight on my chest. Yes, I know good technique helps, but if they drive their considerable weight onto me, I find all escapes hard going.
Even the vanilla mount escape (elbow to knee, hip escape, go to half guard, hip escape the other way, go to guard) is tough against a big guy, unless I turn into him and get my side to the mat before he establishes his position. Even when he's not attacking me, it's hard. But then I'm talking a guy about twice my size. I think positive here, if I can escape his mount, I can escape anyones!
We had a bit of rolling afterwards. As my partner's neck was a bit sore and my shoulder in recuperation mode, we agreed to go easy. Still ended up in crazy positions. Managed a collar choke from the back. Then had to tap out, just because my left arm screamed, and that was without an actual submission attempt. But other than that, the arm behaved very well and I was pleased. I made some stupid mistake not retrieving my arm from around his neck when I had lost control over him, and it hadn't been time out, that would have been another submission, and well deserved. So good to roll with a considerate partner and we both had several laughs and learned something.
Had an enjoyable class and I'm so happy to be back :-))