I'll never ever be organised enough to write about every class :-)
So a whole week has passed, which meant another 5 BJJ classes. We did some new stuff but what always strikes me is how much new stuff I can discover about a technique or position I learned ages ago. It really pays to revisit, retry, re-evaluate everything.
I have a terrible habit of trying something new a couple of times and then I get discouraged and file it under "I can't do that". Being still pretty wet behind the ears in terms of BJJ, there are a lot of new things which won't work when I first try them in rolling. I'm still lacking the awareness, balance, sensitivity and general knowledge to see what makes stuff work, so I need to practice, practice, practice before anything works. So what happens is I try a move when I roll, a fail a couple of times and convince myself that it won't work for me.
When I teach horseriding, I always come down hard on people who say things like "I can't" or "I'm not good enough" or "I'm hopeless". Yet, I do the bloody same. How stupid is that??? Because it's defeatist and self-fulfilling. If I tell myself often enough that I can't do XYZ, then in due course I really will fail which will of course reinforce that message.
So on the one hand I must get good enough at a given technique to be able to pull it off, on the other hand, I must believe that I can do it. Now we all know that a body has limitations, and that some techniques are hard to do for some people due to size, strength (ours and our partner) - experience aside. But it's not like there is a cut off point. It's more that it gets harder and harder.
What made me think of this is what happened in class the other day. I was partnered with the biggest guy in our school. Can't remember exactly what we were doing, think it was halfguard position and I was working on either a sweep or getting on my side for deep half guard. I needed to get his weight off me and up, using my legs and arms. For him to do that to me is a piece of cake ;-) (I'm half his weight). For me to do that to him takes effort. When it was my turn, I did my usual "oh, I think I can't do this", and made a half-arsed effort. It failed. Surprise, surprise. So he showed me how to do it again, making sure I used my legs mainly, rather than relying on my arms. Basically, he didn't accept that I couldn't do it. That was just the figurative toe that was needed up my arse. I tried and meant it. It worked. Which was an excellent experience. Because if I can manage to move a guy that size, I can move anyone. It was only down to proper technique and a proper effort. So I should quit the size excuse and have more faith in my teachers and myself.
Anyway, what else did we do during the week?
We worked exactly on those things which I'd been having trouble with and wish I could revisit and drill :-)
Such as... hook sweep, double hooks sweep (transition to hip bump sweep if they sit up). And head/arm chokes. YES! Frome side control, from half guard top and from half guard bottom. How to trap arms to get into a nice choking position etc.
I did learn one new thing: the d'arce choke. Hmm. Interesting ;-)
And the last session with our departing purple belt was devoted to attacks from his favourite position - switch back side control. And more head/arm chokes :-)
So it's been an intensive week which has hopefully hammered a bit more understanding into my brain. Not so much new stuff as discovering new stuff about known techniques, which mean that they will now work for me. I know I often manage to get arms across during rolling, and I was frustrated that I couldn't get head/arm chokes to work. This last week has expanded my arsenal in that area.
Also, I had a range of good rolls with different people, and took something away with me from each of those. Aside from that, they were fun. Good fun :-)))