How does the saying go? Only mad dogs and englishmen go out in the midday sun, or something to that effect.
It wasn't only the midday sun today that was hot. It was really, really hot all day. It was 38 deg.C (100F) before 11am, it peaked at 44C (111F) and fell to about 35C (95F) by the time we started class at 8pm. By the time I came home just before 10pm, it was still about 30C. It was brutal outside and I don't have a/c in the house.
Was class tough? Is the pope catholic? Needless to say it was a small class for a monday night. But it was good to see the die hard BJJ addicts back again after our 3 week xmas layoff.
It seemed like a good opportunity to do a no-gi class :-)
We drilled armbar from knee ride and far armbar from knee ride. I mainly worked on getting the right grip for good penetration, and gripping knees so that the whole deal was tight, for both armbars. I've drilled this technique before and going over it again, I'm finding lots of ways to improve it. As with a lot of the other techniques, I know the basic movements so I can concentrate on the small stuff that really make them work. With that, I find that in rolling, techniques I knew but couldn't pull off, are now starting to work. Good stuff!
When we were drilling, one of the bluebelts pointed out the importance of having the trapped arm over to the correct side of my body, ie: the side where his feet are. Often, it works if the arm is along my centreline, but with flexible elbows, I can get more extension and a better angle being off to my side. Having the arm over the other side gives my opponent a better chance to pull out of the sub.
One of the guys showed us an omoplata to armbar transition. He 'borrowed' me to demonstrate. As I rolled out of the omoplata, I kneed myself in the left eyebrow.
Most of the class was spent rolling. Everybody took it reasonably steady because of the heat. But all the same, it was pretty non-stop. I had two long rolls with a blue belt who is at least 30kg heavier than I. He almost toyed with sweeping me, giving me a chance to feel for getting better base. When he got top positions, he'd not squish down with all his weight, giving me loads of opportunity for escapes, even a sweep and consequently I had several opportunities to work my top game. All along I remembered to attack and found myself going from one attack to another several times. Really, really good rolling. I told him how much I appreciate that bit of space and he said it was good for him, too because it made him work more out of bad spots and not rely only on strength and weight. Win/win.
My other roll was with one of the young, quick, flexible guys. One of those lucky types who looks very natural and who's been giving the higher belts a challenge. Still, he is only about my weight, so he can't shut me down the way the big guys can, and I'm a few month's training ahead of him which does make itself felt here and there ;-). We had a lot of positional changes. I couldn't submit him because I could never establish solid enough control and when he'd reverse me, he couldn't get a sub because my defense is pretty good. Again, it was good to have opportunities to work my top game. Because my top game sure needs work!!
We were all soaked and pretty exhausted after class, but it was GREAT to be back on the mat. I drank heaps and ate something soon after, so I felt pretty good.