As I won't be in town for the next grading at the end of the month, I'm being put through my paces, so to speak.
Wednesday midday class saw me going though syllabus drills and other stuff, all the first to third stripe stuff. I was, for some reason beyond me, nervous. Why? Maybe because I'm the only one, and I hate being made a fuss over. Don't know. It couldn't have been the ... hey guys, today you'll take turns to flatten Chris, she's grading! type of peptalk ;-) Anyway, I settled down, got through it all and even did the two sweeps I don't like much quite well. So with that out of the way, next Wednesday will be the more fun stuff, the fourth stripe moves and the wrestling part of the grading.
Once I'd done my stuff, I went through the syllabus stuff again with one of the guys, because he'll be grading at the end of the month. And while it was just drilling and practicing, it was a really good class.
Wednesday evening, we learned some escapes.
Escape from figure four from mount: turn towards the locked arm so I'm nearly on my side, which pins my elbow to the floor. Then buck up and as he braces, I suck my elbow in. And I'm in a good position for a knee-elbow escape.
Escape from armbar from mount: I grab the opposite collar with my trapped arm to buy time. With the other hand which is now free, I pull his high leg back over my head. Once my head is free, I push it back over the leg and keep pushing until I'm through with my shoulders, then start turning into him. If I keep my hand on the collar until I'm in guard, I avoid being armbarred from guard straight away and I'm in a good defensive postion.
Escape from guillotine choke from short base side control (he is on my right side): my left hand grabs his wrist to buy time and stop the choke from coming on straight away. I buck slightly and to my left, so I can get my right hand past his left elbow and up over my head, in an arc towards my left shoulder. I want my right hand near my left shoulder because he can no longer complete the choke as his left elbow is blocked by my armpit and can no longer go to the floor. Then I start escaping his side control.
The rest of the class was free wrestling, first with gi, then without. Firstly had a newish guy, so I helped him in how to get good back control and then try for the RNC. Then I escaped it :-). We did a little bit more until I caught him in something. He was good, not spazzy or using all his strength. With the next guy, started no-gi. We had three rounds in all. He's not done a lot of wrestling, and some at another school, so he had a couple of attackes I hadn't come across, and he was pretty fast. We did a lot of sweeps and rolls and it was quite funny because it was a bit like a rollercoaster. I triangled him once. I told him how to avoid and how to watch out for it, also gave him some pointers on posture breaking when he has someone in his guard.
Our other rolls finished with a choke each. I got him in a front choke from guard or half guard (can't recall). I learned something from his choke: when he had me in headlock (switch base side control) and I got my arm around his middle to escape by working for a sweep, he applyied an ezekiel choke. I couldn't let go of my grips fast enough to escape the choke and had to tap. If I had been fast enough to get his forearm off my throat, I would have abandoned the escape and left my right arm in a vulnerable position. Good attack, I'm sure I'll use that one!
I managed another roll with one of the senior guys. I pulled off turning him over when he turtled, which is something I've never managed before (thank you to the guys who showed me this one a few weeks back!). After that, I worked on position change to attack to the next position change, until I ended in high mount. Except he worked and worked and got out the back door. And I couldn't stop him. From then on it's a bit of a blank but he ended up in my guard. I'm not bad at breaking people's posture down, but don't manage a lot of attacks yet. In any case, he reached back for my feet so I snaffled his arm behind his back and he was doomed :-) But truly the best part of it was the flow of it and the fact that at no point was I clueless what to do next. THAT, for me, was great.
So coming home, I felt I'm cruising. Finally, I'm getting somewhere. At least part of the time, I'm the squasher, not the squashee :-) And this is just the type of motivation I need going into the competition!