As much as I enjoyed the Vics and all, it's great to be back to familiar face in regular classes. And it was nice to hear that I've been missed :-)
On Monday, we worked on chokes. Firstly the half lapel nelson from side mount and then a variation. Say he is with this right side up I can't get his right arm isolated so that I can put my top hand behind his head (he might clasp his hands or grip onto his gi) to get the choke. If I stick my left shin behind his neck, to the inside of left arm (my left hand has his right collar) and sit down, I can add the push of my hip against my left arm to get the choke. Whether he lets his right arm go or not.
Then collar choke from turtle top. From head to head, I grab his right lapel with my left hand and pass it to my right (hand inserted over his shoulder). My left hand shoves his right elbow across towards his centreline quickly and comes out behind his head, pushing on in while I insert my head into the gap between his right elbow and hip. Then I roll over my left shoulder and under him and end up holding him in an upside down collar choke. Ha, that one will take some work....
Finally we worked on how to roll into a crucifix when the bottom person is turtled and how to set up collar chokes from there, using either his left or right collar. If the choke doesn't come on, I can put my leg over his head for extra leverage.
On Wednesday and Friday, we did some rubber guard stuff. I will say I hate the names because they bear no resemblance to what we are doing. Some of it is working for me, for example the lockdown from half guard bottom and the whip up. Other stuff.. hmm. But to be fair, I have not had enough time to properly assimilate and try these things out. My flexiblity is good enough, and it's good to learn some extra options. Some of the setups seem very complicated though, and for now I think that I would specifically work for some of those positions. If, however, I found myself in stoner control (!), I guess I'd know what to do from there :-) .
Some of the stuff we worked on was a transition from armbar from guard to jiu claw and then omoplata. It works if the guy in your guard turns aside to pull his trapped arm out and leaves his other arm exposed.
Another thing we learned which I think might be useful to me is a half guard sweep. Instead of lockdown (say if I can't get double underhooks), I overhook his right arm tightly (assuming his right leg is trapped) and put my right arm on his left hip. I need to use my left leg to bend his right leg and bring his right foot to the mat on the outside. His body has to shift to his right to follow the leg. As his weight shifts, I swing my right leg right and then in an arc which sweeps him. If he is swept, we clear our left leg and go to side control. If (which is more likely), he counters the sweep by posting out with his left leg and coming back over, I keep my right leg out wide and take him back in my full guard when he lands. Of course there is a name for this, but I can't remember it :-)
The assorted wrestles I had during classes varied considerably. Early in the week, I escaped every armbar attempt, but on Friday I was caught by several guys. Hmmm. The consistent underlying theme of the week was how good my defence is and how bad my retention of top positions and attacks. Though I did score a triangle a couple of timess, an armbar and a figure four. I am making some small improvements on regaining guard.
I've finally figured that I need to play a different game altogether with one of the guys who uses a lot of unorthodox positions and has a horrible habit of grabbing hold of various bits of my anatomy and then slowly but surely bulldozes over me. I need to make sure I don't expose bits of my anatomy, I need to play more open guard and keep him off me.
I had some positive comments from our senior guys, but all too often I make dumb mistakes. Sometime it seems that I make a few little steps forward in some area, just to find out that in most other areas, I have no skills at all. But I figure that the rolls that leave me most embarrassed are probably the ones that contribute the most to my learning experience. And if I can roll with one of the hot shot young guys and make him work hard, and we can both be amused, then I guess it's not too bad ;-)