Wednesday night, we ran through the Peruvian necktie yet again, though not in so much details. We also looked at possible escapes (roll forward, roll sideways), and what attack opportunities that opens up. There were armbars, taking the back and a crucifix. Also there is the possibility of going for a D'Arce choke, depending on whether you can maintain your grip when they roll. Also, a transition from a D'Arce to the necktie. Good attack combinations!
Open mat on Thursday was fairly short, for some reason everyone was ready to head home after about an hour. As we had sort of started slowly, talking about this and that, and some people going over the D'Arce and the necktie. I only ended up rolling a few times, and with the same guy. Missed out on having a roll with one of the purple belts, as he had to go early. Had some more success than normal in escaping hips and getting knees in when my opponent got top position. But all in all, felt a bit lacklustre. And felt I was making old mistakes and giving opportunities away. But one problem I have resolved is that I no longer turtle all the time, and that forces me to deal with regaining guard and having more mobile hips. Ok so that's frustrating at present, but I can feel some improvement already.
Friday was essentially just rolling (while the people due to grad on Saturday were working on their stuff). Again, didn't do fantastic work and felt accordingly miffed with my performance. We mostly started from standing. I notice everyone is avoiding my closed guard like the plague, and I have to make a real effort to get it now. One guy is using a guard pass that's a real bitch for me. But as I was driving home grizzling about it, I realised that instead of holding on tight, I should push off him and go to open guard. Duh. Sometimes the obvious things really aren't obvious...
What was good about Friday is that we had a visitor, a purple belt. He used to come to our school occasionally and teach a few classes, but who has been off sick for a while. Also back on the mat was one of our big regulars who's been out town recently. Oh yeah, just like in the olden days, I got flattened :-) Hehe, we started from standing and he wasn't wearing a gi. So I was contemplating what to do, as my fingers can barely close around his wrists. So how to get grips?? Anyway, I didn't have much time to worry, as he didn't waste time coming in for a takedown. I feebly did something defense, and actually upset his balance a bit, but I still ended up on the bottom. Being in his high mount sucks! And that's before he casually peels out one of my elbows to do something nasty to my arm :-) Oh well.
Anyway, our visitor came up with a couple of suggestions how I can improve my chances of escaping mount (even on someone BIG). Basically go for a series of small bumps to get elbow and knee to meet. Rather than try for a big hip escape. Makes sense. Will work on this !! Another thing he showed me (after watching me fishing for lockdown in half guard bottom and failing as Mr.Big had his leg up), was a way to get the locked leg stretched out so I can get lockdown. Or go for a sweep. I need to go drill that one....
Saturday was grading day. Six guys went for their second stripe, and two went for their first. I really only went along for the fun and to help. But it transpired that we had a female visitor from an other school, and next to no info about her experience level. So to begin with, while the white belts were doing their grading stuff, two of our bluebelts, the visitor and myself had (yet another) play with the necktie. And for the rest of the time, once we'd drilled the basics several times, we did some situational rolling. Somehow time passed pretty quickly.
At the end of the class, after the guys where given new stripes, one of the blue belts did some rounds in preparation for the comp. He asked the bigger of the white belts to start in top position. They took turns going hard on him :-).
Meanwhile I had a roll with the little guy. I've never seen anyone so cheerful about getting submitted :-) I pulled him right into a front choke, and he tapped. Came up smiling saying it was awesome. Made me laugh. We went again. I can just toss him around, that's so weird, as I'm the one who usually gets the rough end of the deal.. I feel such a bastard, but it's good because it allows me to try and flow from one spot to another. And several times, I paused and let him work, too. He was all smiles again. So positive. I must take a leaf out of his book.
I went over to watch how our big blue belt was getting on. He'd been going hard for a while. Someone arlocked him. Then he waved me in. Ok, started in knee ride. As he rolled into me, I went for a D'Arce, but he trapped my leg. So I grabbed his opposite collar which pinned his arm. He pushed over so I pulled guard and held the grip. And after a bit of a fight, got the cross collar choke. Went again this time I made the mistake of letting my left hand go near the mat. That's his bread and butter. Grab hand, pin down, feed behind back. My own fault. So eventually he passed my guard, to north/south and head/arm choke. I'm such a dope at times :-) Still, those were two enjoyable rolls. And he commented after, that the other guys were good to wear him out test him and then he had to deal with me on a more technical level. Good times.