... an amazing week! Phew.
I trained every day except today (Sunday), racking up some 10 hours on the mat. It was a busy week anyway, as I'm back to uni after the break. And I still managed to sneak in a few horse rides when the weather was good. At least with spring on the way now, it is nice enough to go outside. I am soooo glad the winter is over!
So, on Monday, I trained no-gi for nearly three hours with a few guys. It was mainly 10th Planet stuff. A bit of a change for me, althougth we've gone over a some of that stuff in the past. So it was some review and some totally new stuff. We drilled various combinations for a bit over a couple of hours and then rolled for several rounds. Didn't do anything spectacular. Hadn't done no gi in ages and felt a bit overwhelmed. About the only positive thing I can say about the rolling was that I succeeded in breaking someone down in my guard who is twice my size. Not that I escaped the inevitable outcome of getting owned... :-)
Tuesday evening I met with one of the guys and we went down to Geelong to John Will's Blackbelt Studios. John had recently returned from overseas, followed by a quick trip to WA. But he was back on the mat on Tuesday and taught the advanced class. We drilled three sweeps from open guard if our partner stands up, and then one sweep from open guard, where we go to deep half guard and then roll over and finish with a single leg.
I had a few interesting rolls with different blue belts. Nice to be challenged without getting mauled by the big guys. I was the most junior of the blue belts on the floor. To be honest I thought I'd get a hiding, but I actually fared reasonably well. There was in fact a blue belt woman. We had an entertaining couple of rounds and I did well. Not so well against the guys, but at least I moved and things happened and I didn't feel like a dimwit. Actually, I really had fun.
At the end of the class, they let in the white belts whose intermediate class was on next. They had the chance to roll to warm up, we had the chance to roll to warm down :-) I chose to stay, although I was somewhat buggered at that point. Didn't do too bad. That is, until one of the black belts who had stayed behind waved me over. That's when I was back to feeling like a little mouse who is being toyed with by a big cat ;-)
Ah, it was awesome. Of course I was destroyed. But he let me work and I actually managed some half decent moves, including some useful hip movements which led to escapes. He commented later that he thought I did well and that I made it difficult for him to get some positions and subs. What more could I ask :-)) And then he asked me aside to show me some of the open hooks in guard stuff he was working on and gave me some tips how to make that type of guard work for me. As I said: awesome.
I attended two classes (lunchtime and evening) on Wednesday. And I'll say that I was beginning to be a little bit on the tired side. I also had a full day at uni. We worked on knee ride both classes which is good, as it's something I am not good at. At all... But I think I have a fair idea now why it's not been working for me. I was being too nice. Not enough pressure down, and not enough pull up on the arm and leg. By Wednesday evening, I was making half decent entries and I got groans out of my partner when the knee went on. Also, I din't fall off after .01 of a second when he wriggled. In the lunchtime class, I got my lip caught between my partner's gi collar and my teeth and actually lost some skin. Bled like crazy at first, but with some vaseline, I could carry on after a bit.
Thursday night was open mat. I was tired before I started. And that was after a good nine hours of sleep for the previous two nights :-) I'd had the whole day at uni, which is all sitting down, but of course I had to pay attention. Rolling went ok, did some good stuff, got flattened by a couple of the bigger guys and all in all had a pretty good time.
One of the guys managed to accidentally kick me with his knee. And where did he connect? My bottom lip. Next to the cut bit. So I ended up with a huge blood blister. He was so apologetic :-) My answer: if it's not bleeding, who cares? And kept going. He promptly caught me with a leg bar twice. Must watch them legs...
We were pretty much done and sitting there stretching when one of the guys came in late. He'd been training at another place earlier but was looking all hopeful to get in a roll or two. Some had already packed up and gone, and I nearly declined. But then thought why not. He usually armbars me. Or whatever. But I was that tired I didn't care, and it it was another opportunity to do some no-gi. And then something weird happened. I armdragged him, got his back and got him in a rear choke. He tapped. Second round, I went for the armdrag again and pulled him to turtle. Went for an anaconda, rolled over but somehow couldn't finish it. I know it was tight (which he later confirmed), but my brain went numb and I forgot to walk into him. So I let it go and went after him. Shortly after, secured an armwrap from mount and a choke from there. By now he was laughing and saying that I'm doing good considering I'd already cooled down.
He wanted to go again, so we did. I deliberately did not go for the armdrag this time. He pulled guard and tried for a triangle/armbar. Didn't let him have it, passed his guard. Was busy attacking his arms, got mount and then he rolled me. Then it was my world: get arm across, take back, latch on and choke! Third tap for the night. He seemed to think it was awesome, I was more like speechless.. But it was rather a good finish for the evening all the same :-)
Friday night's class was essentially rolling. My bloody lip (pun intended) tore open again and I had to sit out the first few minutes to wait for it to stop bleeding. The rolls started from various positions. And to my great disgust, I got the killer whale, and our starting point was bloody side control. Sheesh. So when he started on top, I was history immediately. I can't escape by way of any technique, an experienced guy who is twice my weight!! So he cheerfully ripped my arms out. When it came to me on top I didn't fare too much better. The man can just bench press me off. Aside from that, I find it diffucult to keep any sort of control, let alone try for a sub on a huge barrel chested person. Luckily, after that I scored the small guy. He's getting good, very quick and he'll try stuff. He got me fair and square with a Peruvian Necktie. The rest of the time I beat his arse, mostly with chokes, although I let him start in mount or side control top most of the time.
Saturday we had a small class of newish guys and a surprise visit from a purple belt guy from some school in Sydney. I scored him as partner and found him great to work with. On the menu was torenanda pass to knee ride, armbars and spinning choke from knee ride and then a bit of rolling. We didn't got real hard, it was mostly positional and then some playful sort of seeing where we'd end up. Good stuff. Hope he comes to visit again.
I lasted the whole week though I will say I was ready for a break today. What was interesting about the experience is that I felt I was better technically than usual. Several times during the week, I actually started class feeling a bit tired. That feeling always vanished during warm up and I was never gassed. But I think it made a difference to how I rolled. I know it didn't help me keeping the big fellows at bay, but I felt more smooth in my transitions with the others. Maybe more economy of movement?? And in several cases, I know I started a submision during a transition, so that by the time we "arrived", the sub (usually a choke) was already locked in. I hadn't been able to do that before.
Next week will be a bit more sedate :-) No trip to Geelong and apparently no class on Saturday. Oh well, might use the free Saturday to finally go for a long drive and pick up some horses I bought and give the body a slightly longer rest to recover from wrestling.