Due to exams, I missed training on Wednesday night and open mat on Thursday. Grr.
Friday night I was looking forward to class. After driving all the way to town, I found the school closed due to Ballarat Show Day. Double Grrr!
But Saturday afternoon, I finally got my BJJ fix! It wasn't a big class. We worked on D'Arce chokes. First, the simple version from side control when your opponent rolls into you, but also a setup from turtle top.
It was good to see the very big fella back after a few months away :-) I ended up drilling with him, including a more complicated, rolling version of the D'Arce. Have I said before that it's hard to get that choke on BIG guys? Firstly, there is the issue of huge shoulders. Although I'm blessed with long limbs, it's still a challenge to get around his shoulders :-) But I did have more luck with it than in the past. Where I had more issues was to finish it. He simply braced with his arm on the floor which prevented me from getting his top upper arm against his neck. And then he'd start to attack my legs... After consulting with the instructor, he showed a way to clear his arms with my knees to stop him bracing. He also showed us how to adjust if the bottom guy braces with a knee to prevent being rolled from turtle. Lots of technical small stuff.
In any case, I have a much better understanding of how to finish the choke now, regardless of the size of my opponent. Though in a live wrestle, I'd be more likely to use it on someone closer to my size. At least for now.
After that, we rolled, but always starting from turtle, taking turns in who was on top. We swapped partners a few times, but I always got the bigger boys :-) Still, I choked someone with a front choke and I armbarred someone from the high closed guard setup I'm working on. I was very happy about the latter, expecially since it's on a guy who generally busts out of my closed guard.
I did get done with a figure four by someone. Aside from that, I escaped several times from under big guys. That is true progress for me. Once, the big fella did one of his rolling, diving attacks on my legs. And before I could think "oh sh..", I had rolled with him, retracted/rearranged my limbs and came out to his side unscathed. I think that surprised me more than him ;-) It wasn't a conscious move at all, and it felt smooth and flowy. That alone made me happy, and I probably grinned like a fool. Although I did end up back under him, I defended successfully until the round was over.
Afterwards, one of the guys said that after not having a chance to roll with me for a while, he feels a definite improvement. He reckons if I can be such a threat to the bigger fellas, then the people my size had better watc out. Hehe.
So, while I had to wait until Saturday to get my fix, it was a good one :-)