I succeeded in getting several good rolls in during last Thursday's open mat. I managed to convince another one of the newer white belts that rolling for position instead of submission and NOT going balls to the wall is a good thing. It was still a lot more muscly than it should have been, but it was useful to both of us. He had several AHA! moments. So I helped him with triangles afterwards.
I tried out a guardpass I saw on a youtube recently (sorry, escapes me at the moment, I will try and find it!). I showed it to one of the guys and we both had a few practice runs. We think it might work quite well :-)
At the end I had a long roll with one of the purple belts. I'm pleased to report that I feel I'm making progress. I pulled out of a lot of stuff he threw my way and I certainly had a go at a few things. I probably resorted too much to closed guard, but it's my best game, and he is ... well, a purple belt. And I did manage to frustrate him a bit, too. In the end, it wars armbar time for me, as usual. But an excellent roll with lots of opportunity to learn and grow.
Monday night's class also involved a lot of rolling. First I was fed a small whitebelt. So I practiced my attacks, and I let some stuff go and experimented a bit. Then I was fed a bigger boy. So I practiced my defence :-) Sorry, he's mucho bigger than I and mucho stronger, and if he's learned one thing it's how to use his weight effectively. Good for him, bad for me. I want the little one back again!!
Then they gave me a purple belt. This time I practiced being a ping-pong ball on top of a wave :-) We had the best and longest roll. One position after the next. He has perfected shoulder rolls and every time you think you get position on him, he's rolled away and all you have is legs in the damn way. Lots of new problems. But lots of chance to experiment. My brightest moment might have been when he picked me up for a standing guard pass, but I let go and went for a takedown :-) Instructor stood nearby and laughed. So we rolled and rolled and he pointed out a few things to me. Instructor walked past and saved us from tumbling into a wall. And commented "keep going, I like what I see". Whoa ho! It didn't just feel good, it must have looked good!!
What can I say. It was awesome.
And it was exactly the kind of diversion I needed. I've been flat out studying for uni exams. I really needed something to destress me :-) Anyway, first exam is out of the road, three more to go.