Being annoyed with the short BJJ week, I decided to venture to Geelong for some extra fun. That was the first time I went to Black Belt Studios all by my little self. So far, I'd always tagged along with one of the senior guys.
As always, I was made to feel very welcome, and had a great time. Same as the last few times, I joined the advanced class and then stayed on for the intermediate class as well. That amounts to over two hours of training with plenty of rolling. Too good :-)
In the advanced class, for a warm up, we ran a few laps and the did 40/20 tabata intervals with burpees, mountain climbers, squats, situps and pushups. For technique, we drilled a double leg takedown, using the foot that steps in as a hook. Then we worked on a fireman's carry. There were two versions, one starting from having a whizzer on our partner's arm, the other with a grip over the head.
Then we did some work on back control. That was funny, really. I've lately been having a lot of luck getting backs and was thinking it would be great to spend some time on back control and attack. Voila! Wish granted :-)
We were shown a few alternatives for getting the arm across to attack with a rear choke and variations on how to finish. Then we did light positional rolling with several different partners to experiment with those and defending against the choke. We were also shown how to use a hook behind the knee if our partner is threatening to roll into us to escape.
Then we did some rolling into the beginning of the intermediate class when the white belts came on the floor. So there were some 15 minutes for them to roll slowly to warm up. Good to see white belts with so much control and so little spazz :-). After that, all the other coloured belts left.
There were three guys new to the intermediate class, and as a "welcome" they had to roll with everyone until submission. As it wasn't a small class, they were rolling continuously for quite a long time. I was near the end of the line up and by the time I got to roll with them they were getting a little tired... One guy in particular was really suffering. So I went light and moved, moved and urged him to just keep moving. No stopping and starting, go slow but keep going and feel for the path of least resistance. He did good! I know what it's like to roll at that level of fatigue...
I winked at the instructor and asked how come I didn't get that sort of "welcome" when I joined that class for the first time some time last year. He just laughed. Well, he didn't take that class anyway, and it was tough enough, from what I remember!
Anyway, then we did a couple of laps of hip escapes followed by the hip escape, butt scoot escape, technical get up drill along the mat. Then it was hip escapes until we are face down in the opposite direction, come to knees, fade back and repeat. This was preparation for the side control escape to knees we practiced last.
By that time, my legs felt like jelly. My thighs were still a bit sore from the Friday night workout, and all the take down entries and hip escapes were starting to add up. But they held up :-)
We did no-gi all night. I'm actually enjoying all the no-gi stuff, especially now it's getting warmer. I don't mind either gi or no-gi, and love mixing it up. Where I live, it's been warm and a bit muggy lately. Occasionally pretty warm, but the hot time of the year won't start until January. But down in Geelong, right next to the sea, there is a lot more humidity all year around. And though it wasn't that warm on Tuesday, the humidity certainly made it feel like a sauna at the dojo. I was dripping by the end of the warmup (same as the locals :-) ), and was glad about not having to wear a gi.
On the way home (nearly an hour for me), I dropped in on a friend who has recently moved to the Geelong area. I rocked up in a sweaty mess at her place after 9pm and she fed me cups of tea and biscuits and cheese. So we sat and talked horses and I tried to explain BJJ to her. I finally left pretty late and made it to be by 2:15. Guess who didn't look too bright the next day ;-)