After last Monday's low point, I had some really good training during the week.
Wednesday's class was small and I had mostly one on one time with the instructor. I asked some questions about problems I'm having with people using a low smashing guard pass on me, and he gave me several suggestions. As I thought, the main part of my tactics needs to be transitioning to open guard. I'm abandoning closed guard too late instead of being pro-active. So we spent a fair bit of time on that. He showed me ways to transition and to defend the smash and stack. Then we rolled a bit, always starting with him in my closed guard.
He has exactly the body type that gives me a lot of trouble. Solid and heavy. He ramped up the pressure to pass as we went on. And we did post-mortems when I failed. I failed a lot :-) But I was getting it, and towards the end, I was doing a much better job, in fact started threatening him, and once even getting his back.
Not only did that restore my faith in my own abilities (which had been sorely challenged on Monday), but it also addressed some of the issues I've been having which I needed help with anyway.
For Thursday night's open mat I decided to go no-gi. About half of us did, the rest wore a gi. I finally had a chance to roll with two purple belts. Hehe, I tapped a lot and learned a lot. I felt fluid and did some attacking, a sweep here and there. Good stuff, much fun.
Then rolled with two of the white belts and we all had a ball. I try to hit that balance between working my top and attack game and letting them have a play, too. As we all had a lot of fun, I must have succeeded at least partially :-)
One of them has a preference for the Peruvian Necktie, and although he is smaller than myself, once he gets his grips it, one better watch out, he catches people!! Both the guys have made huge progress and both are the right balance of aggressive without spazzing. They are pretty near my size, a bit lighter, so being a selfish sort of a person, I really like to roll with them. I get a chance to work sweeps and I can try new stuff. But as they are getting quicker and better, I can't let my guard down with them, or they'll have me :-)