I've had a week of ups and downs. Some days I felt I did great, other days, I felt like I'm the world's greatest klutz.
My open mat was fantastic. I moved well, I rolled methodical, controlled and had fun. I hit sweeps, a couple of subs and had some great aha! moments when we tried out stuff on one another. I actually went home that evening, thinking how great it is that some distant and hitherto unrelated techniques and positions suddenly all start to knit together. I even felt like I'm onto something resembling a deadly game plan which will make me a force to be reckoned with in the next comp. I didn't go as far as thinking I'm fantastic, but I really felt great about my wrestling.
Comes Saturday... Working on deep half entries and sweeps. Stuff that worked for me earlier in the week is suddenly not working any more. And new stuff had a hard time fitering into my head. I thought I got it, but when I tried to drill it, I was just a bundle of awkwardness. A klutz.
In horserideing, someone who sits on a horse looking shitty and awkward, we say that he/she sits like a sack of potatoes. Think bulging, lumpy sack with no balance. Ugly and ungraceful.
Well, I felt like a sack of potatoes on the mat.
And then I wrestled. I was destroyed by my fellow blue belt. I'm sure a sack of potoatoes would have put up a better show than what I did!! It was horrible. I was truly disgusted with myself. There were no sweeps (except the several he did to me!), there weren't even any decent escapes. There was only awkwardness and missed opportunities. He went a little harder than what I expected. But hey, THAT should not be an issue. And it sure isn't an excuse for me.
I certainly wasn't happy with myself. But at least I didn't get all pissy with myself about it, I managed to shrug it off.
As we sat in the line up after finishing, Sensei said a few things. He said he was happy with the wrestling he'd seen from everyone. He also said a few things about his expectations of people. He reminded the white belts that it's a journey. That to get their fourth stripe, they need to be able to demonstrate correct techniques, but they also have to show 20 different techniques while wrestling. Not necessarily succeed, but make a valid try which shows they know when and how to use it. Then he went on to say that to get a coloured belt, we are expected to show not only correct techniques, and the ability to apply them, but also a certain mindset and the ability to persevere. Finally, he added that he compares his BJJ blue belts with his Karate black belts. Not so much in terms of technical knowledge (the Karate students to have to know a lot more stuff), but certainly in terms of dedication and determination.
That blew me away.