I just realised that my last (real) post was back in the middle of June. Time is just running away on me...
I finished all my work and all my exams for uni. Got my results and I'm quite happy :-) Since then, I've had a house full of visitors and I'm still working, so I haven't really had holidays. I've just had time off from uni, haha. And I'm due to go back on August 1. But I'm not complaining, I'm having a lot of fun.
The only thing which I'm not happy about is the dreadful weather. It's cold, wet, windy and generally miserable and grey. Not many opportunities to go and ride horses or enjoy any other outdoors activities. And cold toes at the beginning of every BJJ class. That does tend to pass though ;-)
Due to a wedding today, I didn't get a chance to go to the small comp in Melbourne yesterday. But there are two big ones coming up in September. There is The Gathering on September 10 and the Pan Pacs the weekend after.
I've been working on a few things lately, and I think I finally have some kind of game plan I can call my own. So it will be very interesting to see how that will affect my grappling at the comps. So far, I just went with the flow in the comps I've been to.
Strangely, back control is crystallizing out as one of my got-to positions, and I'm having more and more luck with not only getting there, but actually holding it. And I get submissions, too. In addition, I have learned to transition to other positions, like closed guard or technical mount, if I feel I'm losing back control, and from eithe of those, I can get the back again. That is making an enormous amount of difference.
I continue to fall into the trap of thinking I'm hopeless (will never be a grappler's armpit, blah blah..), and then I surprise myself with getting submissions from unexpected places. Or hearing from people that they will give up positions, just so they don't end up in my guard (or with me on their back), because it's a horribly dangerous place to be. Then I go: Oh! Maybe I AM doing something right. Aw, BJJ is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one :-)
I've booked in for the girls grappling day in late August. It will be very interesting to roll with a bunch of women. As I only have guys in my school, I absolutely have no idea how I stack up against female blue belts. I have rolled with a couple of female blues at John Will's school late last year, and did well. But of course, friendly rolls are a different ballgame to comps. So it will be very constructive for me to actually roll with women in the lead up to the two comps in September.
I had a good learning experience the other day. For the first time in a little while, I ended up rolling with a very new white belt, considerably bigger and stronger than myself. For the first time since starting BJJ, I didn't spend the whole roll worrying about his strength and being defensive. That in itself is a huge leap forward. He wasn't spazzing too much, but he just poured out a huge amount of force. Tried to choke me from within my guard, etc etc. This time, instead of pretty much panicking, I started attacking him. Sometime in the process, I ended up in mount on him and started on my latest favourite technique (cross lapel choke from mount). Got rolled in the end, but had the grips in deep and choked him from within my guard. I can't say how much of a difference that made, knowing that this is possible. I have spent so much time just whining about the size/strength of the guys, defending and staying in under and eventually getting squashed or muscled into submission by some sloppy technique. The watershed in this piece of mental progress was letting go and moving. For example, insteading of hanging on to a close guard which was about to get stacked or passed, I can now open, put feet on hips and push to get distance or transition or attack. I guess it's all part of the overall learning curve. Took me long enough!!
Due to our instructor being away, I've been teaching a couple of classes most weeks. That is a good learning experience, too. It's hard to troubleshoot problems for people with vastly different body shapes. It's also hard to teach new white belt guys how to rolls light :-)) But it's happening!