Big turnout for class last night with a couple of visitors. One is Coach Frank’s friend John from New York, and another was a Polish guy (“Peter”), a monster of a blue belt who was in town for a couple of days after attending a conference in Orlando. He trains with a Globetroters gym there–it is so cool to be a part of a gym where visitors are not only welcomed, but we’re all actually excited to have them. I’m learning more about the culture in different jiu jitsu gyms and in different parts of the world, and I’m hearing that it’s not always as welcoming of an environment as what we have at our gym.
We did a review of the smash pass from passing headquarters, the drop step and hip turn to pass to the other side when trapped in quarter guard, and a choke from quarter guard when the final step of the pass fails. It was steamy and sweaty in there!
Rolling for me was Dr. Dan, Norm, Visiting John, Louis, and Jonathan.
I was on top for most of the roll with Dr. Dan, but the take down and pass took a while. I tried to go for the pass-the-gi choke, but when I finally got the lapel handed off I realized it was HIS gi I’d passed. DOH!!! A very boring bout for any spectators, but we were working our arses off!
Norm was more of the same. I’m looking for any little victories I can get with him. The only real positive out of this one was that I was able to break his spider guard (after making stupid mistakes that let him get spider guard of course). Got triangled again, even though I was defending it hard for a long time before he actually got it sunk in. Defended a couple of sweeps, and got swept by twice that many. These rolls are making me a lot better, as was evident by the next roll.
Visiting John and I are pretty well matched, so this one was really fun. He’s a lot more experienced than me–4 stripe white belt with 1.5 years training–but he’s taken some time off, so he’s still rusty from that. It’s funny how my thinking is going–“He’s going for a kimura. When I defend it, he’s going to know to go for that sweep. I know that, but does he know that I know that he knows that?” When he attempted his triangle it was much easier to defend than it was against Norm. That’s what I mean about rolling with Norm so much. It’s unlikely I’ll face anyone at my skill level who can smash me like that after him becoming my Norm-al. Horrible pun.
Easy roll with Louis to be careful with his back and neck. I focused on sweeping and working his collar, staying away from his head, neck, and back. I got a scissor sweep to my offside, but when I tried one on my strong side later he defended it easily. That was weird. Really fun roll.
This was Jonathan’s third night training, and I can’t believe this guy. Strong, heavy, fit, and has a ton of heart. We rolled a couple of times on Tuesday and he was a wild man. I ended up just mounting and trying to control him. Submissions weren’t coming–it was like a real fight, just survive and control!!! That did give me a lot of confidence that if I ever am in that situation in real life again I’ll probably be fine. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get hurt and wouldn’t have to hurt the other person either. I’d much rather walk away without having to throw punches (no broken hands) and the other guy knowing that I could have hurt him but didn’t.
Anyway, Jonathan was a lot more calm and technical than on Tuesday, which is also impressive. He was working technique and even recognized a couple of situations we’d been in during the previous rolls and reacted differently. He’ll pass me soon. I was able to work an arm bar patiently. Once I got it, I didn’t let go. I just focused on keeping my hips tight, keeping my head heavy on his chin, and patiently breaking the defending grip. We restarted and when I got to side control I went back to the gi pass choke I’d attempted on Dr. Dan earlier. Got it this time!!!!