Class tonight--this week we're working on half-guard. Tonight we worked passes from the top (other than the three he'd already taught us). "Floating" on your opponent while in half-guard (neither elbow nor hip touching the ground for a post) racks the nerves. Good technique, though, and definitely something that I want to get some time practicing.
Rolls during were with Beard John, Andy, and Zach. Beard and I---I don't remember how it really went. I know he was in my guard for a while, but I don't remember what happened. Andy and I were going at a good clip--I was focusing on keeping my pace deliberate without being slow and paying attention to technique. My failed arm-drag and weak sprawl turned into him on my back. I stopped his arm from getting under my neck and rolled into the choke, ending up in his guard. He still hasn't tapped me, and that is killing him. I don't imagine it will be long, but I'm going to postpone it as long as I can. It's a great test for both of us. Zach I choked and got to side mount before we stopped.
After class I rolled with Stan. I can tell how useful open mat has been and how much it has taught me. I'm giving Stan a much better fight, and even being offensive for more than 3 seconds during a roll with him. I think I have a better gas tank than a lot of people and that helps me get out of bad spots when they start to tire. I even tapped him, which is a first for me. It wasn't really a clean tap--I mean, it was a shoulder-lock in transition off my back, but I thought it would distract him and let me get his back rather than cause a tap. Not complaining--I'm happy that I can see those opportunities present themselves--but I would feel more of a sense of accomplishment if I controlled him, got to a dominant position, and finished from there rather than catching an arm in a scramble. He did have me in side control a decent amount, but not as much as I've been in it of late. Also, I had a lot of success hipping out and bringing my leg over the top between him and me. Just keep moving--that's what Jeremy keeps telling me. Who knew he'd be so right?
I turtle a lot. And I don't particularly like the position, but it gives me a sense of security in that I have more control when I'm turtled than I do when we're spinning around and he's trying to get to side control and I'm trying to sit out (something that is far from second-nature, let alone third- or fourth-) and get to his hips. In that mess--especially against someone with wrestling experience like Stan or just plain old quicks like Andy--I'm uncomfortable and a step behind, so I duck and cover. That is an area that I will work in the coming months. And it's going to suck. Lots. I also got to test out my new gi, a KEIKO RACA 2010 white limited edition. I don't know what makes it limited, as every outlet seemed to have it in stock. But it was my first night with it. It's a bit big, so I'll dry it and try to get it a bit smaller. The pants are a great length, and it's light. I'll probably review it in a few weeks after I've rolled with it. It did, though, get the christening of my blood tonight. I need to wear something between my gi and me. Even though it feels weird and wrong. Because blood on white is a little too stark to ignore. And it may or may not be less than sanitary.