Tonight, we worked on headlocks when we're near a wall, shooting for a single without grips, then more with the straight arm pass. It's a really good pass, and soon enough I'll have enough reps to feel semi-comfortable attempting it training. But that wasn't the highlight of class.
After a fairly low-key class, the mat opened and I started with Zach. But before we got to it, Jeremy and Klint gave Zach a three minute talk about how he can start to use his strength when rolling. If you don't remember, Zach is my height (about 6'1", 6'2") with at least 40 more pounds of weightlifting muscle bigger (I walk around at 185 or so, he's a full 225). And my "friends and mentors" told him to use his strength more. The first roll was longer than expected, but he came like a damn bull. Just whipped me around dragged my arm to Egypt and ended up getting a Bow and Arrow after about 4 minutes. First time Zach has tapped me. So this, I thought, requires some adjustment. He's bigger than me, I need to be faster than he. Next roll, I made him chase me for the takedown, spun to his back while he turtled, and rolled into my own Bow and Arrow. We trained for about 10 minutes, then Zach needed a break. So Andy waded over with a look in his eye.
He came at me with more zeal than he's shown before. He wanted to tap me. He was close, too--trapping arms and shooting his legs up, trying to be as fast to me as I was to Zach. I stayed (relatively) calm and deflected, redirected, ended up getting a triangle and rolling it to a mounted one.
After that, I worked with Jeremy again. I started in his closed guard, and he beat me a lot. Eventually, Klint helped me narrow down my goals--stop thinking about only keeping him flat and work to open his legs. It does no good to keep him flat at the expense of getting submitted. He also narrowed Jeremy's first objective--get up. I can't out-scramble Jeremy. But I did get in on a few single legs while he was getting up, even got a trip on one of them. (It was a good trip, fast and accompanied by pressure, and he somehow--I don't know how, but somehow--got the leg I tripped back underneath him.)
The trick? To keep moving. And to be very, very good.
Open mat tomorrow night. More after that. Brenna is out of town at a friend's wedding, and work kept me here. That means, though, that Jiu Jitsu will keep me busy when I'm not working. My muscles are already wondering what they'll do to me in revenge.