I played a round of disc golf this weekend. During this round, I threw exactly one hammer throw. A hammer throw has the same basic form as pitching a baseball (also known as the most unnatural movement a human can make with his arm). As a result, my back shoulder is feeling a bit ornery after class.
Big-ish class tonight. We worked single-legs, a counter to a sprawling opponent that ends with you knee-tapping him, and some pretty damn sweet gi-manipulation hold downs and chokes. One is called "Showtime" (I shit you not), and you choke your opponent with your own gi as you somersault over his arm. Sexy and painful, all at once.
At the end of class, Klint had us do a handful of one-minute-go's, going for immediate submissions. None of this grip-fighting for 30 seconds nonsense, go in and finish the fight. It was a nice change of pace. Also, terrifying. Putting on that short time limit and letting loose the caged animal inside you while the man kneeling across from you does the same drops some serious pressure on your shoulders. It makes playing guard--arguably my favorite part of jiu jitsu--impractical, especially if your amped opponent dives into a guard pass. Then you're not fighting to submit, you're fighting to find your knees and not lose. I went against Vance, then Eric, then Andy, then Colin. I tapped Vance once (I think), Eric twice, had Andy on his back in an armbar when time ran, and tapped Colin once. I don't know how much of my apparent success is because of technique and how much is because of something else. But I'll take my wins and smile.
I worked with Stan after class and had a lot of success--much more success against him than I normally do. I was trying not to pull guard at the beginning (regular readers: do you see a pattern?), and it worked! I even sort of pulled off the straight arm pass that we worked all last week. Some things I did were stupid white belt mistakes--over-committing to a choke in mount and surrendering the upa roll, for instance--but I'm a white belt and need to make those mistakes so I remember not to when I advance. At one point, I even threw up my leg for an armbar without even trying to secure his elbow, with just a wrist grip on his sleeve. That didn't work so much, and it earned me a verbal reprimand from Klint. ("You know why that happened? Because you were lazy and didn't grab his elbow. He's way too strong for that, and you're better than that.") I got a few more light rolls in, and then it was time to return to school for more work.
Once again, I'm feeling OK on the mats. I expect those mats to disappear from underneath me in the weeks to come, just as they always do. And just as I need them to so that I keep improving. If only I had a tropical retreat to host my jiu jitsu vacations and a black belt willing to come surf, teach, and train for a week. Then, I would be set. My wife could sit and read with our dog on one side and her mai tai on the other. Our friends could even join, as long as they didn't interrupt the training.
Does anyone else have a spouse who doesn't train? How do you deal with that separation? Comment away.