I did something tonight that I didn't like and that I want never to do again: I came late to class and only rolled afterwards. To be fair, I had a decent excuse--i had a meeting with a professor about the law review of which I am an executive editor. So it isn't like I was sitting at the bar and suddenly, "WAIT! I have to get to class fifty minutes late so I can roll." No. But at the same time, I want to show my instructor the respect of coming to classes that he puts serious time into planning. Seriously, his classes are tight and I always leave knowing something entirely new, or something better than I knew it before class. And I'm really bad at finding positional sparring partners. It isn't that we don't know it's important---we're just bad at it.
So tonight at the end of class, I jumped in to training. (I had almost stretched out, so I probably should have taken a bit more time, but I felt bad and didn't want to deprive everyone else of Klint's eye, so I just sucked it up and told myself I'd start slow and let my body warm up a bit.) I started with New Jon, and actually hit a sweep from my back (goal for the next month is to keep hitting sweeps from my back instead of looking for well-hidden submissions). Thanks to some direction from Klint, I eventually found myself in a kimura-mounted triangle position. Well, I was in it before he told me, and he helped me realize it and figure out which ankle to lock behind which knee. My grips that first fight, though, killed me. That's something that I didn't realize starting slow helped with. I did find myself getting to my knees and even drove into a takedown---maybe the second time that's happened.
Next I went with Andy, and I don't remember much of how this roll went. I'm sure he and I went hard. I know my grips were spent, because I was shaking them out while we were moving into position.
I started with Vance, but this was a pretty uneventful roll. I lost mount (because contrary to popular belief, I'm much stupider than I seem) and locked him in my guard. Then, we just laid there. I was waiting for him to posture and try to break my legs so I could spend some time working sweeps, and he was unwilling to back up because he was scared of armbars. After about 2 minutes of that, we just restarted.
Andy and I took turns working with Klint again. Klint was "nice" and tried to play only defensive, but his game just isn't built that way. He's the quintessential "defense should serve double duty as offense" player, so really, the first roll was just me starting from a generally better position. Then I got lazy or loose or something and he got out of my side control. I rolled with him probably five times. Right now, I have the problem of knowing that I'm going to lose to him. The result is that I don't really focus on my game; instead I sort of space out and marvel at the things he's doing to me. This is a bad way to play. On more than one occasion, I asked him to just pause so I could replay in my head all the things I did that led me to the terrible position in which I found myself. I did escape one of his omoplatas and scramble back to an advantageous position. Of course, I didn't hold and finish it. But getting there is better than I did last week.
Finally, Andy and I had a few more rolls. The first one, I hit him with a helicopter sweep right off the bat (count it, the look on his face was well worth the gamble). The second one, he slapped on an armbar when I was lazy with my left arm while standing to break guard. The third went longer, and ended with me forcing the tap instead of moving around him once I had extended his arm and changing direction so that he would not be defending it. No, that seems like the way jiu jitsu is supposed to be played. Apparently, I much prefer running into the wall over and over until I create a me-shaped hole in it. It worked, but I was pretty frustrated when I realized (right after he tapped, of course) that I could have ended that sooner and with less energy. So that's something I'll be on the lookout for tomorrow.