Monday, October 4, 2010

Touching the Void

Sitting on the couch watching Touching the Void after jiu jitsu and dinner (salad w/ spinach, tomato, mushrooms, olive oil; cottage cheese; fruit juice).  It's a story about two British men who climbed the western face of some mountain in Peru and how far it went wrong.  For more than half the film, you sit convinced that the men in the story died.  But the fact that they are here telling you the story reminds you that they didn't.  It's really an amazing film.  And terrifying.

Class tonight was small again.  New Jon, myself, and Tony (purple).  We drilled sweeps, a new armbar setup from a scissor sweep attempt, a few open guard sweeps, and a new choke that I really just could not get the hang of.  Grabbing the inside collar, hipping out, and throwing your leg over onto the other side of your opponent's head, effectively choking him with your forearm on one side and your hamstring on the other.  I'll have to work it a million more times before I can even think about trying to hit when rolling.  Klint has been focusing a lot on his 1-2-1 attacks---armbar to triangle to armbar, triangle to omoplata to triangle, armdrag to sit-up sweep to armdrag.  Varying attacks so that each defense leads your opponent into the other attack; he defends the armdrag by sitting back, which opens him for the sit-up sweep, etc.  That's Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu.  Every motion that you do puts your opponent in a position where you have the advantage, and where you can finish the fight.

Rolling with Tony at the end of class went surprisingly well.  Unfortunately, I pulled guard, but was able to get full guard without him slicing through it.  And my guard was working.  I was disrupting his balance, I shot a few triangles that I had to abandon in order to maintain my guard--and when he would get an under on one of my legs, I would try to make him pay.  I wasn't able to sweep him, but that wasn't my goal tonight.  Tonight, my goal was not to allow Tony to pass my guard.  At one point I was saved by the wall--we ran into the mirrored wall and had to restart in the middle.  Other than that, though, I was apparently doing a lot of things right.  So while that's not a first, it's a first against Tony and a first with my guard against a purple belt.  Advances, none miraculous.

I also worked with Jon afterwards.  Played a lot of guard, spent some time trying to improve my attacks, tried to give Jon some feedback that may or may not help him.  I know I have more experience than Jon, but I also know that I have almost no experience.  I wonder when I'll feel comfortable trying to teach concepts to people.  Now, all I can do with any sort of competence is point out when people are leaving me opportunities that I like to seize.  I'm a seven-months-in white belt whose instructor told him to expect to have to meet a higher standard than a lot of other people because he tells me that I'm picking it up very quickly.  When does the instructor-style training start?  Because I'm convinced that will only increase how jiu jitsu will benefit me.

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