I went to class Thursday, helped with a belt test Friday, and class again this morning. Most of the week, we focused on the switch--a means to get to your opponent's back from top side control. It's a super slick move, and it keeps the guy on bottom twisting and turning in apparent futility, trying to get on the correct side. If they go to their knees, you get to take the back or just take them down again. Really, it's probably one of the most useful transition moves I've encountered. We also paid a lot of attention to a guard pass where you stiff-arm your opponents hips on the top. This technique has really seemed to click with me; it helps that I've intentionally tried it in rolls after class. But really, killing their hips is the name of the game, and if you can start doing it before you even open their legs, you're already on the right track.
Friday, Andy and Zach tested for their second stripe. I joined them to give them a live opponent, someone ranked a little higher to make them work and put some pressure on them. First, though, they had the demonstration bit--and they worked pretty hard. Probably 40-45 minutes of showing techniques and doing drills, with Klint reminding/giving pointers/teaching throughout. It looked like it was really helpful for the two of them. And then I got to roll with each of them for a few minutes. I hadn't done anything yet, and they'd been working for most of an hour, so they were nearly gassed when I got to play. I made a conscious effort to put them in spots that would test the techniques that Klint was working with them. It's an important part of that particular roll, and while I love to wreck both of them when I can, I wasted to make sure they got that practice in as soon after the instruction as possible.
This morning was very good overall. We did the hip-killer open again, and two different guard passes from it. We also worked a few finishes from those passes--one armbar and one triangle (both entertaining and effective). Then, we did a switch and tried a wonderful ninja-calibre triangle from back control. We rolled a bit after, but just got through two partners. With Klint (my second partner), I tweaked my neck again. I realized it immediately, but still worked a few more rounds with Klint. So right now, I'm full of vitamin I and I have an adequate supply of real painkillers if it gets bad. I'm sure most jiu jitsu players sympathize, but I don't want to take a week off. Still, if I need to take a week, this is probably the one for it to be. I've a final on Wednesday and an appellate brief to finish before studying for my last final next Wednesday. With luck, I'll be back in class on Thursday. If possible and practical, I'll squeeze in Monday night, but I don't want to keep killing myself. Brenna wants me to stop injuring myself, but really, we all know that's not going to happen. They should just be smaller and more manageable than an immobile neck and back. Damn collar chokes.
I don't have much more that just a schedule update, I suppose. Part of that is trying to manage the pain, and part of it is that it's finals. So there'll be more substantive material here soon enough.