Class last night focused on knee-on-belly chokes: two cross chokes, a d'arce-like gi choke, and baseball choke. By far, these are the most uncomfortable submissions I've learned. I don't know the name of the d'arce-like gi choke, but you take the arm your opponent is using to try to push your wrist away and shove it past, drop your weight on this shoulder, and reach around his back to his belt and sprawl. (I imagine the choke is d'arce-like; I've never learned a d'arce properly, but from what I understand, the hand in the collar cuts off the blood on one side while the weight on the shoulder takes care of the other. Really, it's a beautiful choke.) Really disorienting. And on top of that, everything is from the generally unstable knee-on-belly position.
We had some 50/50 rolls at the end of class. The idea was to let the person on top get to knee-on-belly, and then work from there. To say that we had limited success would be putting it nicely. It will take a while to figure out how best to "surf" in that position, keep the pressure on and not forget to progress to mount or dive on the choke if the opportunity presents itself. After those 50/50s, we did some live-ish rolling. Four of us were there: Ed, myself, Andy, and JD. I started with Andy, went to Ed, and finished with JD. By the end, I was a gasping mess. I don't know what started it, but at least during my roll with JD, I simply must not have been breathing. My guard passing is still a bit shit, my guard work is steadily improving and feeling more secure, my top control is decent-ish, and my patience is worlds better than it was. At the end of class, Klint asked us who tried any of the knee-on-belly attacks from side control that we learned that day. Sheepishly, we laughed and tried to remember whether we even got to side control.
After, Andy, JD and I rotated in and out on one minute intervals. We went for probably fifteen minutes, so each guy had two minutes on and one minute off. I had never realized how much bigger JD is than I. He has a tae kwon do background, so he is explosive and exact in ways that I will never be. I think I might be a bit more technical, but it's a very close call. That kind of repetitive training, constantly being put back into the mix and starting again, works the lungs and all, and it reminds you to use technique, because your muscles will fail in no time. The only real problem i had with the one minute rounds is that it doesn't give a lot of time for the roll to progress. Then you have the added pressure of trying to get somewhere advantageous fast, and you forget to use technique instead of strength---it's a vicious cycle.
I'll probably hit class again tonight and then Thursday (and with luck, open mat Friday). Saturday is lost to school commitments, and Sunday is lost to homework. Because even though it's my last semester, I'm too stupid and proactive to take a light semester. Someone should have taught me how the importance of a light class-load.