Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

This semester, I registered incorrectly in two different ways:  a) I registered for more credits than I need to graduate; and 2) I registered for at least one class that will drive me insane with the amount of work I have to do for it.  This insane class will also have me teaching high school seniors at 730 every morning of the week for nine weeks.  This will hopefully be rewarding in some way, though it will definitely require a fundamental change in how I time out my day.

As it relates to my mat time, I will probably be able to swing only two night classes and weekends for sure every week.  With luck, I'll be able to fit in open mat on Fridays as well.  So while it isn't a huge ut into my mat time, it's enough that I regret my registration strategy.

I went to class Tuesday, and I wanted to let the work afterwards sink in a bit before I wrote about it.  Class focused on more passes: the same standing one we did the night before, one rom bicep control if your opponent breaks you down, and then a ladder-up armbar and transitioning to the pass from a sweep.  I'm still perfecting some of the technical aspects of finishing a sweep--where to put my feet, which pass to transition to when sitting up, that sort of thing.  I worked with new Jeremy in class (once Neal re-tweaked his shoulder), and that was interesting.  He's getting better, he just needs a bit more patience and mat time.  I was able to catch the ladder-up armbar once, and to sweep him at least once.

After class, I rolled with Klint for a while.  I really don't know how long it was--I want to say twenty minutes or so, but when you're in the roll, time is a pretty malleable concept.  Naturally, I got tapped time and time again, but it took much longer than it used to.   I did a few things right:  at one point he turned my armbar defense into a triangle attempt, and I defended it and got back on top.  (To be fair, it wasn't totally to the top, I ended up in his open guard, but that's worlds better than caught in one of his triangles.)  All together, though, none of the rolls were quick finishes, and even though a lot my time was spent defending, it was good defense.  When rolling to turtle, I made a conscious effort to stop him from getting his lead hook in, so it kept him off my back.

His comments were encouraging.  He said he had to work harder to tap me that night than he had to tap out a purple belt last week.   Though of all things, I'm not maintaining my guard as well as I should be able to.  I need to work on going upside down, getting on my shoulders and rolling to maintain guard while my opponent pushes to pass it.  It was good, constant work.  And I came away from it with only a little bit of gi burn on my face.

Friday I went to open mat, but I didn't get there until about 645.  By then, only four people were there.  I got one roll in with Dumi, a well-respected blue belt.  I don't think I'd worked with him more than once before.  I wanted to work on some of the standing passes, but got caught in his butterfly guard.  That's somewhere that Kyle had been giving me trouble, so I was happy to work on it.  He kept getting a hook on the inside and causing problems for me.  We went over a few different ways to counter it, some of which I knew and some of which I'd just forgotten.

Saturday, after class (or at the end of class, depending on how rigidly you view the class structure) I worked with Chris, a purple belt.  He was around more then I started, then he and his wife had a kid and he's been at morning class across town more than at Klint's.  But he is one of the guys that scared the hell out of me to work with a year ago.  Saturday, we worked for about fifteen minutes in rolls at the end of class.  Everyone else had broken down and just started talking, but we kept rolling.  And I got caught over and over again--kimura here, loop choke there, cross choke.  He was working his guard, and I was working to pass.  Like Klint, he complimented me for improving and making him work.  So that was good.  And even though I wasn't successful, I'm getting better.  Closer.  More efficient and tighter.  Harder to catch.  And still haphazard and scared as hell.

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