(See what I did there? It's the same title as the last post, but it's not. Because it's different.)
I have a belt test coming up. As I understand it, it's for my blue. And I have no idea what to expect.
I've talked before about my feelings towards pre-planned belt ceremonies. In short, I appreciate the chance to show your family and friends what you do with all your time and energy, and lament the loss of spontaneity. Still, it places a higher value on the inter-belt stripes. The curriculum that Dave has developed and Klint has adopted gives the students specific guidelines to follow. So each test I've had so far, I've known a handful of specific skills at which I needed to be proficient. For what's coming Friday, though, we have no agenda or checklist. I'm pretty sure that I'll get wrecked by a handful of upper belts. I can make it last--but I want to do better than that. I want to actually put some pressure on my opponents and get them in precarious positions. You know. Do some good grappling.
At the same time, I'm not entirely sure that I am a blue-belt quality grappler. Monday and Tuesday, I went to class and we worked footlocks and kneebars. This is the most terrifying segment of jiu jitsu and grappling I've yet learned. Monday night, I absently left my feet crossed when I had Ed's back, and as I was working to get a collar choke, he footlocked me with his legs. It was a great reminder to stay conscious of what your legs are doing at all times. It also made me limp for the rest of the night.
Tuesday, Klint had Vance and I roll after class. Normally, we would just go for a while until one of us tired, but this time Klint said to go for 15 minutes. So we did. Vance isn't in the best shape, though. He's probably 48 years old, not fat but not trim, and his cardio is rough. He was pretty tired after class before we got to rolling, and I was still pretty fresh. I think a lot of it has to do with his breathing, but I don't know how to break that to him. He's been training for a longer period of time than I have, but I think I have more mat time than he. Regardless, we worked for 15 minutes straight. I did a few things pretty well, and I did a few things pretty sloppily. New Jeremy was watching us, and he said he was getting tired just watching us roll.
I'm comfortable with my attack transitions. I'm less comfortable with takedowns, bottom side control, and very mobile opponents. But Klint has decided that I'm ready to advance to blue. And Friday, I'll find out exactly what that means.