It's been a good week of training. On Friday, I got to train at two open mats--one at Rev, and one at our academy. How do I get so lucky, you might ask yourself, as to train at two different open mat sessions in one night? Well, I don't see my wife that often, and I drive from one end of town to the other in order to get it done. So I probably spent equal amounts of time in the car and on the mat Friday. But it's all good.
At rev, I worked with a few blues and then purple Mike. The work with the blues went alright. The first was a moose who always wants to work his way out of side control, so he just starts flat on his back. I'm fine with that, as it affords me the opportunity to refine my attacks from side mount and see how new grips and wraps might work. Of course, at one point I got to his back and he said I tweaked his back when I was flattening him out. So that wasn't great. Then another blue--much closer to my size and body type--came up and we worked for a bit. It was back and forth; I can't remember whether either of us effectively passed the other's guard, but I remember that we were pushing each other pretty well. He had just come off a lengthy roll with another guy, so after about ten minutes he needed to break for some water. That left an opening for Mike. I always seem to pick up a lot from Mike when I get to train with him. He's deliberate without being slow, and methodical without being planned. It's the kind of game I want to have.
That couldn't last forever, though, because I had to get across town. A purple belt who teaches in the area was going to show up to train for a little while, so of course I came. We have so few people at our academy that any time anything jiu jitsu related happens, I feel an obligation to be there and represent. So it was myself, the purple Jon, one of his new-ish white belt students, and Kyle. We only had about a half hour to train because Jon had to get to the airport, but we made the most of it. Jon and I worked a little bit first, just to feel each other out. He's about my height and build, but he has a much more extensive history with both the martial arts in general and jiu jitsu specifically. So we got a little work in, and his student watched. When Kyle showed, Jon worked with him for a while and I took on his white belt. The kid was strong--he has a wrestling background and has only been doing jits for a few months, so he's still in that "my grips are my life" stage. It was good, though, he was trying to do the right things, I think. I used the opportunity to work on some things that I don't usually use. I still ended up with some armbars and triangles, but I was just as often using the position to transition somewhere else, going from the armbar to the back, working collar chokes. After a bit, Jon and I worked again while Kyle and Sebastian worked. This was a little faster than our initial roll, and it was very, very fun. I was attacking instead of laying back and waiting for something that demanded a reaction, and that is a huge change from just a few months ago. I even had him in some bad spots, one of which I really should have been able to finish but let go in favor of keeping a dominating position rather than burning out my grips on a tenuous and doubtful submission. He even told me after that I was really close to finishing it. Dammit.
Klint is still gone this week; I think he gets back sometime next week. And he'll be sore, fit, and probably more than a little frustrated. So those classes will be interesting. And terrifying. But until then, we have Gina this week, we had Tony work our wrestling last night, and with a little luck, another open mat with Jon Friday night. I really should think about finding a way to have this habit support me while I study for the bar this summer. It would be a lot easier than juggling BarBri, restaurant life, jiu jitsu, and marriage. If anyone has a recommendation, I'm all ears.