What did I do after writing out a post this morning, you might ask? I went to open mat. Like an addict.
I got to roll with Dan (4-stripe blue), Timmy (purple, 2-stripe I think), and Casey (4-stripe purple). I'm a decent amount bigger than Dan, but roughly the same weight as Tim and Casey---I just carry it taller. I spent the afternoon working my good game. At least, when I could consciously implement a game, I opted for my good one. Which is my guard. And it worked pretty well. Dan was having serious problems with it. Talking afterwards, he said that most of the big guys he rolls with are my height, but at least 220, and that extra weight makes them move drastically differently than I do. I, with my spindly legs and flexible knees, give him problems that he doesn't normally see. But I was bad with my gas tank, and sapped it much quicker than I wanted to.
Tim just wrecked me. I think my success Saturday against him was either him working a few specific things or him not being fully warm and ready for a spastic man with long legs. But today, he took none of it and gave me a serious lesson. A few collar chokes and armbars later, he even let me work simply takedowns and stand-up for a few minutes. Here, I had mixed success and failure. But, it was probably the second time I worked only takedowns, and I didn't embarrass myself or my academy, so I was alright with it. Tim is one of the big personalities of that academy. For a while, that school and ours were under the same flag. Since January, Edina has come under a different affiliation. The politics of jiu jitsu don't really attract me, but as I understand them, those politics can cause serious clashes between schools. we thankfully don't have any of those. There is a palpable disconnect, though, between Damian's students and Klint's, though, and it's not just the kind of game that their students pick up from their respective instructors. Damian has had students longer, and he has many, many more of them. Klint's been running his school for maybe two years now. They have a swagger that they've earned with blood, time, and tears spent on the mats. Klint's students are always welcome at Damian's academy to train or take classes, open-door policy. In that respect, the instructors are world class. I think I'm the student from across town who goes to Damian's most often, and occasionally I get that high-school, "not quite in this clique" vibe. It's a strange thing, and today it was wonderfully absent.
Casey worked me pretty well, and complimented my defense afterwards. As the defender, it never feels great to hear "Your defense is great" because it means that he was attacking the entire time and you couldn't get back to even a neutral position. The good part, though, is that it means that your defense is improving, so eventually, you'll have time to spend on attacking. Double-edged sword and whatnot.