Class this week is all about Ezekiel chokes. They are terrible, horrible things. They hurt, they are easy to forget about defending, and they are disproportionately effective for how simple they are to execute. Pick a position, and there is almost certainly an Ezekiel waiting there for you to snake around your opponent's neck. Mount, knee-on-belly, half-guard, inside the guard---I imagine there's one from side control, we just haven't worked it.
A friend of mine and training partner landed a legal internship at Zuffa, LLC in Vegas for the coming semester, and another is doing his tax LLM (or something equally boring/tradeworthy) somewhere in NYC. So of the nine or so standard students at our academy, we're losing two for the coming few months. As happy as I am for their opportunities and how much these will boost their value when looking for employment, it means that I personally am losing two of my best training partners. This is unfortunate. On the upswing, one will be training at Marcelo's gym, and the other might be able to land me some free fight tickets. So clouds and silver linings and all that, it might be a wash.
Neither of those two were at class, however, so afterwards I scooted over to Klint for my weekly thrashing. I decided at some point that I wasn't going to be as accepting of position this time around. I don't remember when I decided that--it might have been mid-guard-recovery for all I know--but the result was that I worked harder than I anticipated, I lasted longer than I thought that I would, and I transitioned to things without really registering where my body was going. On the way to class, I was listening to an old episode of the Fightworks Podcast, and their poll that week was about how much attention the audience pays to their individual progress; most of us said that we think about it a lot. I am no different. I want to be getting better, and I spend a lot of time and energy trying to ensure that it happens. Rolls like tonight, where I notice my body doing things without consciously having to go step-by-step betray more progress than I had expected. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Andy told me last night that my transitions were looking a lot smoother, and that my body was starting to seem to end up in the right place to capitalize on an opening that I created by attempting a sweep or testing my opponent's balance. (He didn't say it exactly like that, but if we had been carefully dissecting that night's training, it would have sounded along those lines.) This has to be a direct result of the flow training from the last few weeks. So to anyone who hasn't tried flow rolling---do it now. Your transitions will thank you later.