Worst way to prep for class: spend the weekend before at a beer festival. Iggity.
We're working defenses this week. Last night was triangle defense. We worked a grip-break arm drag takedown series, then drilled the defenses Klint wanted us to work. He's been having us work pretty hard in class, and I'm pretty sure it's because he knows I have a competition in my sights. Lost of "OK guys, you have one minute; guy on top pass, guy on bottom submit, win as fast as you can GO!" kind of drills. It's good for getting used to struggling and getting your body accustomed to fighting with a lot of energy and adrenaline, but it's damned tiring.
I've had a few conversations with Klint about how I'm not improving as quickly as I want to. In the end, I know that I'm doing well and that it takes time and I'm probably ahead of the curve for a lot of guys. I've been grappling for a little more than a year and a half and I can give purple belts who've been training for ten years trouble, so that's a good sign. I want, though, to be competing with them, not just giving them trouble. And I'm not exactly easy on myself, I'm competitive, and I've been known to be impatient. A lot. So if my mind and body could just get their shit together, I would really appreciate it. I've started giving myself specific goals in training (focus on breaking grips and killing hooks, finish with only this submission if you get a dominant position, work open guard instead of closed, etc.), and I think that helps. It's the problem with development, though; it takes time, and I don't want it to. As the great philosopher Jagger once said, though, you can't always get what you want.
I read The Cauliflower Chronicles this weekend. It took me an afternoon. It won't win any awards or anything, but it was an entertaining read. It's one guy's story of going to Hawai'i to train at BJ Penn's academy and earn his blue belt. I'm sure part of the reason I enjoyed it is that it is temporally very close to my own quest for a blue belt, so I can empathize with a lot of the author's tales of getting waxed on the mat when you feel you should be doing better. That, and I want badly to go to Hawai'i. So if you enjoy hearing stories about jiu jitsu, I would recommend it. But if you get frustrated by grammatical conventions and sentence structure (and on a few occasions simple things like subject-verb agreement), you would be better off spending the time on the mats.
More training tonight.