Sunday, January 22, 2012


Klint has cut back on our classes.  We just don't have enough students to justify all the time we're taking the classroom.  Which bites a big one.  Now he has class Monday and Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.  So it's three times a week.  Unfortunately, Tuesday and Thursday nights were the nights when we had the separated room all to ourselves the whole night, so we could stay and train and drill as late as we had energy.  Now, we have to share our training space with others.  Which, really, isn't terrible--hell, it might even bring a few of them into class to train.

Today, Klint brought his friend Jared in to teach class.  Jared earned his black belt from Dave Camarillo at the same time as Klint.  He trains up in Brainerd (see also:  arctic wasteland).  He was preceded by the myth. We started training after he had to take a lot of time off for some injuries, and therefore we never had a chance to train with him.

I don't even know where to begin.  He is indescribable.  His technique is phenomenal, he is humble and intelligent and exact and---really, just awe-inspiring.

That meant that today, I went to Gina's class from 8 to 930, rolled for a half hour at 1030, then to Klint's/Jared's class ended up going from 12 to 3.  To be fair, a lot of that was Klint and Jared showing each other new and different techniques.  But that was just as good as class.  And jesus I'm tired.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Goals

Everyone talks about making lists of goals so that you can reflect on them and return to them over time, see how far you've come in actually achieving them.  I don't know whether that's true or not; I hadn't looked at my goals for last year until five minutes ago.

1)  Keep training.  Seems simple enough.  We have a kid coming in short order, and I'll be starting a grown-up job in a week.  All that means that my time won't be as flexible as it has been the last several months.  And my improvement will probably come on a bit slower.  Because I won't be able to get to, say, five to six classes in a week.  Because life takes precedence.  But.  I want to keep training and keep working to get better.

2)  Compete at least once, hopefully twice.  I don't particularly enjoy competing.  It teaches me a lot, and watching myself compete (as painful as that is) shows me where I need to focus training and what parts of my game I have developed.  But the build-up and the distance we have to travel because we have very few tournaments in town and the toll of all that hard training---that's rough.  And with a life outside of the academy, it's hard to properly recover.  I pile the pressure on by not really taking time off and going right back to the mat as soon as I'm home, the mat where I can't train light with my main training partner because my main training partner is my instructor and he doesn't go light with me.  But the benefits of self-awareness and honest assessment outweigh the inconvenience.

3)  Train outside of Minnesota.  Training away from my home academy is always fun and educational.  It also means that I'm not stuck in the great white North all year round.  I want to get to Marcelo's, to Ryan Hall's academy, to Dave's in Pleasanton and Darcy's in San Jose, not to mention a handful of others.  So if I'm traveling, the gi is in the bag.

4)  Work my weak positions so I'm comfortable.  Inside closed guard, passing, half-guard.  It's only three. Shouldn't take that long.

5)  Work the belt.  I don't want my purple yet.  I'm not ready for it.  My game is smoothing itself out and I can feel myself becoming more fluid, but I have entirely too much more to learn to be thinking about that promotion right now.  I have one stripe on my blue, and that's more than anyone else at the academy.  It means a lot that I have that after less than two years training.  Keep the head down, keep working and learning.