Friday night no-gi in Seattle, with all of my minions there with me!
I was half-hoping and half-dreading that we’d be doing the no-gi version of the complex reversal that we’d done on Monday morning… but it was easy guard-pass stuff. Three or four guard passes, all of which I had already taught my gang. I was pleased to note that many of the important points that Cindy stressed were things I had been careful to teach. I like it when that happens, it makes me feel like I really know what I’m doing.
I drilled with Sonia, then there was a lot of positional sparring- I got to work with JB, JM, Sonia, Connor and Cindy herself. JM and SK got a chance to work with Connor, and the girls got a chance to roll with Sonia- so I was happy to see my students get to work with some really good training partners.
There is no class on Monday, but there’s an open mat from 11am to 1. I asked SK and JM if they could come, and SK reminded me that they CAN’T come to an open mat because they are still stripeless. Argh! I said, "Ask Cindy if it’s okay for you to come to the open mat even though you don’t have a stripe- it’s not *exactly* asking when you’re going to get a stripe!" I had already warned them to not ask Rodrigo that! So when we asked Cindy about it, she said that she thought they all had enough classes to get a stripe, but that Rodrigo was running the open mat on Monday, so we’d have to ask him- wait, no, don’t ask Rodrigo about stripes, unless they wanted to wait another year. So she offered to ask him herself, and get back to us by e-mail.
I also got a chance to ask Cindy why we don’t get attendance credit for no-gi, and she said that it’s because it’s not part of the official curriculum. She said that Rodrigo is afraid that some people will come *just* to no-gi, and then want belts.
I got a chance on the carpool home to talk privately with JB a bit, and she was telling me about her problems with kung fu- which are remarkably similar to some of my problems with kung fu. She is feeling demotivated, ignored, and as if even her basic material is unravelling. I finally got her to fess up to the fact that this is affecting her attendance. I told her that she needs to talk to CN, and that it’s okay if she can’t articulate what the problem is- she should just let him know there’s a problem, and maybe he can HELP her articulate it. I also suggested that she try keeping a training blog, since this has been helpful to me in sorting some of those issues out. Anyway, I’m worried that the kung fu group might actually lose her if things don’t improve.