Wednesday evening BJJ in Seattle. JB had a car to use today, for a change- so first I suggested that we go to the Bellevue school, since she’s never even been in there yet. But then I said, "On the other hand, if we to to Rodrigo’s class in Seattle, we can cross our fingers that he might stripe you up." Otherwise I figured it would happen while I am out of town, which would suck. Not really looking for a first-promotion-missing hat trick here. So we went to Seattle. SK and JM too. Yeah, I let them back in my car. They both wrote me sincere-sounding apologies. I still can’t understand WTF was going on in their thought processes- but with apologies and promises to never do anything like that again, I think I have to try to forgive. I’m working on it.
As we were waiting for class to start, Peter asked JB if she saw the UFC fights…. she had no idea what UFC is…not even what it stood for…. he said, "Are you kidding?" So I told him that my crew is from a traditional Chinese MA background, so they haven’t really been around that kind of scene!
Some of the same techniques as on Monday, plus a couple of takedowns. I seem to be at the point where about 85% of the techniques, I recognize them- so now I can work on refining them, and pick up more nuances- and it’s nice to be proficient enough to feel qualified to help the newbies with the technique.
I drilled with JB, and she was a little slow tonight because her asthma is really bad lately. Seemed to be a little slow mentally tonight too- I had to walk her through almost everything. But after a couple tries, she was doing the techniques like a pro. The side control to armbar sequence…. that thing is kind of complicated. I remember it as being the first REALLY intimidatingly complicated technique sequence that I had a ton of trouble with in my first couple months. I think this is the third or so time I’ve cycled through it (several classes in each cycle), so I feel pretty good about it now, but it took me a long time to get. Man, JB was doing the technique like a superstar by the end of the drill- all the technical details correct, nice and tight and controlling, good weight down on me, everything was perfect and the flow was smooth and quick. I was very impressed.
After drills, I did a little positional sparring with Anthony (I beat him about two times out of eight), then with JM. I was able to put my personal issues on the shelf while I worked with her, which I was relieved and pleased about. I plagued her with spider guard for a couple of rounds, then she started aggressively defending her sleeve cuffs so that I couldn’t get it again.
JB got her stripe. I was so happy. It was so cool to see her walk up there and get taped up by Rodrigo himself. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that one.
Rodrigo did bench all three of them for open mat, which was odd. SK was a bit bewildered and annoyed, and so was I… when you get your first stripe, you’re good to go, so I don’t know what was up with that. I had been looking forward to open-mat rolling with all three of them in succession starting tonight, maybe a game of king-of-the-mat. I think that would be a fun way to close out most of the classes from now on. Hopefully they will be good to go next time, and no further issues.
I was ready to gather them all up and take off, once I saw we weren’t going to open-mat it, but Rodrigo specifically asked me to roll with Allie. So I figured I’d do a couple with her before I went. She has gotten somewhat better- she is being more assertive- but still doesn’t know much to do from some of the positions. She groaned when I caught her in my closed guard, and said that she hated this because she didn’t really have any technique from there. I showed her "posture and base"- and praised the way she was already keeping her elbows down and in. Then I moved my hips around, yanked at her sleeves, and threatened her with sweeps, just hard enought to challenge her, making her work the base and defend against various things.
I walked her through two simple escapes from half guard, then caught her in it several times to make her practice. She picks things up with a little help- I think she just needs somebody to mentor her a bit.
There were also two small-size women in class today that I’ve never seen before (class ratio tonight: 7 woman and 11 men). This is pretty cool.
SK related frustration on the way home in the carpool about not being able to compete well with the guy he was doing positional sparring with… this guy just got his first stripe today, and SK felt like he should have been able to at least be competitive with him. But the guy was doing a bit of explosive spazzing, and SK was having trouble doing anything to him. I really need to make a concerted effort to approach a few of my favorite male colored belt classmates and ask them to play with SK… I think SK is getting stuck with too many spazzy white belts, and it is discouraging him as well as not being very educational.
I also pointed out that you can’t be too down on yourself when some new guy walks in and wipes the mat with you, because you have no idea where he’s been. He might have six years of wrestling background.