Friday night- my posse and I headed down to Cindy’s new school to drop in on her no-gi class. JB bailed at the last minute. JM was still on the bench, but she still came- I thought it would be nice for us all to crowd in as a show of support for Cindy.
The space, which she is sharing with the same capoeira group that SK used to train with, has high ceilings and big windows, which is really nice. It feels open and airy, with some natural light, and not so warm. There’s a big pillar in the middle of the room. It didn’t bother us because we had a small class tonight, but if there were a lot of people there, I could see it being an impediment. I am not a fan of the bathroom- there’s no door on the toilet cubicle, just a curtain!
First came Cindy’s evil cardio warmups. Then we did a takedown involving wrapping up the opponent’s head and one arm, then swinging to the side and picking up one leg before driving forward.
Then we did a complex sequence using the same head/arm wrap, face-planting the opponent on the mat, then moving side-by-side with hir and immobilizing hir entire body with a series of wrapping holds while cranking hir neck painfully to the side to make it harder to resist. It ends with rolling onto your back, pulling the opponent spread-eagled back on top of you and grabbing RNC with hooks in. This is the sequence that gave me CAULIFLOWER EAR in April! So I immediately grabbed my muskrat trap (SK calls it my "cheese graters"). Especially since I was the most senior student present and thus got the dubious pleasure of being Cindy’s demo dummy. Being Cindy’s demo dummy usually involves pain.
We also got a variation in which instead of the rolling-on-your-back with hooks & RNC, you do a gator roll, grab a nasty neck crank, get a twisted half guard, and basically pretend the opponent is a nearly-empty toothpaste tube that you’re trying to get the very last brush out of. Particularly when Cindy is doing it to you, you are ready to tap as soon as she gets half guard because your neck is already being cranked, your spine twisted, and you’re choking. Depending on how the various arms ended up, you’re also usually suffocating with either Cindy’s bicep or your own pressed on your face and preventing you from breathing. This is before you get your lower half stretched out and your upper half compressed. There is lots of Bonus Violence in this submission. If you don’t tap to one pain, you’ll tap to another.
I do like the gator rolls. I would like to work with these more.
Part of the problem I am having with no-gi is that I am insecure about the grips. I miss having sleeves and pantlegs to get a fistful of. These bicep grips, with my tiny hands and most of these men’s big biceps…. I just feel like if it was a real spar (or a real self-defense scenario), I wouldn’t be able to keep the grips.
I wound up drilling with SK…. I had wanted him to get a chance to work with Kaungren, who is more his size, but unfortunately everyone there tonight was pretty big- and SK amusingly enough was probably the lightest besides me, so he got me.
We shall have to compare bruises tomorrow; I already have some nice maroon and black thumbprints coming up on the inside of my left bicep. I hope I left some too!
After we drilled for about a million years and were sore and puffing and sweat-drenched, we did several short spars. First I went with SK, who subbed me with an armbar in about 20 seconds. It was embarrassing. I don’t know how he can complain that he doesn’t feel like he’s progressing, when he can sub me in twenty seconds…. although I don’t know if that says more about HIM or ME!
Then I had to fight Cindy, and when we switched partners I got Cindy a second time- a double dose of The Sleeper! Of course the only things I got on her were the things she LET me get, but I do feel like I did better than I have done in the past against her. My incidence of repetitive dumb decisions is lessening. In particular, I have had a persistant instinct to wrap my arm around her waist, which has NEVER ended well for me- and this time I remembered to NOT do that. I successfully defended several things she tried on me- again, I’m sure she could have forced the issue, but I think if I acquit myself well in the defense, she seems to be letting me have it and moving on to something else.
By the time I was done fighting Cindy twice, I had no gas left to challenge Kaungren, so that will have to wait for another time. I’ll just let him lie awake dreading that for a few more days.