Attitude problem

Morning BJJ at Cindy’s. It was supposed to be gi day, but Lamont forgot his gi, so we did no-gi again. I hope I get some practice at defending against people pulling guard on me from standing, with gi… before the competition.

More positional flow drill. Continuing to have some problems with that pesky arm, going from north-south to scarf. Had to be reminded to sink my butt lower and also watch the weight-tipping point- I tend to hike myself too far up on the opponent, to the point that he can just summersault me over to the other side. On the bottom, trying to do some defending…. it’s really hard to do anything, especially when Lamont puts his weight on me (and he’s being relatively nice… I asked him to go easy on my ribs today). Sometimes I can catch a half-guard. I was informed today, though, that if I am going to do that, I need to follow it up because every time I catch a half-assed half guard and the guy gets out, he gets three points for "passing" my guard. I didn’t really realize that, and feel stupid… someone could rack up a lot of points on me that way.

Cindy says that she’s seeing me just freeze up- like a deer in headlights- in certain positions. Yeah, part of it is sometimes I don’t know what to do, sometimes the weight on my ribs hurts so bad that I can’t do anything but wheeze for breath, and sometimes I feel like any way I move is going to put me in an even worse position than the one I’m already. She wants me to move more… she says that moving and maybe getting reversed is better than freezing and CERTAINLY getting reversed.

When I front-mount, I need to make sure to draw my foot right up against the opponent. I sometimes have it too far out, and Lamont grabs half-guard.

We reviewed the pass and armbar that we’d done yesterday, substituting a slightly different armbar (same-side figure-4 grip instead of cross-grip).

Then a little pass-guard vs defend the guard. I know Lamont was going easy on me, but I still seemed to be a wreck. I was getting pretty frustrated. It was one of those days when I feel like I’m busting my butt really hard and just never getting any better. They both made a point of telling me that I am…. they are doing that a lot; I think they’re trying to work on my miserable inferiority complex…. but it doesn’t feel like I am.

So, kind of a discouraging-feeling session. I have to try to trust that Cindy and Lamont are right. I know (intellectually) that my defeatist attitude does me no favors and may well in fact be the most problematic aspect of my entire game. I started out MA excited and optimistic; transitioned to frustrated when lots of hard work did not translate to success because of physical limitations. You can stay at "frustrated" and get ulcers, and start having screaming tantrums in the grocery store line… or you can shift to "defeatist" which seems easier to live with than "frustrated" sometimes. I tend toward that "If you just work HARD enough, you will succeed" mindset- and it’s very demoralizing when you really work as HARD AS YOU CAN and people still crush you effortlessly. With "defeatist", the pressure is off. But it is definitely a destructive spiral that feeds upon itself.

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