It’s probably a trap.

During the rapid improvement period in skill learning, students are motivated by their rate of improvement. Their desire to learn is created by the success that they achieve. Concentration and commitment are facilitated by the rapid rate of technical development. However, once the rate of learning begins to slow down, it requires much more effort on the part of both the student and coach to maintain the attention and work rate. Eventually the leveling off of improvement begins to have a negative effect on the learning environment, which can bring about a reduction in performance. Tony Gummerson, "Teaching Martial Arts"

Tonight’s lesson: If someone who seems pretty good lets you waltz right into side mount, and you’re patting yourself on the back and thinking, "Damn, that was easy," IT IS PROBABLY A TRAP.

Evening gi class at Sleeper Athletics. Bottom half guard night. (After a bunch of armbar-from-guard drills, that is.)

You have bottom half guard. Get the underhook and shrug your shoulder up high. Have your other hand on your temple to defend the crossface. If opponent fails to whizzer, you can squirt right out of the side and take the back. (Note: If opponent is kneeling there like Babe the Big Blue Ox and you need to move hir, you can maneuver your legs so that your knee/upper thigh is against hir buttock and do what Cindy refers to as the "dog humping the leg" move.)

"Old School sweep": You have bottom half guard. Get the underhook and shrug your shoulder up high as you dive into deep half. Have your other hand on your temple to defend the crossface.

With your matward hand, grab opponent’s foot. Your other hand goes UNDER hir butt- not over it- and pass the foot to that hand. Your matward hand can now grab opponent’s knee.

Change your legs around so that you can drive into the person and plow hir onto hir side while pulling hir leg toward you. DO NOT LET GO OF THE LEGS till you have side control or other good position!

If the opponent is posting so that you can’t plow hir over, give a good push and wait for hir to push back, then pull hir into a roll right overtop of you to the other side. Likewise, do not let go of stuff. Make sure you have secured position first.

Rolls with Jalen, Sony, Cindy, Terry and Craig (different Craig… this is the same guy I was paired with for the judo-throwing workshop a really long time ago. Fun-size blue belt guy, very strong, very flexible, good moves). I asked everyone to footlock and leglock me. I was not doing so hot tonight at defending those, but I felt reasonably competitive tonight otherwise. Got a choke tap on Terry, which always feels good, because he ain’t givin’ me nothin’. He got a few taps on me. Mostly leglocks, although he got one "suffocation tap" while he was trying for a head-and-arm choke and I was so enswathed in both of our jackets that I couldn’t get any oxygen.

Craig was really fun to roll with. I tried so hard to baseball bat choke him. Came really close but couldn’t get it. He is the one who baited me into the trap. I managed to avoid that tap, but he was choking me pretty hard. Either we were really evenly matched, or he was dialing it down a bit so that we seemed evenly matched. Fun.

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