I don’t often write about the specifics of my rolling, because talking about all the details bores me, and I don’t always remember them. When I do write about open mat, I’m much more likely to talk about my failures than successes. One of the reasons for this is that I’m generally more focused on the negative (so I can correct myself!), but another reason is because although I try to come across as all mean, I’m actually a big softie (which sickens me! ;). Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem kicking ass and taking names, I just don’t want to reveal those names publicly. Since most of my rolling “successes” (read: submissions) happen against white belts, I don’t want to write about them for fear of making people feel bad, or discouraging them.
I don’t actually believe that most of the students who I train with read my blog, but we are a small school, and on the off-chance that someone might hear that I wrote about tapping them out, I’m afraid it might embarrass them, particularly if they are new. The SOB once joked about it, but I don’t want people to be reluctant to roll with me because they’re afraid I’m going to talk about how much more awesome I am than they are! Even if I used nicknames, it probably wouldn’t be too hard for people to figure out who I was talking about. Maybe I’m being too sensitive about it, but I don’t want to hurt feelings.
Lately I’ve been rolling with a lot of purple and black belts (so the only one tapping out has been me ;). The last time I rolled with Conan, at one point he asked “Are you trying to submit me?”, and I answered “No, I gave up on that a long time ago, now I just try to survive.” To me, surviving for over ten minutes against Conan seems like a greater success than tapping out a white belt. I have never been able to make it through a roll with him without eventually being submitted (except for one time when I caught him slipping). Someday I hope to prevent it long enough so that we will run out of time! When I do, you can bet I will write about it “Woohoo, Conan didn’t tap me out today! Who’s awesome? I’m awesome!” If I ever actually succeed in submitting Conan (for reals, and not because he’s taking it easy on me ;) I know he would not mind me writing about it. As a matter of fact, no one would probably be happier for me than he would. I don’t think you can make it to black belt without conquering your ego.
Last week I accidentally hit one of the new white belts in the face, and of course I said “I’m sorry!”, to which he replied “It’s okay, if I can’t take a punch to the face, I’m probably in the wrong place.” I suppose the same holds true in regards to them being submitted by me; if they can’t take it, then they are probably in the wrong place. However, I still want to be careful when I talk about it, because every “success” for me is a “failure” for someone else, and many new students have a hard enough time as it is, without me telling the internet all about how I destroyed them!
Since I mentioned The SOB earlier, I thought I would clarify that I don’t care about his feelings, the only reason I have not yet written a post about submitting him is because I have not yet been able to submit him. However, he has also not triangled me since the day I wrote that post…oh, but not for lack of trying! He even tried to triangle me today, but I was like “Oh no you didn’t!” So, I also consider that to be one of my greatest successes. Even though he’s tapped me out with a bunch of other chokes, he can’t triangle me anymore, and that feels like a great victory. It’s all in how you look at it.