Round & Round

Amy called in sick to Ethridge Jiu-Jitsu class yesterday, so I ended up teaching again. It was actually kind of nice that I didn’t know I would have to teach, because I didn’t have time to freak out about it, but I’m not good at coming up with a plan on the fly, so it was a more of a free-form class. Joe and I reviewed some techniques, then we just started grappling, stopping to work on different things that came up.

At first I didn’t tell Joe I had a personal theme I was focusing on, but he noticed that I was spending a lot of time on top, so I told him my goal was to gain top position and stay there for as long as I could. Since day one, Amy has been telling me to stop desperately trying to hold onto failing positions, and instead transition to other positions, thereby maintaining control. Recently I’ve really began to understand that for a smaller person such as myself, fluidity is the key to maintaining top control. I’m probably not going to be able to lock most people down in one pin for any length of time, so I have to keep moving.

I imagine that to the Daitoryu students who were watching Joe and I grapple, we truly exemplified the term “rolling”, because for awhile it felt like we just kept going round and round in circles. No laying in half-guard for twenty minutes for us! The nice thing for me was that I kept managing to get top position, and I was able to stay there a little longer each time. I didn’t just try to stay on top, I did attempt to submit Joe (unsuccessfully), but not from guard (like I usually do), I only used guard to help me get on top. The best part was when Joe asked “When did you get so heavy?”.

After class was over yesterday, Sensei Tracey from Daitoryu told Joe that it looked like I had been beating him, and I don’t think he would have gotten that same impression if I would’ve played my usual guard game. Last week in Ethridge class our “final death match” abruptly ended after I reversed Joe, and while trying to establish top position I took an elbow to the mouth, which had me tasting blood. Amy declared Joe the winner, and when I protested by saying he cheated, she replied that it was more like I had thrown my face into his elbow, not the other way around! Since Amy wasn’t there to name a winner this week, and there was no submission, I hereby claim victory…if only for the fact that I did not bleed.

“Tightened our belts, abuse ourselves…” -Ratt
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