I went to the beginner no-gi class at LBJJC again yesterday, and Conan is over his sickness, so he was back to teaching. Last Sunday when The Professor taught, he used a white belt as a demo partner, but yesterday The Barbarian chose me, and I almost never get to help out, so that was cool!
In addition, Conan was my drilling partner, which also almost never happens! It was helpful since as the demo dummy, I didn’t get to see the techniques being demonstrated, but I think I did a pretty good job of figuring them out as they were being done to me.
Conan is fond of butterfly guard (which he can prevent you from passing with just a single toe!), and while it’s my least favorite form of guard, I think it does work well for no-gi (too bad I suck at it!). Yesterday we practiced a sweep from butterfly when your opponent has you on your back and you can’t sit up, and we also worked on how to get from half-guard to butterfly, plus he added in an armbar, which was applied with the same overhook we used for the sweep. Since there are no gis to grab, no-gi seems to be all about the hooks!
Conan was also my partner for the first two rounds of positional grappling, which went better than you would expect, but that’s only because he was allowing me to succeed, as long as I was being technically correct. He kept saying “Just relax, everything’s easier when you relax.”, and I know he’s right, but it’s kind of hard for me to relax when I’m grappling with The Man!
My final two rounds were with the white belt who I almost armbarred in the no-gi class last week, and yesterday I was able to finish the job. I actually went through a series of sub attempts before I got the tap (armbar, americana, omoplata, triangle, armbar), and I kept him in my guard throughout, but I guess I should admit that even though we started out in butterfly, I transitioned to closed guard as quickly as I could!
Getting the sub wasn’t even my favorite moment while grappling yesterday, that happened when I started out in the guard of the same white belt. He did sweep me once when I passed to half-guard, but then not only did I pass his guard, I actually took his back in the process! After the advanced gi classes last week, it was just nice to not get submitted a dozen times, or even once.
Yesterday Conan remarked that it had been awhile since he’s seen me in no-gi class, and it really makes no sense that I waited until it got cold to train no-gi again, but I’ve enjoyed the class for the past couple of weeks. Not wearing a gi is somewhat freeing, literally, because everyone is so slick! I guess I don’t totally hate no-gi anymore, so I’m going to try to keep training it a little more regularly.