The bigger they are, the harder they fall

The advanced class last night at Lincoln BJJ Center was a lot of fun! Only four students showed up (me, Conan, Adam, and Josh), so The Professor rewarded us by skipping the calisthenics and technical instruction, and having us drill techniques of our choosing. Greg even created a chart to figure out how it would all go down, since there was an odd number of people, so he worked it out that we would trade partners each round, and one person would rotate out. I think it was also partially so that no one would have to work with me the entire time, because everyone except The Prof was around 200+ pounds. Those are the kind of days when I really miss my regular training partner Mike, but he went and got himself injured again!

We drilled four minutes on each side with a guard technique, a pass, a sub, and a takedown. For my submission, I choose a choke from side control using your own gi (Brabo baseball bat choke) which we had learned at the Tinguinha seminar, and it was cool that everyone in class came together to help me figure out why it was more of a neck crank than a choke when I was practicing it on Greg. Conan was the one who realized that the problem was with my hand position, and now I understand the technique much better overall!

The bigger they are, the harder they fall? False. All objects fall at the same rate, regardless of mass.My first roll was with Adam (The Hulk), and Greg joked “You get an easy one.”, so I joked back “They’re all easy today.”, which is the opposite of the truth! My final roll was supposed to be with Greg, but since Josh was the only person I hadn’t worked with during drilling, we traded partners. When I contemplated my choice between Professor Greg and Triple J, I thought “I’m probably going to get choked either way!”, but Josh actually armbarred me instead. One thing I’m happy about is that he wasn’t able to get his signature omoplata sweep on me!

The most surprising thing was that when I rolled with The Hulk and The Barbarian, I swept them both with the same sweep after they stood up in my open guard. However, I wasn’t able to gain control of either one of them after the sweep, which was disappointing, but it was still entertaining to watch the big guys fall, and to know that I caused it!

I think class was so much fun yesterday because I’m very familiar and comfortable with the people who were there, and I enjoyed the drilling. Everyone I trained with was super helpful in assisting me with the details of the techniques, and even though they’re all a bunch of monsters, they don’t make me feel like I’m a waste of their time. When I show up to class and realize I’m the only little person (and the least talented), sometimes I think I’m just going to slow everyone down, but they never treat me that way. I love Lincoln BJJ not just for the quality of instruction, but for the quality of the students, who make my training hard, but also really enjoyable.

“Your workout partners are a very important piece of your progression as an athlete,
and the character that you are building as a person as well.” -Randy Couture


4 comments on “The bigger they are, the harder they fall

  1. I get a lot out of reading your blog because I’m often in the same boat as you (smallest in the room), and have the same fears about slowing my partners down or wasting their time. I wonder what our jiu jitsu would be like if we could just worry about our techniques instead of the social aspect of things?

  2. Helping your teammates get better is an essential part of being a jiu jitsu artist. Anyone who is so purely selfish that they don’t want to do the occasional “charity roll” doesn’t belong there.

    Also, working with newer, smaller and weaker people lets you play with things you can’t (yet) make work on more evenly-matched classmates. You can learn something from every person you roll with, even on their first day.

    • I completely agree. Also, when it’s a particularly hard class, I think they don’t mind the little break they can get by rolling with me. ;) Although I’m definitely challenging them more than I used to!

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