Captain America: Stark, we need a plan of attack! Iron Man: I have a plan: attack!
Recently in class at Lincoln BJJ, one of my seniors commented that it can be very challenging to roll with people who train in other grappling styles, because they often do things in ways that we’re not used to, and I thought “That’s what I go through whenever I train with my husband at the dojo on Sundays!”. Because Joe has ground experience in Judo and Aikijujitsu, but not Jiu-Jitsu (except in Ethridge class), I never know what he’s going to do, and I always have to expect the unexpected.
Our Ethridge Jiu-Jitsu class at the dojo can be more difficult for me than the advanced classes at LBJJC, not only because we often do positional sparring the entire time, but we also don’t play strictly by BJJ rules. We’re allowed to use methods that might be frowned upon in some schools (such as pressure points and pain compliance techniques), or that aren’t focused on as much in BJJ (like wrist locks and back breakers). I think the general rule in our class is “If it works, use it.”, but we’re still civilized. I mean, we don’t bite each other or anything like that, but we wouldn’t complain too much about things like being held down by a knee to the face.
I wouldn’t want to roll like we do in Ethridge class every day, but as someone who likes to keep self-defense in mind, I believe it’s beneficial to occasionally grapple with someone who doesn’t react the same way as most of the people I train with. Learning how to deal with the pain techniques makes me tougher, and experiencing the unusual ways Joe approaches things helps me to work on my problem-solving skills. He’s also almost always in attack mode, which pushes my stamina, and forces me to think and act quickly.
The theme in our Ethridge Jiu-Jitsu class yesterday was guard retention vs. passing, and I was happy that even though Joe didn’t do anything in a totally BJJ way (and I swear sometimes I think the man is made of iron!), I was still able to use some of the tips I learned in Jiu-Jitsu class this past week to prevent him from passing my guard! At least for awhile.
Training with my husband can sometimes be incredibly frustrating and somewhat painful, but I believe it makes me a more well-rounded grappler, and helps me think outside the box. He recently commented that it’s becoming increasingly obvious to him that my technicality has been improving, and his Joe-Jitsu isn’t working as well against my BJJ as it used to!