I had a new experience while rolling with The Hulk in the advanced class at Lincoln BJJ yesterday. At one point I was in top half guard, and he attempted to sweep me about six times with the same technique (which I believe was a new one for him), but was unable to do so. Since he’s so much bigger and stronger than I am, he usually tries to level the playing field by holding back (yet still being the one in control!), so his first couple sweep attempts were gentle, and when I successfully defended, he kept trying harder, but still couldn’t sweep me.
I realized he was a little frustrated that the sweep wasn’t working, so I told him “I’m wet-blanketing you.”, and what I meant was that I was just relaxing and surfing him like a giant wave! Then he said “Don’t you hate it when you try so hard to do something and it doesn’t work?”, and I responded “Dude, almost nothing I try ever works!”, which was a slight exaggeration, but it does feel that way sometimes!
Once I was rolling with Conan when The Professor was watching, and I ended up in a bad spot, so I asked Greg what I had done wrong, and he said “It’s not so much what you did wrong, but what Conan did right.” I believe the reason the sweep didn’t work for Adam wasn’t because he was doing it wrong, but because I was defending it correctly, and I don’t always acknowledge those type of successes in my training, but it was definitely an accomplishment to be able to repeatedly prevent The Hulk from sweeping me!
To be honest, Adam could’ve probably forced that sweep to work (or just bench-pressed me off of him and slammed me to the mat!) but he tried to sweep me with technique, which gave me a chance to defend. Recently I’ve seen this quote “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” -Saint Francis de Sale, and the first thing I thought of when I read it was Adam. He could easily smash me, but when we roll I don’t get The Hulk, I get Bruce Banner, and even though he still usually beats me, he doesn’t use any more of his strength or size than is necessary, which allows me the rare opportunity to succeed in the advanced class. The Hulk is a monster and a gentleman, and surfing him is pretty fun!