You know how in my post yesterday I was whining about the soreness from training BJJ? Well, I still went to the advanced class last night anyway, and once I got there, none of that mattered. When I arrived at LBJJC, there was a guy in no-gi attire sitting on one of the chairs, but I didn’t pay any attention to him, until he asked “Gina, you don’t remember me, do you?”, then I looked at him and exclaimed “I do remember you!”. It was James Nakashima (aka Bubblegum James), who I hadn’t seen in several years. He was there to roll with Conan after the kids’ class, and I assume the reason he’s in Lincoln is because he has an MMA fight here this weekend, since he was wearing gloves when he grappled yesterday.
I was on the mat watching James and Conan roll, and when they were done, there was a couple minutes before the advanced class started, and James asked me to roll “for old times sake”. I was nervous that people would be watching us, and he’s a former collegiate wrestling champion! However, back in the early days, when I was begging for rolling partners, every time James came around, he always asked me to roll, so there’s no way I would ever turn him down. I told him I’ve gotten a lot better since the last time we rolled, and I know that both then and now, he went super easy on me, but yesterday I took his back and tried to choke him, and it was so much fun!
James didn’t participate in class last night, but it was still awesome. Professor Greg is out of town, so Conan taught, and most of the people in attendance were O.G.’s (original grapplers) from the dojo, so it did feel a little like old times. Conan also had us working on kesa gatame, which I find to be a useful tool, but we rarely practice it at Lincoln BJJ (I don’t think The Professor cares for it). One thing that wasn’t like old times is during positional sparring from kesa, I was able to reverse two different male blue belts who are much bigger than me, which was awesome. Another thing that was different yesterday is for drills I partnered with our recently arrived brown belt Alejandro for the first time, which was also awesome!
It’s good that I didn’t let the bout of feeling sorry for myself keep me from going to class yesterday, because I would’ve missed out on a lot of awesome! The pain and injuries don’t seem to bother me when I’m training, and it’s not that I don’t feel them, it’s just that I’m reminded of why it’s all worth it, because I really do love Jiu-Jitsu (every miserable bit of it ;).