When You Close Your Eyes

Joe: “What did you think of that submission I got on you today?”
Me: “I thought it was stupid, and I hated it.”

Cobra Marital ArtsI’ve heard about BJJ schools sometimes turning off the lights and rolling in the dark, which I found intriguing, and since Ethridge class is for experimentation, I thought it would be a good place to attempt it, but the class takes place in the daytime and we can’t black out the dojo, so yesterday I suggested that we train with our eyes closed instead. Coach Amy had my husband and I do positional sparring (multiple rounds from guard, mount, side control, back mount, and scarf hold), all with our eyes closed, and it turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated, but mostly because I had a hard time remembering to keep my eyes shut. I probably needed to be blindfolded to make it truly effective, but Joe also had some trouble keeping his eyes closed, and Amy pointed out that whenever there was a scramble, we would both open them.

As far as the rolling itself, it was definitely more challenging without eyesight, especially since yesterday was no-gi day, so we couldn’t just blindly grope for gi grips, but I don’t think it really made a significant difference in either mine or my husband’s overall performance (although he said he felt like he was rough on me, and it did seem more primal). We also closed our eyes for our final match, and we kept them closed the whole time, except Amy let me open mine when we started from standing (until we hit the floor), but Joe did close his eyes for the stand-up, yet he still succeeded in throwing me! The roll ended with me tapping to something that felt like an ezekiel choke, but it also involved his leg being around my head. After class, Joe said he was glad I had suggested closing our eyes, because we both enjoyed adding a new twist to our rolling experience, and thankfully he took it in good humor when I told him that his submission was stupid (but I really did hate it! ;).

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