Sorry for the delay. It’s Thursday, and I’ve had this post in draft format for a few days now. Better late than never…right?
So what’s new, hmmm?
My last post talked about the Krav Maga level test. That was a real kick in the ass. I realized on Sunday following the test that my body was sore. My entire body. Some of my sore muscles had sore muscles. By Monday, sore muscles turned into tight muscles – regardless of any efforts on my part to stretch them out.
But having missed a week of BJJ due to travel (and the Krav Maga test), I was anxious to get back on the mats. And what better way to work out soreness and tightness than warming them up with a little BJJ, eh?
Monday’s BJJ class was great – it was choke night. We drilled two basic collar chokes: one from mount, and one from a modified side-control, where you begin from a standing position while controlling your opponent’s legs (opponent on his back).
[Side note: I realize that in many of my posts I explain a move in narrative, mostly because I don’t know the proper names. For you BJJ aficionados out there, my apologies. I’m learning the lingo, I promise.]
As we drilled, we continued to refine the technique, which is something I really enjoy with our Professor. He demonstrates a few times, we drill it a few times, and after he’s satisfied we have the gross movements down pat, he corrects us on the finer points – a turned wrist, a better hip position, a foot pointed this way, a squeeze in your knees that way. Rolling was fun…as it always is! As usual, I rolled with the big guys. Something interesting happened: remember a few posts ago, when I talked about Carmelo (I’m still spelling his name wrong, I’m sure of it)? This is the tree-trunk of a human who is incredibly strong. The last time we rolled, he smashed me because I was fighting him too much; I tried to meet his strength with my own. Bad call on my part. Well, on Monday, he still smashed me a little, but instead of fighting his brute strength, I just (tried to) flow around it. I ended up taking his back and securing a collar choke. Before the end of the round, he was on top of me again, but I was able to position my hips to where I could regain half/deep-half guard once he passed me. So – yep, he still beat me up, but the victory was me consiously not fighting him strength on strength, but rather trying to flow around him.
Last night’s BJJ class was no-gi. We drilled ankle locks, ankle lock escapes, and knee bars. Again, Professor allowed us to demonstrate gross movements, then went around to refine our technique. I had plenty of energy going into our 30 min rolling session.
I rolled with Wes, who is another young gun with huge strength. He got on top of me pretty easily, but I was able to stuff an arm in my guard, and secure the triangle. Now, it was interesting – he’s a very muscular guy, and I was surprised that even though I had the choke, and my legs were properly locked, I had to be patient and work the submission because he was just so damn strong. I thougth for a moment that I’d have to release the attempt and work something else, but patience paid off. The rest of the round was spent in my guard, and he managed to get his signature ‘grab my neck and squeeze my head off my shoulders’ submission. I tapped, and thanked him for his chiropractic services. I know, I know…he shouldn’t be able to do that to me while in my guard. But he’s that strong, and I have a hard time controlling him in my guard.
I also rolled with Zack and Eric – great rounds with each of them! I finished the night with Pete. This is a full round of me on the defense, because he’s always in motion, always improving his position, always going for a submission if it’s there. A great/fun round, and one where neither of us used strength as much as we did technique (which is to say I used my 4 techniques, he used his 400).
Which brings me to the point of tonight’s post. I felt GREAT afterwards. I drove home feeling like I learned a lot, performed well, and didn’t get too beat up. A win-win class! Only to wake up this morning feeling like I was trampled on by a small water buffalo. I guess the endorphins from class masked the fact that my body is still recovering.
So without trying to complain or bellyache too much, I guess I’m just surprised that after doing this Krav Maga / BJJ thing for over a year now, my body is still learning how to handle the stresses of training. Maybe it’s ego, but I thought for sure I’d be able to roll hard for one evening, and wake up refreshed and feeling like a million bucks. Not today, I guess. I woke up tired, and feeling like a crumpled dollar bill stuck between your car seat.
Perhaps this is all part of the game. Maybe it takes a few years to be able to roll hard, fight hard, and still feel 90-100% in the morning. Or, maybe everybody feels this way, and I just need to ‘suck it up, buttercup‘.
Either way, Advil is my friend, and I’m already looking forward to Saturday’s class. We have two high-level brown belts visiting, both of whom I’ve rolled with before. It’s a wonderful (and humbling) learning experience. I can’t wait!
Take care of each other! Cheers.