There’s a wonderful book (and movie) titled “Gardens of Stone“. I read this book in college as a young Air Force ROTC cadet, and have since re-read it a handful of times. In one scene, the senior sergeant tells the young private after a particularly rough barracks inspection, “Some days you eat the bear…some days the bear eats you.”
Last night felt like the bear ate me. Why? Because I can’t seem to learn how to drink enough water and properly fuel my body before training. It was hot, I couldn’t get ahead of my thirst, and my gi felt like a wet blanket suffocating around me.
Don’t get me wrong, it was still a fantastic class. But in the case of last night, I spent way too much time on the bottom, getting eaten by the bear.
We drilled a few basic armbar, kimura, triangle drills after warmups, and then worked on kimura set-up/transition to guillotine. This was difficult for me, as I constantly felt that my gi sleeve, and my partners lapel, was getting in the way of me setting up the choke. Looking back, I think the majority of the times I’m able to get the guillotine choke is either from a scramble, or my partner dives in for a takedown. In either case, the angle is different than setting up kimura from guard, then wrapping your arm around the head for the guillotine. By adding a simple stack, my partner (Eric) was able to nullify my technique. Oh well, more work needed there. Then we drilled double-leg guard pass. We did this on Saturday in no-gi, but last night was refining the technique in gi.
A fellow blogger, Sarah, author of Trainwrecking, (great blog, you can check her out here), posted some pictures of her rolling. I thought that was a great idea, so today’s blog will capture some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of last night’s open rolling.
Thank you to Eric, Nate, Andrew (?), and others for rolling.
All in all – a good class. Jon (from JonJitsu, another fantastic blog here) reminded me several weeks ago that once you get 4 stripes on your white belt, and blue may be in the future, you start getting harder on yourself when you make beginner (read: white belt) mistakes. When, in fact, you ARE a white belt. So when I get caught in an armbar (like last night), or a few other submissions, or spend 30 mins on my back (like last night), I need to remind myself that I will continue making beginner mistakes, and that I need to learn from them to improve my game.
And for goodness sakes, man, drink some water, will ya? Stop gassing early because you’re not properly hydrated.
Take care of each other. Cheers!
PS – Yes, there were other pictures of me from last night: ones of me snotting, bleeding, throwing a temper tantrum before curling up in the fetal position and sobbing uncontrollably….but I omitted those. It’s MY blog, and I can tell the story any way I want!