Had some decent classes lately – one in particular was a good review of butterfly guard passes. For some reason I’ve been blanking on that particular area lately, but the drilling helped to drill (ha!) the techniques back into my head.
I’ve also gotten a bit more confident with the steamroller type of opponent. I think my no whining policy is working (see “Shut up an roll, dammit.” ). Instead of feeling sorry for myself about how this musclehead I’m rolling with isn’t bothering to work technique, I spend my time instead thinking about how I can use his lack of technique to my advantage. My success has been limited so far, but limited success is an improvement on no success. I’ve seen some opportunities that, while I haven’t necessarily been able to capitalize, I’m now aware of the possibilities for next time. However, I still need to work on sweeps and guard recovery from half guard and on preventing and escaping half guard. For some reason when I get flattened out and can’t breathe too well with a big dude grinding his shoulder into my chin, my BJJ goes in the crapper.
I had an uncomfortable moment in BJJ girl-dom the other day. We were working butterfly guard drills with full resistance – several people down and the rest lined up to take turns working the technique, winner stays on the mat, loser gets back in line. I was on the bottom working against a newbie white belt. At least, I’m assuming he’s a newbie, since he only looked vaguely familiar. He was concentrating so hard on passing my guard that he left his neck wide open and I had to go in for the choke. He tapped pretty quickly (I have bony wrists), and got up and left without shaking my hand.
The next time the line came around to him and I was sitting on the mat without an opponent, he actually looked at me, looked away, and sidled away slightly. Moments later, another person beat their opponent and he took off like a shot to roll with the other person while I sat on the mat feeling slightly stupid.
I know it’s really a minor, almost nonexistent issue, and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter at all. But somehow, it irked me. Don’t get me wrong, there’s guys I refuse to roll with because I always end up getting hurt when I do. But I didn’t hurt this guy at all. Not a bruise. It wasn’t event an armbar where he could say I hyper extended his arm. It was just a silly little lapel choke, and I stopped the moment he tapped. So why wouldn’t he roll with me again? Three guesses, right?
I’ve had other guys refuse to roll with me before – some subtle avoidance, some blatant excuses (“my wife wouldn’t understand”). Thankfully it doesn’t happen often, and it has never happened with an upper belt, but it always sucks when it does happen. It makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong, or that I’m not accepted, or that I’m a horrible training partner. But that only lasts a moment, and then I just get more determined to deliberately seek that guy out and make him roll with me. Poor little newbie. He won’t know what hit him.