This was monster of a class – 2 hours long. Granted, I wasn’t active the entire two hours, but it was still long. Oh, and that’s not counting the extra 30 minutes I spent before each workday class just stretching my shoulder and the rest of my body.
I spent a good part of the day debating with myself whether I should go train or let my shoulder rest a bit. After going back and forth a bit, it’s obvious to see that I decided to go train.
Class started with drilling a throw (I really gotta learn what all these different types of throws are called) by yourself against a wall, but with a squat mixed in after you do the throwing motion. We then paired off and started drilling jumping guard. The kind of jumping guard where you’re both standing up, and one of you jumps up into guard, and the other guy has to keep his balance and be able to hold you both upright.
Then we drilled a very tiring and highly technical sweep, where you drop down after jumping guard, do spider guard, hipscape between your opponents legs, and make them fall to the ground, where you can establish side control, knee-on-belly, or what have you. Then to make things even more tiring, we practiced the sweep while your partner is trying to pass guard. I’ll illustrate this sweep with my snowboard instructors soon, promise!
I was paired up with tall S (to distinguish himself from the other S), a tall experienced white belt, during the sweep drill, so we paired off for rolling. I’m glad to see that I really do enjoy rolling – as soon as we started, I pulled guard, did spider guard, then proceeded to set-up the sweep we had just been practicing. I LOL’d as soon as I realized that I had just set up the sweep. I had a hard time doing the sweep while rolling because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s very technical. And I think the height difference, with tall S being much taller, made it harder for both him and myself to do.
Anyway, tall S also likes the triangle and manages to catch a lot of fellow white belts with it, just like the other S. So I was on the alert to avoid any triangle set-ups. During the entire roll, I was at the bottom playing defense. I had a few brief moments where I wasn’t on my back, but they were brief. I couldn’t keep him in my guard. I don’t think I even managed to even get closed guard. Anyway, I just kept defending and defending as he would go from North-South, Side control and mount. This went on for a long time. Then at one of the times he mounted, I reversed him, got sloppy (I did want to try the triangle escape that the other S showed me), got caught in a triangle and couldn’t even start to set-up the escape. After that, I was just gassed. I was so gassed and light-headed from the choke, I think I thought about taking a nap right there. But feeling empowered from Supercrap’s post on pushing yourself, I decided to keep on sparring, even though I didn’t have enough energy to even stand up. Well, I barely put up a fight when I had the energy, so I knew I was going to be working on nothing but my defense the whole time. And boy did I! I defended really, really well. My mind went back to the Jedi defense drill we did in BJJ class 91, and that’s just how I defended. If he went for one move, I would roll slightly to one side to neutralize it, if he went for another, I would go the other way to neutralize it. I defended my neck oh so well, even his attempts to set up chokes with his gi. I could tell he was getting frustrated cause he muttered “shitzy” or something like that a few times. I did tap to a gi choke attempt, although I had protected against the choke, it turned into a neck crank. I wanna keep rolling with this guy. Once I can keep him in guard or even maintain a top position, I’ll know that my game has really progressed
I sat to rest for a while, and after several minutes I rolled with P. I had gotten some energy back, but was still way exhausted. I concentrated on staying very technical and tried to do the open guard sweep to knee on belly, which I’ve been trying to do but haven’t managed to pull off yet, and he passed my guard. I was able to get half-guard and I don’t remember how I swept him (I was trying not to do my bread & butter Eddie Bravo half-guard sweeps, which I kept using on him before). I got side control, knee on belly and swung around for the far-side armbar, kinda like this. I still keep forgetting to squeeze my legs together and use my hips more when I armbar, so I landed kinda loose. He was able to stand and stack me, but when he released the pressure, I was able to trip him and finish the armbar. It’s the first time in a real long time that I was able to do an armbar, and even moreso, able to do it when being moved upside down and on my stomach. It wasn’t an easy sub to sink in, so I’m adding this one to my tap counter.
Right after that roll, I felt a sharp but mild pain on my shoulder. I iced it and sat around for some 15-20 minutes then went home. I’ve been icing it since my shower.
The next class I’m scheduled to go for is either two days from now, or on the weekend, 5 days from now. I think I just might pass on them and rest. I can’t risk this shoulder. After a few weeks, I stopped telling everyone I roll with not to pull the arm, since nothing has happened. I will tell every single person I roll with, even if I’ve told them several times before, not to pull on the arm and to avoid doing stuff to my right arm/shoulder, and I will always roll up my sleeve as a constant reminder for them while rolling . Also, before any submission to my right arm/shoulder feels like it is going to be completed, I will tap and yell out. I will not try to escape it, I will tap immediately. I will do this for as long as it takes until the shoulder feels normal again, even it takes all year. And, even if it doesn’t ever return to normal.