Last night I was a few minutes late to class and when I went in there were at least 30 guys in the no-gi class. The gi classes usually has fewer students and I hadn’t been to no-gi in a while so it was a shock. I immediately jumped in to the warm-up and we started doing this exercise where you stretch out your arms and then take one arm and touch your shoulder, your upper chest and then your opposite shoulder. Well while performing this exercise each one of my elbow and shoulder joints clicked each time I touched down.
We worked on a self-defense move to a bear-hug from the front and then a number of combinations from the butterfly guard. What I really liked about drilling last night is the review of the proper positioning and strategy of the butterfly guard. We also worked on another way of establishing the triangle for opponents with big shoulders and torso.
During sparring I rolled with a guy who I knew had a little bit of experience because of his technique during drilling. It turns out that he has been training on and off for four years. He caught me a little off guard with his ability to escape side control and when he reversed me he went to a knee on belly. I had to wake up and recognize he knew what he was doing. I actually thwarted it with the running defense I learned from Saulo Ribiero’s (book) where you turn away from the knee, which is counterintuitive to most BJJ practitioners. When I finally reversed him and secured side control I threw in my own knee on belly. I tried to secure an opposite side arm-bar I observed on one of Roy Dean’s Youtube videos. We stalemated.
I also rolled with Paco who seems to be getting bigger and stronger. When I pointed that out he countered that I was getting smaller. Usually when we roll we go back and forth and get a lot of almost submissions. Last night was no different. I did notice that my ability to defend is still increasing. I also noticed that Paco is getting better. He was promoted to blue belt when I received my four stripes so he is already a solid player. But I noticed an increased level of technical efficiency which was a little scary.
(A funny story about Paco: We rolled many times and never tapped each other. On the day of Blue belt testing we started to roll and he tapped me in about 15 seconds right in front of Smiley and Phil (purple belt who assisted in grading)).