I was trying too hard. I have a fair amount of grip strength and from my Judo days I know how to grip without fatiguing. But my fingers still lost every ounce of strength tonight. My instructor kept quasi-yelling, “Grip the back of his gi.” Instead, I just placed my hand on his back, curled my fingers and made a face like I was squeezing lemons. I was pretending. There was nothing behind it.
Advanced class tonight was half-guard mania. We worked on a half-guard escape 15 times to each side and then Prof. Roberto discussed the philosophy behind it and some ideal uses for it in competition. Then he divided us up for positional rolling. He paired me with Aaron, who is a Blue belt (3 stripes). Aaron had his way with me as I have never used half-guard as an offensive tool. I am not mugging for my blog and pretending that I have no game when I really do or possess even a smattering of half-guard ability. I have been grappling since 2004 and I literally have no experience with it except for catching people in half-guard as a stalling technique. I am the anti Robson Moura.
When Prof. paired me up with Derek who is about 5’6 and 130 pounds I held onto him like a tiger holding onto a baby goat to keep him from passing my half-guard. I admit that when I was in his half-guard I used my weight to anchor him to the mat.
Am I evil?
I was so embarrassed by my performance that I am going to devote way too much time to learning half-guard. I think my fingers ‘dropped the ball’ because I was trying to overcompensate my lack of skill with grip strength. I don’t usually do that.
Until next time!