I’d gone away, spent hours and hours listening to podcasts, reading the Reddit r/bjj sub-reddit and had absorbed the stuff I had covered in the first class – The closed guard, guard passing and my first few rolls.
I’d also spent about 3 days recovering and massaging aching muscles and ragged fingers.
The class was incredibly welcoming and Diccon Lynes (instructor) was great during my first class. He used me for demonstrations, made me feel part of the group, and basically kept me connected to the group, the class and the techniques constantly. And so going back for a 2nd time felt far less intimidating. I was already getting a sense of the BJJ lifestyle that I had read about.
This class was centred on sweeps from a closed guard position. Having just learned the closed guard, jumping into drilling the tripod sweep and lumberjack/scythe sweep was intense but fun.
I’m going to start filming the techniques in my class (and myself), but for now, the technique in the video above is pretty much dead on the one we were drilling.
It took me quite a while to stop being tangled up in a mess of Gi, belt, leg and my own arms, but after about 20 mins of drilling, I started to get a hang of the movement and controlling (most of) my limbs. I’m lucky that I’ve always played competitive sports, active and fairly flexible, so didn’t struggle with the mechanics of the movements so much as doing it properly, in some sort of correct order.
I rolled with 4 different sparring partners this time, and felt a marked improvement as I started to try think about what was happening and why. I still found myself trying to power through guards or controls without really knowing what to do. I rolled with quite a slight guy (white belt but about 12 months experience), about 8 kg’s lighter than me and not too athletic, but he controlled and played with me like it was nothing. Showed me that technique is vital, and being strong doesn’t equal a tap.
I’m burning out and getting exhausted by the end of the 3rd roll (4th roll was definitely me ineffectually flopping about till I got choked). My aim is to try stop using all my strength to push a move through, and do my best to practise the techniques and manoeuvre rather than hulk-smash it.