This week I started to have a number of lightbulb moments. (hence Edison geddit?) I know there are a few people that read this that have these same type self aware occurrances and I am really pleased that my jiu jitsu is bringing these out.
Where do I start with this? How about something I have struggled with for a long time. For ages people have been telling me that I will feel my opponents moves. The weight shift of my partner that will indicate what they are going to do. Well this week I actually started to feel my partner whilst rolling. I could feel what technique he was he was thinking of by his movement, which enabled me to adjust my body to better prepare my escape when he tried to transition. Actually realising what I am supposed to be feeling, but also be being calm enough to recognise it was a small win for me this week, which I am definitely pleased with.
One of the other small wins this week have been the application of some new techniques I have been learning. I have been having private lessons in addition to the regular classes, with a super cool coach called Adam Adshead He has been working not only on technique but some concepts of BJJ as well. I have now started to put into effect some of the techniques and concepts I have been shown by Adam. I wasn’t able to finish, but hey these are new techniques. Getting three quarters of the way through them I see as an achievement. As I have been able to incorporate them into my game and once again have the calmness of mind to recall them, I see as another win or lightbulb turning on.
Another lightbulb is what has been helping with my guard retention. I’m not saying I am awesome at the moment, but since I have been back everyone has been blasting through my guard. I appreciate I have not trained for a long time and I have been back a few weeks, so I’m still getting back into the game. But I was disappointed with myself. This week using some of the concepts Adam has taught me I have been able to stop my guard being passed as much, or if they did reguard pretty quick.
My final lightbulb may sound a bit weird, hey the weird one for last. But I have for years felt funny about “hurting” my training partners. I am quickly going to clarify this. What I mean by “hurting’ are things like pushing a frame into a neck, which is part of the technique but I feel bad about applying. Or when doing knee on belly, I leave my toes on the floor, so all my weight doesn’t go through my partner. These may sound weird for an Old Munki that weighs 83kg/182lbs but that has been my mindset. I have now realised that it is ok to do these things, as long as they are part of the technique. I did it in a roll and the guy actually said how well I had kept him off.
Overall it has been a very illuminating week with all these lightbulbs pinging. I wouldn’t say that I am as good as the other blue belts at my school yet, but I am starting to feel that I have got a few more steps closer to them. With each of these steps I get closer to living up to my own expectations.