Tuesday, July 17, 2012

time management

Yesterday was a test run for early morning bjj. I was initially a little brought down and skeptical, as it allowed for not quite a full hour of study. What the hell can you accomplish in that short amount of time? 

Answer: a metric shit ton, if you just focus. 

I brought in a dvd player with intentions of plowing through an assortment of butterfly guard moves, instead my partner and I studied just one. One move. And could've easily spent another hour on JUST THAT ONE. 

I'm starting to be more cognizant of what sort of learner/thinker I am. While the professional (ha) world forces me to be otherwise, at my core, I'm still a creative. And I still get the most out of immersing myself completely in something that I'm studying. Typical class structure isn't allowing me to do this as readily. It's the old "okay, here's a move, you and your partner do it like 10 times each, then we'll do another" - and I am jealous of people who can thrive in that structure, but I'm not really one of them. I leave always feeling like I"m missing details, just scratching the surface of it all, and that annoys me. 

But I also liked the complete lack of rush or pressure. Instead of being visually fed the "next move" or forcing a move progression upon myself, both my partner and I freely wandered through various progressions. And allowing for that sort of creativity was nice. It brought the playfulness back into jiu jitsu - there was no wrong or right, just options. Free flowing options, and then analyzing each, seeing where it may or may not be a great idea, what it would do points-wise, and an exchange of ideologies - we both came up with very different maps from just a simple butterfly sweep. 

It was also nice to just drill the hell out of it, each rep coming up with another little improvement or enlightening moment. Cementing the critical parts. Seeing it all come together and solidify more, but at my own pace rather than feeling the need to rush through it half-assed so as not to hold up my partner, or the class, or the instructor. (And there's probably some self-introspection to follow up with therein - is this rushing self-imposed or real?)

And I didn't have to split my attention with anything else. I know that I was not born with the greatest attention span, and maybe that is playing into my slow group learning. I don't know. I'll keep this method of study up for as long as I can. 

It was a large relief to have some oasis of jiu jitsu amidst my work week. The prospect of only having open mat weekends to learn from was daunting. Hopefully more options of this ilk will arise. In the meantime, I'm celebrating some breakthroughs in butterfly, and looking forward to more of the same.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

thankfully, some hope for mat time

while yesterday I certainly was present for a lot of mat time, I can't say that I felt very accomplished. I spent probably 2 hours trying to teach basics to a new girl, while also trying to reassure her that while yes, there is a ton of suck to deal with in jiu jitsu, it is worth the struggle.

Makes me think maybe I'm just lousy at teaching, if she's already this frustrated with it. But I fell as though not addressing the more upsetting things would be wrong of me. I'd probably do well to find a way to divert focus back to the really cool things about bjj.

Also spent some time later with a habitual monopolizer. Bless his heart, I don't mean it as mean as it sounds, but the kid just does a masterful job of diverting everyone's attention and effort into what he wants and needs. I should probably take notes on how the hell he does it. But he was asking about open guard issues, which I'm always happy to discuss. It used to be my happy place - I'd like to think it still is, but I get to spend so little time there anymore. No one seems to want to play open guard much.

A cool aha moment: same fellow mentioned having a lot of trouble with another regular training partner who starts everything with a cross collar grip that he just does NOT release ever. I suggested a simple counter that was based off a Gracie self defense move that easily nullified and forced the grip to release. I was kinda stoked that I remembered it so easily, and also to see an application of the art as it was originally intended.

I was able to at least negotiate some morning training options, which made me sleep better than I've slept in ages. The new work schedule conflict really has weighed on me - this, if it works out, will be a much needed relief.

So I'm loading up my ipad with more materials on butterfly, which I WILL figure out. It's just a matter of time. But first, time to go scrounge up some breakfast!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I suck out loud at nogi these days

Well, once again my work schedule has changed back to evenings, such that there's no way I can make evening classes. The present morning class schedule is such that I'll be lucky to get in an hour of work. This makes me supremely angry and sad.

I'm trying to trade shifts when I can to give myself whatever mat time I can get, but it's a far cry from ideal. Hopefully it'll be enough, and I can try to bridge the gaps on the weekends. It's like jiu jitsu has a restraining order on my ass or something...

Tonight, I was lucky enough to get a really early (note: I do a craptastic job of shifting from the latest shift to the earliest shift in the span of a day) and went in. I did nogi, as I keep hoping that I'll get better at it. That didn't so much happen this evening. And it easily could've been as much from missing for a couple of weeks (work and massive, lengthy power outages lately) as anything else, but I really just felt so ignorant and ineffective.

And everything freaking hurt. My skin is just hurting - what the hell is that? Transitions, moves, shifts, everything just hurt.

And the whining was plentiful. I was just a bitchy princess from hell tonight, which normally (I hope) isn't like me at all. I just felt so disconnected from it all. From my normal persona on the mats I guess... But I think it's where I'm freaking out - separation anxiety from bjj.

Hopefully my mind will sharpen, and my nerve endings will dull and I can just get back to making some progress. Maybe I did this evening, but just can't see it from here.