Good work today after a slow start this week. Profs Rodrigo and Carlos led the class, and I got to work with Prof Abel for the Fundamentals portion. We started off with takedowns, working on another one of the top secret, Gracie Barra Washington takedowns (the reverse ankle pick, desperately in need of a new nickname!), which I hadn't ever really trained much before. But one of the real gems of Saturday's training was the guard pass: a nice, tight, wedging type of pass the opens up the legs, then keeps them open with your own leg positioning, before doing a "windshield wiper" maneuver to get your legs from in between where they are wedging the guard open, to over and on top of the opponent's leg, pinning them into place as you pass.
Some very good work in Live Training, including a pair of tough rolls with purple belts Gordon and Nadir. I'm still trying to get over the intimidation factor of thinking that my game is not good enough even now to keep up with the younger purple and brown belts. And in many ways, Saturday's training helped. I've been focused on limiting my options when training so that I don't waste a lot of time (and often waste even more effort) sitting there "wondering" what to do. I've been happy to see that even when training with top guys like Gordon, Nadir, even Prof Casey last Wednesday, by focusing on the key moves I'm trying to make and not settling for anything but those opportunities, I'm doing better, staying out of bad positions for longer periods of time, and not getting as fatigued as I had been in recent months.
My conditioning may be helping on that score. I've been just doing the Live Trainings on weekdays and spending most of the class time doing my conditioning work. Most of this is not by design; the way things had been going at The Daily Planet, it was difficult to leave as precisely as I would have preferred. That, for better and worse, is likely to change in the near term. But the consequence has been being able to do my conditioning work at the Academy rather than in the home gym (as the expense, admittedly, of some instruction.)
Each time I take a regular class, I get a glimpse of what I'm missing with this approach. But, for now, I like the results I'm seeing: gaining a bit more confidence and "stillness" in my jiu-jitsu, a little more stamina and ability to "push through" when I'm feeling fatigued and ready to stop, and losing a little bit of weight, as well. So far so good.
157.5 on the scale-post train. Pena. Pena. Pena. Prof Abel asked me if I was going to do the Pan next year. And given recent events, I think I'm closer to a "yes" answer than ever before.