There were only six of us in the no-gi class today and I ended up with Spaceman again. Yanitza was sitting on the mat next to us and attempted to coach me from the sidelines, with my partner helping out as well. They both offered some great advice but I can't say that I was able to do much with it considering how fucking fast the guy moves and how little practice I've had with this sort of thing. I tried to give him enough resistance to be a good training partner but not knowing anything more than try to keep the knees up and get your legs around him I'm not sure I gave him much to work with.
Spaceman kicked my butt a few times before noticing that one of my big toes was blistered and bleeding, and we stopped so that I could tape it up. Before we could start again, Christian had him switch to work with one of the guys who had more experience and asked Yanitza to help me out. I felt bad because she'd just finished the kickboxing class and was going to do the gi class afterwards...the no-gi hour is usually her break in between the two so I had to figure she was completely exhausted. She was a really good sport though and worked with me for the rest of class, patiently showing me a few options for breaking out of closed guard (which I eventually managed at half-speed and with a bit of flailing) and rolled with me a bunch of times so that I could get a feel for it. I had a great time and learned a bunch of things to not do.
The hour went by fast. When it was over, Yanitza went to change into her gi and I sat down and talked with Liz a bit, who's now a purple belt and has won and/or done well in various competitions. She offered to roll with me before her class started, to give me some extra practice, and promptly destroyed me. I'm guessing she wasn't even trying, but that girl knows her shit and...well, I don't know shit, so it was great to work with her and to get that experience, even if it primarily involved a face full of sweaty mat.
When the gi class began, I thanked Liz and pounced on Isley, who worked with me for a while longer, which was really nice of him considering he was neither working nor taking a class at the time and was probably still recovering from his neck injury. He showed and practiced quite a few moves with me, including how to get a choke from behind and various defensive and offensive basics.
All in all, it was a really good evening. I was there for almost an hour longer than expected and even though I got killed, I feel like I learned a lot from it. Plus, it's good motivation to keep practicing!
Side note: unlike the other day, rolling with both Yanitza and Liz was great. I didn't feel awkward with them at all, so I'm thinking my discomfort over working with Britgirl was due more to her total lack of aggression than the fact that she was another female (as predicted, she never came back). I'm glad to have that sorted out because for a few days, I was feeling like a hypocritical douchebag.