Thursday wasn't nearly as tiring as the previous class but it was very informative. I did a warm-up roll with Archie, who I actually did pretty well against. I almost got his back and nearly subbed him a few times and, since he's also fairly new, it's the first time in a while that I didn't get completely dominated and was actually on the offensive for much of the time. Basically, it was a nice, even roll.
Then, Yanitza joined in for no-gi again and once class got started, I drilled various escapes from mount with her, which was great because that's how people are most often killing me. I know I won't be able to use the escapes on everyone, but at least I have some moves to think about and attempt now instead of just giving up, lying there and waiting to be armbarred. I was actually feeling pretty good by the end and would've joined the gi class but I hadn't washed mine yet. Instead, I spent half an hour in a one-on-one session with Isley, working on a bunch of different takedowns.
On Friday evening, I thought I'd see what was going on for open mat. I rolled with Christian to start, which turned into a very useful lesson on passing guard. Then I rolled with Curly for a while, who helped me to further practice guard passes and armbars, and reminded me that smaller people (like me) need to have awesome technique when rolling with bigger partners (almost everyone else) because I can't hurt them or power through moves the way they can do to me. Basically, I need to stop flailing and trying to sort of do everything all at once, instead focusing on what I want to do in any given moment, then doing it step by step, with increasing speed and skill as I go. He helped me to practice a bit more, subbed me a few times and then we took a break.
There was another surprise promotion today and, since I didn't have my gi with me, I got to whip the guy with his own white belt, which was fun. Then I spent the rest of the time alternating between training with different people and practicing my muay thai kicks. Rolling with LJack was an absolute bitch; he's just impossible, although I did manage to do some decent mount escapes, putting into practice what I'd learned the night before. I really need to learn some of his little people tricks down the line because he makes it look so easy dominating larger opponents. He destroyed the two new blue belts just for funsies. Every time I looked over, he was pretty much sitting on their heads. Near the end, while I was doing another round of solo kickboxing against the wall, Krypton came over, picked up a kick shield and offered to drill with me, which ended up being so much more fun. I still need a lot of practice but by the end, I was really happy with how I was doing.
Of course, today I feel like I've been beaten up by a yeti. Three days of 2-3 hours of gym in a row is a bit much for someone still trying to get in shape. I was already feeling pained going into this afternoon's class and after an hour of drilling takedowns with Isley and Curly, the state of my knees and arms wasn't getting any better. Curly's another one of those great training partners because in addition to squishing me like a bug, he stops to help me out along the way. Rather than running through the same takedowns over and over, he had me take it a step further and actually pull him over to go for the submission, giving me tips on how to take the back and how to get the most effective RNC by punching my arm through so that it's super tight against the throat. It was really helpful stuff to work on so hopefully I can put it to use next class.
After that, I stayed for another hour to train with Dom, first on kickboxing drills and then on armbars to triangles, doing it over and over (and over) until I had zero energy left. I was ready to collapse and he just kept saying "switch feet and kick, again!" or, with the submissions,"okay, just five more times, go!" My body is a total wreck now but at least I'm feeling much more comfortable with the muay thai stuff plus the two submissions, and I may even be able to use one of them against a fellow beginner next time. We'll see how that goes on Tuesday.
Tomorrow is Sunday and I plan to do little more than take a long, hot bath for my sore muscles, ice my many bruises and watch my Blue Planet DVDs.