Thursday night was awesome. The frustration that I felt on Tuesday when I struggled with bigger partners went away and I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy again. I nailed it today, a complete 180 from earlier in the week. Confidence soars (at least until next class when my bubble of self-satisfaction gets shattered, but we'll deal with that later).
I was feeling tired and defeated after Rascal's hour of puke-worthy conditioning work, during which I had trouble with just about everything, from pushups to pyramid kick drills. As always, the young Obi Wan was very encouraging and supportive, but it doesn't change the fact that I still feel pretty ridiculous when it comes to kickboxing. I know I just need to be patient...very patient, and committed. Patience is not my strong point but at least I've got the commitment part down. I've practically moved into this place.
I ended up with Trek for Fundamentals and Christian taught us a new sweep from half guard. I was groaning internally at first because I was skeptical of how well I'd do after my total lack of success last class, but it ended up going really, really well. I knew how much strength and resistance to expect this time, and countered it by keeping one of his arms at bay from the start (before he could get too close to my neck) while pushing my other forearm into his throat to drive him upwards and create space. I always feel bad squashing someone's esophagus but there was no other way to get out from under him, and it made it much easier to slide down and grab him around the waist. From there, I was able to secure his wrist and dive back under to sweep him with almost no effort. It felt so smooth and natural, I can't wait to try the move on someone while rolling. I think this is one sweep I might actually be able to use. I don't want to jinx myself though.
Isley and Big Boy were all over the mat tonight and kept rolling into our area. I would shoo them away, they would laugh and reset, and then a few minutes later, they'd come tumbling right back. Sigh. Schizo and KGB got all up in our space once or twice too. At one point, I swept Trek at the exact same time Schizo swept his partner and they went crashing into each other. The timing was so perfect and coordinated that it made me think of synchronized swimming: BJJ style.
Near the end of class, we switched partners and I paired up with Wardog, who I'd never met or even seen before, and it went great. Even when he upped his resistance, I managed the sweep with significant ease. We did a variation of the move later on, which Diesel supervised and which I didn't do so well with, but it didn't take away from my very happy mood. Wardog decided I was either so comfortable with the first sweep that I was subconsciously resisting the alternative, or that the second option is harder for someone with shorter arms. I think it was a combination of both.
One of the best things tonight was how complimentary both Trek and Wardog were. Both of them kept saying to me and to everyone else that I was surprisingly strong while on the offensive, and tough to get the moves on, and that it was a real workout doing the drills with me. And I was even going easy on them, so it feels good to know that at least those around my own experience level seem to consider me a worthwhile training partner now. Coupled with the fact that some of my usual partners are having more and more trouble tapping me out...honestly, this is the first time I've ever felt that accomplished in class; it really got to the point where I was picturing the South Park episode "Smug Alert."
I'm sure next week will bring me back down to planet Earth with a crash (or a major ass whooping from someone like KGB) but in the meantime, I'm feeling all inspired. Let me enjoy it.