After a fairly busy few days of training, including getting back to BJJ on Saturday and some pretty heavy sparring on Sunday night, I went to BJJ last night after an hour of Dog Agility first. Murphy was overjoyed, you should’ve heard him squeaking with excitement when he realised which way we’re driving (his sense of direction is awesome, I think I should have called him TomTom), and surprisingly he hadn’t forgotten any of his training.
I motored over to training afterwards and we did some technical work, quickly switching from open guard to a kind of spider/half-guard hybrid for a sweep, and some other sweeps working from a spider pass attempt. I love the technical stuff, it’s enormously satisfying when you get it right and barely use any power. We went on from there to putting the higher grades through their paces in a series of ten minute pressure tests. As soon as a point was scored either way, the junior grades jumped off and someone took their place, continuously, for ten minutes. I jumped in to roll with my instructor and he was really gunning for it. I was determined not to let him sweep me, but an attempted sweep quickly turned into a strange locking of arms as we both rolled sideways. The next thing I knew I was on the other side of the mat in enormous pain, holding my arm, which had made a pretty sickening ‘pop’ noise.
I’m not sure now what I’ve done to it, but about an inch below my elbow is very tender and I have no strength in it at all. I was told after that what I’d described as feeling like ‘a bizarre kimura’ was in fact a Mir lock. I have no intention of ever being caught in one again, let alone resisting it. Still, I’m not there for a nice cup of tea and a site down, and I’ve learned a good lesson.
Over the last week the weather has been absolutely gorgeous down here, as if trying to make amends for the rubbish summer we had. Determined to make the most of it, a group of us headed down to the beach on Saturday afternoon in an inpromptu celebration for a friend’s wife’s birthday. We arrived early, and for once I didn’t mind waiting for the (habitual) latecomers. I grabbed a nice spot on the grass at the top of the cliffs and had a lie-down in the sunshine, which was the perfect tonic after being mauled earlier that day at training.
The afternoon rolled on and everyone turned up eventually, so we all headed down and grabbed a sheltered spot under the cliffs. A few of us decided to brave the Atlantic and get wet, and I’m so glad I did. I haven’t been in the sea since Christmas, and September is when the water’s at its warmest, so we spent a while bobbing about and body-surfing. We sprang back over the beach like something out of Baywatch and got settled for some barbecue action. Barbecues on the beach always taste good, especially after being in the sea and working up a proper appetite. Stuffed, worn out (after a game of what was meant to be Rounders after the food), and sipping some cold beers we sat around and chatted while the sun went down…
As the evening wore on we were joined by one more who came bearing gifts from the East (including Soju!), so we drank a bit more, celebrated her return and then a few brave souls (I say brave, better prepared might be more accurate, I didn’t bring enough dry clothing) headed back down for a last dip in the water as it got darker and darker. We made the decision to head a couple of miles down the road to the Sandsifter, a bar which has been done up for the middle-class surfing wannabes – and has the prices to match. A great night, and worth all the clambering about over rocks while tipsy in near darkness, if just for the sunset and twilight.