I got back into BJJ training properly on Monday after what feels like a LONG time out of action. I went back initially last week but only worked for the first half of the lesson while we were drilling positions (specifically escape from full rear mount) but didn’t want to risk wrecking my finger again. However this week I sucked it up a bit, bound my finger really well and got on with it. We worked a really good half-guard escape and transition to 100KG or arm bar which requires some really quick movement. Rolling for the second half of the lesson was a different kettle of fish. I was expecting to struggle after not having been for so long, but I really made hard work of it. I was completely gassed after my second rotation and one of the purple belts gave me an utter drubbing. At the time it was hugely demoralising and I found myself thinking ‘I really am terrible at this, why do I bother’, but with a bit of time I can look back on it and see a problem which is to do with me, not my training.
I am, and always have been, a bit of a perfectionist in many areas. I expect (rightly or wrongly) to be great at new things I try very quickly, and it’s my downfall. I’m guessing it comes because I am reasonably bright, and I do tend to pick up the basics and concepts of things quite quickly. Be it a sport, a language, a hobby; whatever. The problem is that it doesn’t last, and I have a really hard time moving from the ‘picked it up quickly’ phase through the ‘actually it’s harder than it seems’ one, and on to the ‘actually I can do it’ one. It’s always been the same and it probably always will be. Tang Soo Do, Japanese, learning to drive – all the same. I know that I’ve got to get on with it and work through the hard part, but at the time when you’re tired, frustrated and annoyed at yourself it requires a bit of fortitude to do it.
On to less reflective stuff then, time for some stupidity. I train on textured foam rubber matting five days a week and have done for quite a while now. In all this time I’ve only given myself a small amount of mat burn maybe once or twice, usually doing things like ‘zombie crawls’ during warmups. At BJJ on Monday I managed to put two burns on the top of my foot, one of which is about the size of a plum, and it REALLY hurts. I should end the story there and let you guess about what incredible guard pass I was going for, but the truth is much less impressive. With my instructor being Brazilian he’s fond of football, and so we had a game of five-a-side to warm up. Muggins here had a rush of blood to the head when he saw an opportunity to slide tackle and make a dynamic save, and in the process took the skin off the top of his foot. It hurts like crazy, and my decision to wear nice tight patent leather shoes to work seems less and less clever with every step I take. Doh!
On Tuesday night we had the first time an outside group has used the TSD academy building, and a few of us went along to show some support and have our first try at Korean Yoga! It was really good, not what I was expecting at all, and I think I’ll be back. I was surprised just how hard I had to work, and how much stress my muscles were put under in certain postures. The mixture of high effort and utter relaxation is a great one, so I was surprised when the session ended and I felt pretty much the same as normal. That feeling didn’t last for long though, within five minutes I had to sit down because I felt like I was going to fall asleep, and that night I slept like the proverbial log. I know that a lot of the relaxation and concentration works with Alpha waves in the brain, and I find it really fascinating. It’ll be really interesting to see how the Qi Gong aspects crossover with TSD.
I’ve got a busy few weeks ahead now, I think they’re going to fly by. Mrs AdamR has her 30th birthday, I’m going to see Dragonforce, I’m off to Germany for a week and then I have.. well, I’m not going to think about that now, I’m already starting to get nervous O_o.