First, I have to say that I have some serious respect for people that respect teaching. I've run into quite a few "professors" that had little to no regard for
their role as teachers; some that even seemed to resent that they had to interract with students. So, when I heard Master DaMatta telling the other instructors what should be addressed in their classes and teaching methods he was working on, it made me quite happy.
Work hadn't left me completely drained this week, and I've been feeling normal within minutes of getting home, so I decided to fill out my first 3 session week by going to the all-levels/open mat class. I'd gone on a Friday back when it was just another beginner's class and thought this would be the same thing with a few higher belts mixed in...you know...a review of technique, an hour of sparring. I was...so wrong.
When I first pulled up, I actually felt pretty calm. I walked in and asked one of the blue belts that was already warming up if white belts were welcome and got an enthusiastic "Sure!" in response. Great. I changed and got on the mats. As I opened the door, I heard Master Da Matta's voice. I'd assumed he'd be working down at the Coconut Creek location, but figured he was here for some other reason. When I was paired with my instructor to warm up, I realized I was dead wrong. Now, my nervousness around BJJ is pretty irrational. I freak out if my instructor comes in with a fresh haircut, taking it as a sign that we're going to be working on backflips off the wall or BASE jumping, so, on its own, my being nervous doesn't really mean much. However, I'd sat through bits of a few of the advanced classes and they've always intimidated me.
We started out with the usual drills. Drilling with your instructor is good stuff. He showed me how to shift an omoplata into a triangle mid-way through and Marcos cleaned up a couple of issues with my guard...muscle tension man...muscle tension. He also pointed out that I'm not locking the triangle at the end...other than that though, my omoplata is "perfect". I do love hearing that word from people who don't use it frivolously. Woo:)
We then moved onto a...I guess hip scooting, movement drill from butterly guard that's intended to develop hook strength. After running through that, we moved into the actual sweep. So...many...details. Two variations. The theory behind it. I've pretty much decided to keep all that separate from this blog at this point. I'd like to keep this readable and a page of tips and theory isn't very entertaining. I muddled my way through it and the variations. I trained with my instructor, then a blue and survived the whistle (At least I think I did...I felt really behind. Physical exhaustion had completely shut my brain down by then end. I was amazed at how patient my instructor was through the whole thing.)