Today’s class was back to basics under the tutulage of ‘Speedy’ Elliot. We worked a couple of triangle escapes, one of which could lead into a nasty footlock, or violin attack on the knee. We also worked a nice omoplata escape then moved on to some attacks. There was a choke and a triangle from guard, both of which used the opening the gi for leverage. Saucy.
Moving on, the infamous sweep or submit/pass the guard game. I’ve mentioned this before, and it’s always fun. We finished up the day with a bit of rolling.
Now before the roll, ‘Speedy’ warned us to play nice. This isn’t a competition, and you’re not going to learn anything by breaking someone’s arm, or choking them unconscious. He only wanted us using technique with little to no strength. No brute force. If you were using strength, you could sit out. If you didn’t think you could roll lighty and playfully, then just sit the fuck out right now. I added swearing there for dramatic effect.
Now I always roll lightly, I’m not in this sport to hurt people. That and the fact I’m a lazy son of a gun. So I rolled with one of the white belts first, we kept it light, playful and worked a lot of positions. I tried to encourage a bit of a flow, and it felt good. Neither of us took the piss, tried to hurt one another or make an example. There is nothing to be gained there.
My final roll was with another white belt. Off the mat he’s a likeable chap but on the mat he is a different beast altogether. He’s incredibly strong for his size, and can use it to great effect. Now I focused on working my guard here, and stifling any pass attempts that he tried, after a while he passed, and for the most part, technique was at play. He didn’t beast through, so I was happy enough working an escape from side. He wasn’t using his strength to reckless abandon. And then things got nasty. Oh shit. I was able to hold him off for a while but things started closing in, the technique went out the window, and brute force reared its ugly head. We’ve all been there. He caught me in what should have been a choke, but actually turned out to be a pretty vicious neck-crank, and I fucking hate neck-cranks. Now had he just applied pressure slowly, it would have been a choke, but as it was sharp my head was twisted and the crank came on. My neck sounded like a bottle of pills being thrown across the room. Rattle rattle rattle, CRUNCH.
Remembering back to Marc Walder’s seminar, he told us about a technique he uses to deal with people that weren’t the easiest to roll with. What you do is show them the mirror. You make them aware that what they have done is wrong, for whatever reason. For instance, if they’re grinding their forearm across your face to work a choke, or digging elbows into your thighs to pass a guard, why not make them aware? “Are you aware that you’re digging your eblows into my thighs?” It’s usually followed by a quick and sheepish sorry, then the correct application of a technique.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. That’s how I should have handled things but instead I chose to fucking lose it. I tapped to the crank, stood up quickly and bellowed out a torrent of abuse about the neck-crank, the point of the rolling and the usage of brute strength. Bare in mind, I do not have a volume control for my voice. It’s on, or it’s off. I then slumped over in pain at the side of the mats, still fuming, realising how much of an arsehole I will have looked to the entire class. He came over to apologise, and I accepted stating it was nothing personal, I just had to get that out of my system.
Now how I approached the situation wasn’t correct at all. I was taken to the end of my tether in a very short period of time. I’m well aware that he didn’t intend to be nasty, but what he did resulted in a very nasty ‘technique’ that can do lasting damage. I should have composed myself, and told him calmly. Sometimes we just flip, don’t we? It can be the slightest thing. You’ll stub your toe 99 times, then on the 100th it’s the worst atrocity to mankind, and you tell that coffee table they’re all the fucking bastards in the world.
Christ knows what struck me today, but I just snapped. It may be an accumulation of similar techniques over the years finally meeting its boiling point, I don’t know but I do know that I’ll be composed from now on.
I can be a bit of a cunt sometimes.