Hello again, faithful reader. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that I have a recurring theme in my writing. Aside from the swearing, the self deprecation, etc. I’m of the philosophy or ethos that in the dick measuring competition that is life, the only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. Am I a better person than I was yesterday? Or in the case of training, am I a better grappler than I was yesterday?
Let’s focus on the latter, because it’s easier to focus on that than my inadequacies as a good human. More often than not the answer will be no, you’re not a better grappler than you were yesterday. Don’t let that deter you. Progression isn’t a quick thing in this game, especially when you’re not athletically gifted. If you’re a hobbyist this is going to be a slow and long road. It’s probably best to pick the right seat, and get comfortable. You’re going to be facing a dark grey skied horizon for a long fucking while.
Tonight, I decided to cross the club doors for a bit of early evening sparring with the intent of staying on for the submission grappling class afterwards. If my stomach isn’t being a fucking tosser as previously mentioned, I’m going to do what I can to get the club to train. Lost ground to cover, and all that shit.
I didn’t stay for the class becuase I was physically exhausted after an hour and a bit of sparring. Which felt pretty shitty. I went home and gorged myself on processed food, like a good little idiot.
I rolled with Kenny, Olly and Paul. Kenny and Olly I have the good fortune of rolling with frequently, so fuck those guys. I’m going to focus on Paul in this little scribble of words thrown at a computay screen. For the record, Kenny and Olly are both great to roll with, they challenge me in different ways. Olly’s athletic and technical. Kenny had to have his wall knocked down, so he could be forklifted out of his bed and brought to class.
Paul is one of the head coaches at the club. He’s a submission wrestler. He’s very much into the brutality of Catch As Catch Can, but has a background in a wealth of different schools of thought, having dabbled with all sorts of grappling arts. Wonderfully he’s a firm proponent of grappling’s grappling. If ever you think you’re doing good at all this shit, you should roll with Paul. Grappling is his kingdom, and by stepping into it, you’re committing high treason. You will be punished.
Earlier on I mentioned that you should only ever be comparing yourself to yourself. Comparing yourself to others only leads to arrogance you when best them, and misery when you don’t. I really have no interest in either. However, on occasion you have to see where you’re at. The only way you’re going to know whether you’re a better grappler than you were yesterday is by taking you nicest white glove, slapping someone across the face and challenging them to a duel.
I didn’t even get my white glove off when faced with Paul, because I’d already committed high treason. His base, hips, chest pressure, shoulder pressure and movement are all a fucking nightmare for me to deal with. He’s strong, but that’s the reserve tank for when something isn’t going his way. His technical, slow and methodical approach to grappling is the sort that makes me feel helpless. There were times when I had no fucking room at all to move. Needless to say, I tapped several times. At one point I was crafty enough to get his back, but it was short lived. At another point I managed to get top control, but that’s because he sat back. It was an eye opening experience to where I am currently.
Am I a better grappler than yesterday? Currently I haven’t a clue. My bodies still in bits from getting battered all over the shop this evening, but the main thing is a sadistic part of me had a lot of fun getting battered. I may not know how to stop what happened yet, but I’m sure as shit going to find out. What’s a bit of treason between friends anyway?