One of the beauties of Jiu-Jitsu is that nothing is forever. Like life the tides come and go no matter who you are. The challenge is never forgetting that the other side of your current experience is always on it’s way in some form. For me my latest experience happen yesterday. It was my first day back after not being able to train the previous five days while dealing with some pretty bad allergies.
With MLK Day being a holiday I went in for morning class eager to finally get back on the mat. Professor Johnny Faria had us do some Spider Guard techniques followed by a six minute round drills, then sparring. Five people were asked to get on the mat and work from spider with your objective being to sweep or submit, your opponent’s was to pass. Regardless what the result was, the five bottom guys stayed in the entire six minutes while other guys switched in and out.
It was like a highlight reel how to do the Leandro lo sweep. We would start with traditional Spider Guard with both feet on the biceps. I’ve been working spider for quite a long time so I was excited to get started. Once my opponents said go I would drop my right foot to the mat and kick my left foot to the left for the sweep.
Once guys had gone through two and three times they already knew the plot to the movies and refused the initial sweep which forced me to have to go the second option which is bringing my right foot back into play and wrapping around their leg, digging foot into the hip pocket. From here I would try to sweep them in the opposite direction.
I was sweeping everyone I was paired with. A few cycles in it became harder and harder but the result usually ended the same. By the end of the class I was getting a few pats on the back. I was finally making a name for myself which felt AWESOME!! I’m not trying to brag about myself, I’m just trying to illustrate how good I was feeling by the time class was over.
While in contrast to my morning session, the evening class was almost the complete opposite. Class was fun as it always is but during sparring I was paired up with an unassuming purple belt. By unassuming I mean that he wasn’t a big guy. He was average height and slender. He was very personable and friendly. After some small talk we slapped hands and got to work.
Within 30 seconds of the round he had a hold of my collar and jumped over the top of me and got me in some sort of choke. I couldn’t name it and I haven’t the slightest clue how he did it but I almost went to sleep. We slapped hands again, this time I lasted longer but ended up getting stuck in a footlock. It was the first one anyone had even attempted on me since getting to this school.
After tapping I told him as much and even added, I was getting ready to ask someone if they were frowned upon here. He laughed and said oh no and then we slapped hands again. If I remember correctly I lasted a bit longer but by the end of the six minutes I got tapped three or four times.
I usually do well with most of the purple belts but with this guy I had NOTHING. By the end of the round I was just trying not to get submitted again. It had been a while since I had felt so utterly useless. I felt like a newly minted white belt who had so much to learn. It’s good to feel that uselessness every once in a while to keep you centered and aware of the place you actually exist in and not the one you believe you exist in.
Here’s some of the thing Leandro Lo does if you’re interested. Great stuff!