Oy-- my neck is sore. Rolling with Tom this morning was fun, as always, but I am really seeing differences in style now since I pretty much only train in gi these days. He is much more distinctly no-gi in approach, and I'm at a loss for what to do when there's no gi. He also canopener's me to get me to open my guard. This frankly pisses me off-- yeah, yeah, it's good for me to know how to get out of a canopener. Yet since he's the only person who does it, I'm not practiced enough at punishing it, though I can at least get out of them. That's how my neck got screwed up in the first place, and I really feel it now.
Anyway-- tonight in class they did a lot of self-defense techniques which I sat out on. I want to take it easy before the tournament, drill, spar lightly, and not get hurt. Then we moved on to side mount controls-- switching your hips to control the near elbow, going to kesa gatame, countering people who frame up on your neck and try to wrap their legs around your head. We did round robins and me on top of Donald is like... there is no good analogy. I can only repeat, it's like grappling the ocean. Did positional sparring with Rodney, open guard and closed guard work, and was very impressed with how he uses his weight. He feels like a million pounds, but he can't be more than 160-170. He's very cheerful and encouraging, which is probably easy for him since I was flailing around underneath him like a jellyfish.
I didn't get any good rolling in afterwards, either. Monday night's class has a funky vibe-- maybe I just don't know the guys well enough, but it's very quiet, not much joking. Richard showed up late, around 7, but was only rolling with the big guys and the higher belts and then left at 8. I watched Donald, Thomas and someone else and was entertained, but spent most of the time feeling somewhat sorry for myself. I don't know why I expect to do better against people who have way more experience but I guess I put too much pressure on myself.
It's dang cold outside, and I wanted an indulgence, so I stopped at Starbucks for hot chocolate. Unfortunately it was a grownup hot chocolate-- kind of a cacao-y flavor, not so much the syrupy milk chocolatey sweetness I was aiming for-- so I didn't even finish it. Took a hot shower- my neck hurts, my upper back and shoulders hurt, and I am getting scared of NAGA this weekend. But I will try to get over that!