I really enjoyed open mat today.
First I rolled with a total sweetheart bear of a man. He's big, muscular, tattooed and bearded, but with a very gentle demeanor. I always want to call him Grizzly Adams (yes, I'm dating myself with that reference.) So anyway, I'm in a quandary when I roll with him. I'm trying to play guard as much as I can against whitebelts, reserving my stronger top game for the higher belts. But crap, Grizzly's really technical and strong for a whitebelt, so I have this brainfart moment at the start of all my rolls with him. Today was no exception- my mind said "take top!" but my body pulled guard whilst trying for a looping choke. As a result, I was soon passed and fighting to regain guard. I suppose that's a good thing for me to practice as well.
Thinking of how Dev does things, I did also explore a turtle-heavy strategy, which was good because Grizzly wasn't making any headway cracking me or getting hooks in, but sucked because I was having a hard time rolling back to guard. Grizzly did a fantastic job of looking for transitional attacks, working hard for my arms and being really hard to sweep from bottom half. It was a great 15 minutes or so of me fighting from halfguard, guard, and turtle; excellent for cardio, but soooooo bad for my hair, which escaped the little balled-up ponytail bun and spread out on the mat around my head like cotton candy... unfortunately, Grizzly kneeled on it and handily pinned my head in place. Eventually, I moved, or he moved, and an enormous chunk of hair was torn out (like, several hundred strands.) It sucked. Anyway, eventually he kimuraed me, and I moved on :)
Second batch of rolls were with Zade, a heavy bluebelt who wanted to go nogi. I tried really hard to be aggressive and creative with my passing especially. Need an answer to the hand around the ankle when I'm doing a standing pass... the tack Ian takes (kicking the leg sideways towards the opening of their fingers) wasn't working for me. I did pass twice, though I got butterfly swept more than that. Since we were nogi, I did attempt the monson from north-south, but I think my body is too far up on their chest because people are rolling me a LOT from there.
Third, I rolled with Joe, a monstrously strong blue with the grips of a steelworker (because he is, in fact, a steelworker) that I've never rolled with before. I know he loves gi chokes from the guard, so I was leery of getting into his guard. Again, wtf, this translated to me kind of pulling guard... why I don't know. He's longer and stronger, and my guard is lame, but I still struggled to control him with my spider guard, failing mostly. Passed, again. Didn't get submitted, if I'm remembering correctly, and I got one sweep, but I think he got bored of having the unescapable side control, because at one point he just stopped, said he'd get a drink of water, and then we simply didn't start rolling again. So I went sniffing around for crumbs from others. Ended up playing again with my buddy Zack.
Zack's a big whitebelt, but he's losing weight and gaining in technicality and aggressiveness every time I see him. We were both pretty pooped, which was good I think. We started from feet and I made every possible effort to get the judo footsweep I was working with Donald and Spencer. He tried for an uchi mata but I countered it. Didn't really succeed in doing anything but convincing him to drop to his back, and I almost did the sweet pass-to-knee-on-belly from last night, but he was waiting for me and caught first just my head, then my arm, in a rear-facing triangle. He said he was wanting to get the same thing I got on Moss last night (just holding so you can attack the free arm) but I did some nifty kneeling business and pinned his near arm, extracted my head, and controlled from the side. Resisted his mighty reversal attempts, got sucked into halfguard, and battled to pass it. FINALLY passed to kesa, and as soon as I solidified position, I called it quits from sheer fatigue.
Tonight, maybe an hour of open mat, maybe just getting work done in the office. Then grilling some dinner with my niece, and I think Monopoly is on the agenda. Or maybe making these cinnamon-sugar doughnuts...
Cinnamon-Sugar Baked Doughnuts
From 101 Cookbooks. Makes about two dozen doughnuts.
* 1 ⅓ cups warm milk, 95°F – 105°F
* 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
* 2 tablespoons butter
* ⅔ cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 5 cups all-purpose flour
* A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
* 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
* ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
* 1 ½ cups sugar
* 1 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Place ⅓ cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture.
2. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt — just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. If your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.
3. Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
4. Punch down the dough and roll it out ½-inch thick on your floured countertop. Use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.
5. Bake in a 375°F oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes — start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
6. Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.