Work's bonkers lately but I'm still managing to train almost every day. I've been skipping out on my conditioning class at the regular gym though, which sucks because I'm not losing weight like I want to.
I wondered when I took time off of jiu jitsu if it would produce any benefits or result in any backtracking. I have heard from other people a range of effects all over the map. Here's what I have noticed so far, having been back to training about a month now...
1. I seem to have purged my short-term memory of all techniques "just learned." I think this is good, in that I'm not trying to make stuff happen. I know in the past, especially with takedowns and guard passes, that I'd come to a sparring session with a plan of "I wanna try this thing I just learned." And I'd endeavor to find - or force - an opportunity for that technique. *cough cough* *smirk*
The example which brought this lesson to mind happened last week-- started a roll on our feet, and just kind of messed around with the standup, watched what my opponent did, went with it instead of focusing on what I wanted... and got tangled up with our arms around our bodies for a while, almost not even realizing what a good position I was in for a hip toss. I think because I wasn't TRYING to get into position for a hiptoss, I didn't give those "grabby" sensations which would prompt instinctive reactions to counter it. Then, when I was IN position for it, the only thing left to do was DO it, and it was easy as pie. WHY CAN'T I DO THIS ALL THE TIME? (I think the answer is, I can, I just need more options so I cover all positions. Because surely, there is an option that is perfect for every position.)
2. My cardio didn't seem to diminish at all. My strength also seems relatively intact. My flexibility went to shit. I had to get a lot of myofascial massages on my hamstrings to loosen them up and break up some scar tissue. On the other hand, I'm not pushing as hard because it's over 100 degrees and humid, so who really knows what the cardio is like. I just don't feel any more winded or fatigued. Maybe my strength is down and I don't notice it because I'm easily up 10 lbs compared to the spring but whatever.
3. My guard passes hybridized to their detriment. I used to have some conception of 5-6 different guard passes. Not saying I could execute them well-- but I at least knew they were separate animals. But in the month or so off, they trooped into the Ark and started combining and recombining. They came out of the Ark as a herd of weird deformed hybrids. Now instead of a flying pass, a running pass, and a swimming pass, I have this gargoyle pass that can't fly, run, swim, or even crawl. It's like I smoothed out all the distinctions between everything and have this silly putty-like blob of everything all at once. It sucks.
4. My attitude while rolling has gotten way more mellow. I am trying so hard to ignore everything and just play guard from the start of each roll; I'm sitting back and being way more relaxed. I watch some of our purple belts and try to channel their vibe. They never seem to stress about anything except gripfighting, so I try to do the same. I am working on doing everything at the same pace and intensity as everything else. Grip break, move hips, establish my own grips, rinse, repeat.