Our competition class, run by Donald Park, has been focusing lately on the importance of chaining attacks. The smooth flow from one to the next to the next makes it inevitable that you'll get them somewhere, because ideally your reaction time is less than theirs.
I have been delighted with some of my rolls lately, because I'm not always on the defense any more-- just mostly. Tom calls it "lay and pray" when I'm grappling someone 200+ lbs but it's just damn hard to stay on top, to reverse, to sweep, even to close my guard around them. I'm getting better at defense and people are telling me they're having to intentionally bring their weight or strength into it to force a submission or force me to expose soemthing. This is good news. When I do get to roll with someone closer to my size (and bonus if they're a whitebelt) then I find myself more able to move my hips, more focused on getting position, and more willing to let position and submission go to move on to the next. Donald calls it "machine gun jiu jitsu" and I see it all the time from other people against me. A classic example is Americana to armbar to Brabo from top side mount.
The other day I rolled with a good friend, a whitebelt who's probably 180. It was a couple days ago, but what I do remember is feeling like I was succeeding at the grip battle, playing a good open guard, managing to keep him from passing, doing well at threatening lapel chokes, and in the end, I got him with an armbar from guard. I think he lightened up a bit at the end, maybe from fatigue or maybe from generosity, but either way I was happy. Happy because I identified why it wasn't working and fixed the problem in what felt like a split second... and because in my head I was saying "oh, no, even that won't work, he's just going to pull out like a greased pig" but I was wrong, he was tapping.
Rolled nogi with another whitebelt who's been away for a while.. I ended up bailing from sheer fatigue after about 10 minutes solid. I was extremely frustrated because I had maintained almost constant positional dominance the whole time, but couldn't submit him... it's like a lightbulb went off in my head (thanks Mike G!) that when they're about to escape side mount, don't sit there like a lump and get put back into guard! go to N/S! go to the other side! Sometimes I'm fairly dense, you see. Anyway-- I was doing well at giving up losing positions and moving on, and uncharacteristically for me, I wasn't hesitating about smashing him in north-south. I kind of figured I had to use some of my weight to hold him still and I didn't want him escaping, so sorry about the sweat-soaked rashie plastered on your face.
But I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get his arm without letting him go. I had the arm isolated several times but the americanas got muscled out of, the kimuras flew out the window because I was not well based, and the armbars were abandoned because I felt like he was defending very effectively and sitting up into me. More practice with smaller (still bigger) people and less experienced people so I can be in a more offensive stance more frequently is what the doctor ordered.
We went to a wedding last night at a lovely outdoor venue on a hill-- lots of great breeze thank goodness-- and had a good time. Elegant decor with crystals, candles, pink roses, and lovely water fountains and waterfalls in the outdoor gardens. Hit or miss food-- good chicken piccata and roasted tomatoes, but undercooked potato gratin... bride's cake was pink in color and orange in flavor (dry) and groom's cake was standard chocolate (dry too.)
Nothing like a wedding to bring out the crazy in people. There were several costume changes, each resulting in more skin showing than the last time... the bride's bum was hanging out of the last version I saw. She's in great shape so it wasn't unappreciated, but I did think it a little risque for a family affair. Keep in mind this was a black-tie-invited wedding; I wore a nearly-floor-length linen sheath with my hair up and long pearl earrings, Mitch wore his barong (the Filipino equivalent to a tux)...
... yet one guest wore a green seersucker strapless minidress poofed out with a crinoline and I swear it was a dead ringer for the Sexy Little Bo Peep costume at Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds (you Austinites will recognize the name of our famous costume store on S. Congress.) Her hair was that messy bedhead-ratty-updo thing, with a headband that had an enormous ivory bow made of burlap, kind of half veiling her face. Her purse was a canvas cloth grocery bag. Nice. The bridesmaids (twelve!) all wore lovely tasteful black long dresses, until the reception really got going, when most of them changed to uber-tight, uber-short (I could tell two went commando, that's how short) black spandex dresses. They had great legs, great bums, and a very L.A. style and attitude.
UFC tonight! Maia! Silva! Nogueira!
And now, off to breffus.