I'm writing an article for another publication (which I will link to here, eventually) on the process of learning BJJ. So, of course, that's been on my mind while I have attended class and rolled the last few days.
I really wish more people would roll with me like Clayton and Mark did today. I have the memory span of a goldfish; every eight seconds it's all new to me. Leslie often astonishes me with her detailed accounts of every roll during a class, often posted hours later, on her blog BJJ Grrl-- whereas I apparently can't follow the twists and turns of an individual match long enough to store them in RAM or whatever. As a result, it's hard for me to learn efficiently from the rolls I get... I remember at best a couple highlights, which quickly fade by comparison of the next roll's adrenaline.
Clayton is always a pleasure because he'll do a fair amount of rolling, but when I make a stupid mistake or get stuck, he'll stop and commentate, walk me through the proper response, suggest a workaround solution, etc. Mark, my buddy from Faixa Preta MMA, a Marcelo affiliate up near Dallas, came down this weekend and turns out he does things similarly. Mark's a well-cooked 4 stripe blue, IMHO, and he had a lot of very helpful comments to make while rolling. What helped me the most, I think, were the "cheers"-- the little "yeah" "good" "just right" kinds of things-- that gave me the immediate feedback... the hints I was on the right track.
People give me googly eyes when I say I train seven days a week, but I don't think it's all quality training time. I think if I was able to train with people who gave feedback like Clayton's and Mark's, I'd be able to narrow down my focus and improve faster.