Lately I have had the same message presented to me in a couple different ways, but most clearly I'm getting it from Donald, one of the blackbelts at my academy and the instructor of our competition class.
That message is-- in order to really make the most of your training time, you can't just go in there and muck around rolling aimlessly. (Ahem. That's me. For reals.) You have to pick a position... see how people react to it... catalog all the possible counters or reactions you observe... then craft responses to all of those. And then so on.
I inadvertently did this as a baby jitsuka when people would go for an americana then try to armbar my other arm. After I'd been caught in that about 80 million times, I realized that I was overcommitting to the defense. If I just barely got my americana arm out of danger but always kept an eye on my other arm, I could switch back to defending the second arm effectively. (Also helps to have short little T-rex arms. I know.) Ridiculously oversimplified analogy, but you get the point.
So now I'm happily marching in there with my crappy standing open guard pass game and I'm going to take it apart. I feel like forever I was incapable of doing this more rigorous and more efficient type of training because I felt like I didn't know how I was getting to any one position, and I couldn't be sure of what to do after it. Now, I have at least a basic conception of a few ways to get to that standing position, a few ways to pass that guard, a few basic ways people are thwarting* me there, and when thwarted, a few ways to move on. Since I have the back door and the front door covered, I feel a little better about starting to draw a floorplan of the middle. And ideally, someday soon, I'll be able to turn off the lights and make my way throughout the house without banging into anything.
It's kind of like a fractal too-- my mental image of choice-- because you see the big picture taking a particular shape, but the closer in you get and the tighter your focus, the more you see that particular shape repeated in varying ways.
Ooh. I'm all analogical today :)
*I actually spent a minute or two trying to conceptualize the spelling of the gerund form of "stymie" until I said hell with it, I'll say "thwarting" instead.
All right, some pretty to go with the philosophical ramblings of someone sadly deprived of more than one training session today. DAMN THESE WORK DEADLINES :)
It's fellow Black Eagle Oli Geddes in the Milano Challenge, Absolute finals. I think it's the Reis pass around 3:45.. a teensy halfguard sweep.. some deep half... and a tricky kneebar finish. Yum.
Oh, and another small person, but way better than me-- Caio Terra... doing a butterfly pass to backtake. It's a nifty counter to this sweep that Dan Dau is always killing me with. Thanks David, at Kirsch's Korner, for piquing my interest in this today.
And some Caio spider madness. :)