You may recall we've been learning from our new blackbelt this week and the last two, while our usual instructor Donald travels for work. Paulo is a great guy-- and he's far from a new blackbelt. He's been a blackbelt for 18 years, training for something ridiculous like 29 years, and it shows.
But he's new to us and of course there are always some adjustments. I feel badly for him-- though his English is much better than most Brazilian imports I've trained with, it's still incredibly tiring to spend your days learning a new language the immersion way. His conversational fluency is impressive and improving by the minute. But he also left his (pregnant) wife and two kids back home in Manaus, and he's lonely. And of course there are small issues with learning from someone other than Donald. Part is the language barrier and part is just that Donald is one-in-a-million. Paulo is doing really well, though, and I think he's going to work out in a permanent way too.
Last night was our training night (after whitebelt class) and I was paired up with, among others, 3 people competing this weekend. I should say, a blue belt and 2 browns competing this weekend. So I feel quite beaten up today. The blue and I have good matches... the female brown and I not so much-- I definitely see leaps and bounds of improvements I will need. But at least I feel like I gave her some cardio workout. However, the male brown came at a bad time (end of 90 min of non stop sparring) and I was a useless noodle for him. I wasn't trying to be a lazy slacker or worse, "that girl" who plays the girl card, the opponent who just lays there and won't try, etc. I wanted to try, I wanted to move, I just couldn't. He was of course much more skilled than I, but it made me mad and sad that I couldn't avoid being passed, smashed, mounted, and armbarred. *rolls eyes*
After we'd finished the fabled "last roll," Paulo announced "10-5-10-5-10" which I thought meant 10 minute rolls with 5 seconds between to get to the next partner. Like a brutal and diabolical musical chairs. I saluted and stepped off the mat-- but it turned out to be pushup rounds with everyone in a circle-- we all do pushups together, but the first person counts out ten, then the second person counts out five, and so on. I got back in for that, and it was followed by a 10-crunch core circle (everyone counts out ten crunches.) I think we only had 24 people in class so it was a nice mellow finish for the class.