Just before training on friday I got the annoying news that I didnt get the extended job contract I had earlier interviewed, I really love the job so it bummed me out. So this boiled away while I made my way to the club. I decided I would use this frustration and channel it into aggression for sparring. Which at the time seemed like a good idea, to help me vent and to test out the approach.
The lesson covered halfguard, I really need to work on my halfguard. Being in it or holding it, it is easily one of the worst parts of my game. I get more submissions from under peoples side control than I do from within my half guard. So this is the lesson I really needed, and we covered some really usefull stuff. But I was in such a negetive mood all I could think about was how much I hated half guard. I lost out. It only occured to me hours later what a dick I was being. Now Im trying to rethink every minute of the lesson to salvage what I should of been focusing on positively.
We did some half guard sparring, I managed to work my way out of a few peoples half guards, and managed a few sweeps. But still lost a fair few matches, which made me feel more bitter towards halfguard at the time.
Then came full sparring, finally a chance to go mental I thought. And so I warned my opponent that I was gonna be aggressive. And so I went for it....
If you could call it that, I made stupid mistakes and ended up fighting a triangle attempt for most of it. I felt like it was my first lesson. Not taking anything away from my opponent, he was solid but I felt I could of done better. He had a triangle on and I was defending by putting my other arm inside his leg, all I had to do was push it through, but I didnt. I ended up waiting till he had it on tight enough I had to tap.
My other sparring match was a similar affair, it ended up going the whole distance without a sub but again I felt limited. I kept on getting top position but not getting his legs out of my way properly.
It really was like I had resetted myself to when I first started, and it frustrated me. It took me a long time to really get into the habit of looking at aquiring good position as the most important thing. Then theres control, setups, breathing, subtelty, planning ahead, tactics etc. The submission is only the last puzzle piece, everything else needs to be in place first.
Position before submission. I let that fly out the window for the stupid justification of "venting". My game suffered. I got tired and made silly mistakes. So now for the plus side, I have learnt from this mistake. I am now confident in my normal approach, that it has the right levels of aggression and passivity. Allowing me to relax but to threaten at the sime time.
Hopefully the damage is only temporary and Ill be back to my old self for Tuesday. I need to start training hard for the Kent open.
Perhaps Im being overly critical of myself, just because I didnt do well in one lesson. I know some people in my club that dont get a submission for months, yet are really positive and keep on working at it. Using it as motivation to improve and keep on trying. It wont be long till these people far surpass me, if I dont learn from them.
Another team mate told me this on Friday after I told him it had been a hard lesson and I hadnt done well :" Yeah they are the best, they are the ones you really learn from" . Having this mindset seems to make all the difference in training, I let it slip and it made a big difference. Now Im trying to learn from it, as you should all your mistakes.
Saturday sessions have just started at the new club, so Ill be able to train 3 times a week when I can. Hopefully get a few saturdays in before Kent.