Last night was my first night in the 7:30 grappling class. Murder would be a kind way to describe the class.
We spent 30 minutes paired off doing half guard. The top person worked to pass or submit the bottom guy, the bottom guy worked to regain full guard, sweep, or stand up. Once one of these things was accomplished the 'winner' stayed in and a new person started on the bottom.
I managed to sweep precisely twice from the bottom, regained full guard once that I remember, and escaped to my feet once that I remember. From the top I managed to pass a grand total of 3 times I believe. It might have been only 2.... To get an idea of how abysmal that is I probably did the drill about 20-25 times. I know the average rest period was under a minute. I learned more about half guard in those 30 minutes than I have in 3 months of the other class. I also learned that my half guard resolutions do make sense, but I need to work on them a LOT harder. I have the bad habit of sitting back on my heels when I get up to dogfight instead of driving into my opponent the entire time, I kept trying to get the WRONG butterfly hook in, and I still can't finish the Darce despite getting close on two attempts. When attempting to regain full guard my foot keeps getting caught on my opponents leg, then trapped. I feel like there must be a way to take advantage of this, but I can't think what it is. I want to just keep it as a butterfly hook and figure out how to sweep with it, but I've had little luck so far.
From the top it's generally just silly. I can't get past peoples legs, at all. My general recourse is to try to scoop both legs up together and work with that, but then most people immediately attack my neck or start taking my back. It feels like the things that are working to let other people pass my half guard aren't working to get me past theirs. I feel like I lack the bodyweight to put enough pressure on them to keep them from just shoving me around. This will require further thought and study.
After that we switched to live rolling in the same format, when one person got subbed a new person jumped in. The average rest time was a little higher for this at first, but as people got tired it dropped quickly. I ended up rolling probably 20 times. I got subbed a lot, a whole lot. And even when I could get a good position I couldn't finish anything. I have GOT to figure out how to finish people when I have their back, everyone just turtles up and waits for the chance to latch on to my arm and pull me off. I also have to quit playing the overhook game from the guard, I can't pull off the omoplata on anyone, and I'm not strong enough to push the arm out for the triangle setup. So, either I have to figure out a better way to manage the triangle setup or I have to change my game up completely.... figuring out how to hit an armbar either with the overhook or while fighting for the overhook would help. Honestly most of that 20 minutes is a blur punctuated by me tapping out.
After we drilled some armbars from top and bottom, then hip bump situps. I was literally SOAKED with sweat when I left. Last nights class definitely gets a 10/10 for awesomeness. It underscored a lot of the weak points I have, well the weakEST points since most of my game is still pretty weak. I think the hardest part is going to be figuring out what to concentrate on first. I want to improve everything all at once, but I know that won't happen. I think my halfguard resolutions are still a good place to work from, though perhaps I should leapfrog finishing people from mount and from the back above that. I still end up there often enough that I should be tapping people occasionally.
Running stairs today, goal is 5 laps with no break. If I pull that off I'll probably take a 30 second break and do another lap. Then class at 6:30. most excellent.