The juice is worth the squeeze.

A rare Wednesday night class for me. A hot & sweaty one too.

The lesson was starting from side control, the “scarf hold” position really.

Scarf Hold

Guy on bottom to escape has to get his inside elbow to the ground, so when that occurs, the top guy switches to North-South. The bottom guy invariably clasps his hands, and depending on where he does, you can either go for a choke (which was a new one to me), or the spin arround armlock or kimura.

I partnered up with Sam, and we drilled it back and forth for a while. Apparently everyone was taking it a little easy, because Damian commented about our lack of intensity. We finished up class doing the kimura grip drill 50x each, with feeling.

After class, Damian paired me up with Dumi. I don’t think I’ve ever rolled with him before. He’s a nice guy though and a blue belt. Damian has commented several times about how smooth he is. Away we went…I pulled guard (badly, again), got passed to half guard. I held it a while, tried to roll him a couple of times using the Saulo technique I looked up, but he was able to post a leg out each time to stop it. He eventually tripod passed and arm locked me. Second time was similar, but as he passed, I got into turtle guard, pushed in, he posted, but I had his wrist so I rolled him. He crucifixed me, which is a position I know I’ve never been in before. Luke was watching and coached me…so I scooped my butt and shoulders down, but was unable to do the reverse somersault that was required.


I caught my breath, and then switched it up and rolled with Sam. Which was an utter disaster. I pulled guard all 3 times (badly), got passed, struggled in side control or half guard and then either gave up my back, or got armlocked or choked. It was like a clinic of the exact lesson we learned tonight.

It was frustrating. I’ve been thinking about the advice Tim & Mike gave me last week, to commit to the guard pull, ie be either all in or all out of it. I talked with Damian about it some as I was cooling off, and he said he had a couple of things to show me next class.

I’m beginning to think I’m at a plateau. One of those inevitable humps in the learning curve. It’s one of those things that I’ll just have to keep working at and eventually get through it. As Forest Griffin said: “The juice is worth the squeeze.”