Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some More kind words from Hillary Williams

We recently had Hillary Williams training with us and she posted this review of her experience.

"I'm gonna make you cry tonight."

Posted by
Hillary on March 26, 2010 at 8:00pm

After Monday, I my poor skin just couldn’t handle any more gi work. As karma would have it, this would be the day that I would pack in the most time in my gi. The day got started at 9 AM, when in all its scary, intimidating-ness, I marked a private with Cobrinha. He started off asking my what I wanted to work on and my brain nearly exploded. We needed to narrow that question down.

Based on my need and Cobrinha’s assessment from the night before, we opted for passing spider guard. He completely broke down by base, posture, and grip breaking in a way that was so magical. Suddenly, he only swept me on my head every once in a while instead of every time. He kept reminding me to breathe and relax, but I was nervous and frustrated. His patience with me and ability to pass instructions and details along is outstanding. We rolled for about ten to fifteen minutes afterward, and Cobrinha is a mythical creature, I’m convinced. He was correcting little things here and there, and at one point said that my little mistakes were letting him pass my guard “like water.” Water. Not butter, this dude lowered the viscosity to water. Not fair. I could feel immediate improvement standing passing, although as he said, “You have some homework to do.”

I rested about an hour as the noon class participants began to trickle in. These guys come into the gym with their game faces already on. Noon class began with judo entrances and then Cobrinha covered how to kill the deep half guard. My partner was Jordan (the bow and arrow choker) and he is a very, very intense individual. He kept me working hard for everything and really pushed a competitive environment. We did a lot of specific training from the deep half guard. That underhook is just ever so annoying but you’ve got to walk before you run. By the end of noon class (which suspiciously actually ends at about 2:30-3:00) my neck and arms were burning from the gi burns growing and I opted out of the final roll.

A quick stop by Whole Foods (delicious overpriced salads) and Julia and headed back to the house for a whole of one hour rest. I had to rush back to the gym and teach a private to one of the newer female students before the night classes got in full swing. We went over some basic details to allow her to get closer to the ultimate white belt goal: survive. It’s interesting to teach privates to different kinds of people, forcing me to work outside of the small set of techniques I’ve chosen for my own game. I have to adjust the position for different body types, forcing me to really understand the mechanics.

I was hurting. Badly. But just one last class, and I had to get through it. Jacaré was teaching the beginners class and gave me a sort of disapproving eye that I was opting to sit out until regular night class. That’s probably my favorite thing about him--it doesn’t seem to matter who you are or where you’re from, but he expects (read: demands) the best out of you.

We started out the class with judo drills. A lot of them. 60-80 entrances quickly, every ten ending with squatting your training partner ten times. Thank goodness I got Cobrinha, who I unfortunately outweigh. The class followed with pushups, squat jumps, and sprawls, just to get the blood pumping. From there we went directly into specific drills. Deep half guard top and bottom, closed guard top and bottom, open guard top and bottom. When open guard came around I could clearly feel a difference, even though there are many things I need to work on. I need to be especially comfortable balancing myself on just two posts during passing, and bury my head more. But, progression is progression.

After an hour of specific drills, I was quite tired and ready to quit because of the pain from my skin being rubbed raw. I was hoping for a light night, but I’m pretty sure those don’t exist. Those not going to Pan Ams were excused and those who were began to get paired up. It’s amazing to me, especially coming from a smaller team, to be at a place where not one or two but twenty or thirty people are preparing for a major tournament, pushing each other to their limits.

I was definitely there after just a few rolls, flinching every time the gi scraped my skin and my muscles were aching. I wanted to quit, except the decision was not mine. I could feel tears of pain and frustration welling up and I was fighting them back. Next roll came up and Jacaré was pushing everyone even further. “I’m gonna make you cry tonight.” I knew he was talking to me, and although it hurt immensely I was amazed that he was investing that much attention in me. He cared that much so I had to care more. I could feel the passion that he’s put into his school and students and it was just inspiring.

The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.

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