Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life Isn't Always Fair, But It Is Good

I couldn't go to Shaolin's no gi class today because I got out of work a little late. It looks like no gi has been intense lately because of those competing at nogi Pan Ams in the beginning of October. He had me train for the entire beginner's class and paired me with a brand new girl. She'd trained once a week for about a month at LA Boxing, but wants to go to a pure BJJ gym and focus only on BJJ. She was friendly and Shaolin took the two of us aside and had us to some more basic moves, like the scissor sweep, Americana, and a sweep from spider guard while your opponent is still sitting in your guard. The new girl was doing what I had done last winter and checking out all the BJJ schools in the area. I'm of the opinion that you need to choose the school atmosphere that's right for you despite the caliber of the instructor (within reason obviously). I encouraged her to sign up at Shaolin's and pointed out that we have a decent number of women who train regularly.

During the advanced class I had the chance to roll with Chris, one of Shaolin's purple belts. I've really gotten the chance to roll with more purple belts at Shaolin's because there's enough of them. I like rolling with higher ranked students because they capitalize and point out my weaknesses the best. If someone is the same rank as you, you might be able to muscle/wriggle out of a submission because the skill level is so close, but you can't really do that with a higher belt. Chris pointed out a couple of things after rolling which I definitely appreciated; while Shaolin points out things during class it's nice to hear it from someone who directly feels what you're doing.

But more interesting than all of that is that it's been a year since I had my knee injury. Exactly one year ago on this day, my mom flew down to Atlanta to drive me to doctor's appointments, go food shopping, and help me get around. I couldn't bend one of my legs, was in an immobilizing leg brace and was on crutches. I didn't know if I'd need surgery or even if I'd be able to train again. My injured knee was bruised, swollen, and didn't look much like the other one. I was in a position where I was going to class, coming back, and sitting on my bed because that was all I could do. Today during class, I blocked a sweep with that same previously injured leg and pulled off a half guard sweep. Life isn't always fair, but it is good.

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