Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Me and My Me and My Me and My Me and My Me and My Friends"

One thing I really like about the explosive-repeat workout is that by the time you are late in the program, you are doing 15s work/30s rest rounds, which is as intense as anything you're likely to experience in competition. In Live Training on Wednesday, I was especially aware of instances in which I was just a few seconds of work away from a likely guard pass, or potential mount-take. In almost every case, I overheard an interior dialogue that started with something along the lines of "You're fine, you're safe, you're tired. You can't get swept from here. Don't risk pushing the action right now."

Versions of this inner discourse (calling it a "dialogue" is probably too generous) have come up when I'm competing in tournaments, the "hey, what are you doing trying so hard?" ribbing from the alums of the Too Cool School of never accomplishing very much and not caring a lot about it, either. I don't ever think I'll completely shake that, psychologically - you have the ghosts and demons you have. But if there is a way to short-circuit that channel, to circumvent it with pure action, pure "do this now," then I'm all for it.

And in a conditioning sense, "it" very much resembles explosive-repeat.

In a training sense, it increasingly looks like the way we've been training over the past few days at GB Seattle, for example, using takedown/judo drills to warmup. While on the one hand it seems as if even the teaching of the Fundamentals curriculum has intensified, it also seems that Profs Rodrigo and Carlos are feeling comfortable enough and confident enough to expect more and more of what each of us is individually capable of. It's a delicate balance, to be sure. But there's something to be said for the kind of motivation that heightened expectations can produce.