After being off the mat for over a week, it was more than fantastic to finally get back to where I once belonged.
A couple of things contributed to today's great session, all of which are worth keeping in mind:
The combination of being off the mat for a week and watching Jacare win his rematch against Gegard Mousasi provided tremendous fuel for training today. It's a reminder also that Saturdays and evenings have something that lunchtime training never has, and that I need to adjust my training schedule accordingly.
It also begs the question of training frequency, something I haven't entirely figured out. Now that I'll be joining the Tuesday/Thursday morning crew at GBS, I'm optimistic that I'll be able to come up with something that works consistently without "overexposing" my body to too much abuse at this point in the timeline (time torus?).
One of the biggest reasons for my energy today was weight. Tipping the scales at 161.4 in the gi means that even when I'm in the gi, I'm below the no-gi limit of 162. That has been a benchline goal for some time, and finding myself hit that mark after a week of little activity is a testament to the relatively minor diet changes I've made in the past few days.
The goal is to get down to 150 no gi, which works out to about 155 or so in the gi. So I've got some more to go. But this is a great place to be.
3. The Plan
I finally got a chance to work on the guard passing strategy I've wanted to implement for weeks if not months. Today, I got to train against easily one of the toughest training partners in the school (if not in the state, certainly when Masters are considered). And while I never actually "got" the pass, I was able to apply major pressure consistently, remain a persistent threat, avoid the submission, and always know exactly what the mission was, strategically and tactically. I cannot describe what it is like to try and pass a high-level guard with this reality on your side compared to when everything is a fog of half-measures and hope.