Close to 9pm Tsuzuki and Akira turned up and we started sparring. All day Friday, the universe seemed to be telling me to relax and take it easy more. I listened to the Inside BJJ podcast and Rener Gracie talking about how you should just not care about people submitting you or mounting you and that even twice a week BJJ for a span of 40 years is an amazing thing to do. I then watched Gunner Nelson at the suggestion of the 40 plus BJJ plan and was impressed by how relaxed he is, just going with the flow, calming his mind, only using power when needed. He actually reminds me of Tete at our gym whose jiujitsu I admire. With this in mind, I just tried to relax during sparring. Not care if I got swept, if I am in a bad position, try to mentally step away from the scene and examine it in my mind instead of tensing up and working hard to escape. It seemed to help because relaxing and also my new fitness level saw me get Tsuzuki in a few close situations. I actually saw a few gaps to exploit while rolling. I almost caught him in an americana and K-sensei in an omoplata.
I have a feeling recently that I am starting to become a bit more of a handful for the other colored belts. I can't describe why I feel this way and I never really ask them for feedback because they rarely talk about how other people did against them. I wish they would. I think that if I were to train in the UK people would be a bit more forthcoming with opinions than here in Japan. Anyway, how do I know I am giving some a hard time? It's just small tangible things like how a purple or brown will give a small sigh of relief after the 6 minutes are up or seeing some of them use their best techniques to stop me, or how some of the higher belts seem to show me more respect now. It's just very small differences.
At the end of class Akira and I just worked on some tackles and seio-nage for nogi. We actually did a round without the jackets and I almost broke my finger because it bent akwardly behind his back as he fell to the mat. Hurt like hell at the time but it feels fine today.
Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 minsNotable moments: omoplata from closed guard and underhook on collar, lapel wrap on arm switch to americana, attempted to move to twister but failed.