I decided to go to class today, it's not only Valentines day, but also a Saturday afternoon which I usually spend with my family. But since I much prefer to train in the day but I'm not getting enough people to beat me up during the week I wanted to hit class today.
There were many more people there today who could give me a hard time which was good because I came away at the end of class with a lot of thoughts on where I made mistakes and what I need to work on.
One thing that came up at class was I rolled with the blue belt who had put me to sleep last time so I wasn't sure how to approach the roll. One side of me wanted to crush him into the mat, tap him numerous times, use all my strength to prove the legitimacy of my belt (sounds stupid, right?) but the other side of me wanted to not give a shit and roll with technique and low power and see how he would attack me today. Eventually I opted to roll twice with him, the first time I gave him no slack but failed to get anything substantial going although a had a lot of pressure on him and I could tell it was uncomfortable from his breathing. I controlled the position but damn he is getting better quickly. The seconds time I played defense. I allowed myself to be side mounted and back mounted to work escapes and this time protect my neck as I should have been doing. I told him later that getting choked out had opened my eyes to where I had been lazy and I thanked him. After all, that is what my teammates are there for - to show me where I am weak.
I also thought about how I tap out some people who are higher belt than me but never think I should be their rank. I realize they are either 1) having a bad day (lack of sleep, nutrition, simply tired) or 2) putting themselves in a bad spot to work from there. The big picture is, it doesn't matter who taps who as long as I am trying new techniques and having fun. I see this as an interesting part of my growth in BJJ.