I am a goal oriented person. I set fitness goals, financial goals, nutrition goals, goals for sleep, and (near-term) goals for my kids. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to the realization that most goals move from the linear progression to step progression. So rather than every event or every day being a “step in the right direction”, eventually you accept that some days are maintenance or strategic resets.

Sometimes advancement is a slow, meandering red line.

So I am trying to get more comfortable failing, specifically with respect to jiu-jitsu. I traveled to GB Pelham and for 105 minutes of the two hours I spent there today, I felt like I should take a few stripes off my belt. [In case you are traveling to Alabama, the staff and students are very welcoming and helpful. And there is a lot of cool GB/BJJ info on their site.] But I finally made a modicum of progress in my last roll. So I’ll keep failing and coming back for more instruction by those better than me. We have to be comfortable failing in safe environments so we won’t fail when times are truly stressful.

I’m normally the guy getting his face smushed. Photo from Pexels.

For my own review (and maybe yours!), here’s what the professor covered today:

  • Closed guard to arm bar
  • Closed guard to teepee
  • Closed guard to scissors sweep to reverse sweep

Here’s what I learned: when you are mounted, keep your arms tight to your chest and don’t reach around your partners head.

Here’s what I need to practice more:

  • Single leg takedown
  • Escaping closed guard
  • Hip escape/shrimping from bottom

I think if I stick with those three, everything else will be cream cheese.

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