Thursday, May 28, 2015

sessions, winning, & losing

So a couple days ago I had a pretty great session.  I was even thinking at the time, "This would make a great story," but the guy was pretty shy and a bit nervous as a first-time sessioner, so I stuck to just making a simple tweet about it.  Tweet:  "I'd say 99% of the session guys I meet expect to lose. But there's 1% that REALLY think they can win. Had one of them today. He didn't win. :)"

But I just got a tweet reply asking for a blog about it, and I noticed my original tweet even got discussed over on (to a bit of controversy, no less!)  So clearly I must tell the story. Let's see if I can give the good parts but spare the details for the details for the guy's sake.

So the funny thing about this match was that I almost couldn't believe it was happening.  It was SO much like certain mixed video storylines -- you know:  guy sees wrestling girl on the internet; guy thinks "I could beat her;" guy challenges girl; guy is shocked and horrified! when he loses.  I know it's a "realistic" video storyline, but it's not that really realistic because the great majority of guys I meet, no matter how hard they fight, do either want to lose or don't mind and are just impressed when I win.  So few guys really get upset about it that I was like "Wow, it's really happening!"

So this guy Tuesday was no slouch.  He was young, athletic, had wrestled in high school and trained a little BJJ too.  He was close to my size but still had 10 or 15 pounds on me.  So I was expecting this would be a great match.  And it was!  Most session guys I won't let start a match standing, but with a school wrestling background I knew he'd be safe and actually better at takedowns than I am.

So...he shot a single-leg; I partly defended with a sprawl and pulled guard.  He started out full-power, trying to throw my legs aside and dive or bull through them.  I wouldn't put my back on the ground in guard, because despite the mixed experience, we'd never never actually discussed rules, and I wasn't going to give him any excuse to claim a pin!  So I got into a deep half guard, and he tried to Darce choke me.  I had to keep my cool and work out of a lot of tight choke attempts in this match!

I got myself even deeper into half gaurd, right underneath him while stretching his legs apart, and I discovered "Aha!  He doesn't know this position!"  He didn't know what to do or how to balance from there, so I turned him and got on top.  I tried for my favorite boltcutter choke, but he was too explosive -- he twisted, powered out, and bulled right back into me.

We went back and forth, crashed around, made WAAAAAAY too much noise for my little 2nd floor apartment studio, and worked up a disgusting amount of sweat.  He kept blowing out of my sidemount and mount choke attempts, so I realized I was going to need more than my arms to hold on to him.  Finally, I got back into side mount, stepped a leg over his head, and slid on a reverse triangle.  I was afraid it wouldn't hold because of all the sweat, but I squeezed, and he tapped.

Now, here's the best part.  We'd agreed on consequences for the loser -- his idea!  Loser gets facesat.  Now, I am a big fan of my guys who enjoy being facesat.  But I am also a big fan of guys who think they're going to facesit me and end up on the bottom.  It's just precious.  Plus, I mentioned the sweat already, right?  Poor thing.

We went for two more falls.  The mats had gotten way too slick for takedowns to make any sense, so I pulled guard both times.  My deep half guard trick worked again, but this time I scooted out behind him and got on his back.  I sunk in a rear naked choke and got a second tap.  He got a second facesit.

On the last fall, I was feeling a little too cocky, and he locked a tight reverse triangle on me.  I had a moment of thinking "Oh no, not when it was going so well!  I'll have to give," but damn, right! not when it was going so well.  I managed to push his knee out and over my chin, and that was just too discouraging for him.  Having me get out when he was so sure about that hold really took the fight out of him.  I don't even know how, but somehow I just breezed up onto his back and got a second rear naked choke.  He got a third facesit!

OK, so they don't come up that often, but this is definitely not the only session I've had with a guy who was super-determined to win.  I'm going to get a bit general and a wee bit philosophical now.  One thing I think is funny is how many of the guys who do desperately want to win ask me afterwards "Do you ever lose?"  Well, I've had a few draws, but it's been years since I lost in a session.

But do I ever lose?  Of course!  I train with amazing people almost every day at my academy.  The other students (not to mention the instructors!!) are fantastic, and plently of them can beat me.  If I didn't train with such awesome people I wouldn't be as good as I am, and I wouldn't get better.

All the guys who really want to beat me have a reason they think they can -- they're bigger, they're good at some other sport, they used to wrestle.  But they also have a reason they can't -- they don't know how to wrestle, they're big but not in good shape...  So this tells me they're not really as sure  they can beat me in the first place as they say.  Meanwhile, they still ask "Do you ever lose?" when they must know that there are guys out there who are bigger AND skilled AND in good shape...

But the guys I train with who are all of those things and CAN beat me have never shown a really urgent need to prove it.  If anything, they're great and helpful training partners with something to teach me.

So I've been taking stock here, and I'm reaching the conclusion:  If you have to beat me, you probably can't.  And you might even know it.  And that might have something to do with why it's always fun to win, but it's especially fun to win over someone who's gunning for you ;) 

1 comment:

  1. VeVe, what a great story! Yes, indeed, you took the fight outta him. You were more skilled and probably fitter too. You wore him out. That's 3-0 , folks....heeee's out! ding ding!