Pollen season is winding down and I feel healthy enough to get back to real training again. This week I did yoga three times, zhan zhuang and qigong pretty much every day, taijiquan one day, and finally made it to my second formal bjj class. Too many training notes to jot down for now. Some random beginner’s observations. I’m not sure if I love or hate bjj. I love the highly analytical, super technical nature of it. That’s also what I hate about it. I have the spatial visualization to see what the instructor can do but I can’t do it, of course. I can see that if you get a thousand tiny details right, it works like magic using little strength and mainly leverage. That is cool. I hate it because it’s mind-boggling and kinesthetically-boggling to absorb those details.

I think I’ve realized something that seems really obvious in retrospect. A standup art focused on balance has a big thing going for it. Most people are working with standup balance all the time. Most people walk and fall and catch themselves. If they have done some sports with a lot of footwork or balance-oriented activities such as skateboarding, they have even better balance. So most people should have pretty good intuition about retaining balance and then applying that to learn about taking someone’s balance. However, most people won’t have any prior skill that applies to something like the basic snake move or shrimping move. It confounds me. It’s like push hands with no space and pushing off the ground with weird points besides the feet. Totally confusing.

Well I have to jot down 100 notes later. I did pretty well if doing one good thing for every 30 things that either I did poorly or that my training partners did really well is a good ratio. Some thoughts here. My yielding is ok. That is basically roll back and pull down. They are good at press (squeeze). I feel a lot of urgency, probably from doing newaza poorly and learning about rules about avoiding a 25 second pin, and that is bad in bjj. I need to learn to, what else, relax. That’s enough for now.