Things have been moving along over at the studio. Not really at any kind of breakneck speed, but fast enough to keep me on my toes and perpetually fatigued. In a good way. Honestly.
The CMD class is starting to grow, with a couple more people signing up recently. The play drills are very popular and it's always a great time to coach people when they're laughing and having fun.
The BJJ side is also seeing some encouraging growth. For us having done zero advertising, I think it's pretty good. There have been a few signups lately, with regular attendance in both weekly classes and pretty good feedback. We've been working from a conceptual standpoint and then focusing in on more specific stuff.
For the end-of-class rolling, what we've been doing is working purely on positional control, i.e. no submissions, while also throwing in random handicaps for every roll. It's been a lot of fun and we're seeing a lot of cool stuff come out in rolling, just from putting in a small change to the rules. It's funny how whole games can change for the better, and all I had to do was say "OK, in the next roll you can't use your hands to grip or post."
Just last night we did this drill where the object is to lose. I've read a lot about these kinds of drills - while I do agree it's very important to not fear the tap, I wonder what it would be like if both guys were competing to lose. I mean, if this was the case, then nobody would ever go for submissions, since tapping your opponent is an instant loss. So the best we could come up with was to roll, and the winner would be the guy who finished in the worst position at the sound of the buzzer.
It was tremendously fun, not just for the novelty factor, but with the play drills in general it's a good change to cut back on the competitive aspect of rolling.
Speaking of competition, I've been trying to plan what I want to do for the year. Firstly, there's the Mundials in California this June.
Really, the only thing standing in my way is the absolute pain of trying to apply for a US visa while living in a muslim country. Since to my knowledge there's no American embassy in East Malaysia, I'd need to fly back to KL for an in-person interview. Bah. The only other problem would be that I'd have to close up the studio for possibly up to 2 weeks, but I'm working on a plan to keep things running.
Then there's also the Machado Nationals in Melbourne, which should be in September. I'm really keen on going to that one, as for me it's always an awesome time down there.
Finally, I'm hoping that Luke and the guys over at Bangkok BJJ will be organizing another tournament this year, I'll definitely make an effort to swing by for that one!