Our sweaty little mats were graced by Jeff Lawson today!
I had met Jeff a couple of times and been blown away each time at just how friendly and generous he is. It seems to be a running thing actually… the harder the fighter, the more humble and down to earth they are.
Luckily for me, he responded to my plea for help. I needed someone much, much better than me to rough me up a bit in preparation for the British Open in November.
Jeff has offered to help me out a lot in the next couple of weeks which is excellent news.
A new guy came along too, a tough Polish guy who is by all accounts a very strong fighter, and trains mostly MMA. He came along for some pure BJJ, some technical rolling. I wasn’t sure if I had anything to offer him, as he is a fighter already and a strong, tough guy, but he seemed to have a whale of a time. It probably helped that he saw Jeff there when he turned up.
Feeling slightly stupid, I led a warmup and then went through the reverse triangle that Braulio had demonstrated to me on Friday night. Jeff, someone who has fought in the octagon in front of Dana White, liked the setup, which was a relief! We messed with that for a bit and then went straight into rolling.
Ben and Andy were there after a bit of a layoff, too. I rolled with Jeff who, like all good grapplers, kept enough of his skill in check that we could have a good roll. Jeff and I rolled a few times, and I had some success setting up the inverse triangle which was a surprise but I couldn’t finish him of course. The new guy was very strong, very athletic, and always attacking. We had quite a balanced roll, though, and after the class he said he felt great and it was exactly what he was looking for. He’s connected to an MMA gym not far away that has no BJJ coach at the moment and it could prove to be a good contact for me.
Ben was incredibly mentally tough today despite going to bed at five a.m. last night and feeling completely flat–I had a triangle, a RNC, and a few other things that I simply could not finish on him. Kudos Ben!
I feel nice and beaten up now, and a few more sessions like that will put me in with a vague chance at the competition.