I've been upfront about the fact that I've done No Gi jiujitsu for seven years. The coach wasn't impressed. He was strict, not to say rude. Said they don't do that stuff in here; I told him that that's why I brought a Gi. Actually, the first time I came, on Saturday there were only kids there, so I had to come back again on Monday to practice with adults. He taught the little kids class. His one comment during adult class for me was to pull down with the hand when doing the foot sweep de ashi I think it was. Which he said was great.
First of all, while my wind isn't back to where it used to be and I feel like can kinda get two-three-four-five steps faster with a bit of practice, despite being completely out of shape I didn't puke or feel sick after training. Second, it seems my stand up is moving along nicely. I was paired up with a greenbelt and I kinda let him lead the excercise while I played monkey see, monkey do. He was a polite kid, a few years younger and a good training partner for me. He tossed me with taiotoshi, which isn't a move I'd normally practice without a Gi. So I asked "you just did... this right?" and tossed him with taiotoshi. Some other new throws for me were variations of kosotogari and ouchigari where you remain standing. I always go to the ground when executing those No Gi. I was able to imitate them right away though. The greenbelt's comment was that my throws were perfect. Then there was another interesting move where you follow up the kouchi-gari with a roll across your partner's body length-wise. I suppose if you can't go for a kneebar with the legs, you might as well secure north-south.
Something interesting I noticed was that during class not a single new technique was introduced. Instead the time was spent on drills and everyone seemed to know what to do. At one point the teacher pulled some beginners to a separate mat where they had a hands on discussion of belt testing curriculum. The sparring was alternating rounds and newaza and tachiwaza. The toughest guy in class was a white belt like me. When I asked him about his experience, he said he was a BJJ black belt who started judo before he began bjj, but just never graded. He actually managed to submit me twice with armbars in a short round. My own cross-collar choke attempt failed. Oh well, he was heavier and it's not like he tapped me out ten times, just two. I've also had a good spar with someone wearing a worn, almost white black belt. I couldn't submit him in newaza, and in tachiwaza he let me throw him once instead of going for it like he could have. Which brings me to the third point of why I was pleasantly surprised - nobody tried to rip off my head during these spars. Nobody was going for the kill during sparring. An elderly Asian gentleman with a black belt just countered my techniques when we randoried. Said it was an age thing. No one really gave it a hundred percent instead they all coasted at 80-90%. I admit, I don't think I would have been a good match for a judo black in stand up if one of them decided to go all out on me. And yet, although all the people I have gone against had black belts in some art, I did ok. The guy with a faded, almost white black belt actually let me throw him. He was supposed to grade soon.
There was also a cute, short Russian girl with a brown belt. The coach was asking her whether she wanted kids she said no. Which led to a discussion of procreation being the goal of living. She said she would wrestle me on Friday. Looking forward to it.