He started out in rolling-with-newbie mode. But he quickly went to normal mode when I put him in a hold I learned at my friend's school a couple of weeks ago. It was fun tossing him around a bit, because he's a tad smaller than me. Of course, he's miles better, so he submitted me a couple of times, but overall we rolled for about 10 minutes straight. He complimented me a lot: I know a lot of passes that I didn't know last time, and he said something every time I pulled a new trick out of the bag.
New tricks. Some times it feels like the person who knows the last counter to your counter gets the win. Or, alternatively, the opponent knows the counter you weren't expecting, either because of your ignorance, or because of surprise. BJJ is one long chain of movement, one person responding to another, in an endless line of response. There are many gaps in my line, mostly in attack.
This week I trained Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Training smarter too, so I'm not dead exhausted at the end of each session. It all clicked when I rolled with teacher last Friday: roll smart, roll long time. The constant, frequent practices mean I get a lot of mental momentum. CC would say my nervous system is getting conditioned by training like this, conditioned to roll, and so it feels natural. I can still feel glaring gaps in my game, like when I get someone in a hold but am not skilled at finishing them off. But I'm beginning to feel like there's nothing more natural than to be on a mat, on my butt, rolling with a stranger.