I had originally thought tonight’s class would be cancelled because of New Years. However, I received word that adult classes would resume as scheduled after 4pm on New Years day. I was hoping to have more rest time, in order to recover more fully from the Judo bootcamp. However, I decided to go anyway, despite a bit of lingering neck pain and sore ribs. One thing my teacher Mr. Goody always emphasized was that you should show up for class, no matter what. Of course, you can go light (or even just sit and watch) if you’re injured. No matter what ailments you may have, you always stand a chance of learning a useful tidbit that you wouldn’t have learned if you hadn’t showed up. In other words, excellence in Martial Arts has as much to do with consistently attending class, and maintaining a fighter’s frame of mind, than physically doing the moves at 100% force and speed every single time. Mindset is key. As it turned out, Mr Goody’s advice from long ago paid off in spades tonight. That’s because I was the only one, besides the instructor, to show up for the 6:35 beginner’s class. You might initially think that this would make for a rather dull class. Wrong! It was like having a private lesson, but at normal class rates! Instead of introducing a few techniques from the basic curriculum, as would normally be the case, he asked me if I had any questions. I said I had about a million, but decided to ask about how to improve my defense from the bottom. He ended up asking me to provide an example of where I was encountering difficulties, so I described a sequence of moves from Sunday’s sparring session that included my ribs getting smashed. Based on what I told him, he was able to methodically break down for me what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I could have done if things played out slightly differently during the match. One of the moves we went over is called the omoplata. He gave me some great details about the move that I had previously missed. In fact, he may have helped me too much, since I was able to actually reverse him with that very move when we later sparred. I know he was going easy on me, but even so, he made me work for that reversal. However, I couldn’t have pulled it off without his tips.