I attended a Bikram class yesterday morning taught by a guest instructor, named Lisa, who is from Texas. She blew us away! Bikram classes follow a set series of movements, and even some of the language follows a loose script, but the tone of class is entirely up to instructor.
Lisa was part ultra-girl, dressed in a gorgeous striped two-piece yoga outfit with a flower in her hair, part cheerleader, and part hard-core drill instructor. Her appearance was so, tiny-delicate, but once class started, her voice resonated off the walls, drawing everyone into her palm with a magnetic force. She had a very keen eye for movements that posed a challenge to most of the class; and before a difficult pose, she would explain in detail what she wanted us to do, and then stated, as if it were law, that we were going to do that. She was like the Terminator inside the body of a young Hollywood starlet. The class moved with accelerated vivacity.
I felt so good I decided to go to no-gi last night. Our school has one no-gi class on Friday night. I find no-gi to be liberating and and dynamic, requiring more speed and stronger body control and position. My speed really breaks out in no-gi class. We worked on a basic move of escaping half guard to side control, and straight into an arm lock. Ha! I say basic, it seems basic until you perform the move and suddenly realize your holds have been taken away.
My weak point is the middle step of the move. After achieving side control on my opponent's right, and then trapping the left arm, I simply give up too much space as I step over my opponent's head with my left leg. This is not so much an issue with gi, as I have things like collars and fabric and that I can play with. No-gi? Not so much. And this is a great lesson for me, my weaknesses in weight control became abundantly obvious as we practiced this move.
On a sillier note, I look beat up. One forgets how much protection the gi affords the body. As a hand or arm reaches across the plane of the body or face, there is probably some fabric in the way (sometimes). Again, with no-gi? Not so much. The side of my nose is bruised, my eye is bruised. My husband laughed at me. The other day he commented the first time I got popped in the eye, he chuckled as I thought, oh this is it, I am going to be blinded. The physical sensation of being smacked in the eye is jarring, the first time it happens. Now, he said, I don't even mention it when I get a good whacking. I have considered this recently. Before I started BJJ, I was physically fit, but I had minimal fighting experience. Now, when I take the occasional hit or scrape, I am not phased and I keep moving. ahhhh, goal.
Train well. Train often.