Tonight was my first opportunity to try the approach recommended to me by my coach on Sunday. Don't worry about submissions - just get a strong position and challenge yourself to hold it for at least a full minute.
I did that.
Wow, what a difference!
I need to first qualify that I had to first get to a dominant position - and with at least two of my partners, that never happened. (The first of these was Teen Ninja Gurl, who was home from college for the weekend.) If I can't get past their guard without getting submitted, the rest is useless. A problem for a different day.
With the others, I did manage to get on top - usually to side control - and I HELD it. I attempted no submissions, other than the digging-my-shoulder-into-their-neck choke, which is pretty awful when done properly. All I did was hold my position while they tried to get out. I cannot begin to describe the power I felt holding down a bigger guy, a higher belt, putting the pressure on and being the one to determine the pace of the fight for a change.
I felt euphoric.
The icing on the cake was that they told me when it was over what a difference they felt - how much of a hard time I had given them, and how strong and heavy I had felt to them.
Wow. Just wow.
When I talked afterward with the guru about the experience, he agreed that this was the way it should be, and that when I can do that, the "submissions start to scream at you." He said that people will submit themselves if I'm patient. I was extremely happy about all of this, and he said something I want to be sure to remember:
"Learning martial arts should have such moments of electric enlightenment, don't you think?"
Yes, they should.