Rep # 3,762 drilling that same guard pass

Morning BJJ class- drills on that same guard pass again- I’m doing that guard pass in my sleep.

I did stay again for open mat, altho the guys had to chivvy me a little to get me back off the bench where I was collapsed there puffing and sweating. faint I rolled a bit with two people I haven’t worked with in a while, and I think I acquitted myself better against them this time than I had before. I also didn’t get triangled at all this morning, which is good- I am constantly getting caught in triangles. One guy tried about four times, and I was able to defend. thumbsup I am also doing better at remembering to keep my toe down to control the opponant’s near-side leg when I sneak up the middle for a guard pass, so that I am less likely to get caught in his half-guard. Being crushed in side control remains a very weak point for me, but intensive work on that issue may have to wait till my left ribs are healed up.

The new schedule (starting tomorrow) is going to change the one no-gi class I usually take every other week to a gi class. I’m going to see if I can make the Wednesday evening no-gi class on my off-rotations, because otherwise I will not be training *any* no-gi BJJ work.

Evening class: I went in early to catch the "women’s self defense" class, but the class was cancelled… so I used the time to practice my two forms-in-progress (dao- I used a handy scrub brush since I didn’t have a dao- and Cannon Fist) and get in a few reps of Bung Bo. Then the no-gi BJJ class, and yes, once again open mat after. Arm drags and aftermath options. I rolled with Leah, who still subs me every single time. Usually with a triangle (Yeah, she ruined this morning’s record, several times over.. Thanks, Leah!). I assured her that someday I am going to righteously kick her @ss. I like to think I’m making her work harder for it as time goes on, anyway. I’m going to be really excited the first time I get a sub on Leah!

The advantage of being the tiniest, newest, most mismatched person in the room is that when you’re left over after everyone else is paired up, sometimes you get to roll with the instructor. thumbsup This morning, that bought me a roll with Stephen, and tonight it bought me a roll with Cindy "Sleeper" Hales. I’m always excited to get a chance to play with Cindy. Of course she effortlessly owned me, but I think I did a little better than the last time I rolled with her. I was doing reasonably well (I think) with positions, but of course I still only have a couple of good sub options, and sometimes I didn’t know what to do once I was on top (especially since it was no-gi). Every once in a while, with no discernable effort, she would maneuver us over to the edge of the mat, extricate an arm, and pick up the stopwatch to check how much time left in the round, all without missing a beat. Rolling Eyes

We were treated to a great show when Cindy and Pat "The Great Panda" rolled. They were doing all kinds of show-offy stuff, much fun to watch. popcorn

Did you really just do that?

Another BJJ class,another open mat… see, I’m being really good. Cool It was cut a bit short because the instructor had to leave.

We have been working on variations of the same guard pass for two weeks. I hope I have the durn thing by now. I like it when we’re working on the same thing for multiple classes in a row, because I’m slow to pick up new material, and the reinforcement really helps. It does make for more injuries, though, with people cranking on the same shoulder in the exact same direction for ninety minutes for four or five days in a row. Holding up pretty well this week so far.

Today I worked with Nelson, who is about twice my weight and newer than me… I like working with him, though, because he has good control, and when I asked him to be careful on my injured left ribs, I could trust him to be careful.

I did notice something today while I was rolling with him and with another (higher ranking) white belt… some holes. I have spent so much time rolling with Brian, and the guy just *HAS* no holes in his game (well, I’m sure he has them, but I can’t find any). Today, a number of times, one of the white belts would do something and I’d be thinking, "Seriously? Did you really just do that, and leave that big hole?" I want to get more skilled at noticing those… next step would be to exploit them!

It was a light kung fu class tonight, as the majority of the class period was spent on JM’s test. She did very well.

They are now having us do all of the forms that the class knows in common TWICE as a "warm-up"… once at a moderate speed and again at combat cadence". We are up to about eight forms, so that actually gets a bit exhausting. More good conditioning for my cardio, though.

We spent a little time working on a specific variation of a reap out of Leopard Fist. More and more, I’m making a point of being aggressively forceful whenever I grab someone… a couple of them are finding it a bit intimidating; I can see their eyes widen a bit when I grab hold. Twisted Evil (Hey, I need every edge I can get!!) I told them about my little "double promotion", so now they think I am some kind of grappling badass. Wink Tonight I was grabbing my training partner aggressively and giving a miniscule shake, like a dog with a squirrel, before twisting her to the mat…. and it was noticeably "loosening her up" as we say… that is, getting a person a bit off balance and startled before executing a technique on them.

Two good BJJ classes; two good training partners

In this morning’s BJJ class, I got to work with Brian for part of the drilling as well as roll with him during open mat… always a valuable learning experience. It’s a bit of an exercise in frustration because he’s really, really good. When I first joined this school, he was being a gentleman and letting me get a few things on him. Then one day all of a sudden he seemed to decide it was time to ramp it up. He abruptly became much rougher and didn’t let me have an inch…. he hasn’t let up since. I’m not sure if that was the point at which he decided I was going to stick around and not be one of those come-and-go newbies, and was worth his effort… or if he decided I wasn’t going to burst into tears if he knocked me down, so he could take the gloves off… or what. I just try to survive with him, as long as I can, which isn’t long, but it’s longer than it was at the beginning. He’s good about explaining stuff, and being patient with my slowness. I’m really lucky to have a mentor like that. I want to be Brian when I grow up. Mr. Green

I still haven’t quite wrapped my brain around the fact that when he was finished wiping the mat with me, I went to pick up my belt off the floor and found two new stripes on it…. so that’s all I’ll say about that right now. (I suggested to SK that perhaps Rodrigo had decided that this would be a nice morning to fortify his breakfast OJ with a fifth of scotch…. I just don’t know….)

In tonight’s BJJ class, I was happy to see Bianca… a new student from Brazil, two stripe white belt, with whom I worked a bit two months ago and haven’t seen since. I was afraid she’d quit, so it was a nice surprise. She is only a bit taller than me and a similar weight, which is a big deal, because there is a serious lack of students anywhere near my size in this school. She’s an awesome practice partner for me because we seem to be pretty evenly matched for sparring. She has more skill with subs than I do… this is an area that I will need to start beefing up…. I have been concentrating largely on position and defending, since I have been working almost exclusively with people who are larger and more experienced than I am. I seem to be a bit better at positioning than she… we spent considerable time tonight with me mounted on her or with her in my side control. We seem to give each other helpful feedback, which you don’t always get with every training partner. There is a bit of a language barrier, and we occasionally have to resort to pantomime (tonight’s pantomime was me trying to explain a "squirt" water bottle). The instructor often coaches her while we’re rolling, which I did point out to her is not exactly fair play because they are speaking Portugese. Rolling Eyes I hope I get to work with her more in the future.

I’m pleased that I dragged myself to two classes today and stayed for open mat after both of them.

Fighting stagnation is worse than fighting a person.

I wonder if starting a blog will keep me a little more disciplined with regard to consistency of the practicing I need to be doing on my own.

I have noticed a distinct lack of motivation and general sludginess of my training since CC put his classes on "hiatus". Despite the fact that I have been doggedly STALKING the poor guy by e-mail, I haven’t yet convinced him to return to the schedule. He says he’s waiting for RS to return to town and take over the curriculum… fine, but we don’t have a timeline for that, and in the meantime I’m going to seed.

I no longer have regular tai chi classes, and it appears that DD’s Sunday evening chi class is disapparating as well.

I’ve been trying to fill up my decimated class schedule with more BJJ, but multiple BJJ classes in too short of a time frame are proving exhausting as well as injurous. Furthermore, one of *those* available classes is going away too… starting next week, Monday morning BJJ will be a two-stripe and up class, so I will no longer be able to go to that one.

Can’t let the lack of available classes be an excuse to slack off…. gotta light a fire under it….

Immediate goals:

Heal up from the current left-sided rib injury, and try to not reinjure the damn thing yet again… remember to go easy on it and to tell training partners to go easy on it.

Stay for more open mat time at Gracies’, whether I feel like it or not. If I’m really too exhausted to do anything but watch, I’ll watch… but I need to try to get more free rolling time in. The cardio will improve if I can make myself keep pushing the envelope.

(LOL…. on my first writeup, I wrote "Try to stay".. on edit, I’m changing it to "Stay" Wink There is no "try", as Yoda tell us…. )

Make sure to get practice time on tai chi forms and on Shaolin forms which are not included in the regular Tuesday warm-up. One idea- pick one to run through after stretching each Tuesday.

Continue working on
1)Catherine Dao
2)Cannon Fist

Make sure to go through Bung Bo Kuen at least twice a week, whether I feel like it or not. If I don’t buckle down and get this form shipshape, CN’s never going to let me start learning Hurricane Hands- or anything else. Mad

I’m not going to beat myself up too much right now about slacking on my chi homework, although that is another thing I need to attend to before too much more time passes.

Yesterday, SK, ES, JM and I did relay sparring at Volunteer Park. Good practice. Ouchie tally: Numerous but nothing too serious. My right arm is dotted with livid fingerprint bruises, and my neck looks like I was attacked by a hoarde of baby vampire bats. ES landed a nice punch to my jaw, which SK later hit with an elbow, and then JM wrapped her arm around my head and was cranking on that spot as well… so that area of my jaw is not very happy ATM. ES and I went to the ground at one point and she landed right on top of me with all her weight, which was not a happy moment for my rib injury. She rolled over top of me and bounced right back up again. She was doing very well at getting back up off the ground quickly. JM has a real talent for grappling. She’s the only one who isn’t deliberately avoiding going to the ground with me, and the only one who isn’t scrambling frenetically to get back up ASAP if we do. I can still get the sub on her at this point, eventually, just because I have more experience… but she’s making me work pretty much all-out to get it. Every time we spar, she gets better. She also bit me in the shin and pulled my hair… the Monkey style training is obviously sinking in… it’s all good, she’s getting better at using whatever openings there are and whatever weapons are at her disposal. If she had time to take classes at Gracies’, as fast as she picks up new material, she’d be kicking all of our asses within a month. Unfortunately, she told me yesterday that for the next quarter she will have to bail on Tues/Thurs class because of school conflicts. She’s taking her (third-level, I think) test on Tuesday before she goes on haitus. I have to remember to put my contacts in, because they’ll probably have me spar her. I’ll try to take it to the ground so that CN and DD can see how good her grappling’s getting.
I noticed that SK is getting better at grabbing the foot if you don’t retract it fast enough after the kick… must remember to be extra careful of that when I next spar with him.

Notes to self re: Sparring: Keep guard up, use *both* hands and not just one, string techniques smoothly together, don’t bend over at the waist, don’t "chase" the opponant’s strikes, watch for the openings, keep eyes on the opponant’s chest, stop the instinct to block kicks with the hands. Don’t get frustrated- back off and regroup.

Also- gotta get the hair cut even shorter next time… people are still using it for a handhold!

Today I went to the gym for (I think) the first time since I started at Gracies’. I went through the four tai chi forms (note to self, go through jian form again soon… I actually forgot a piece), Cannon Fist, Catherine Dao, Bung Bo, Little Red Dragon, (neaten up the pull-in after the guard), Touch Bridge (work on the transition into the hand drills at the end), Box Form, Mantis Bo Form, Leopard 3, Wood Monkey. Need to make sure to go through Five Points Of The Star very soon. Also, need to remember to bring my notebook next time I go to the gym.

Today I also went through my technique list and added a few things, removed a couple of things, reviewed a couple of things. Remember to print out the revised list and go through anything that may be rusty, soon.