It appears that someone has Moved My Cheese.
I registered for the Insights Training seminar in groundfighting, to be held on 2/14. I got the day off work. Can’t wait! I was happy to see that the class is being taught by John Fough- I have taken a number of Insights classes from him. He’s a smaller-size guy, and a good teacher, and I know he’s a BJJ practitioner. I expect that some of the material will be review for me, but even review at Insights is a good use of time. I wish it wasn’t quite so pricy, though- it would be nice to be able to take my "Chenjitsu" girls to the seminar with me. At least I will be able to reteach the material to them later.
I’m dying to work on Hurricane Hands…. but I’m so drained by the time I get home from work that I just don’t have the energy.
….you kind of deserve the big goose egg on the back of your head.
I used part of the formwork period tonight to try to catch JB up on the the few other BJJ items that we didn’t go over on Tuesday night. We had no mats, so we were working on a tile hallway floor. I was exaggerating the hip pop on the upa because she wasn’t doing it explosively enough- and as I popped my hip, I snapped my head back and clunked it on the tile floor so hard it must have registered on the Richter scale. I was more embarrassed than hurt- but there is quite the impressive lump rising on the back of my skull.
Tonight in Kung Fu basics class, after two rounds of animal-specific hand drills, we dissected the Five Animals form a bit more. There is a pair of Black Crane parries-and-pull-aparts near the end of the form that I have always been sort of fuzzy on, so I asked to work on those- I hope I clarified them, but I need to do a zillion reps to make sure. Then we worked on some Leopard Fist. I had sent CN and SK an e-mail telling them that it would really mean a lot to ES if she could get Leopard Fist done and polished up as much as possible before she moves to New York in March. So I was gung ho to do more Leopard Fist… a form is never done.
A bit more Hurricane Hands- this next section is a very challenging one. It consists of several sets of Snake strikes at varying heights. Of course SK executes these with to-the-millimeter precision and blinding speed… and I want mine to look the same! This is going to take a **LOT** of practice.
Wednesday morning BJJ- After about a million years of turbo-speed takedown setup drills (sheesh!), we worked on two variations of a really cool sweep. It involves scooting right under the opponent- another technique that seems good for small-person-vs-big-person.
A few rounds of pass-guard-vs-sweep-or-submit with John. The first time, as soon as I compromised my base to try to pass his guard, he reversed me almost immediately. How embarrassing! So the second time, I just sat back and controlled his hips, and let him thrash around exhausting himself while I waited for an opening. A couple of times, I tried for a pass and he thwarted me, so I hunched back on his hips again and bided my time. Unfortunately time ran out. I guess that would be a strategy for the longer matches.
I skipped open mat, as I am still dealing with this cold…
Evening kung fu. CC wanted to video me doing Hurricane Hands, which was a little nerve-wracking as I don’t feel totally comfortable with the most recent chunk yet. I hope I get a chance to work on that with SK tonight. Then he had me do the White Crane sequence, some of the Tiger formlettes, and all of the Leopard stuff. I didn’t get a new piece of the form, but we worked on some corrections and (especially) flow. Also, the nasty wheel kick from Tiger Versus Crane. I have always had trouble with that one.
he was having me do everything FAST… nothing is ever FAST enough for CC! My fastest form is "half speed" in his eyes.
Still under the weather. I took some Nyquil last night, and when I got up in the morning to feed the cats, I was having a little trouble negotiating a straight line on my feet. Based on this, I decided that it was in my best interests (not to mention the interests of the surrounding community) to refrain from getting behind the wheel of an automobile. So, no Tuesday morning BJJ.
I felt competant to drive by the evening, although my head feels like it’s stuffed full of cotton and I’m sure I didn’t do my best work tonight.
JB came in early, and- moving quickly- I was able to catch her up on most of the beginning BJJ stuff she missed on Saturday.
We did some formwork, then the White Crane stuff from the retreat, then the three Tiger sequences, then a fourth Tiger technique that I hadn’t seen before, but it was very similar to one of the Tiger "formlettes" that CC taught me. The main difference was that there was a weird armbar added to the end, which of course I was unable to make work on Nemesis. That guy drives me crazy! So at the end of each rep, I tried and failed at the armbar, and compensated by giving him a good swift kick in the knee instead.
Then a fifth Tiger sequence, again almost identical to one that CC taught me earlier.
At the end, we did a crescent kick series that the others learned at the retreat, but I picked it up pretty fast. I’m good at crescent kicks!
I’m Nyquilling myself again tonight, but earlier this time- so it should be worn off by the time I need to leave for Wednesday morning BJJ. I really do not want to miss another class!!
Monday morning BJJ- I appear to be coming down with a cold or something, so I skipped open mat and also skipped Monday night class. The morning drill was a variation on the same take-the-back technique we did on Friday, only an easier version- he taught us the harder way first! I was having a little trouble, but I think it was at least partially due to being tired and hopped up on Dayquil.
Hoping I feel better in the morning… Tuesday morning is my favorite BJJ class, so I don’t want to have to skip.
Well, the Womens’ "Chenjitsu" meeting ran into a few little snags.
First, I got an e-mail from JB just as I was going out the door: she had a migraine and had to bail.
So I had to go back to my computer and find the rest of the outline I’d made for the BJJ portion, and print out some extra material since we would now be doing an hour of BJJ instead of the half hour I’d planned on. My housemate’s printer takes 10 min to warm up and get going, so that made me late. I was just grateful that I *HAD* additional stuff prepared. I don’t deal well with surprises.
When we got to the community center it was closed. (It had been JB’s responsibility to check on that).
We tried to call another community center, and it appeared to be closed as well.
So we went to the UW campus gym, and had a nice brisk walk because I didn’t want to pay to park on campus (especially since it was going to cost us eight bucks apiece guest fee to get into the gym). When we got there, the dude at the counter tried to bounce us out because a student can only bring in one guest at a time. Luckily, the student in line behind us was kind enough to claim one of us as "his guest" so that JM could get both me and ES inside.
The UW gym is really nice. It’s the size of a mall. I was afraid to go try to find a bathroom without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. There was a lovely big mat room.
ES was very insistant that we do some Chen. I *really* was not up for teaching Chen. JB’s Chen form is much cleaner than mine, and I am paranoid about inadvertantly teaching JM (a Chen virgin) bad habits. Besides, I didn’t sign on to teach Chen, I didn’t PREPARE to teach Chen, I didn’t have a nice little typed outline ready. (Did I mention I don’t deal well with surprises?) I told ES that she was more than welcome to lead the Chen portion, if she really wanted to do it, and she just kept grinning at me and saying, "YOU are CK’s senior Chen student!" Razzafrackin……
So we did some Chen, and ES assistant-taught, so between the two of us I think we did okay. A little standing meditation, a little Wave-Hands-Like-Clouds, a little foot reeling, a little Repulse-The-Monkey, a couple of other things. Then the first few movements of the short open-hands form. JM is a very quick study, so she did very well.
Then on to the BJJ! Again, they are both quick to pick things up, so we actually got through a lot of material. We did three of Rodrigo’s Basic Five Techniques For Newbies, a handful of basic positions, a couple of different guard passes.
JM had trouble with the shrimping, which surprised me. At first she wasn’t putting her foot flat on the floor. Then she put it flat but then either her toe or heel came up as soon as she started to move. She wasn’t getting the heel close enough to her butt, either. She did better when I had them shrimp with the other person standing straddling their ribs, so that they were pushing off the partner’s shin with their hands.
They both had to be reminded several times to keep pasting themselves right up against each other, keep the weight on the opponent, and to not give the opponent wiggle room.
Other than that, they didn’t really have any problems with the techniques. I knew they would do great, and they did.
There was a certain amount of horseplay- they were in high spirits and wanted to spar, which I didn’t want to do till we get through the Five Basic Things. So occasionally they would lose focus and start wrasslin’ around with me. I had to slap on a couple of RNC’s. Next time I might make them do extra laps of shrimping if they start horsing around. Unfortunately, since I hadn’t planned on the wrasslin’, I hadn’t put my contacts in, and my glasses got bent almost double.
Anyway, it went well, they both did very well, and it was fun- looking forward to next time- altho we need to find another alternative venue.
I’m hoping to get a half hour with JB before kung fu
class on Tues to start catching her up. I know she was HUGELY bummed about not being able to come, as she was really looking forward to it.
I asked JM and ES if they were sore from the conditioning yesterday. They both were. I wasn’t. I had to gloat… not much….. just a little bit.
I am running out of time to continue procrastinating about responding to DD about the Wednesday night advanced class. I was hoping that if I sat on the problem a while, I would find my way to some clarity, but I am still as confused and conflicted as ever. One minute, my logical mind is telling me that I’m a raving lunatic if I fail to jump on this opportunity and milk it for all it’s worth- just to keep my expectations in check. Next minute, I’m thinking I just have to say no thanks, for multiple reasons, it’s just a bad idea. At least at this time. After THAT, I’m thinking I really need to steel myself and ask DD to sit down and discuss some things with me, and then go from there. Then it’s, "It might be wise to get CN’s perspective and counsel on a few of my misgivings,".
I’m going to have to commit to SOME decision very soon.
Working in cold drizzle, again… on cement littered with broken glass.
As promised, I did the "more challenging" version of everything- I did everything SK did. And with fewer breaks. Everybody did three circuits. SK did four. I did five.
It wasn’t even that bad. I won’t say it wasn’t challenging, but not like an EPIC challenge or anything. I’ve been more exhausted and more sore numerous times in BJJ class cardio/conditioning warmups and drill sections. BJJ has UNDENIABLY amped up my conditioning and endurance.
Anyway, the Old Bag wiped the floor (or the cement, as it were) fairly handily with three early-twenties-aged MA-ists and one early-thirties-aged one, and I’m feeling pretty darn good about it.
After conditioning, we went through the White Crane Sequence and the three Tiger sequences, some reps and then some apps with partners.
Tomorrow is the first meeting of the women’s "Chenjitsu" group. I’m really looking forward to it.
Friday morning BJJ. After cardio warmup, and some takedown setup drills, we worked on two different ways to take the back from a seated or kneeling position facing your seated or kneeling oppponent. Both techniques, once I got the hang, seem to be great small-person-on-big-person tidbits- so something to particularly remember and work on. My training partner was John, whom I don’t think I’ve worked with before. He isn’t too much bigger than me, and also quite quick and flexible. I was looking around and seeing that it was taking everyone else twice as long to do a rep as it was taking either of us…. we were getting it in one smooth movement and they were having to do a little pause-and-hitch to change weight. So that was cool. Not only were we doing better at it, but we got in twice as many reps as anyone else. Exhausting, but lots of
Specific training: pass-guard-vs-sweep or submit. I worked with Angus this time; he is getting really good and subbed me every time without much trouble.
Open mat- I asked John to roll, and we had several really good, long, competitive rolls. He’s just enough better than me to sub me every time, but not so good that he doesn’t have tp work hard to do it- that’s my favorite kind of training parter, because I think it pushes me the most without being too discouraging! So that was fun. He got me twice with a funny sort of throw from me standing and him on his knees. I hate it when they get me twice in a row with the same thing- I feel like such a moron- but I don’t usually let them get me a third time, at least! The second time, I groaned, "Oh no, not that again!" Then a few minutes later, I was in his guard and I pinned his right thigh down and started creeping up the middle- and he groaned, in the exact tone that I had used, "Oh no, not that again!" I was able to stay on top of him for a really long time, although I still didn’t manage a sub. I got close a number of times- keylock and Ezekiel- but I kept slipping in his sweat!
Pat accused me of trying to distract everyone with my toenails… I was wearing some silver polish that makes me look like I have stainless steel toenails. He said that everyone was being drawn to them like minnows. It was funny, because the last time I wore that polish to kung fu class, CN also accused me of using it as a diversionary tactic. Whatever works, I guess! But my toenail polish doesn’t last long, doing so much MA barefoot.
Evening BJJ: I was waffling between going to the beginner class in Seattle and the "advanced" class in Bellevue. I’d rather go to beginner, especially as it’s Cindy’s class, and it’s no-gi, which I need more of.. but it would take more than an hour to get to Seattle at that time of day in horrible traffic, and the class is only an hour- with no open mat after. So I went to the "advanced" class in Bellevue. Well, I needn’t have been scared to go, as only two other people showed up and there was no instructor! So we relay-sparred, six minute rolls for an hour and a half straight. It was Pat and Allison, both of whom are on the verge of purple and really good- so it was great practice for me.
…… Conditioning Endurance Grudge Match 2010: cocky youth and strength versus tougher-than-you-think stubborn old bag (that would be SK versus Kitsune)!!!
Sorry, tickets to this event are already sold out!
SK mentioned that at our Park practice this coming Saturday, I’d be able to point and laugh with the others while CN "tortured" him. I asked for clarification. Apparently, at last Saturday’s practice (which I wasn’t at, since it was my on-work weekend), CN made SK do twice as many reps- or a more challenging version- of all the conditioning exercises. I informed him that I would be much too busy to point and laugh, since I would be doing everything HE was doing. He was like, "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……oooooooooooooookaaaaaaaaay….." I’ll show him, by Gods. I will still be going while he is flopping and gasping on the ground like a DYING BEACHED SALMON.
Thursday night kung fu…. after the usual hand strike drills, SK made us do punch drills with pennies clenched beween our palm-heels and first knuckles. (One of his former teachers had made his students do that drill, and if anyone dropped a penny, they all had to do extra reps.)
Then we worked some more on nuances and apps of the Five Animals form, then dissected a couple of sections of Leopard Fist that ES is currently working on and finding challenging.
Individual formwork time. I had a few questions for SK on apps and nuances of Hurricane Hands…. I want to be really, really solid on the apps so that I am not fumbling when I have to teach this form to CC. We jointly came up with a few apps for the long-diagonal-lunge-with-Snake-hands, but we were on a tile floor and really need to play with that section some more on mats or grass so that we can throw each other and knock each other down. Hopefully it will not be too wet at the park and we can do that a little on Saturday. That’s assuming SK is still capable of doing formwork after I annihilate his ass in the Conditioning Endurance Grudge Match. Anyway, I got the next few moves of the form as well, and it includes a really, really lovely swirly Dragony turn.
Hurricane Hands is currently neck-and-neck with Touch Bridge as my favorite non-Tiger Shaolin form.
Finishing with 15 min of sitting meditation.