Got an e-mail from SK this morning, saying in part:
Thanks for all the help, Kitsune.
You’re really good at this "teaching" thing.
Wow. I start to get a lump in my throat. What a great compliment. Especially coming from SK, who’s a really good teacher; my favorite teacher in fact.
Tuesday morning BJJ- the Danger Room! Cindy was teaching, as Rodrigo is still not back in town yet. Same three techniques as yesterday. Cindy used me as her demo dummy since I’d been in class yesterday and had already seen the techniques. It was difficult sometimes to hold off tapping and let her complete the technique- especially on the gi choke- she’s just so good, and I was already choking and tearing up from the pain of her knuckles grinding into my neck three steps before the culmination of the technique.
I drilled with Bree- I was happy to see that I was not having any trouble with the upa, even though Bree must be almost twice my weight. Of course, I could not do anything productive with her during the positional sparring while she was front mounted on me.
Then I had a few rolls with Cindy. Cindy sits there like a relaxed spider in the center of her web and lets you get all set up (or so you think), then she decides that maybe she should do something, so she whips out a couple of techniques. It feels like being locked in a clothes dryer- you feel her coil up and you think, "Crap, here we go," and then you’re just tumbling around, not sure what is going on, not sure what will happen next, not sure which way is up…. all you can do is grit your teeth and wait for the world to stop spinning, and then see where you ended up. Which is invariably someplace bad, like in Cindy’s omoplata.
Evening BJJ in Bellevue with Henrique (who got a stripe on his black belt while he was in California for the PanAms!)
A reap, an escape from front mount using shrimping, and an upa (a slightly different version than the one in techniqe set A). I drilled with Lindsey, a small-size woman whom I met when she came in for an intro lesson about a month ago. It’s so nice to be getting all these new women into the school!
Lindsey looked like a housewife, but I could tell that she had some sort of prior MA training. So I was a little surprised when she wasn’t the most co-operative drilling partner… not to an obnoxious extent, just to a mildly annoying extent. I chalked it up to "one of those newbies who feel they have something to prove". She was clueless with grappling, so I had to walk her through the techniques.
She was trying to reap me while I was flat-footed with my weight balanced 50/50… she was still able to get me over, but if I’d been 40lb heavier, it would not have worked. When Henrique did his demo, he was giving his victim’s shoulder a sharp little yank to overbalance the guy a bit onto the foot that Henrique was getting ready to reap out from under him. So I pointed that out to Lindsey… she kept doing it the same way… I thought, okay, whatever, dude…. take it or leave it.
I offered another suggestion for the upa- she was bridging me off to the side instead of up-and-then-diagonal. I explained what, and why, and that the way she was doing it was working on me because I’m 130lb, but if she had a big guy mounted on her, she’d be hosed. I had barely gotten the words out of my mouth when Henrique called us all back to the middle of the mat and demo’ed again… "I’m seeing people trying to breech to the side… if the guy ees heavy, eet’s not going to work… you have to breech UP and then diagonal… much easier." I always like it when that happens. Not in a ha-ha-told-you-so way, but in a "Cool, that makes me feel like I sort of know some jiu jitsu" way.
A little positional sparring from mount- first with Lindsay, who muscled me into immobility with what would have been a perfect setup for a keylock had she known what one was. It worked, although she was teeth-gritted and trembling with the muscular strain. Newbies. When I mounted her, I let her execute the escape we’d drilled, although I made it just difficult enough for her that she had to work for it. Then I did a round with Carlos, the new tiny guy I’d worked with last week, and let him do the same. Then I did a round with brown belt Doug, who returned the favor by allowing me to escape while making me sweat for it.
After that was the advanced class. I still don’t really feel ready for the advanced class- especially piggy-backed onto a basics class so that I’m already tired and a little brain-fried- so I decided to sit on the sidelines and watch. I’m glad I did, because they were doing some complex techniques! I really need to be more solid with my basics before I’m ready for that sort of thing. Never hurts to watch, though.
A guy then told me that Lindsey is a black belt in judo. Really? She gets a pass for being clueless in grappling (I assume that’s what she’s HERE for), but I would certainly expect a judo black belt to know how to do a decent reap. So then I felt kind of stupid and embarrassed for being a BJJ blue belt/kung fu four-stripe-white sash constructive-criticizing the reap of a judo black belt. But hell- I *KNOW* how to do a decent reap, we do them in kung fu and they are one of my top three favorite and most-skilled takedowns. She was doing it poorly, fact-a-mundo. Maybe the guy was wrong… or maybe she’s from a McDojo.
I am covered in livid fingerprint bruises from sparring with Cindy over the last few days. I don’t have time to process eighteen photos of identical bruises, so here’s one representitive.