Snake Dao- EASY. Wow.

Tuesday evening kung fu.

While waiting for class to start, I ran through Frolic a couple times (to make up for forgetting it last week!), then Five Points (Mirror) and Leopard Three (mirror) since I had had trouble with those at the campground. A bit frustrating how many kinks remain to be ironed out of Five Points, in particular… I feel like I’ve been working on this for a long time. It still feels like a valuable project- but it’s taking more time and effort than I’d anticipated.

I also worked on the parts I could remember from JoE’s Southern Mantis. And the Leopard At Dawn piece.

Class started with a few run-though’s of Bung Bo and Little Red. I’m probably being unfair- since some people have only recently learned both- but I am getting frustrated with having to continually pause the forms and wait for people to catch up. FLOW is one of the main things I need to work on, especially in Bung Bo (and FLOW in Dragon forms is the main POINT of Dragon forms). The teachers like us to try to stay together, and I can see that, but I feel like it’s impeding me right now. Tonight I just didn’t have any patience for it, so I did the forms at my own speed and then just stood there and waited for everyone else to get done. I won’t be able to get away with that all the time, but tonight I just was not in the mood! Some other people are not practicing much (or at all) outside of class, I know for a fact. But as the slowest student in the group, if *I* put in enough time and effort to get it down pat, sometimes I get exasperated that others obviously didn’t do their homework.

Then we did a few run-throughs of the Northern Mantis Bo form. After that, we split up into pairs and worked applications of that form 1)against unarmed opponent(s)- me vs JM, 2)against opponent(s) also armed with bo’s- me vs JB, and 3)Snake dao (I have no idea why Snake Dao got tossed into the mix tonight- how random!)

Doing the applications, I found myself getting a little defensive because I was feeling like some people were expecting me to instantaneously mentally map out ten apps and execute them all perfectly on the first try. They can do that. Sometimes I want (need) people to just attack me in different fashions in slo-mo while I experiment and see what comes out. Sometimes the experiments don’t work well… I can’t think of anything, or what I try backfires (tonight I tried a parry that ended with me clunking my own self on the head with my opponent’s bo). Sometimes I come up with stuff that I totally didn’t see at all, which is really cool when that happens. I just need to physically play around; isn’t that the whole POINT of this drill? Anyway, I feel like some people get confused and impatient with me when I’m doodling around trying stuff- I had to explain at one point that I expressly DO NOT HAVE A PLAN IN MIND…. no, I can’t explain what I’m trying to do, and no, I don’t want you to jump in with suggestions on what you think I’m trying to do, I just need to play with it a bit.

The Snake Dao was very interesting. I recognized it as the opening sequence in a form that I’ve seen SK do enough times that I knew what it was supposed to look like. CN walked JB and me through it, and I picked it up immediately. CN had a few small tweaks, but just minor and easily-adjustable ones. It felt very natural. That was unexpected and wierd because it was a complicated technique, and also I am used to doing Chen Dao- which is as comparable to Snake Dao as yellow is to whistling. CN told me that it looked "amazing". I thought, this is what I wish my MA was like all the time. There was none of that period of helpless cluelessness, followed by clumsy stumbling, followed by grind, grind, grind, grind, grind… which characterizes my process of learning ANYTHING new. This was a different experience: I was shown a technique and I then simply proceeded to do the technique. This is how I imagine my quicker classmates learning stuff. is this what it’s like for them? Wow.

I’m not sure why that happened that way, but it might have something to do with Hurricane Hands. Working on Hurricane Hands really did help me understand Snake better, I think. That was my objective in asking to learn that form, so that’s good. Even though the class has learned two other Snake forms (Leopard Fist and Snake Vs Five Animals), Hurricane Hands is different.

I felt bad for JB, who was having a crappy night- exhausted and coughing a lot, and she had a great deal of trouble with the Snake Dao. I told her that I thought having been brainwashed with Chen Dao made this more challenging for her and me than for the others, who were starting with clean slates. She was frustrated and discouraged, though.

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Back from St. Louis

Monday night BJJ in Seattle; JB came with me.

As soon as we started doing the warm-up pushups, I could feel the burn from not being in class for two weeks! It was an exhausting class. JB was tired too, so we wimped out before the sparring even though we both wanted to spar.

It was a good class, though- basic armbars and triangles, and a choke escape from standup. JB was having some of the same problems I have with triangles. We can’t get our initial leg positioned very well, and have a heck of a time reaching the shin to yank it into place. We are both very flexible, so it has to be a stubby-legs thing. I was able to grab my FOOT, but Rodrigo came by and reprimanded me for that. I did like practicing transitioning into the armbars when it didn’t work, though. I may be more willing to try it in sparring if I feel comfortable switching smoothly to plan B when it flubs. We were able to experiment with a few different grip options and a few different openings, which was great.

JB has made friends with Peter, and he is helping her quite a bit. In fact he has a key to the school and gave her a private on Sunday night. I didn’t say anything; JB is a big girl, but I hope she has told him that she has a serious boyfriend. I don’t know Peter very well; he seems like a nice enough guy, so I don’t see any pressing need RIGHT NOW to take him aside and inform him that I will smash every single one of his finger joints if anything inappropriate happens. But I will be keeping an eye on that lad.

JB showed me a cool reversal from half guard that Peter taught her- my brain was a little too fried to fully retain it, but I’ll ask her to work on it with me again next time. Her half guard is killer. Her closed guard is a B*%^$ to get out of, too. She’s getting pretty good. I noticed Rodrigo watching her and smiling while she pwn’ed me during the positional training. I told her that later, and she was thrilled…. she has been frustrated and disappointed at not getting much attention from DD, so she is really excited whenever she gets anything that looks like positive feedback from Rodrigo.

So I did get two kung fu workouts in during my camping trip, although it was just as hot as last year and impossible to exercise most of the day. I met a guy on day one down at the bonfire, and about five minutes into our chat, we figured out that he was the capoiera guy that I’d planned to meet up wth. What are the chances, out of 800 people? Anyway, I did not get to work with him, unfortunately. I came looking for him on Tues/Fri/Sat evenings after the sun went behind the trees and the temp got slightly more bearable, but I couldn’t find him any of those times. If he comes back next year, we must make some firm early evening dates so that we don’t miss each other again.

I also ran into someone I know slightly, who told me that she is training in White Eyebrow. She didn’t want to work together, though, because she’s not allowed to show anyone anything from her class.

Anyway, on Tues/Fri I went on to do a workout by myself after not being able to find the guy (On Saturday I had good intentions, but let myself get slurped into Herald Camp where time got away from me). Tuesday I did all of the Tiger stuff I know, except for Wood Monkey (too many bottle caps and other hazards to roll around on the ground). I know I was forgetting two of the Tiger drills (forgot to bring a printout with me). I’ll have to look those two drills up and review them the next time I do a solo practice. Anyway, the Tiger stuff was looking pretty good, although it was a poor day for mirror forms for some reason.

Friday: Mantis stuff, Wing Chun, and undifferentiated forms. I didn’t do the Northern Mantis bo form because I didn’t have a bo or bo analog (tried to do it empty-hands, but that wasn’t working very well). I also didn’t do Frolic because I forgot about it (I knew that there were one or two "undifferentiated forms" that I was missing, but I couldn’t for the life of me recall!). Next year I *really* need to bring a list. I also struggled a bit with the new piece of the Southern Mantis for that JoE taught me. I shall need a review from him this coming Thursday, if he is in class.

One of my friends who hasn’t seen me since last year remarked in a wondering voice how "cut" my upper body is looking. Mr. Green Yeah, fourteen months of BJJ is showing. Another friend- after day four of me wearing hats or scarves on my head all the time- said, "Your hair looks fine, you don’t have to keep hiding it!" Our Herald coordinating assistant told me that when my hair is flat, I look like Ellen Degeneres, and when it’s spiky, I look like Annie Lennox. She thinks it looks good, but since she **IS** in fact a butch dyke (and has almost the same haircut), her reassurance is not very reassuring!

The Sacred Hunt went fairly well- we seem to have gotten the job done although there were a few problems. One of which was a painted and fur-clad Hunter who almost took me out with a sharpened stick- very Lord Of the Flies. It was the longest and most grueling Hunt ever- we started drumming around 10:30 and didn’t finish drumming till after two. I think about an hour of that was heartbeat, the rest was uninterrupted thunder-drumming. It was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I’ve ever done. I did notice that I seemed to be having an easier time keeping my shoulders relaxed than I have in past years. I think that helped.

I had fairly good Herald minions all week, so didn’t have to do too much of my own Heralding. between that and the extreme heat/humidity (which turns me into a major slug), I didn’t get as much good exercise as I wish I had. I also ate an obscene amount of junk food at the campground. Herald Camp had Hershey bars in the cooler, which didn’t help. Going to try to be good for the next few weeks, get back in the groove, try to cut a few calories.

The 40-count game

Kung fu basics.

I had asked that we play the 40-count slo-mo sparring game (we have to come up with a clever name for this). You do a technique, easy pace, and the other person counters, then all freeze. Other person attacks, you counter, freeze… etc up to a count of 40. The objectives are many. You get practice discerning what the other person is leaving vulnerable and thus where you should attack; you learn what *you* are inadvertantly leaving vulnerable; you work on flowing your own energy and momentum from technique to technique, as well as trying to harness some of the opponent’s energy; you start getting a better idea of what works well for you and what doesn’t. With the slo-mo and freezes, you eliminate (or at least decrease) that mental white noise of "OMG a fist is coming at my face 200mph what do I do what do I do what do I do Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-" It also lets me get more creative and try a greater variety of techniques… when I’m sparring at speed, I tend to stick to the same small handful of techniques that I am very comfortable with. I also tend to not take many risks… this game lets me try some "Hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I tried _____" without having to pay for it with a black eye.

Sometimes we play this game with one pair working at a time and the rest watching… so that the teachers can make commentary and suggestions, and sometimes we all discuss the strategy.

First we did some hand strike drills, though… one person picked a strike and then the NEXT person in line had to explain the technique and answer verbal quiz questions about it.

Then we played that game for most of the class. I was up first, was asked to pick an opponent. I bit the bullet and challenged Nemesis. Then it was Nemesis vs JoE, then JoE vs me. JoE vs me turned into a grappling contest on the floor. It gets a little trickier, though, when your grappling opponent can sock you in the face, pull your hair and drive hir knee into your ribs. I had to change up my usual BJJ game, knowing that strikes and dirty moves were permissible.

I suggested that SK and CN play too- so they challenged each other. That was pretty fascinating to watch! popcorn

I was hoping to get a chance to play the game with SK or CN or both, but we ran out of time. This was a very educational and fun exercise, though. I’m going to push for us to do this more often.

Forms time. JoE and I had an agreement that he would trade me a little Southern Mantis in exchange for me helping him review Frolic Of the Five Animals. So we worked on Frolic a bit, and then he taught me the first five or so moves of one of the Southern Mantis forms he knows (I forgot to ask him the name of the form). I hope I will get some time during my trip to work on this, so it will be solid by the time I return.

JB- stripier than before

Wednesday evening BJJ in Seattle. JB had a car to use today, for a change- so first I suggested that we go to the Bellevue school, since she’s never even been in there yet. But then I said, "On the other hand, if we to to Rodrigo’s class in Seattle, we can cross our fingers that he might stripe you up." Otherwise I figured it would happen while I am out of town, which would suck. Not really looking for a first-promotion-missing hat trick here. So we went to Seattle. SK and JM too. Yeah, I let them back in my car. They both wrote me sincere-sounding apologies. I still can’t understand WTF was going on in their thought processes- but with apologies and promises to never do anything like that again, I think I have to try to forgive. I’m working on it.

As we were waiting for class to start, Peter asked JB if she saw the UFC fights…. she had no idea what UFC is…not even what it stood for…. he said, "Are you kidding?" So I told him that my crew is from a traditional Chinese MA background, so they haven’t really been around that kind of scene!

Some of the same techniques as on Monday, plus a couple of takedowns. I seem to be at the point where about 85% of the techniques, I recognize them- so now I can work on refining them, and pick up more nuances- and it’s nice to be proficient enough to feel qualified to help the newbies with the technique.

I drilled with JB, and she was a little slow tonight because her asthma is really bad lately. Seemed to be a little slow mentally tonight too- I had to walk her through almost everything. But after a couple tries, she was doing the techniques like a pro. The side control to armbar sequence…. that thing is kind of complicated. I remember it as being the first REALLY intimidatingly complicated technique sequence that I had a ton of trouble with in my first couple months. I think this is the third or so time I’ve cycled through it (several classes in each cycle), so I feel pretty good about it now, but it took me a long time to get. Man, JB was doing the technique like a superstar by the end of the drill- all the technical details correct, nice and tight and controlling, good weight down on me, everything was perfect and the flow was smooth and quick. I was very impressed.

After drills, I did a little positional sparring with Anthony (I beat him about two times out of eight), then with JM. I was able to put my personal issues on the shelf while I worked with her, which I was relieved and pleased about. I plagued her with spider guard for a couple of rounds, then she started aggressively defending her sleeve cuffs so that I couldn’t get it again.

JB got her stripe. I was so happy. It was so cool to see her walk up there and get taped up by Rodrigo himself. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that one.

Rodrigo did bench all three of them for open mat, which was odd. SK was a bit bewildered and annoyed, and so was I… when you get your first stripe, you’re good to go, so I don’t know what was up with that. I had been looking forward to open-mat rolling with all three of them in succession starting tonight, maybe a game of king-of-the-mat. I think that would be a fun way to close out most of the classes from now on. Hopefully they will be good to go next time, and no further issues.

I was ready to gather them all up and take off, once I saw we weren’t going to open-mat it, but Rodrigo specifically asked me to roll with Allie. So I figured I’d do a couple with her before I went. She has gotten somewhat better- she is being more assertive- but still doesn’t know much to do from some of the positions. She groaned when I caught her in my closed guard, and said that she hated this because she didn’t really have any technique from there. I showed her "posture and base"- and praised the way she was already keeping her elbows down and in. Then I moved my hips around, yanked at her sleeves, and threatened her with sweeps, just hard enought to challenge her, making her work the base and defend against various things.

I walked her through two simple escapes from half guard, then caught her in it several times to make her practice. She picks things up with a little help- I think she just needs somebody to mentor her a bit.

There were also two small-size women in class today that I’ve never seen before (class ratio tonight: 7 woman and 11 men). This is pretty cool.

SK related frustration on the way home in the carpool about not being able to compete well with the guy he was doing positional sparring with… this guy just got his first stripe today, and SK felt like he should have been able to at least be competitive with him. But the guy was doing a bit of explosive spazzing, and SK was having trouble doing anything to him. I really need to make a concerted effort to approach a few of my favorite male colored belt classmates and ask them to play with SK… I think SK is getting stuck with too many spazzy white belts, and it is discouraging him as well as not being very educational.

I also pointed out that you can’t be too down on yourself when some new guy walks in and wipes the mat with you, because you have no idea where he’s been. He might have six years of wrestling background.

What’s the matter with you- are you blind?

The psyche is a strange world of subjective wonders and horrors.

You may find yourself staring at a purple sky. Your friend standing right next to you staring at the exact same sky is saying, "It’s yellow, of course… can’t you SEE that it’s yellow?"

You’re looking at the obvious, extreme, unambiguous purpleness right in front of both of your faces and going…. "Huh??????"

If you can’t logically resolve the paradox between you, at last it comes down to the question of, "do you trust your friend or not?"

If you do, it is necessary for you to accept that your friend is truly seeing yellow.

Hopefully, said friend is equally willing to acceed that you are truly seeing purple.

If you continue to deny the supposition, you are no longer co- existing in any area of overlapping shared reality.

Shake it

Kung fu Tuesday.

More Bung Bo Kuen, more Little Red Dragon. Form reps and applications both. I didn’t like turning my back on my opponent for the spinning flying kick sequences in Little Red, so most of my apps involved multiple close-in opponents. CN seemed pleased with that, and talked about how Dragon style is particularly well-tailored to multiple opponents in that way. I felt pleased to be doing what seemed to be a good job keeping many of my applications specifically DRAGONY.

CC once demo’ed apps of this particular form on me to quite impressive effect. He latches onto you and then does the movements, dragging you along in such a manner that make you feel like a squirrel being shaken briskly to death in the jaws of an overcaffeinated terrier. Completely balance-ruining and disorienting for the uke, not to mention being unpleasantly painful as your neck and other joints are snapped powerfully in seemingly random different directions. It’s a helpless feeling. I tried to capture the essence of that in one the apps I came up with, involving a double fistful of Nemesis’ hair.

JM had to perform a form tonight- Five Points Of the Star. That’s the same one Nemesis had to do. Absolutely no discernable rhyme and reason to which forms he’s assigning to which people. Poor JB is the next victim.

Those shin splints plagued me so over the weekend- I didn’t get to the gym either day, although I meant to, my calves hurt too bad to function. Yesterday I did two BJJ classes,and the shins were a little achy but mostly fine. Tonight, even though I stretched them out carefully beforehand- as soon as I started doing forms… Eye-yi-yi! I had to take a break and Tiger-balm them (I actually used an analog balm from Thailand called "White Monkey With Peach"). Then I tried to do Bung Bo and the right shin actually seized up and BUCKLED. What the heck? It’s the muscles on the backs of the shins right under the knees. I will *never* do that many sprints in one session again, unless I have slowly built up to it!!! Jeez, it seemed like a fine idea at the time.

Should have checked the calender.

Monday morning BJJ in Seattle.

Today, being the last kid left over after everyone got picked for the kickball game won me the opportunity to drill with black belt Shawn- so that was cool for me. He gave me lots of helpful advice.

Takedown, shoulder throw setup, reversal from headlock on the ground, armbar variation from side control. Once again, "Left knee does not touch the mat!!"

Positional sparring from side control- I drew Angus. This is one of my weakest areas, and Angus dominates me, so I didn’t do too well. I got a little frustrated because whenever he goes to put me in his closed guard, I seem helpless to defend against his grabbing first one of my sleeve cuffs and then the other and effortlessly peeling off any defensive frame I try to set. I did tell him how awesome he’s gotten in the last few months, and he tried to shrug it off with "I’m a lot bigger than you," but I told him that his technicality was very good.

Open mat- I was sitting on the bench panting, and Bryan said, "Are you done?" I said, "I can go again after a little break." "Like, a thirty-second break? Because I have to go to work." So I rolled with him. He was doing his "Does this feel like a choke or a crank? How about THIS?" exercises. He was getting mostly cranks tonight. I was doing pretty well defending his chokes/cranks (even he said so), but I still always wind up lying trapped underneath him like (as he put it) "a dead fish".

At one point I fended him off by grabbing his belt up off the mat where I saw it lying and wrapping it around his thigh to pin his leg. He couldn’t see what I was doing, but he praised my defense for that one…. then I showed him, and he was like, "That can’t be legal!" I admitted that I’d cheated because the belt was lying on the mat, but that if it had still been on him (even half-ass), I could have legally wrapped him up with it just like we do with the tails of the gi jacket. He was skeptical, but I said, "Swear to Rickson Gracie, I have checked this out!"

Evening BJJ in Bellevue… I was tired, but I wanted to go to this class because it might be the last class I get to take from Henrique.

I have a sore spot and bruise on my knee from Bryan this morning… it was my own fault… after he ran around on me for a while, I commented "You’re pretty fast for an old guy" Mr. Green He grapevined my leg and cranked on my knee for that.

Same techniques as this morning. I drilled with Nayana, Henrique’s wife. I was surprised at how clumsy I was at the armbar sequence- it had taken me a while to get it this morning, but under Shawn’s direction, I had it pretty solid after some practice. I was clumsier on Nayana. It felt so different on such a different body type/size. At least I knew the sequence, though, which I was glad of… Nayana is still at the stage that I used to be, where she really needs someone to walk her slowly and methodically through each drill cuz she’s just not quite imprinting things very well yet. So it was good that I had done class this morning and knew all the drills fairly well.

Some positional sparring- Nayana’s getting a lot better at this; I can beat her, but she makes me work for it.

Positional relay- Sauleh refused to work with me during the relay because I’m a woman. I was confused because I know I have worked briefly with him a couple of times in the past. I rechecked the calendar, and sure enough, there it was in black and white- this is National Reject Kitsune Week. Thank Gods it will be over by the time I try to get on the plane on Friday night. Anyway, I was annoyed and hurt- but after being rejected by SK and JM, being rejected by some turkey I barely know was small potatoes.

Open mat- I took a breather, then I asked Eric to roll with me. I did have to ask him a couple times to slow down and lighten up a bit, but it was fun. We went five or six times, and he creamed me, which is a little embarrassing because he’s only a 1 stripe white at the moment… but the guy is good- I asked him "where’s your blue belt?" He laughed and said he has a lot of work yet, and I said, "You’re doing really well- your technicality is good, you’re really quick, and you’re flexible…. and your chokes are masterful…" This last bit said in a squeaky voice as he choked me yet again. he did let go of a few subs just a little bit before I would have had to tap, so I gave him that feedback, which I hope was helpful.

I got a note from Kaungren, he is back in the United States and back at Gracie Barra Seattle. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet him soon. Sorry dude, you are henceforth fair fodder for my training blog, so you better be nice to me. Mr. Green

****KABOOOOOOOOOOOM****

There is no training involved today, so skip this blog entry unless you get off on painful interpersonal drama.

Well, we "DISCUSSED" it. See today’s title for the result.

I confronted JM first in the locker room, and informed her that she really hurt my feelings. I asked her why they did that, and she told me that they just "forgot". I was completely mortified to find the waterworks starting. That had not been part of tonight’s script. Confused She went to hug me, and I stormed out.

I went outside and walked up and down the sidewalk for a while, trying to get a grip. Then I came back inside and sulked downstairs while they did class. JB was late. When she came in and saw me sitting there and asked me if I was okay, I was further mortified to find the waterworks starting AGAIN. But she was really sweet; she hugged me and listened to me vent…. and then she double-checked her cell and showed me a text from SK on the night in question asking *HER* if she was going to be at class. So the "We just forgot" defense gets even less plausible in light of the fact that we remembered JB, but only forgot Kitsune.

So when class finished, I took them outside on the sidewalk and ripped them up one side and down the other (verbally only, I hasten to add). I didn’t cry again- to my vast relief- although I had to do some yelling in order to STOP myself from starting to cry. I got to say (well, yell) everything I needed to say, which was good. They stood there and gave me full attention while I did it, which was good. They had no satisfactory explanation for their behavior, which was bad. Nor did they have anything to say to re-establish my confidence that they actually WANT to train with me and want me around, which was bad. I’m also fairly sure that SK never really grokked what was wrong with his behavior- even after I tried to explain it eight or ten times in different ways. At one point I actually demanded if he was being deliberately obtuse or if he truly didn’t comprehend why this was not cool. JM, I think, may have grasped the salient problem issue better, even if she seemed to think I was blowing it out of proportion (which of course I am…. $hit, is that woman always right about EVERYTHING???!!!??? Mad )

They asked how to fix this- which was good. I don’t know how to fix it, which was bad. We certainly can’t fix the fact that I missed their first promotions. Right now I’m feeling like they do not value either my presence training with them nor place any priority on being considerate about my feelings. They didn’t have anything to say to convince me otherwise.

Anyway…. we said what we had to say, I found their contribution to be insufficient, I asked them to wait on the sidewalk a minute while I ran back inside, then I came out and informed them that JB would be out shortly and that she would drive them home, and I got in my Jeep and drove away and left them there.

I know I’m overreacting, and this must read like ravings from someone who’s taken some tainted heroin or something- but they really hurt my feelings, and now I feel so rejected and unwanted that I don’t want to be in their presence. It is what it is; I own my feelings, and I’m not afraid to say them to SK’s and JM’s faces as well as put them down here.

I hope we can get this resolved somehow; right now I don’t know what to do to fix it. I don’t want this to be a permanent schism, but I am still feeling really hurt and angry. I know I am probably not going to want some space for a while and to not be in class with them. Maybe a break from the Shaolin group would do me good. I can still make some BJJ classes; ones that I know they won’t be at.

Cindy also came out at one point while I was sitting downstairs waiting for class to end, and was really nice about asking if I was okay and if there was anything she could do. It was so good to feel that bit of support from JB and from Cindy tonight.

Hmmm…. I wish SK and JM could take groveling lessons from CN. CN once done me wrong and I got really upset with him… he wrote me an apologetic e-mail that- even as I was reading it with steam still coming out of my ears- I was thinking, "Damn, this is good stuff. I wonder where he learned how to do this. I should take some notes so that the next time I eff up, I can grovel like this." It was so abject and sincere that it evaporated all my anger and hurt right away. And even if it hadn’t, I would have forgiven him anyway just because the apology was such a stunning masterwork. He got full points. CN gives Good Grovel. Razz

SK’s and JM’s skills need a lot of work.

Nemesis kills JM’s shoes

Okay, separate entry as I’m trying to shift focus from my emotional hangups….

Tonight I took 15 min to stretch out even though it made me late for class. Lately we have been arriving without enough enough lead time for me to stretch- and last week my body complained at me about it for the entire class instead of just the first 15 min. So I guess I need to do that, even if it makes me late.

Snake Versus Five Animals. I’m happy that I reviewed this recently, and did my fumbling in the gym by myself. So I mostly looked like I knew what I was doing. Until we started doing it with opponents. I always get discombobulated when I have that extra distraction, which is lame since doing the techniques **ON** someone is the entire point!

I was completely unable to execute the shoulder lock on Nemesis, which was no big surprise. We were unable to resolve the problem (CN wasn’t there; he likely would have come up with something), so SK asked me what I would choose do at that point instead. So I grabbed Nemesis’s arm and roundhouse-kicked him in the belly.

Then we did a little Three Step Arrow. I was pleased that I was able to snap off both of the rapid-fire 4-strike combinations as quick as SK and CN do it (I have been practicing them a lot). Then we explored a few apps. JM and I were working together. When I came up with an outside parry-to-neck-strike app for the opening, she objected to it because, as she said, "Southern Mantis likes to come to the INSIDE". Well, granted. I didn’t feel that flare of defensive annoyance as much… more like resignation. Not sure if this is better or worse.

Then a little bit of light sparring. JoE vs Nemesis first. They were only allowed to position themselves at an angle to each other- no facing head-on- which effectively took one arm completely out of play.

Nemesis vs JM. They each had to hold a pair of shoes wrapped in a jacket, and pretend it was a baby, while they sparred. (Nemesis killed JM’s baby.)

Me vs JoE. We had to fight with both hands behind our backs and use only kicks. JoE has the reach on me, but I have the flexibility. I took a lot of solid hits from him. I landed fewer on him, but the ones I landed were good solid ones. I even dared a flying crescent- range was a bit off, though.

Forms time. I found that I did not have the mental focus to work on forms. So I ran sprints up and down the hallways, till I started to get shin splints. It didn’t quiet down the mental white noise, though, and I knew I couldn’t sit in a group meditation with my chi so wonky. So I begged off the meditation and the book study section tonight.

I’m wondering whether it might help at all to try to find time to discuss my Epic Slump with RS. I should get to see him just once before I leave on my out-of-town trip.

WTF?

Remember on Monday how I was slightly irritated that SK and JM stood me up for evening BJJ class? I had told them both that I’d be in Bellevue (because JB had to work and couldn’t come to class), and SK had e-mailed me back and said "See you there". Well- no show, no word, no explanation the next day at kung fu class- I thought that was a little rude, but okay, I just blow that off.

Turns out they went to the Seattle location that evening instead. Without telling me. And got their first stripes.

This is stupid of me, I know- but man, am I ever hurt and pissed off.

I can’t imagine what they were thinking. I was really looking forward to being there for that- so I could clap and be proud. I put a lot of time and effort into teaching them, and I’ve been so proud of how they’re doing. I’m so disappointed.

Not to mention that they KNEW I was going to be in Bellevue- no one contacted me about a change in plans- I was deliberately ditched. WTF?

I guess we’re going to have to DISCUSS this tomorrow. I should have done it tonight- but I am fully aware that I’m being a freaky hormonal overreacting b****, and I wanted to try to get a grip on myself first and try to put things in perspective before going off on them about what was most likely some kind of communication misfire.

But damn. Sad My feelings are hurt. And I missed their first promotions; that part at least is unrepairable.