Alliances- a bad set of options.

Monday morning BJJ in Seattle.

I was dragging butt again today… my allergies have been particularly terrible since I got back from St. Louis, and they are really making me feel more exhausted than usual.

Escape from standing headlock, transitioning to armlock/takedown/rear choke. Last week’s same escape from having your head clutched to opponent’s chest in guard, to basic guard break, but this time the opponent was to get spider guard at that point. Then a "bullfight" style guard pass from there. I was drilling with Bree.

Even Bree is a little too tall for me to get a rear choke from behind while we’re both standing. If I’d been in kung fu class, I think I would have altered ther sequence to kick her behind the knee and break her stance down a bit *before* grabbing the choke instead of after. But I didn’t know if it was okay to alter the sequence, so I just hopped up a little and grabbed the choke as best I could. As soon as I grabbed on, Bree went over backwards just because of the gravity of my body (since my feet weren’t touching the floor), so that eliminated the need for the kick entirely. Then of course Prf. Carlos came over to re-explain the sequence to me because I looked like I was too dumb to remember the kick. Sigh. I didn’t want to try to explain (especially with the language barrier); I don’t want to look like I’m trying to argue with the Professor. But that’s a little frustrating. He is one of those tall guys who probably has no idea what it’s like to try to get a rear choke on someone whose neck you cannot reach.

Some positional training, involving spider guard. I got in trouble and got hollered at by Prof. Carlos
because I slid behind Bree and wrapped my arm around her neck during the first round, in which we were apparently supposed to go for sweeps *ONLY*. I felt so stupid; sometimes I get carried away and forget what limitations have been put on the positional training rounds, and then I look like I’m deliberately being an a-hole. It most often happens when we are limited to sweeps only- my sweeps suck mud, so I have no good options in this scenario and I get easily frustrated.

I had to repeatedly stack Bree while she had spider guard on me; it seemed to be the only way I could get the pass (she’s got quite a bit of weight on me). I felt bad because I know she’s had some neck injuries, so I asked, "Is your neck okay?" She said it was okay, but it didn’t sound very reassuring to me- so after that exchange, I looked for some other things to try.

Some short sparring matches. Bree had left, so I got matched up with Marc, then some white belt I’ve never seen before, then Nic. I gave all three of them my "Go kinda light on me, okay?" line. I looked the white belt guy seriously in the eye as I said it, because he looked big and muscular enough to hurt me if he wasn’t careful.

I think I did reasonably okay against all of them. The white belt got a little spazzy on me at the beginning, but he apologized and slowed down. He got me with an armlock, and I got him with an omoplata. I had to work at it for a while, as it apparently wasn’t quite right (although I wondered if he was one of those too-stubborn-to-tap newbies… so I was really careful and controlled). Nic got me with an armlock as well. I got front mounts and side mounts on all of them, and back mount on Marc. I was within an inch of getting chokes on Marc almost the entire time we were rolling, but he was defending the chokes well, and I just couldn’t finish. I did find myself trapped immobile in deep half guard several times, although I also took a few opportunities to squirt out the back or to grab my opponent’s foot and try to reverse. Still need more work on things to do from here.


SK and I had been planning to go to the Bellevue school tonight while the girls went to Cindy’s (since JB had missed Cindy’s Friday class), but SK bailed- so I went to Cindy’s too.

I went in wearing a plain white belt, and Cindy stopped right in the middle of a demo (I was the demo dummy again today) to ask me if I’d forgotten my belt or what… then she said it was fine for us all to claim our same rank in her school. But I had done it as a gesture of respect to her and her school, and I don’t think she missed that- so that’s good.

Since the Revolution is nigh, she has been drilling the kids on chokes… she said we were going to get the same lesson. Basic cross collar gi chokes and some variations of same. Ezekiel. Then she showed us this nasty knuckle-grinding choke that definitely falls into the "legal but douchebag" category. This led JB to ask her if tickling was legal (I think she had been reading the JiuJitsuForums…. Rolling Eyes ), and that led to a brief but painful little workshop wherein Cindy demonstrated a whole bunch of "legal but douchebag" techniques on me. surrender Ow. Some of those are gonna leave a mark.

Some positional sparring from closed guard. Me vs Jamie, then JM, then JB, then Cindy, then JB again. JB got front mount on me and spent almost the entire final spar sitting right on my diaphragm with all her weight. I couldn’t draw more than a sip of air at a time, and couldn’t get enough oxygen for a concerted effort to throw her off. At least I successfully defended her choke attempts. No tap to the Technique Of the Day… I hate it when I tap to the Technique Of the Day!!!

On the way home, JM discussed that it would be a good idea financially for her to defect to Cindy’s school. She has budget struggles, and my friends usually get to Mon/Wed/Fri evening classes- so switching to Cindy’s would only be one less class for less than half the cost. It’s also important to the girls to have a female teacher our own size, which sentiment I certainly share. And we all love Cindy both personally and as a teacher. Having Cindy leave GB Seattle has put us in a bad position. I couldn’t argue with JM; I gave her my blessing. JB and SK will almost certainly defect along with her.

Ideally, I’d pay tuition at both schools… I want to keep studying with Cindy (and my friends as well, of course), but I do not want to leave GB Seattle altogether. It would mean cutting my BJJ training by at LEAST 1/3; I would no longer have the convenience of being able to go to Bellevue on occasion instead of having to fight traffic on the long commute to Seattle; I don’t want to lose Rodrigo as a teacher, and I don’t want to lose the good experience I get with being able to work with a lot of different people. That last bit is going to shaft SK in particular, assuming he does defect- with the much smaller student pool, he’ll be working with us pint-size women much more than is good for him.

It looks like I will need to try to scrape up enough money to pay both schools…. this rather sucks. but I think it’s the best of a bad set of options.


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