Thursday night kung fu. Class was a bit abbreviated tonight due to CK’s presence- some of the group wanted to go out to dinner afterward.
After a failed attempt to lure squirrels (both JB and I had brought treats for them, but they were being coy today), I was about to ask JB if she was up for rolling a bit to warm up- but she held her hand out for a hand slap before I could even ask, so great minds apparently think alike. We agreed that we should try to do that more often- it makes for a good warm-up for class, maybe even better than my stretching routine (ideal would be BOTH- maybe I can have time for both on Tuesdays when there is a bit more of a time cushion before class begins).
Class started with a round of hand strike drills. I was getting really good low horse stance again today. When we did the Tiger circular slashing sequence, SK walked around and punched at us to that we could parry his fist and then rip his face off. I did so with such enthusiasm that I almost knocked him down. But then I bobbled the next rep, as I often get confuddled when I try to do technique drills against a live opponent instead of in the air as I do more often. I said "sorry, I got distracted by the spurting blood." JB hadn’t been paying attention, and looked over, startled. "Blood? Is someone bleeding?" "Only in my dreams," said I. SK: "You dream about ripping my face off?" CK: "Come on- what else do you think she would dream about?"
After hand strike drills, we had a brief water break. I walked up behind JB and RNC’ed her, and we started to roll again. Then we just kept going. I saw CN, SK and CK working on the Black Dragon form (I intend to try to squeeze that one out of SK in the not-too-distant future). The others appeared to be working on the some of the flying kicks from Tiger Versus Crane- actually, it looked like JM was teaching. JB and I kept going- neither of us wanted to stop.
I am so impressed with JB’s jiu jitsu, and I told her so in the car afterward. She doesn’t have a lot of flashy tricks yet, but her basics are very, very solid- which I think puts her ahead of a lot of people in the Gracie school with more time under their belts and maybe a few fancy show-off moves, yet don’t have good posture and base in guard- and other such weaknesses in very basic skills that will bite them in the butt for a long time to come. I am having a very hard time preventing her from upa’ing me, and I can almost never get front mount any more. In fact, getting front mount became my primary goal tonight, and I did manage to get it several times- with much gleeful triumphant cackling- to her disgust. Hey, she should be grateful I wasn’t doing any nose-beeping. This time.
It was also my goal to prevent her from doing that razzafrackin’ seat-belting, stacking guard pass that she always gets on me. She did get it a couple of times, so I still have more work to do on defending that thing. She was also doing a really good job trapping and holding me in side control and scarf. I think we ended up 3 to 1 me… She tapped me with a keylock and I tapped her with a keylock and two guillotines. I teased her after getting that second guillotine- "I can’t believe you let me slip that in there again!" So when I tried it a third time, she immediately recognized it, spit a naughty word, and defended vigorously (and successfully).
I tried a number of kimuras on her from various positions, and couldn’t get any of them to work (dang it). I suspect part of the problem is JB’s unnatural flexibility, though- I think a couple of those may have made a normal person tap.
I also tried- several times- the technique we worked at Cindy’s last week, where you get a wrapping grip on the opponent’s bicep, fold the arm, and then stand up and hoist the person and drag them. It worked sometimes, but when I tried to continue into the kimura like we’d done in the drill, I couldn’t make that work.
We also did one match from standup- that was fun, and we both need the practice. It took a long time. I finally took her down with some sloppiness that was not an actual technique, landing in side control. Three seconds, then front mount. Ha! Rack them points!
Next thing I knew, CN was calling us all for the sitting meditation. JB and I had used up the whole class rolling. I felt a little bad, but the both of us have missed a lot of BJJ in the last few weeks, and we really wanted to roll.
When CN asked if he could talk to me privately after class, I thought he was going to chew me out for hijacking the class- I apologized for that. We have been doing that too much, and we need to not let it get out of hand.
But no, he wants to me write a paper about what my training means to me. ???? I replied, quizzically, "Errr- broad subject." He said that he purposefully did not want to give me more structure than that. He also said that he had liked what I wrote about the dao training, and was curious to see what I would do with this. I hadn’t considered that couple of dao-training paragraphs anything profound- in fact I thought it was a bit lame- but okay. I could drag nothing more out of him as to either the specifics of what was expected nor why. I have a few weeks, so I guess I will think about it for a while and see what I can come up with. I really hope he isn’t pegging this for a testing requirement. I haven’t told him that I have decided to not test any further, and wasn’t planning to tell him- I plan to go the passive-aggressive route if that ever comes up. I hope CK didn’t say anything to him about me, either. This is rather weird timing for this rather wierd request out of the blue.
On the way home, JB mentioned that she’s thinking about e-mailing SK about some of her training issues. I think she was talking to CK about it today after I left, and eventually came up with that plan. I think it’s great, and hope she follows up. I truly do think (and I told her so) that both CN and SK genuinely care about and are invested in our training, but they just don’t always know how to give us what we need from them- especially as they are both pretty new to teaching. We need to be very clear and very persistant in communicating how we need them to help us progress. We have a responsibility to actively help in that process. JB is feeling like she can’t talk to CN, which is sad. I am having a hard time figuring CN out. He comes off as being very sincere and open and easy to approach, but I often have difficulty trying to understand what he does and why- and he stalemates me many times when I try to get more clarity. I do feel that he has been pulling away from the group over the past year. And with his imminent return to college- who knows how much involvement (if any) he will have in the future of this group. So I would certainly hesitate to gird for some big heart-to-heart- or dump any angsty issues in his lap- at this point.
JB confessed that she found my training blog. I immediately braced for "How could you write________ about me, you ____ ____ ______??!!!!?!" Really, I don’t recall off the top of my head anything particularly unflattering or embarrassing that I’ve written about her, and I ain’t gonna sift back through almost a year’s worth of my natterings looking for incriminating tidbits. There are certain people that- if I thought they had found my training blog- I would need to take the thing offline and immediately leave town with the clothes on my back. But JB isn’t one of them. I told her, "I apologize in advance for anything I said that I need to apologize for,"….. and I guess that will have to cover it.
I don’t know what or how much she read, but apparently the most gripping thing she found (the ONLY gripping thing she’s found, maybe- heh) is the Carnal Carpool. She was outraged on my behalf. "I can’t believe they are making out in your backseat while you’re driving the carpool!!! That is so rude!!!! Why don’t you tell them to stop???!!!? Do you want ME to tell them to stop??! Because I will!!!" Thank you. But if I’m too much of a wuss to bring this up with them, that is my problem. We’ve already got two people acting like junior-high kids, I don’t need to join them by playing the Communication Relay Game.