I went to Cindy’s lunchtime no-gi class today. So here’s where Leah (and Dan) have been hiding! She said that she’s not training at Gracie’s any more. I asked if she knew whether or not Henrique is coming back (because I’ve heard conflicting rumors), and she thinks not. Sadness.

I told her that I was thinking about doing the next Revolution, and she was like, "Oh, no, no, you so don’t want to do that!" I knew that she didn’t ever want to compete again; that she’d had a poor experience with cutting weight and then having to fight women who would have been a lot heavier than she even BEFORE she cut weight. She thinks I’m going to end up with three or four women (if even that many) in the whole tournament, and all at least half again my weight. Well, that’s a real possibility, it’s true. I told her that at least Bianca would be there. She said, "Bianca has forty pounds on you." ??!! That can’t be right…. I thought Bianca was close to my weight. I’m pretty bad at estimating other people’s weights, though…. (If Leah is right, then I wouldn’t feel quite so lame about my spectacular record of suckage opposite Bianca.)

Half an hour of awful warm-up. There were a few newbies in class today who were flagging… so Cindy didn’t drive us quite as bad as she had on Friday, but still- no softie warmups around here.

Due to aforementioned newbies, we did very basic stuff. Keylock, simple armbar. Then keylock fail transitioning into armbar. I worked with a newbie, and I confined my advice to the single most glaring thing he was doing wrong per drill set. I think that’s a good tack to take as far as giving advice… if they are blatantly clueless, I’ll offer one thing, and if they want more help, they can indicate so by their reaction… otherwise I will shut up and leave them alone after that one thing.

Unfortunately, Cindy was feeling a bit under the weather, and so she didn’t roll with any of us today. Bummer…. I’d brought a gi jacket in case she had time to work on choke defenses with me (as she’d suggested on Friday). The silver lining, though: truthfully I’d had mixed feelings about the prospect of having Cindy sawing aggressively on my neck today, right overtop of the gi burn that Glen left yesterday.

So after drills, I got short timed rolls with several people. Leah first. I did not get subbed by Leah- I count this as progress on my part. She had a painful and air-depriving choke on at one point, but I stuck it out- and about two seconds before I would have had to tap, she gave up and moved on. Ha. That does not work on Bianca…that woman just keeps grinding at it…. but it worked today on Leah.

Leah was keeping me at bay with her long, long legs. Cindy called over to me "That’s her game- don’t play her game! Close in!" She’s right. I think I do that too much- play other people’s games. I need to experiment with going into rolls with a determination that we are going to play *MY* game.

Dan- this is the first time I’ve worked with him. He was so embarrassingly bad when he first started at Gracie’s. He was getting privates with Henrique… and now working with Cindy… he has a blue belt now, and he deserves it. I wasn’t sure how hard I could go with him, so I was conservative. Next time I think I will need to step it up.

Some other guy I have never seen before… heavy, heavy guy. I was nervous about working with him- he could have crushed me really easily. But he was okay. We seemed fairly evenly matched (with him being nice about not using his weight). He tapped me once with an armbar. One more guy, I’ve seen him before, but I can’t recall his name. He spent much of the roll in turtle, and I was having little luck dealing with it. I have learned a number of turtle-related techniques recently, but most of them use the gi.


Kung fu Thursday. No SK, but CN was there to teach. It was just me and Nemesis, with JaE for part of it.

We warmed up with "build-a-form". JaE was adding two techniques for every turn of his instead of one, so the forms were long and complicated… I struggled a little with remembering the sequencing.

CN asked what we wanted to work on, and all three of us mentioned items that could translate to the two- and three- step self-defense exercises we have been doing for the last two weeks. So we had two people at a time work together while the third observed with CN. Straight punch (left and right), looping or haymaker-type punch (left and right)- mixing it up.

I did a little better tonight on waiting those extra two seconds to be sure of what was coming in and on which side (that had been my request item for today). I was being attacked by Nemesis, at Wing Chun range (that’s really, really close in) so it was intimidating…. but I made him slow down several times. Then JaE attacked Nemesis, and then I attacked JaE. CN had suggestions for all of us.

For the last drill set, CN had us add "finish-him-off" techniques. I stuck to the same small selection that I feel good about. I just get too easily flustered when I put too much pressure on myself to get creative.

Individual forms time. I was resolved to ask for forms help, but CN was helping JaE- and since JaE hardly ever gets to come to class, I feel like he needs the attention. So I bowed out, but CN came over to me later on anyway. I had run briefly through a number of things while he was working with JaE: Three Step Arrow, Snake Versus Five Animals, Hurricane hands, Touch Bridge, Northern Mantis, the most difficult flying spinning kick out of Tiger Versus Crane. I am thinking about asking JM to help me with that particular kick. That is what the other students were working on while JB and I were doing BJJ during Kung Fu class a couple of weeks ago. I know she’s good at this. I wonder if it would make the problematic situation between her and I better or worse if I actually actually go to her and request her help with a few things.

So CN asked if I wanted any help, and I had him look at Touch Bridge. He said that the flow was nice. YAY- Touch Bridge is a Dragon form; flow is the most important thing, and something that I have worked very hard on. It is great to hear (from the DRAGON stylist) that the flow looks good. He suggested that I use longer steps during one backward-stepping section, because the sequence is about luring the opponent in before nailing hir with a palm-heel.

He asked, "Anything else?" And I said, "Name a form!" He had seen me doing a little Three Step Arrow, so he asked me to do that. He suggested a footwork improvement.

I told him that this is perfect- one to three corrections per form, that’s not too overwhelming. So he said, "One more." He wanted Sil Lum Dao, since this coming semester is Snake/Wing Chun semester in the Tuesday class. I hadn’t done Sil Lum Dao in a while, but it went okay. I did the version that I learned first (from CC). There is a great confusion of different versions of this form. We talked a little about the wrist releases, and CN also mentioned my persistant "micro-fu" habit (I fail to fully extend many of my strikes). He had also reprimanded me for micro-fu during the build-a-form-game earlier. This should be one of the areas where I place a lot of ongoing attention in the next few months.

He asked me how the essay assignment was going. I guess he might not forget about that after all.


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