Woke up Friday morning with a sore throat… actually, I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat (right in the middle of a really, really, really nice dream- curses!). I remembered Cindy mentioning on Thurday that she was unwell, so I thought, "Uh-oh, I’ve been tagged by Typhoid Cindy." As temping as it was to gloss over the sore throat (or neglect to mention it altogether), I wouldn’t do that to CK when she’s flown out here for her big tai chi seminar. CK seems to be particularly susceptible to illness when she’s amid the Paciic Northwest Allergen Soup, and when she’s been flying, and when she is sleep deprived (the Trifecta of Vulnerability), and I didn’t want to risk making her sick for her seminar. So with great regret I cancelled our Friday morning/afternoon lesson. I figured I’d still go to Cindy’s that evening (surely Cindy had already infected everything/everyone in her place, so it wouldn’t matter), but she cancelled class at the 11th hour- she was even sicker. Bummer- I had had SK and JM all lined up to come with me. So I ended up not training at all on Friday, despite getting all dressed and packed for class twice.
So I got up today and found that I’d gained two and a half pounds back. You blow off one stinkin’ day, and look what happens. I was really dragging butt and thinking about skipping class…. I still had the sore throat, but otherwise felt okay. But the scale, and the fact that it was Competition Class day, got me moving.
It was a good training day. There were a lot of us, so we had to take some breaks due to not enough room on the mat. I worked positonal sparring with Sonia, and we seemed pretty evenly matched today. I found out that she had been scheduled to have a fight with ShawnDee, the four-stripe blue that had been at the Bellevue school last week- ShawnDee had pulled out. Sonia was quite interested to hear that ShawnDee had turned up at the Bellevue school.
I also worked with Angela a bit. Angela has so much weight and strength on me that trying to fend her off (such as when she’s passing my guard on the outside) is like trying to stop a Buick from running you over by bracing your hands on the bumper. I figured out pretty quickly that I did not want to be on the bottom in this scenario. I still ended up on the bottom more than I wanted to be. But I did get a couple of mounts and side controls on her.
The scabs scraped off the gi rash on my chin and I was bleeding everywhere. There wasn’t anything much I could do about it- I couldn’t bandage it.
Open mat- I had a few more rolls with Sonia, till she had to leave; then I crawled over to Daniel (who was sprawled on the floor on his back) and mounted him- so we rolled a while, till HE had to leave, and then I asked Dave. Dave tapped me about five times, but he did tell me that I was making him work for it.
CN’s Conditioning Boot Camp.
Those guys were laughing at the three perfect fingerprint bruises on the inside of my right bicep, mirrored by three perfect fingerprint bruises on the OUTSIDE of my left one.
An hour of conditioning drills. There is an evil thing called the "Scorpion"- it’s like a push-up, with one hand and the opposite toe on the ground. You twist and arch your other leg over your back as far as you can, and you try to touch your shoulder to the ground. CN says that he knows one guy who is really, really, really fit- and he can do ONE. I tried it, and I can get the position, but once down I can’t push back up again. This would be a fun thing to work on, though, and then come back and show off being able to do at least a few!
At the end, when we were all exhausted and sore, CN wanted us to spar a little. He let us negotiate our parameters. Me vs JM first. It went to the ground fairly quickly, and turned into BJJ. She got mount on me several times, but I escaped, and she couldn’t get a sub. CN finally called time as I was sitting on her shoulder prying her arm out for the armbar. I called, "No, no! I’ve almost got her! You have to give me one more minute!" So he did, and I got the armbar. 🙂
CN faced off JM and SK next. She did okay for a while, but then SK got her in a rear choke. She froze up- and apparently got choked a bit harder than she wanted to be, then thrown to the ground with a bit of a neck twist added. She benched herself. Not good. This sort of thing is reinforcing JM’s general intimidation around sparring (and especially sparring with SK). This sort of thing is also reinforcing CN’s and SK’s reluctance to have us spar in class.
So CN looked at me next, and said, "You want a piece of him?" (Heh) I haven’t sparred SK in a long time, and within a few moments I re-remembered some things I ought not to be doing.
1)Chasing his strikes. As a general rule, chasing strikes is a bad idea, but especially with SK. He is The Snake Guy. That is is his game. As Cindy said to me on Thursday- Don’t play THEIR game.
2)Getting too tense/Poor breathing. As soon as I faced off against him, I noticed that I was very tense, and breathing fast. My physical breathing problems mean that I have to be extra careful about that, or I will be out of breath very early into the spar. I had to force myself to calm down, and even out my breathing. I had to do that several times.
3)Frustration/anger. Part of SK’s game as Snake is to use his longer reach and quick strikes to thwap me repeatedly on the face, the back of the head, the ear. It frustrates me and pisses me off, and I start getting sloppier. Had to remind myself several times to back off, calm down, don’t let him goad me.
I didn’t do very well against him- I never do, and being out of practice against him made it worse. I did get in a few knee/skin kicks and a couple of belly/groin kicks. He tried unsuccessfully to take me down a number of times, and commented, "Your rooting has gotten a lot better- I can’t pick you up any more!" He did eventually get me down, of course, and tapped me out with a leg lock.
I did get one truly spectacular hit, though. I jumped guard on him- knowing that it often nonplusses him for a moment when I do that- and then slid down his body, keeping one arm and one leg. As soon as my back hit the ground, I pistoned a thrust kick up into his belly. It was a thing of beauty- and the best part was that I PLANNED it out and it worked! I got a round of excited applause and cheers from the others… and I gave them a quick bow after I rolled to my feet. CN was still raving about it while we were walking back to the car.