Scheduling tag- you’re it!

"Women’s self defense" at Gracie Barra. Lindsey said, "Those girls won’t be in today… they all went to a big Halloween party last night and now they’re hung over." Heh. Well, works for me! So I got 30 min of rolling with Lindsey followed by 30 min of rolling with black belt Shawn. Definitely worth coming in for!

Lindsey wants to me tie my belt correctly. I just tie it in a square knot because I’m lousy with knots and too impatient to bother with learning to tie it correctly, much less taking the time to do so every single time. So I got the Belt Tying 101 lesson, which will probably have to be reviewed a few times before I memorize it.

Not sure if I can regurgitate much of the feedback frm th rolls…. I hope I internalized it…. it’s hard when I have two classes back to back and can’t go home to write up the lessons immediately.

I do recall that Shawn wants me to make sure to not let him wrap his near-side arm around my neck when I’m in bottom half guard. Lindsey wants me to make sure to put hooks in immediately if he leaves the space gaping in his turtle. He also wants me to sprawl back when I’m trying to do a standing guard pass and he grabs for both of my heels. He dumped me on my kiester three times with that move today. I wonder if anything else in BJJ makes you look half as moronic as getting nailed with that particular move.

Shawn also showed me two escapes from heel hook, which I’ve wanted to add to my repertoire.

I tried the Quadruple-threat sequence on Shawn. It took me many attempts before I could get his arm properly trapped and even think about going for the choke. He didn’t tap to that, so I did the roll, but then he defended me capturing his leg(s)- so I couldn’t finish. The next time I tried it, I apparently didn’t do the roll quickly and decisively enough. He stopped us midway with me on the bottom, and started putting a ton of pressure on my chest.

Lindsey said that I seem improved even over last weekend.

I started getting really tired near the end of the hour, which was disconcerting- but I guess it’s not unreasonable after an hour of fighting a black belt and a two-stripe brown.

Straight to kung fu (Kaungren was kind enough to let me cut the shower line in front of him so that I could get to my next class on time and not tap everybody out with my BO).

Leopard Fist. Don’t cheat the right-to-left face-level block before the bong sau.

Snake Versus Five Animals. Snake portion: after the three Snake strikes, make sure to turn the right toe outward and defend the kick to the groin before dropping to the knee. 5 Animals portion- the first punch is straight from the center. For some reason I always want to throw a looping haymaker from the shoulder, and SK has got to be getting tired of making this same correction on me week after week. Also- make sure to slide the foot deep in between the opponent’s feet before the elbow strike to the midsection- otherwise the takedown won’t work right.

A few runthroughs with partners. Nemesis. I got to the shoulder-lock part, went for it, and he just stood there looking at me hanging off his arm. Just like every single other time I’ve tried this move on him- hundreds by now. It really makes me want to have a full-on, screaming, foot-stomping temper tantrum. I settled for disengaging to pace back and forth a few times while rubbing my hands over my face and gritting, "This is really frustrating." SK told me to just try it- and if it doesn’t work, just Snake-strike Nemesis in the armpit and move on with the remainder of the form.

Do-si-do and change partners. JM. I am trying to remember to not elbow her so hard in the belly when I do this form with her, because she grunts painfully, but she is not good about letting me know when she needs me to go lighter. I did the shoulder lock on her and thrust her into a forceful faceplant on the mat. She said, "That seems to be working fine." Argh.

Kiu Two review. I was standing behind JM while we were running through the sections, and she is doing the first bong sau on the opposite side as me. Assuming she is right and I am wrong, I switch. Doesn’t make sense. Switch back. Almost ask for clarification, but figure that when we do the form with partners, it will become obvious which is right. But we didn’t get to that, so I’ll have to try to confirm that next week.

Part B, double circling horizontal Snake strikes to midsection- it’s a deep lunge, do NOT* go down on the knee as in Snake vs Five.

An additional little piece of part B only. The last two Snake strikes: right (high), left (lower). After there, your right arm does a parrying circular movement back near the shoulder. This turns into another Snake strike (high) followed by yet another (left, low). This last one turns into a understated bong sau, just enough to divert Snake A’s final midsection strike.

That’s all the new stuff we got today, because this last section is a veritable flurry of fast Snake strikes here and there which all have to be coordinated, parried and countered correctly on both sides; it is quite complex. I worked on it with JoE till I thought my brain was going to start bleeding.

Remember how I keep saying what a PITA it is to try to schedule a lesson with CC? Do you think I exaggerate? For your amusement: the following is an untouched transcript of the last two weeks’ worth of trying to schedule a lesson. And we *STILL* haven’t managed it, so this could keep going for a while longer yet. The following is not unusual- this is how it is almost every time.

From: Kitsune
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:46 AM
To: ‘CC
Subject: Next lesson

I have Sunday free until 4:30.

Saturday is more full, but I should be free by 8pm if that’s not too late.


From: CC
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2010 7:05 AM
To: ‘Kitsune
Subject: RE: Next lesson


Jonesing for sugar tonight…..

Whose lame idea was it to schedule a tournament two weeks after the most candy-centric day of the year??!!

For a month now, one couldn’t walk into a Safeway to pick up one’s chicken breasts, eggs, 100-calorie bags of unbuttered popcorn, and carrots without running a cruel gauntlet of bulging shelvesfull of candy. In two days, it will be bulging shelvesfull of HALF-OFF candy. Worse- cheerful colleagues who bring orange-frosted cupcakes with little black bat sprinkles on top, packages of grinning pumpkin-shaped cookies, and bowls of mini Milky-Way bars to work. Even if I can grip my willpower in both hands and negotiate the grocery store safely, my willpower does *not* last eight and a half hours’ worth- especially with the boss breathing down my neck.

So of course the day of the hyperglycemic Tootsie-pop orgy is also the last day to register for the tournament before the price hikes up. Once registered, you are committed to a weight.

Your registration has been received and will be reviewed shortly.

Please check the website Tuesday, Nov. 9th to verify all your registration information is correct. All changes must be submitted by midnight Wednesday, Nov 10th.

If you chose the email option of being updated via e-mail the weigh in schedule will be e-mailed to you Friday, Nov 12th. The information will also be posted on our website

Thank you for Supporting The Revolution.

Women’s Divisions
Gi ($40)
No-Gi ($40)
X Both ($60)

Women’s Gi Registration
* Women’s Gi Weight Class (pick one)
118 & under
118.1 – 129
X 129.1 – 141
141.1 – 152
152.1 – 163
163.1 & above

* Belt Level (Gi Competitors)
X Blue

Weight is with Gi. Weight classes may be combined to accommodate competitors
* Would you be interested in fighting up a weight class if there is no match for you at your skill level?
**This does NOT mean if you weigh over your registered division you will be able to compete. This is for you being the only registered competitor in your division and getting the choice of REFUND or competing against the next highest weight division.**
X Yes

Women’s No-Gi Registration
* Women’s No-Gi Weight Class (pick one)
113.5 & under
113.6 ~ 124.5
X 124.6 ~ 135.5
135.6 ~ 147
147.1 ~ 158
158.1 & above

* Experience Level (No-Gi Competitors)
Beginner (0 – 12 months)
X Intermediate (13 – 36 months)
Advanced (37 months & longer)

weight is without Gi but with public appropriate attire. ie, spandex shorts are OK, underwear is not.
weight classes may be combined to accommodate competitors
* Would you be interested in fighting up a weight class if there is no match for you at your skill level?
**This does NOT mean if you weigh over your registered division you will be able to compete. This is for you being the only registered competitor in your division and getting the choice of REFUND or competing against the next highest weight division.**
X Yes

Now *I* am a Nemesis.

Friday morning BJJ at GB Seattle. "Competition training"- ie, timed matches only. I was running a little late and missed half the warmup.

Ruben, Glenn, Nic, Marc, JM (not kung fu JM- this is a BJJ guy who goes by "JM"… I’ll have to call him "BJJJM?")

Today I focussed on 1)trying to close up all the space between me and my partner, especially as regards the upper body area, and 2)holding top positions for at least long enough to get my points, if not longer. The guys would still crossface me out, or curl up and thus shove me away, or bench-press me, or upa really hard, or otherwise pry me off. But I tried- and I stayed in top side control and (to a lesser degree) top mount a bit.

I don’t know how easy they were going on me, but Glenn is the only one who tapped me today- and he said, "I had to go all the way to plan H". Plan H apparently is one of those back chokes with the grabbing of the pantleg- I had to tap to the spine crank, not the choke. (I didn’t tap anybody- if I even need to confirm that)

Marc called me his "nemesis"- LOL. I’ll take that as a compliment!

Nic does a lot of pantleg-grabbing. I asked him what the heck he does in no-gi when he can’t grab pantlegs. He said, "I grab their leg hair."

BJJJM, Ruben and Glenn all told me that I’m getting better. In fact Glenn came over again later to tell me a second time. BJJJM asked me what I weigh, and then was all like, "No way" when I told him. Wow. That’s really nice of them. They are being supportive.

Carlos stopped to chew us all out- and me in particular for some reason- for talking and laughing on the mat and supposedly not being serious and working hard enough, with a tournament coming up. Now that is not fair. I am *not* one of those annoying giggly girls who isn’t there to work. I work hard, I do not goof around, I’m very respectful on the mat. Yeah, my partner and I do laugh occasionally when something amusing happens during the roll, because we like BJJ and we are having FUN, so sue me. We talked a little- but only about the spar, injuries, and such perfectly valid BJJ-related topics. Pat was yapping away like a Yorkie on speed- pausing every few minutes to admonish his partner to shut up so they wouldn’t get in trouble. But because my voice is higher-pitched and Carlos can ID my laugh even with his head turned away, I am the one singled out to get reamed in front of everybody. Again- I would be really upset about this, if not for the fact that Carlos seems to be up *everybody’s* butt lately about every little thing. Maybe he was irritated at me for coming in late. I have gotten a little sloppy about that lately. Must get out of the house 10 min sooner. Wish I hadn’t signed that sheet about the tournament, though. I feel like he might not be riding me quite so hard otherwise…. and I’m not sure this is useful for me. I’m way too thin-skinned about being reprimanded.

I didn’t take any breaks during the timed matches, which was good, since that’s all I got. I hung around for a while after open mat was called, but everyone who wasn’t finished was already paired up and I didn’t get any more rolls. Brian came over to tease me about giggling on the mat, though. So I teased him about his cauliflower ears.

The Quadruple-threat technique

I mailordered three different types of ear guards on Tuesday. I couldn’t find the exact ones that Alicia had, but I found a few that looked good- and it’s a crapshoot; you can’t really tell about that sort of thing until you actually try them out on the mat. Now I’ll have a few options to switch around- assuming they all fit. I also ordered the Cliff Keen "hair slicker". It may not work with all the different earguards, but it should work with at least the set I already have and one of the new
ones (both Cliff Keen). I keep having dreams in which I have hair again. I want hair again.

One of the new earguards arrived today. No review yet- I’m still trying to figure out how to manipulate the strap spaghetti to make them fit correctly. This pair, I found quickly, NEEDS to fit correctly and stay put or else it rubs RIGHT against my current hematoma, which is the last thing I need.

I took an online ADD quiz, and scored in the highest bracket- "Severe ADD likely". Amusing. I have long thought that it’s likely I have a mild ADD, although I’m surprised that it think’s I’m "severe". I wonder if that could explain some of my difficulties with learning MA. It would be interesting to do a controlled experiment and see what effect an Adderall had on me…. not that I’d ever do such a thing….. but if I were to hypothetically do that, I’ll stay home all day and try 1) some really dry coagulation-pathway continuing ed, 2)some formwork, several other specific things that I sometimes have difficulty focussing on…. and report the hypothetical results in my training blog. Stay tuned.

Thursday morning BJJ at Cindy’s. I haven’t been to Gracie’s all week, and I feel guilty about it- but I usually get more individual attention over at Cindy’s. I’m really glad I decided to go over there this morning, because it was just me and Lamont, and we spent pretty much the entire class period working on my personal challenges.

Started with a little light rolling with Cindy- she was on her back and I was dancing around her. She wanted me to control her legs and then lunge over them for mount the way we’d done earlier in the week. I was scared to try it because I figured she’d get her knee(s) in there really quick and I’d impale my groin on them. So we worked on that for a while. One option to try: PUSH the legs until the opponent pushes back, then slam the feet to the floor and lunge over. Also: I am still not being MEAN enough. I am too high up on my toes (and then on my knees), and just staying too high up in the air in general- because I don’t want to come down on the opponent’s stomach/ribs with my weight. Another thing- once past those trecherous knees, don’t be too eager/quick to scoot up to high mount- stay low, curl the back in, weight down, grapevine the legs, wait till you get your points.

After that, we worked on sprawling. I am too slow, don’t get my feet back fast enough, don’t get my butt low enough, don’t sink my weight enough, I flare my elbows, and I raise my arms too high like I’m trying to float over top of the opponent and
go for his hips or something. Need to keep the elbows down and in, flop down decisively on the base of the opponent’s neck, get the feet back (Cindy wants me to THROW them back; we practiced it a lot and I wasn’t doing too well with that…. maybe I
need some drills on a stationary object to get the correct motions down), hips all the down to the floor, sink the weight through the stomach, stop scrabbling frantically for crappy grips. I need to work on this a lot more, but I would REALLY like to get very good at this. No one would be able to pull guard on me. That would make me happy. At first I was afraid that they’d just go over the top if I stalked them in that low stance, but Cindy says that if they do, just shoot in for their legs. This is another place where I need to just slow down and be patient. I am also supposed to just back off and disengage if things are not going my way. That’s going to be hard. I am hard-wired to charge in aggressively and grab the opponent. I do not like to dance around for long periods.

We spent the majority of the class on the technique that stands out in my mind as the most brutal and painful thing I have ever experienced in BJJ (in fact, in any MA, I think). It is also the technique that gave me my first cauli ear. Cindy noticed that I am grabbing a lot of half-assed guillotine attempts and then many times not being able to finish them for one reason or another- so she wants me to substitute this lovely thing.

Have a back-of-the-head grap and an overhand bicep grip. Snap the head down ("comb over" the top of the head). Sprawl (HARD… see previous paragraph full of improvement points). Have opponent’s neck and *one* of the opponent’s arms in your hug. Shoulder pressure right in the little cup-like area at the base of the neck. After doing this about a zillion times on Lamont, I could really feel it as soon as it socketed into the right spot- although I tended to want to let my shoulder drift further down his back (and my weight drifted down there too… much less effective.). Don’t be afraid to turn the body. GABLE GRIP- do not get lazy with the grip (this tripped me up multiple times again, especially once I started to get tired).

Scissor the elbows together very firmly and put the opponent’s bicep on the mat trapped underneath him (you may need to pull him forward some… just don’t let up the pressure). If you do this right, then there is no need to be in a frantic hurry at this point.

Now: Keep the pressure on, but stick your butt up in the air and move to the side so that you can stick your head in the little hole between his trapped arm and his thigh. Again, you can pull him forward a titch if the hole isn’t big enough, but DON’T LIFT HIM UPWARD! Forward, not upward. Keep the pressure on. Then walk on your toes toward his feet. I know from having this done to me that it is a combination choke/neck crank/pressure-point ouchie… and the opponent tiptoes far enough back, it starts to crank on your spine in a direction that the spine does not bend, as well. It is just Quadruple Unpleasantness.

But the fun doesn’t end here. If your opponent won’t tap out to Quadruple Pain, you can logroll (do this quickly and decisively). As soon as you come out the roll, make sure the opponent’s head is on the bottom of the resultant configuration and does not pop up. Immediately run your feet toward him, grab half guard. Again, a spot where you can pause and catch your breath while you enjoy the scenery. Now punch your lower arm through, use your other hand to grab your bicep, "talk on your phone" as Cindy likes to say. If that doesn’t do it, you can take a deep breath, squeeze your arm muscles and flex your hips.
This HURTS. It hurts VERY BADLY. But one thing I like about it is that theoretically, you have enough control over the opponent that you can put the cranky parts on as slow as you want. I’m okay with doing this as long as I can do it very slow and controlled. I know from experience that it’s hard to tap from this position since everything is trapped… and you can’t verbally tap, either, since you’re choking and all the breath is being squeezed out of your body.

I had to do this sequence over and over and over until I was practically staggering with exhaustion. Poor Lamont. I told him that I definitely owe him dinner or something for this. But this is what I really, really need- reps to the infinite power, until I 1)don’t need to try to mentally remember it, and 2)feel confident that I can make it work.

At one point Lamont exclaimed to Cindy, "It’s working! She’s getting more aggressive! She just chinstrapped me- I thought for a second that I was grappling with *YOU*!" Wow, that’s like the most incredible compliment… it probably would have been better if it related to something I’d done on purpose. I had to ask what "chinstrapping" meant.

I hope this doesn’t feel 100% different on a different person (since I mostly did it on Lamont). Sometimes I feel like I have to relearn the technique on each different body type.

Step by step…. don’t get rushed, don’t get sloppy, if you mess it up, backtrack a few steps and start again.

It was a lot of good, hard, focussed work today. I am so exhausted. And I still have kung fu tonight.


Kung Fu Basics class. After hand strike drills, we spent most of the class listening to SK’s "pressure points 101" lecture.

There was some discussion of elemental association of pressure points and the order in which you strike them… that intrigues me; and I picked SK’s brain some more about that on the way home. Some Bagua styles apparently use some extra elements ("mountain", "thunder", "wind"), and I’m curious as to how these relate to the Chinese elements (earth, fire, wood, water, metal) and also to the basic four elements used in many earth-based religions (earth, air, fire and water). I have also run into a Native American tradition that added an element known as "bone". I asked SK to see if he could dig up any more information about the topics we talked about; there may be some helpful puzzle pieces in there for me.

After SK described a (possibly mythical) technique that theoretically stops the heart, I intoned, "Can I have a volunteer?" (told him that next time he gives this lecture, with new students present, he has to add that at that pont… provided he can do it with a straight face.)

He demo’ed a particular pressure point on Nemesis, which wasn’t working too well (NOTHING works on Nemesis…. that’s why he’s Nemesis… he’d make the perfect Supervillian). I pointed to JM and said, "Try it on a normal person," But apparently JM is not "normal" either, as her body overreacts violently to everything…. so he doesn’t like to use her for pressure point demo’s. That left me as the only arguably "normal" demo dummy… so I got prodded repeatedly till I jumped and yipped.

Pressure point discussion took almost the whole class time, then we had individual forms time for 20 min or so.

I ran through Hurricane Hands a couple of times, doing extra reps of the four areas that we targeted last time for "improvement points". That gnarly throw in particular, seemed to be flowing better (SK agreed), although it still needs plenty more work. We worked on the trajectory of the Snake-strike-and-press-block sequence (press straight down, wrist bent, but strike moving forward, not up). The three-level double-strike section near the end is from a high lunge, NOT horse… need to remember that. The two kicks that we worked on last time- still not doing them quite right. The first one is with the BALL OF THE FOOT, toes pointing right. Second kick is with the outside blade of the foot, toes also pointing right.

We spent the most time working on the quality of the Snake strikes themselves- in a general sense. Before SK came out to help me, I was trying the strike-and-press-block sequence using the same reboundy energy that we had been doing with some of the strikes in Kiu Two on Sunday, against the pads. It’s a lot harder to do reboundy strikes in the air with nothing to bounce off of. I was trying it against the rim of the trash can in the hallway.

SK told me that I was stopping my Snake strike too soon by flexing my bicep muscle, and I need to 1)extend my arm further, 2)let the end of the strike rebound back by itself instead of stopping it with my arm muscles. This is changing the way I have always done Snake strikes. It feels weird to extend that far, and the hand position is all fubar’ed now that my focus is on rebounding and keeping that muscle relaxed. The hand spasms at the endpoint of the strike like a Northern Mantis claw on acid. (That’s okay, he says- the hand position can be refined later, the energy of the strike is more important.) I finally had to visualize it as "My hand is not attached to my wrist- and I am going to throw my arm forward and "shoot" my detachable hand across the hallway so that it splats against the opposite wall. My focus being on the trajectory of the severed hand, and I need to not think about what the arm is doing." I know that sounds weird, but I’m all about the visualizations- and when I used that one, SK approved my technique. Now I am going to have to practice this and adopt this into all my Snake stuff. It appears that being able to do the strikes this way is a "level up" in the practice of Snake style. I am leveling up. Shiny!

Patience is a virtue. One that I don’t have.

Wednesday morning gi BJJ at Cindy’s.

Cindy’s knee is not getting any better. Sad She won’t stay off of it, of course, which I’m sure isn’t helping.

We did a little rolling to warm up while we were waiting for Lamont (see?). She says that one thing I really need to work on is the fact that I tend to give my opponent too much space. Especially the top half of hir body; for instance when I’m in top half guard and fighting the legs, meanwhile I forget to adequately control the opponent’s upper body. I also continue to be in too much of a panicked rush. She wants me to get side control, get an underhook, get a good gable grip (there’s that grip, again), and then just Take a Pill and Chill for a minute. I tend to try to mount the person almost immediately upon getting side control ("You don’t even wait long enough to get your points!!") I am so afraid that the person is going to get away, or I’m going to get in trouble for stalling, or that the opponent is going to think I

Sweeps and Snakes

"Women’s self defense" at Gracie Seattle. Those other ladies are going to be late every week, because they don’t even get off work till 5:15 or 5:30. Today they didn’t arrive till quarter to 6, and it took them another 5 min to get dressed. I gotta leave right at 6 to get to kung fu. What it looks like is going to continue to happen is that I’ll get 20 min or so worth of privates from Lindsey (he was alternately rolling with me and with the blue belt guy who is assistant teaching the class), do the warmups with the other women, and then I have to scram. It’s worth going in for 20 mins of privates with Lindsey; maybe not worth the commute all the way to the city and back- but I have to be in Seattle for kung fu anyway, so that works fine.

Today we were working on RNC (he had me doing it on a football), and back mount (both trying to get out of it, and trying to climb on top when you had it and are losing it). He told me that I should go ahead and grab the pants at the knee when I am back mounted and can’t reach the guy’s feet or pants cuffs with my stubby arms. Also suggested: always be doing two things at once- defend the choke with one hand and try to remove hooks with the other. Don’t neglect to lie back and put your opponent on his back when he has YOUR back- it restricts his movement. When you have back mount- keep inching deeper on the lapel, don’t cling to the first grip you get on it. Grab the opponent’s sleeves, lapels or whatever and use them to haul yourself on top or haul yourself out of back mount. RNC- I need to get my elbow further across my body.

We ran into a few instances where he instructed me to do something (like closed guard) that I told him has historically been abysmal for me due to size. It sounds like he is going to have suggestions for alternatives for me for such problems, once we get deep enough into our training relationship for him to get a good idea of my specific challenges.

At one point, he suggested a specific position, and I said, "I’m afraid to put my leg like THAT because the guy is just going to bulldoze over my leg and not only pass, but that really hurts my hip and also makes it very likely that I will get kneed in the ribs as well," He was like, "If the guys are doing that sort of thing to you on a regular basis, that is not cool," Thank you. But they are, so I have to work with it. Hopefully he can help.

When the women got there, he made us count out 20 jumping jacks apiece (there were six or seven of us total, including the two teachers). That was lot of jumping jacks. My calves were cramping. Then burpees, only without the pushup or the hop. After 140 jumping jacks, though, the lame burpees were still pretty bad.

Evening kung fu. The new space is great. The ceiling’s too low for long weapons, there are no mirrors on the wall, and it’s not large enough for line drills. But those are the only complaints, and there’s a lot to make up for it. The area is almost totally matted, there are two heavy bags, and a zillion different types of pads and other toys (which we are allowed to use). It’s an inviting space- each wall is painted a different solid color (I have always planned to do that in my home gym when I have one, SOMEDAY)- and good colors, like dark red and a kind of eggplanty purple. Minimal decoration and clean lines everywhere. Nice big clean bathrooms (major improvement on the community center, which has cringe-worthy FILTHY bathrooms). Once the stragglers from the previous class leave, we have the place to ourselves.

We went through Leopard Fist, then Sil Lum Tao. Snake Versus Five Animals (both parts individually first, then with partners). I headed for Nemesis, as per my new resolution, but JoE grabbed me first. In the opening move of the first rep, he stomped on my foot.

Note- make sure to shift the weight during the shoulderlock-and-bend, don’t just bend over. If you are having trouble with the shoulder lock, you can bring your left arm into play- lace your hands together and use them to get enough leverage. Use your entire upper body. Gods, I hate that particular shoulder lock. That has been one of my worst stumbling blocks in my entire array of forms.

Then Kiu Two. First both parts individually, then with partners. *NOW* I grabbed Nemesis. Note: that particular training partner do-si-do was not ideal: JM and I both had to work with both of the dangerous guys, and we didn’t work with each other. When only one of the two girls is there, probably better for me to try to grab her in the first pairing.

Nemesis and I got a little competitive starting with the drawing-apart in mirrored-snake guards pause. As your foremost Snake arms first entwine and then slither apart, You’re supposed to KEEP CONTACT with your partner, and not end up too far apart at the pause. I felt that Nemesis kept stepping too far back at that juncture- so my entwined Snake arm started to get a little grabby. This caused him to try to draw back even more, which in turn caused me to grab his arm more firmly. "Stop clutching!" "You’re moving too far back, I’m trying to keep you from getting away!"

We worked a lot on the sweep. I am good at sweeps- I have put a lot of work into them- but my body does not enjoy them. I have a finite number of clean ones that I can do in a session before the body rebels. I kept having to explain to SK that yeah, I *know* I’m not doing XYZ aspect quite right- I know how it’s supposed to be, and I can do it that way- but you’re only gonna get five of them on each side tonight.

We practiced them on the heavy bags (which conveniently go all the way down to the floor). Note- make sure to be close enough, and don’t catch the target with my ankle. The toe of the non-sweeping foot can be turned as far out to the side as helpful right before the sweep. Don’t neglect the balance and find myself hunched on all fours with my weight on my hands at the end of the sweep.

Small new portion of Kiu Two.

Snake A: end the sweep looking at your opponent but with your torso turned to your left. Stand up out of the deep lunge and simultaneously bring up double Crane’s necks to forehead level (one can be slightly higher, so that you can shuck the blow off to one side). REBOUND down into double press block, then immediately REBOUND with a right-hand Snake strike to the midsection… immediately rechamber the right hand with PALM UP and fingers angled slightly out… you’ve got the opponent’s hand pressed down and to the side with that. At the same time, left Snake strike to the solar plex area. Hmmm, I’m not entirely certain about those two targets- need to recheck- but I know the first one (rt) is low and the 2nd one (lft) is high. The rebounds are the critical part. Once I did a zillion reps of the pattern and could turn my attention to the Snakey-energy rebound, I dare say mine looked very much like SK’s. And it felt natural. I do like Snake, I do! We also practiced this sequence some with pads so that we could hit and rebound harder than we could off our partners’ bodies.

Meanwhile, Snake B: having jumped slightly back out of the way of the sweep (front leg up, double Snake guard), Shallow rt lunge fwd and Snake strike rt (this is where your partner is parrying with the Crane beaks) and then left (this is where the press bock happens). They end up going right high and left low, because that’s where the other guy is deflecting them, but they both start out aimed at around chest level.

Back to JoE again to rep Kiu Two some more. We started to get a litte competitive beginning at the part where Snake A tries to wrap the opponent’s arm and Snake B snafu’s this with a bong sau. When you’re doing something like this with a partner, you have to develop some kind of tacit mutual agreement of how far each person has to modify their portion of the move so that the form can continue. He was doing too much aggressive wrapping, so I started getting a little more forceful with the bong sau. Every time we got to that section, there was a brief but intense jockeying for the slightly more dominant position. (I really don’t know what it is about this form that seems to bring out the playful yet competitive riposte; I wonder if everyone’s doing it or if it’s just ME, and they are simply responding…)

Legalities lecture

Part of JM’s response to my positive-feedback e-mail about how she did a nice job against Alicia:

"Huh…okay. Thanks, but it didn’t seem like I was doing anything at all. I mean, I thought you felt like solid muscle but Alicia….jeez it was difficult to do anything…."

LOL….. I’m just tickled pink by the "I thought you felt like solid muscle" part…. wow! Me= solid muscle. Coolness.

Today, SK and I went to the "legalities of self defense" lecture portion of Rory Miller’s weekend seminar. It was pretty good, and I was happy that it was almost universally consistent with the material I’ve learned in Insights classes. Rory has a Presence, is well-spoken and occasionally funny.

The four aspects of justified self defense:

1)INTENT: you need to reasonably believe that the Bad Guy wants to harm you.
3)MEANS; The Bad Guy has to have the ability to harm you
4)PRECLUSION: There has to be no reasonable chance to escape, summon help, or otherwise avert the situation without violence.

This- along with the whole concept of needing to be able to articulate and justify to a jury why you felt the need to use the level of force you used- are the most important basic things EVERY martial artist needs to know very early on in their training, IMHO. There are lots of other useful things to know, but those are the bare bones.

One of the observations Rory made was (in response to questions about men’s vs women’s common styles of fighting) was that if the Bad Guy is dead, but the citizen is straddling the corpse and banging the crushed skull repeatedly on the pavement when the cops show up, the citizen is a woman. (Heh heh)

More interesting MA conversations in the car…. primarily regarding Dragon styles of various different martial arts, comparing and contrasting the physical/technique aspects of them. Interesting musing- how much (if any) parallel is there in the ENERGY of Dragon styles of various different martial arts? Would someone sensitive to that sort of thing be able to see/feel common threads, and of what sort?

After the seminar, we drove over to West Seattle to try to get the key to the dojo where we will be renting space for our Sunday class, but there was nobody at the school.

“I’m not laughing… I’m choking.”

That was just something I heard Jay say to Jim tonight. Jay was making burbling sounds in Jim’s triangle, and Jim started talking smack about Jay laughing at him. Jay replied, "I wasn’t laughing, I was choking," Everyone in the vicinity started cracking up.

Friday morning competition training in Seattle. Rather small turnout today. I started my day off right by getting hollered at by Carlos for wearing my sandals into the dojo. I had thought shoes were allowed on the concrete walkway strips, but I guess

Right shoulder sore… well, it is perpetually sore, but it is more sore than usual today. I was doing some premature taps today when people got me on that side.

I noticed that some of the warm-up drills have my stiff gi collar rubbing right against my brand new aural hematoma. "Woah Dude, wicked cauli ear! Howdja get it??!?" "Uh, doing situps." So today I wore my headgear during warmups too. That sucked, but on the Grand Scale Of Suckage, it doesn’t suck as bad as having an ear drained sucks.

Timed matches. Bree twice. I tapped her almost immediately with a guillotine, and then apologized because I know she has a bad neck. "If I had other decent subs, I’d use them on you instead of going for your neck… sorry, but that’s what’s on the
menu." She said it was fine, but that she’d be tapping early for those. She tapped me with another choke, don’t remember what it’s called, but you use the blade of your hand on the front of the throat (Bianca likes this one too). I tried for triangles
a few times, but didn’t get even close. At one point she was fighting to flatten me out in side control and I was fighting to stay in deep half; we strained against each other for a really long time, and then I finally had to surrender. I was very frustrated. I whimpered/growled, "f***!" as she thumped down on my stomach, and then apologized again- and Bree started
cracking up. "Making me laugh is not fair." "You didn’t hear me say that." "Say what?"

Elliot once. Overcaffeinated bunny rabbit game plan again. He tooled on me, but let me almost get a few things.

Marc once. We were fairly competitive. He has improved a very noticable LOT in the last 5 months or so. I used to be able to mostly control him positionally; now we usually seem pretty close.

Jason once. I’ve never worked with him before, and he’s pretty big. I said, "Don’t kill me, Jason" and he said "You don’t need to worry about that." Well, I’ve had much worse- but he was definitely using too much strength and weight. Finally he thumped down on my ribs (my poor ribs! They take so much abuse!) hard enough that I yipped aloud and we had to stop for a minute. He ended up tapping me twice with the same trick that JB got me with yesterday. And a few more times with other things. I got nothing on him.

Then Carlos. I knelt on the mat and waited while he went to grab some water, then he came back and just stood there looking at me. Uh-oh, he wants to start from standing. GULP. This is majorly intimidating. Did I mention that he’s a judo guy too?

he’s about twelve feet tall (well, maybe not quite that tall- but he’s extremely tall, and he looks even taller than normal when you’re facing him standup), and really strong, and really, really good. There is just no way on Rickson Gracie’s green Earth that I am *ever* going to be able to take this guy down. I can’t even jump guard on him, because he’ll just stick his long limbs in there and let me impale myself on his elbow or knee, and I’ll be walking bowlegged for the next two weeks.

He ended up taking me down, hard, several times. I did foil two or three of his takedowns, which I consider to be a major victory. I leaped up or got turned around and re-engaged immediately after each teeth-rattling thud; I hope I impressed him with my gameness; that’s about all I had to impress anyone with today. I remembered to do "tactical stand" 3 times out of 4, although I forgot to keep my fist closed during. I got my body turned enough to get my legs between us about half the time. Once I got too excited and did more of a kick than a push; got reprimanded for that. (SK finds endless amusement in making me repeatedly explain the difference between a "kick" and a "push" and why one is okay in BJJ and the other is not.) I also scratched him with my fingernail and got reprimanded for not having my nails short enough. (Prof Carlos is in militant mode
this week, I know… I saw him chewing poor Angela a new one on Tuesday for both the condition of her gi and for not getting her jacket rewrapped and belt retied quickly enough to start another spar… so I wasn’t emotionally crushed quite as much as I normally would be by getting repeatedly reprimanded; as I think he’s doing it to everybody.)

Once on the ground, I wasn’t doing a whole lot better than I was from standing. He tapped me right, left, and center; up and down; backward, forward and inside out. Usually he lets me get at least a few momentary positions, but he was pretty much just disassembling me today. Again, I hope I got points for gameness. He would slap on a sub and let me grope around futilely for an escape; when I ran out of options and started groping the same circuit of futility for a third time, he would slowly tighten the sub till I had to tap. I held out for a long time on some of them (especially the chokes). I had to ask him once to lighten up the weight on the ribs that Jason had already crunched today.

When fellow students tool on me like this, I assume that they’re being self-centered (for that particular spar at least) and simply not interested in being a mensch and letting me work anything for that round. When teachers do it, I never know what
they have in mind for me to take away from that encounter. It’s not like I’m a Spazz or an "I-Refuse-To-Tap" guy and need to be squashed to be taught a lesson…. what am I supposed to be learning from that? I feel like there’s got to be a point, and
I’m not grasping it. How to keep getting back up and coming back for more after being mercilessly and thoroughly mowed down? f***-all, you don’t have to teach me that, I am doing that EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY. Are they trying to make me cry? Because I WON’T. Are they trying to piss me off, thinking that’s going to make me more effective? I have well learned that when I’m angry, my performance degenerates- so going there is not going to help matters any. I wonder if I am being *too* (outwardly) emotionally controlled in the dojo, and they’re trying to get a rise of some type out of me. Wonder if they’d be surprised to see the level of my frustration as spewed forth on my training blog.

At one point we were rewrapping our jackets and retying our belts, and he asked me, "Why you train?"

Funny you ask, I have been paralyzed trying to write an essay on that exact question for two months. I said, "Self development," which was too much complicated English, so I amended it to (with miming) "Making the mind better and the body better."

I never know what to think when a teacher asks me a question like that. is it A)"I see something worthy, and now I am interested in you on a deeper level." or B)"I have never in all my career seen someone try so hard and still suck so bad; how long are you going to keep dragging in here and trying to spin gold out of straw??!"

Professor Carlos is pretty expressive; he has to be since he still has to mime half of the communication he exchanges here. But when he is in Serious Mode, his face and tone give you nothing. Such as he was whilst asking this question, and whilst hearing the answer- so I have no idea why he asked or what he thought of my response.


Friday no-gi at Cindy’s… it was a really big crowd in there. My three white belts were all there tonight, altho JM had to come late and leave early. She missed the dead bugs…. I’m sure she was heartbroken…. but got there just in time for a lovely new drill in which you start in downward dog, swan-dive into a face plant on the mat, slide your entire body backward one length with your hands, repeat. I nudged her and said, "Aren’t you glad you got here in time for these??"

Sk and I had some good discussion about a few things in the car on the way over. He says that he has asked DD the same question, about what use does it serve when DD just crushes him like a roach and won’t let him work anything. He says that in those cases, you don’t really see the slow creeping progress, but the progress does come- and when it comes, it comes in dramatic level-up type increments. I dunno, I sort of appreciate seeing the creep- it’s so hard to not get discouraged when you’re just continually getting smashed. SK also says that when you trust your teacher, you are putting yourself in their hands- and you just have faith that they *do* have a point when they do inexplicable things like this. I think I might have an easier time if I knew what was expected of me.

We also talked about the whole "teacher’s pet" concept. SK is very strongly against the whole concept, especially if it impedes on time that is supposed to be CLASS time. I asked him if he percieves himelf and CN as DD’s pets. "No- why, do you?" "TOTALLY." SK seemed surprised. In the last couple of weeks, it has seemed like DD has been making a conscious effort to not ignore the white sash students as much. But SK still feels like he’s not getting nearly enough guidance and support from the higher-ups and is thus flailing to some degree in his teaching position. So then we talked about teaching styles, and how (*I* feel, anyway) that his doesn’t necessarily need to be a carbon copy of DD’s or CN’s. He complained that DD can sometimes walk in and get something across succinctly in two sentences that SK has been striving to impart for weeks. My response: "And vice versa." SK was completely shocked by that. I told him that he’s doing a good job, and he’s still figuring it out, and he’s stressing about it too much.

In class, we drilled triangles some more. I was the odd person out, so I did some of the drills with Cindy and a few with JM and Alicia (visiting from an MMA gym). I tried really really hard to get my hips up HIGH, especially when I was doing them on Cindy. She said that they were drastically improved from earlier in the week (goodie!).

A little king-of-the-mat. Three groups- us four women were in one. Alicia mowed us all down. She’s been training for two years, she’s good, and she’s kind of rough. She tore both my shirt (one of my new, expensive Under Armour rashies, durnit) and JB’s. I felt bad that she was being rough on the girls, but I’m really proud of how well they both did against her. She has a wicked guard pass where she stands up, does a quick, hard little shimmy which just makes us fly right off, and then she passes at her leisure. After watching her do that to JM and me, JB was ready for her. She countered with something that I didn’t quite catch, but it knocked Alicia on her ass and JB lunged on top. It was AWESOME. And JM, I think, was taken aback by the roughness- but she really stepped up to the plate and slung the rough stuff back at Alicia better than anyone else in the place did tonight. (I sent her a positive-feedback e-mail when I got home.) Those two ladies are just incredible.

I didn’t do so hot. Got passed almost immediately on the first go-round. Then in the next one, she got back mount, stretched me out and face-planted me really hard on the mat with all her weight. Man, that hurt my ribs (already abused this morning by Jason and Carlos), and my back wasn’t very happy either. The final round lasted longer; I think time got called before she got me.

I tried the seatbelt maneuver on JB- I’d love to get that on her, paybacks are a b****! But couldn’t quite finish it.

I did two or three timed rolls with Alicia. I wouldn’t say I was PWN’ed- I had a decent defense- but she definitely dominated me. On the bottom a lot (surprise surprise). I could tell she was somewhat confounded by my ability to keep regaining half guard not matter what she did… she had a b**** of a time trying to get out of it, too. But once again, that seems to be my only strength. I actually got the seatbelt thing on her and succeeded in passing (I think that’s the only time I passed her guard all night). She thumped down on my ribs AGAIN, and I had to ask her to lighten up with the weight on my ribs. Geez, if one more person belly-flops on my ribs today, I thought, I’m going to crack like an egg. She was rough- a lot of rough crossfacing, knuckles digging into the side of the neck, stretching the spine while choking as if she’s trying to pop your head right off like popping the head off a dandelion. To her credit, Cindy and Lamont were specifically telling her (repeatedly- thanks guys) to BE ROUGH.

I had thought maybe that once someone was being rough to me, I would feel okay about being rougher. To my dismay, this didn’t really make me want to do that to her. What’s my problem? Maybe I just don’t have this in me. Maybe I just need to get technically awesome enough that I can beat everyone *without* being mean (yeah, that’ll only take me about five more lifespans). At least the roughness wasn’t intimidating me (much)- that would have been the worst sign, I think. I was getting a little pissed off. That might be a good beginning.

One with Ian…. this was my only credible work all day, I think- I was on top a lot, although his sub defenses are really good and I can’t get a sub to save my life. I really like working with him, though. And he’s not mean. It’s just *fun* with him.

Two with Chase. I really did not want to tap to Chase again. Once again Cindy was making it known that she wanted me to beat him down a bit. He tapped me out twice. (SIGH). He was using a lot of wrestling technique, not that that excuses me, but he doesn’t roll like a BJJ player. Still not really wanting to be MEAN to him, either.

It would probably be good for me to get a chance to work with Alicia more. She dominated me, but she doesn’t feel completely out of reach, if that makes any sense. Some people, I just know I am never going to have a chance of beating- they are simply out of my league. Her- maybe. Once in a while. If I really work hard at it.

I had that lead-balloon-head feeling by the end of class, the one you get after being choked too much… and a headache.

Alicia had let me try her earguards. They are Asics, and much smaller than mine. They rubbed a bit, but didn’t seem more uncomfortable than my present gear- which is obviously not getting the job done. I may get a pair of these, and maybe one or two additional styles, so that I can switch out and at least not having it rub in the same places every day.

On the way home in the car (after dropping Chase off…. my gosh, is he ever obnoxious company! And also after SK almost killed us all by nearly missing the exit and then coming close to ramming us into the cement half-wall careening onto the ramp at the last minute- I involuntarily emitted a very embarrassing girly shriek), JB informed SK that he needs to go both lighter and slower on her. I was really pleased to hear her attempt to communicate with him and negotiate boundaries, because she seems to have some hurdles around that. One could wish that she had found a way to be a titch more diplomatic, though, instead of telling him that he was "an a**hole to roll with". I knew that was going to make him feel bad…. he really does try, and it became apparent that she had been trying to convey boundaries during the sparring, and he wasn’t understanding what she had been trying to impart. Hopefully they are more on the same page now with that. I told him to not feel bad, that I was pretty sure she hadn’t meant it to come across quite like that- just some not-quite-perfect communication on both sides, but it’s good that they are ATTEMPTING to communicate- so hopefully that will continue and get better.

More grey-matter-stirring conversation on the way back to the eastside (I really do enjoy getting a little discussion time alone with SK now and then). We dissected perceptions about various aspects of our rolls tonight. One of the interesting things that arose is that we both feel less adept- and seem to do more poorly- at positional sparring than free rolling, even if we are in the same position. IE, starting positional sparring in guard as opposed to being in a free roll and getting into someone’s guard. I said that in free rolling, I feel like if I went into guard, it was at least partially my choice to do so, and (theoretically) part of my grand plan. As opposed to being forced to start in guard whether you like it or not, where you are on equal footing with your opponent. The former makes me feel more IN CONTROL of the whole situation, if that makes any bizarre sense. SK agreed, so it must make at least a little! The concept needs further analysis, though.

Cauli ear- the sequel

Yes, it’s back. Can you believe it? I’m so ticked off. I have been so good- wearing that damnable uncomfortable, choking and HOT contraption on my head every time I get on the mat. And I have another ear hematoma ANYWAY. It’s the opposite ear this time, on the *back*. I don’t understand this. But I don’t want to go back and get it drained. That was a horror show of an experience the first time. This time, it’ll be even more horrible due to lack of health insurance. It’s not as visible. I think I’m just going to leave it there, assumng it doesn’t get bigger and more painful. But I’m scared that it will, since obviously the cheese graters are not getting the job done.Also, I can’t wear the headgear in the tournament. It’ll be lovely if I have to tap because the chick is cranking on my sore ear. Or it could burst open during the match and I’ll bleed
everywhere like a stuck pig- that could be fun too. Arrrrgh.

Thursday morning no-gi at Cindy’s, with JB.

In the warmups, we did the flowing positional drill. My biggest challenge- the transition from north-south to scarf (feels like I lose control)- Cindy suggests that I underhook the far arm and control the opponent that way. Then I don’t have to freak out quite so much when it feels like my weight is slipping off the person for a second, because they’re not going anywhere.

We drilled the seatbelt-stacking guard pass that JB loves so much…. great, as if she needs to get even BETTER at that one…. but hopefully now I can at least try to return the favor once in a while! My biggest problem is that I tend to seatbelt too high up on the thighs- I need to get right in the crease, squeeze my elbows in, clasp my hands together correctly (Cindy was on me today about my sloppy grip), and clamp on tight. Also, have knees apart slightly wider, sink myself lower, don’t be afraid to bury my face right in the opponent’s crotch. Don’tlet them straighten out. If they try to roll over, ducky- let them, and take their back.

I tried for triangles several times while JB was in my guard- it’s so cool to have this new weapon. I wasn’t doing that great with it, but I did tap her once with a triangle (THIRD COMPLETED TRIANGLE in live sparring with fully resisting opponent- yippie-yi-yay!), and I also tapped her with a triangle-transition to armbar (the one that Julie got me with at the Seattle Open). I had to work for that armbar for a while, and get her tipped over…. but I was excited to finish it. I also got a tap with a kimura from my guard- although Cindy reminded me to not open my guard while I was scooting my butt out to get the angle. That’s going to be a challenge, especially with a bigger person.

JB tapped me out with that leg-over-the-head sweep from scarf, transitioned to an armbar while you’re simultaneously stretching the person out by trapping their neck between your legs. I was a little disgusted with myself- I had known that she’d worked on that technique last night and was drooling to get me with it, so I should have been more careful- but she was so thrilled to tap me with it that it was almost worth it.

Triangle escape- still lousy. JB got me in one, and I stacked her and was trying to get around, and we were just spinning ("Like a dog chasing its tail!" commented Cindy). I have to get ahold of the head- and ideally- crank it towards me. Alternative- get KOB. Cindy demo’ed both on JB (poor JB), then insisted on demo’ing them again on me so that I’d know what they feel like. I assured her that I *know* they hurt and she didn’t need to PROVE it, but she did anyway. Yup, I was right, they hurt.

I worked mostly with JB today, but got a little rolling with Cindy and Lamont. Lamont told me again that I’m getting better.

It doesn’t feel like it, but today I did remember to make a point of thanking him for his positive feedback and support.

JB is thinking about doing that Revolution. That would be cool.


Thursday evening kung fu. The book discussion (Tao Te Ching, at the moment) and sitting medition portions of the class are being moved to the Sunday class, so just physical workout stuff now on Thursdays.

After hand strike drills, it was shoulder/elbow/wrist lock day. As soon as I saw what we were doing, I moved to grab JM, which left Nemesis with SK. Sorry to throw you under the bus, buddy- but you are upper-level enough for a challenge, and doing joint locks on Nemesis is nothing if not a challenge.

We messed around with various locks for a bit, but eventually settled on two to spend the bulk of the time on. Double wrist grab from the front. Turn fingers of both hands to the outside to break grip, then grab one arm and spin to either the outside or inside to end in specific locks… which I don’t know the names for, and am not even going to attempt to describe the arm spaghetti involved. DD came in for the 2nd half of the class, and did some demo’s on SK (once again, difficult to focus on the technique when it’s more fun to watch SK’s facial expressions).

As always, my difficulty comprehending whether I need to go left or right was tripping me up. I also needed JM’s coaching to finish the locks. I thanked her for her patience. Once I got the locks, I repped them over and over- that’s the only way I am ever going to get this, just repping till I drop. Or till JM drops, in this case…. she finally begged off.

We got so involved that we forgot all about individual forms time and kept working right up to the end of class.

That took a lot of brain power. By the time class was over, I was zombified- exhausted, brain-fried, and hungry enough to eat an ox raw.

Pre-empting the triangle

Morning no-gi at Cindy’s. Triangles again. Getting the hips up a bit better early on, but as soon as I started to get tired (which didn’t take too long), that got sloppy.

If opponent hides arm: close triangle on what Cindy calls "the goofy side", bring your hips out, and the guy will sort of roll over and present his arm to you for a kimura. I seemed to do okay with that part.

A couple of timed matches with Lamont- Cindy told him to triangle me repeatedly, so he did, to the point where I was getting pretty frustrated with myself. She wants me to posture up in guard, and I want to hunch over the person’s hips, because it seems to me that every time I posture up, the opponent simply grabs my wrists and yanks me forcefully into the triangle, and I can’t do a goddamn thing to stop them. I get really, really, frustrated with that.

So she got down on the floor (bad knee and all) and had me drill posturing up in guard with my hands on her hips, and the second she opened her guard to slap on the triangle, I did one of three things:

1)Glue my elbow to my knee and get the knee OVER opponent’s thigh

2)Get double-unders, seatbelt the opponent

3)Lunge out BACKWARD and get to my feet.

She says we’re going to drill the crapola out of all this, and I hope we do, because I feel like I’m moving in slo-mo while the triangling opponent is too fast to be seen with the naked eye. But I really want to get competant at this, because I am sick to death of finding myself stuck in triangles. If I lose the tournament by triangle, I am going to go up in a burst of spontaneous combustion.

I really like her variation on the bullfight pass- once you get the opponent’s feet to the floor, instead of planting your shoulder on them and going around, you simply charge straight at them, leap their knees and pounce in mount. It suprised/startled the crap out of me the first time she did it to me (and she landed with some- not nearly all- of her weight; even a small portion was enough to make me want to hurl). That would be gorgous (and imminently satisfying) to actually pull off in sparring (or even a tournament)!

We were there until 2:30, so 2.5 straight hours of work. Cindy gave me a lot of individual attention, which was cool.

Lamont told me I’m getting better, and I said, "Really?" It’s hard for me to hear that, after getting repeatedly wiped all over the mat and feeling like I am NEVER going to get a handle on this. But he is going out of his way to be supportive, and I appreciate it, and I need to jog myself to try to be more gracious. I get so surly and sullen when I’m frustrated. And do I ever spend a lot of time frustrated at jiu jitsu classes.


Evening BJJ in Bellevue. I didn’t stay to watch the advanced class tonight, I had some chores to get done at home.

I approached Dave before class got started and asked him if he’d drill with me…. and he sorta deflected me off. It was weird (and hurtful); he’s always been nice to me, and never (until tonight) made me feel as if he didn’t want to work with me. Then I *really* felt like a leper, and just stood there in resigned despair and waited to get stuck with Hostility Boy YET AGAIN. But after everyone else had paired off, it was Jamie and I standing there eyeing each other sideways. That’s a ludicrous pairing… he’s pretty big, and light-years ahead of me in technique (this guy is Kaungren’s BJJ version of "Nemesis", heh heh)… but at least he’s not looking to deliberately put me in the hospital (that I know of).

Standup- guillotines. Jamie was lifting me right off my feet with the guillotine (toldja he was big). I still need to work on 1)snuggling that elbow in, and 2)not getting in such a hurry that I fail to clasp my hands properly before pulling the choke.
Then we worked a defense that removes the guillotine and gives *YOU* one instead. I can tell I’m going to have some problems here because it involves hugging the opponent over the OPPOSITE shoulder that we hug them for the other defense that we worked at Cindy’s last week. I’m gonna get those mixed up, for sure.

Then, to the ground for an escape from scarf. Elbow to the mat, get to knees, take the back, press the opponent to the mat and try to kimura the arm. Alternative: a choke that is almost a clock choke, only instead of the 2nd lapel, you’re grabbing the opponent’s upraised arm. I like this one, although I’ve never seen it before, and it’s a little complicated for me. I’d like to practice this one again soon if possible. Professor Carlos took Jamie away from me on this drill and gave him to Angela; taking Ruben away from Angela and giving him to me.

A little closed-guard positional training with Ruben. I detangled as soon as I could and darted around him like a bunny rabbit, trying to surprise him when I went to lunge in. As soon as I got in there and he got grips on me, though, things rapidly went downhill for me. Then Angela. I get put with Angela a lot just because we are both female- it’s not a useful matchup, though, because of the extreme weight difference. She put her weight down on me once in scarf, and forced a gasping moan out of me. Then Jamie again- geez. I said, "Don’t kill me." He said, "Work hard." Hoo boy. Bunny rabbit game plan again, with the same result: I don’t have enough technique to have enough good, quick, skilled options for slapping on an immediate sub once I do dart in, so once I get in there, the opponent gets grips and then just proceeds to bulldoze me. Jamie did a scissor sweep on me while I was crouched with only one foot between his legs (man, I wish people wouldn’t do that), and cranked my ankle and big toe pretty hard (and that’s precisely why). Both sore now, I don’t think sprained, but it’s probably good that I have to work all day tomorrow and will not be training.

An informal signup sheet for the Revolution was passed around. I’m not really happy about these; they serve to give all of your opponents (and potential opponents) plenty of advance warning that you will be there, and at what weight class, in plenty of time for them to research you and prepare game plans tailored specifically to YOU. I would just as soon Julie not know for sure if I’m going to be at the Revolution until that morning of. No chance of that now. I guess I didn’t *have* to sign it, but I was feeling peer pressure to sign it. Profs will be on my case now, pushing me harder- which is a good thing, although not something that I am exactly looking forward to.