"Women’s self defense" at GB Seattle. I had no idea what that entailed, but JB was interested in checking it out. She found out that Lindsey Johnson was teaching- I’ve taken a couple of BJJ classes from Lindsey in the past and knew he was a good teacher, so I figured that whatever he was teaching would likely be worth it. Well, JB bailed, so I was by myself. Then the other women who were going to show up for the class were late, so we had to wait a while. In the meantime I rolled a bit with Lindsey. Even if I end up not interested in continuing this class, it might be worth it just to show up twenty minutes early and get a little BJJ private with Lindsey! The scheduling wouldn’t be pleasant on my every-other work weekend, though… get off work at 4, self defense class from 5 to 6 (after driving into Seattle) then straight to kung fu at 6:30. I’m not sure if that would work out well.
Lindsey’s already got 2 stripes on his brown, I noticed… seems like he just got promoted from purple a few months ago. Either he was sandbagging before, or he’s just tearing through the rankings right now.
The other women are *very* much beginners, so that’s going to be a bit of a challenge for Lindsey to make the class accessible to them while still being challenging enough for JB and me. A good teacher can do that, though. Today we were working on pummeling. Pummeling while attempting to get a double-arm waist clinch on your partner; pummeling with one person against the wall, and after a while, that person uses one underhook + an arm drag to move her partner around to the wall. That was good practice for me, and I was getting plenty sweaty- sore arms too. The girls were giggly, and moaned about the warmups- but they buckled down and did well once we got into the groove. Unfortunately that’s as far as I got tonight before I had to leave right at 6 so I could get to Capitol Hill in time for kung fu.
Started with Snake Versus Five Animals. It had been a while, so we had to run a few reps of both sides individually before we could put it together. I grabbed Nemesis. I have been resolving to make a point of that. In the past, I have often grabbed JB (or let her grab me)- in large part because I know how much she dreads working with Nemesis, so I thought I was being nice and sparing her from him. Now that several other people’s attendance has gotten spotty, though, and there are just fewer partners to pick from- I recently realized that that tactic is sticking JM with Nemesis a disproportionate amount of the time. Then I felt bad. JM is less forthcoming (with me anyway) about not liking that- but I’ll bet she doesn’t like it any more than JB does. So I have resolved to grab him myself. They’ll still have to work with him, when we switch up partners- but I’m going to work with him more. It seems like the right thing to do, as the more senior student. Of course I’m not thrilled to work with him either… but I’m going to just man up on this one.
Anyway, it was an unfortunate choice of form for me to be with Nemesis, as this is the one with the tricky armlock that I just CANNOT do on Nemesis to save my life (the height difference combined with the fact that he has rubber joints). SK let me off the hook tonight on that one. There was one other piece of the form that he had me modify- a Snake strike to the neck that required me to turn my body too far to the outside to get the necessary extention to reach Nemesis’ neck over his long arm. SK had me substitute a strike to the armpit. Of course if I can reach the NECK, I’m not going to go for an armpit… but I’m not going to practically turn my back on the guy and hyperextend my arm to get to the neck, unless I’m pretty sure I’m going to TAKE HIM OUT with that one strike.
Then back to Kiu Two. Now working with JM. We both struggled a bit with the timing and foot position nuances of the kick-turn sequence from last week. But after many, many reps, I think we both got the hang.
SK told us to stop putting so much focus on using POWER to thrust-kick each other’s legs out from under. JM started cracking up and said that he might as well tell monkeys to not climb trees. I indignantly accused her of always being the instigator…. we all three know *I* am the instigator… but JM always rises to my bait so eagerly! We are a bad influence on each other. At least it didn’t end in Ground-n-Pound tonight.
Next bit of Kiu Two.
Snake B: (this is a bit confusing because Snake B attacks FIRST in this sequence.) Step forward right foot and kneel on left knee; double Snake hands circle horizontally to the outside and strike side-by-side to bladder area. (Similar strike as in Snake Versus; only this one you don’t have to duck your head)
Snake A: Little hop back on left foot and bring right leg up to guard against the strike, then immediately throw yourself into a left-leg 180 degree sweep. I’m fairly good at these- I’ve worked on them a lot- but I have to be really stretched out and loosened up to be able to do them AT ALL, and I can only practice maybe a dozen reps at a time before my body says ENOUGH. So I need to make sure to do a few of these on a frequent basis, because the body is not going to cooperate with neglecting them all week and then practicing a half hour of them at a time.
Then we did some Chi gek- "sticky leg". I haven’t really done this before in any serious way. I worked it with JM until her knees gave out (you are way too young for your knees to be giving out before MINE do, little girl), then with Nemesis (after his partner, JoE, also collapsed). This is some seriously cool stuff. JM and Nemesis were teetering all over the place- but it looks like my low center of gravity and excellent balance are going to give me a significant edge here. It is very core-intensive, too- which I want lots more work on but I think I’m still ahead of the others at this point. I want to get a chance to try it with SK- but that didn’t happen today.
Then some chi sau; starting with very simple and slow attack-center vs deflect. JM and I are both VERY tense and have a hard time with this sort of thing. We have to change arms frequently because our shoulders get so sore- and we are not supposed to be engaging those muscles at all.
Then we stood with closed eyes and crossed wrists- try a quick (but light force) attack either over or under, and see if your partner is quick enough to respond with the converse and hit you first. JM did a bit better at this than I did. Our height difference (and the closed eyes) also meant that almost every time I tried to strike at her, I grabbed her boobs. I kept apologizing and said that I wasn’t deliberately trying to feel her up, honest.
It is also a challenge for me to stop myself from instinctively trying to shield my belly when she attacks under…. but I never make it in time anyway, so I might as well go over to HIT her and at least accomplish *something* useful.