Oh, now that’s not fair. I had below-130’s for a week, I thought I was going to get to keep it! The only thing I did differently yesterday was eat a giant Honeycrisp apple. I know there’s a ton of sugar in those things, but come on- eat an apple, gain two and a half pounds???!!
You should see the awesome burgandy bruise covering 2/3 of my wrist where DD hit me with that Snake strike last night. It is very impressive. And as I said, it wasn’t even very hard- I’ll bet he was well under 50% power.
Lunchtime "competition training" BJJ at Gracie Seattle. I was a bit slow getting off the launch pad this morning. Back/neck *still* killing me. Three days in a row now. Doesn’t seem either worse or better. Woke up 90 min before alarm and took 2
acetaminophen. Is this going to get better or what?
Anyway, I was late to class and missed the warmup. So I started out with positional training, in closed guard (pass guard vs sweep only). I worked with Bree, whom I haven’t worked with in a long time. I could tell she wasn’t feeling great today, though (headache, asthma, etc). We were fairly competitive. Theare are a couple of specific guard passes that I am really ineffectual at defending, and she used one of them on me twice in a row. I need to get specific help on how to defend those particular guard passes… and in the meantime, next time I find myself there, I am going to try *something* different. Even if it seems senseless or gets me subbed. Because obviously what I am presently doing is not good.
Same positional training with Marc, Kai, Dex, Ruben, some big white belt guy I don’t know. I did reasonably okay against Marc, Kai, Ruben and Dex. I was a little nervous about the big newbie… waffled about giving him my "Go Light On Me" song and dance, and decided not to. Carlos was standing right there watching us, so I knew that if the guy started to spazz out and do the Funky Chicken on my head, Carlos would stop him. But hey- wow- I dealt with him. Big Dude did not pass my guard. He was surprised, too, I could tell. (heh heh) He tried to muscle me a few times, and I didn’t let myself get pulled into brute-vs-brute; I just changed tactics. I used spider guard on him part of the time. I find that spider guard in BJJ is the equivalent of chi sau in kung fu: as in, you pull it out on a newbie, and watch their face for the expression that you know will come. The one that says, "??!? WTF is this?? And what am I supposed to do about it??"
When we were done, Prof. Carlos nodded approvingly at me. "Good, Keetsune, good. He strong, hah?" "Yes, he is!"
Timed roll: Bryan. I haven’t worked with him in several weeks. I was determined to not "lie on the bottom like a dead fish" as he terms it. I kept moving, kept fighting, kept trying to stay on top. He didn’t go 100%, but Bryan never goes wussy on me. He tried really hard to choke me a number of times- including one of those ones where he’s also bending my spine in half sideways, which usually gets me to tap pretty quick- but I resisted tapping and defended with great determination. I did not get tapped by Bryan today. Okay, I need to say that again, and louder. I DID *NOT* GET TAPPED BY BRYAN TODAY (!!!!!!!) First time ever. He usually taps me right, left and center. Today I stayed alive at least four times as long as I have ever stayed
alive with him before. This is a really big deal. He told me that I am much improved. Sincere positive feedback from Bryan- my most significant student BJJ mentor- worth its weight in gold. That feels really good.
John: I asked him for a roll at the end. He is one of my favorite training partners. Small- he’s got maybe 10lb on me more or less- and always one step ahead of me skillwise, so one of those people that are really valuable to work against. It was a wonderful roll. Must have been fifteen minutes. Everyone left in the gym was standing around watching us, with Bryan cornering us both. Again, me trying hard to not do the dead fish impression. Also trying hard to focus on keeping lots of pressure on him. John and I had discussed my tournament match last time we worked together, and he had been catching me in triangles, so he knows I need to work on defending them. As we began, he said, "I’ll try to triangle you." "Thanks. Pal." So he did. I stacked him and sank all my weight on him hard. I couldn’t reach his throat to put my forearm on it, but if I could have, I would have! I resisted the panicky impatience. There was no time limit. I kept working doggedly around to the side- he wrenched me back a few times, but I persisted, and finally succeeded in catching his head so that he couldn’t do that again. No, leggo of my leg. Sprawl, SINK, balance. He had to let go. Now we were in north south with me on top. I was so pleased with myself. It had taken an eon, but that was a hard-fought and well-earned technical triangle escape for a person
with a dismal history of tapping to triangles. More intense, competitive jiu jitsu followed. Finally he got me with an armbar. But what an awesome match. I felt like I should have a cigarette now.
So, I had a super morning of BJJ; one of those rare days when I feel like I actually repped my belt. May there be more of these in my future.
It did occur to me on the way home, as I was basking in my awesomeness, that I wonder if this had anything to do with the fact that I missed the warmup and thus may not have been quite so tired as usual. Heh. I should come in late occasionally and
try to figure out if that really matters that much. I know that that’s not the solution to improving my BJJ, in the big picture- but if I need to do that sometimes in order to experience some more competitive rolls, that may actually be
something that would help me out.
Hey, did I mention that I did not get tapped by Bryan today?!
I wouldn’t have thought it could get better than that, but it did. I actually FINISHED a tringle in LIVE ROLLING with a FULLY RESISTING training partner. TWICE. I have never finished a triangle in live rolling before. I am so stoked.
Friday evening no-gi at Cindy’s, with SK and JB. We did those "dead-bug" scoots in the warmups. They still hurt really bad, but I can do them now. Cindy said, "You’ve been practicing!"
Guillotines, again. JB was happy- this is the sub I always get on her, and she says she hasn’t formally worked them in class drills before. She was delighted to drill with me and get a chance to guillotine *my* neck for a change.
So then the guillotine defense, arm over the shoulder, into guard, transition to triangle. My turn to be happy, I need as much triangle drilling as I can get. I was doing better at it tonight. JB’s small size made it seem easier.
Positional sparring from closed guard. Pass vs sweep or submit. JB first. Her closed guard continues to be nearly impossible to get out of. At one point I stood up in her guard, thinking I was safe because she hasn’t learned anything to do against that yet. To my embarrassed astonishment, she grabbed my heels, put her feet in my pelvis and dumped me on my ass. She was too busy crowing, though, to follow up and jump on top of me, so I was able to recover guard. I later found out that Bianca had taught her that. Hope Cindy didn’t see me get caught with that.
JB got me with that same ^&$#% seat-belt stacking guard pass that she always gets me with. Three or four times. I must get someone to show me a defense for that. It’s driving me crazy.
Same positional sparring with Ian. Love working with Ian. We were fairly competitive; he may have been doing a bit better than I was with this tonight.
Then timed spars.
I did a couple with Ian, including a couple starting from standup. I still feel too intimidated to make a concerted effort to take him down. I usually defend well against his takedown attempts for a while, and do some hanging on his neck- and then he clinches up and lifts me off my feet and sets me on the mat- or pulls guard. I did get a triangle on him. It took me some time to adjust, but I stayed calm, and I remembered to grab that shin before I put my foot on his hip to turn. I was so excited. The moreso because Ian’s BJJ is decent, and I know he is fully resisting.
I did a couple with JB- more seatbelt stacking guard pass, surprise surprise. My ribs are a bit sore now. I know I keep saying this, but she has SUCH an incredibly evil stack. Got the second triangle on her. Again, took some time, and she was trying hard to stack me- I kept having to scoot my upper body out- she really made me work for it.
Chase (the 112lb teenage wrestler) was facing off against SK. Cindy told Chase that he was not allowed to stand up. SK asked if *he* was allowed to stand up, and Cindy said "Sure" whereupon Chase exclaimed "WHAT!!?!" in outrage. It was hilarious. Also hilarious: SK told me in the car that Chase had commented that SK’s "hands move funny". ROFL.
Eventually Cindy put Chase with me. Starting from standing. She told him firmly that he was not allowed to slam me. I could tell that she wanted me to work him over a bit…. but once again, I am just way too nice. I hung on his neck, and he forced me down to the mat with wrestling technique each time. I didn’t mind too much, as being on all fours on the mat is not really a scary place for me- I’d rather have that than being thrown on my back or being pulled into closed guard. Once down, then the fight was on. His breathing is still terrible- huff, puff. We spent quite a bit of time with him in my closed guard- as he didn’t know how to get out, but he knew enough to shuck my grips off his arms as fast as he could, and to push me back down if I sat up. He was spazzy. He hit me in the face once, and was also trying to pry off one of my grips by grabbing my fingers. He tried some molestation guard, which didn’t work so well. He tried lots of chokes. At one point I got too sloppy and turned my jaw too far over, and he slipped it in. I held out as long as I could (which was a really long time… withstanding chokes is one of my strong points), but finally had to tap. Then he gloated. Grrrrrrrrr. He is one of those people who is desperate to not tap to a girl. I was **definitely** not mean enough. But after tonight (and after giving him a lift home… he makes the ride seem twenty times as long), I have a strong prediction that the more I work with this particular boy, the meaner I am going to get with him. He might be just what I need.
SK doesn’t think he’s going to last long, though… and I had to agree. He’s one of those people who comes into BJJ with previous MA experience (wrestling, in his case) and has a hard time going back to the slow, frustrating, page one of being a newbie. He is way too arrogant. And Cindy won’t let him get away with using too much wrestling technique. He will likely not survive the putting-the-ego-on-the-shelf stage and getting tapped a lot.
So after me, Cindy put Chase with Connor. Hoo boy. I would have dearly loved to watch that, but I had an opponent of my own to deal with. SK got to watch, though, and confirmed that Connor took Chase apart with no mercy.