Tuesday morning no-gi at Cindy’s. I got a speeding ticket on the way there. You’d think that with the methadone clinic right down the street and all the homeless crack addicts lurching and shuffling aimlessly up and down the sidewalks and the drunks passed out in the bushes on the medians, the cops would be able to find some *REAL* criminals to chase. But as Cindy reminded me, the Tully’s coffee shop is right there too. And it’s the truth- there are usually a phalanx of police cars sitting right there. They can probably operate the radar guns right from the booths along the westward windows of the coffeehouse while they lounge there eating their overpriced muffins.
We did a lot of rib-crushing today. Lots of positional flow drills after warm-up. Still awkward transitioning from north-south to scarf- getting the opponent’s arm caught between our bodies. When I tried to scoot down and pry it out, Lamont turned on his side, bridged me off and grabbed half guard. So Cindy told me that if things were not right, I had the option of backtracking and going back to north-south. Then I can make sure I have the opponent’s arms where I want them before I try to transition again.
I am cheating the hip-switches. I don’t have my knee pointing up and my foot braced to drive pressure at my opponent, I tend to have the leg drop to the floor and try to move to the next position too hastily. We repped that a lot, till the muscles along my ribs were burning. It feels weird- feels like my backbone is twisted too much, and when I’m turned away from the opponent like that, it doesn’t FEEL secure…. even though when we walked through demo’s of the RIGHT way versus the WRONG way (otherwise known as MY way), I could see that it was. I just have to remind myself to clean up my technique in that area and practice it the RIGHT way until it feels more natural.
Hips still tend to be up a bit too high; also must remember to keep that shoulder dug into the opponent’s neck at all times.
Lamont’s not that heavy, but he has evil pressure even when he’s being nice. Kitsune’s poor ribs. Cindy doesn’t want me to apologize to Lamont even whan I accidentally elbow him in the face.
We worked a basic guard pass- the one where you push down one knee and creep over the thigh. We started with one hand bracing on the opponent’s solar plex and posturing up while you’re in hir guard. I never feel good in this position. Some people (JB!!!!) immediately pull me down on their chest with their legs. Others grab my wrist and yank me forward- usually right into a triangle. In both of these scenarios, there is also usually the bonus of jamming my elbow and/or wrist painfully as they bull me into whatever position they want me. So I’m sitting there and already feeling vulnerable, and being directed to reach my free arm to my side to push the knee down. Well, yeah, IN THEORY you’ve got their knee pinned to the floor so that they can’t triangle you, as well as bracing that other arm on their stomach so they can’t sit up and do other unpleasant things. But in actual practice, with all of the stronger, bigger opponents, they are just going to forcibly put me into the triangle no matter what I do to try to prevent them. It took a lot of demo’s for Cindy to convince me that it might be okay to put that arm on the knee. Apparently my biggest problem is that both kung fu and my early guard pass training at Gracie’s have brainwashed me into always keeping my elbows pasted to my ribs. So when I go to press that knee down, my elbow is on the inside of the opponent’s thigh and my arm is all huddled up against my own hip- right where the opponent wants it for the triangle. Whereas if I let my armpit air out a bit, unglue my elbow from my floating rib, and make sure my arm is on the outside of the opponent’s leg- if they go for the triangle, I can thrust both my arms forward and the best they can get is me in their guard again, which is where we started out. Okay, this is going to take some MAJOR reconditioning to break myself of that automatic elbow-to-ribs habit, especially in guard. And I will have to constantly be on the lookout for that lighting triangle attempt- from either side- and be ready to instantly react without freezing up in confused dismay.
So, if you manage to pass the guard without making a hash of it, you next move to side control. Linger there long enough to get your points. Sit-out (watch that leg again!), front mount. Scoot up high under armpits. Grab the head and pull it up a bit, hugging it to your chest, to make it harder for the opponent to buck you off. Linger there long enough to get your points. Cross-hand bicep grip, stand up halfway and sit on opponent’s shoulder, crossface, sit back and armbar. This part I can do okay (nice and tight, even) except the crossface- am not used to adding that little bit of unpleasantness. Had to keep riminding myself to not forget that.
Lamont’s turn- ouchie on the ribs some more. He also seemed to enjoy getting his knee over my thigh for the guard pass, putting his weight down on it, and then pausing there for a long moment- for no discernable reason other than to prolong and savor the agony it was producing on my knee and thigh. I bore it for as many reps as I could, then had to start defending it a bit by grabbing at his knee, turning, trying to get my own knee in a little. So to counter THAT, Cindy showed him a series of complicated wrestler’s cradles and other neck-and-leg knotty painful things to do to me.
By the time we were done, my ribs were too sore to spar. I took a couple of ibuprofin when I got home. Hope it kicks in soon. I don’t want to skip tonight’s class- even though on Tuesday evenings I have the dubious choice of 1)Bellevue and getting kicked around by Hostility Boy, or 2)Seattle and having to take the advanced class whether I feel up to it or not.
Bellevue it is. Ribs are tender but, not so much that I can’t function. I didn’t get Hostility Boy- I got a new female who- while she obviously is new to BJJ- I could tell just by the way she walked that she has trained SOMETHING seriously. I didn’t catch her name; something foreign-soundingand multisyllabic that starts with an E or an I.
An upa variation. Then from side control- person A starts to mount, person B catches half guard and squirts out the side to go to their back.
Timed spars. Ron, Dave, the new girl. Focussing on just trying to hold those top positions, and stay the heck out of the triangles. Ron subbed me with another one of those chokes with the pants-grab and spine-bend… how I hate those! That’s the only sub anybody got, though. Ron dominated me, but I did a little better with Dave. I felt like I should have owned the new girl, but she was strong- and although she had very little BJJ technique, she obviously knew her way around a spar. I was in bottom half guard for an embarrassing length of time, but I did finally get the mount and armbar that we did at Cindy’s this morning. I forgot to grab her head or to crossface, but I felt like I was in control at those points and not in danger, so I guess they were not needed. While I was in high mount, the woman was straight-arming my chest. As soon as I started getting grips, she knew enough to try to squirm, so I had to make a couple of tries- but I did get the tap. (She trains karate, BTW… I asked her after class.)
I did not participate- but stayed to watch- the advanced class.
As I was getting ready to leave, I went to re-knife, and my folding knives were not in my boots where I usually tuck them while I’m on the mat. I thought, I must have stuck them somewhere else, or maybe even left them in the car- although I almost never do that. When I got home, I found them- in the waistband of the bike shorts I was wearing under my gi pants. I had forgotten to de-knife before class. I did an entire BJJ class with two folding knives clipped to my waistband. Can’t believe I didn’t notice that… I guess I’m so used to having the things poking me in the hipbones all the time that it just didn’t register. I had to open them up and clean them well, as they were all sweaty!