Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle. Since I got a Rodrigo class last night, it was nice to get a Carlos class today. I want to make sure they don’t forget what I look like, since my attendance has been so poor lately!
I saw Dex and got to congratulate him on his new blue. Tom is now blue as well. As is Nic. Fred has a new stripe. Angus has a new stripe. Dave (SIDE CONTROL) has a new stripe. Glenn has MULTIPLE new stripes- he’s got three or four! Purple is looming. Bryan has gone from one to four, already! BROWN is looming! I think he got three at once. I didn’t get promoted, and I’m relieved. I won’t try to claim it doesn’t feel great to get a stripe… but I don’t feel worthy of what I already have. The idea of purple in my future fills me with panicked dread. I can *NOT* be a PURPLE BELT still getting consistently pwn’ed by whites. Seriously, I think I’d have to quit the school out of shame at that point. It’s humiliating/discouraging enough getting consistently pwn’ed by whites as a one-stripe blue. I really need several hardworking years- like maybe six or eight- at blue belt. It won’t exactly break my heart if the dual-school thing results in everyone being so reluctant to promote me for fear of stepping on each other’s toes that _nobody_ will promote me.
Asked Bryan, "How’s your groin?" (There really are a limited number of social venues in which this is an appropriate question). He was doing hip circles and making pained faces- but he says it’s getting better. It still hurts, but it’s a GOOD hurt… if that makes sense. I said that it made perfect sense. You can tell when it’s getting-better-hurting versus getting-worse-hurting. He’s frustrated, though, because he hurt his groin just as he was mending from the rib injury that plagued him for a whole year. He says that after a blissfully injury-free blue belt career, he’s spent his entire time as purple belt in a crippled state.
Guard pass: 2 lapel grips, stuff them under opponent’s armpits. 1 leg back, pull head out of opponent’s hold. Knee to tailbone, open other knee at 90-degree angle, elbows in, let go of one lapel grip and slide the other down to bottom of gi jacket. Opponent takes spider guard. You grab insides of pants cuffs, jump to feet (both at same time, note), pull opponent’s ankles together, press to floor. Move to the side, put knee down under opponent’s armpit, shoulder on chest. Let go of far pant cuff and move hand under opponent’s butt, other hand goes under head, tuck in for side control.
Another one: 2 lapel grips high up on chest, put on knee up and the other shin out at a 45 degree angle. Stand up, defending the grab-your-ankles takedown by pulling on those chest lapel grips. Step one foot back and reach behind with one hand to break ankles. Opponent tries to grab triangle. You swim both arms under opponent’s thighs, kneel under his butt, stack him, and seatbelt his waist. Then reach around one thigh, grab a cross lapel grip, grab the back of his waistband with the other hand, and stack him till you slide past his thigh.
Bonus- reach under your own body and behind opponent’s near shoulder with your non-lapel arm, grab some lapel or shoulder fabric, and then straighten your legs and sink the hips into the side control. It was bizarre, but it was a really effective choke. I didn’t even have to tighten the arms at all.
Angus’ BJJ has developed much the same as Marc’s- ie, he seemed to be lagging the pack skillwise for the first year, and when he got his blue, I could still dominate him half the time- but then after his promotion, his game suddenly got about 300% better in the space of about five months. He was so technical, and so tight, during the drills.
A little king-of-the-hill in spider guard, then timed rolls with Marc and Angus. I didn’t hold my own today as well as I had last night. Defending on the bottom a lot. This was one of those days when I felt like all my classmates are getting so much better, but I don’t feel like I’m getting better.
Took a hit in the schnozz, and a little later I noticed blood all over my sleeve. I asked Angus if my nose was bleeding, and he said no- so we stopped and began searching our respective bodies for the source of the blood. Carlos came over to help; he gazed intently up my nose and then he wanted me to blow my nose on my sleeve to see if it was bloody (which I refused to do- ICK!). Then we all went to search Marc to see if it was his blood. We couldn’t find anything, so I still don’t know who was bleeding and from where.
I had to take a breather after that roll. Then I wanted to roll some more, but most people were gone and the few left were paired up. Marcel was sitting on the edge of the mat holding his shoulder and making faces. I went over to try to hit him up, but sure enough his neck/shoulder/back were too sore to do any more. I hung around and chatted with him for a while, hoping that someone else would free up to roll, but no luck.
BJJ at Cindy’s with JB. Drills: more neck-crankiness. My upper back was still feeling a bit fragile from last time, and I just have a squick about neck cranks in general anyway…. I’m paranoid that one little wrong move and I’m going to spend the rest of my life a quadriplegic…… so I asked everyone repeatedly to go slowly and be careful.
JB got to be Cindy’s demo dummy once tonight- I think for the first time! And neck cranks. Lucky girl. I think she was a little scared.
Opponent is in turtle, you are alongside with chest on top. Go around hir neck and under one arm sash-style. Press your weight down on the opponent with your shoulder. Dive-roll at the mat at opponent’s far temple, taking care that the elbow that you have on the opponent’s back is staying tight to your own body and coming with you. Opponent is forced into a roll as well, if s/he doesn’t want a broken neck, and when you both come out of it, you are on hir back.
Second drill: opponent is in turtle, you alongside with chest on top. Crossface ("Brush hir teeth" style) and grab the opposite bicep. Grab the OPPOSITE ankle and get your chest and entire body down low on the mat so that you can pull on your two handholds and bulldoze the person over so that you are in side control. RETAIN THE ANKLE HOLD. Hug hir around the neck with your other arm. Walk your fingers on the mat to crank hir neck, then you can either A) bow-and-arrow hir sideways by pushing that foot away, or B)let go of the foot, use your hugging-arm hand to grab the bicep of your newly-freed hand, "talk on your phone" and choke.
Rolls with Frank, Cindy, George, and JB. JB kicked my ASS tonight. She was tapping me right and left. I’m very proud of her, and happy that she’s doing so well. It was a little rough on my own ego, though. Ironic that I was writing just this morning about getting pwn’ed by white belts.
I did tell her at one point that if she grabbed my gi pants again (this was a "no gi" class), she had to give me a free eye gouge. And she did grab my pants again. I didn’t actually eyegouge her, but later in the roll I grabbed *HER* pants. When she yelped, I informed her that she owed me one.
After she had tapped me out about five times in a row, I finally tapped her with a sloppy thing that was trying to be a choke but was mostly shoulder pressure on her face. I wasn’t very proud of it (and apologized to her), but I felt like I had to get one tap in there before we finished, to redeem myself a little!
You know that you’ve had a productive class when your shirt is covered with blood, and it’s not your own. Cindy made George bleed a lot tonight! I think a nice big color photo of her in her blood-spattered school logo shirt would be great advertising on her school website.
Looks like Monday evening will likely be the only possible BJJ for me next week. Arrrrrrrrrrh. Hopefully the schedule will start getting better after this.