It’s ALWAYS about DESTROYING. Well, duh.

Almost went to BJJ this weekend. Wanted to. Bad. I’m going nuts here. Then I made the mistake of brushing my hair out of my eyes with my right hand, and it hurt so bad it’s not even funny.

I’m not afraid of pain, but I’m very afraid of reinjuring the bad finger and extending my bench time for several weeks longer than necessary. Tuesday, though. I’m going in Tuesday no matter what (well, unless I get called in to work on the midnight shift again Monday night).

OMG, these stupid little digit injuries drive me crazy. It’s just a FINGER (or a TOE), for cryin’ out loud. A digit is not worth losing weeks of training over. Makes me want to just chop the durn thing off and be done with it. At least then it won’t get reinjured.

Sunday evening Kung Fu. I was late again. I find that without the carpool, I tend to be less self-disciplined about getting out the door in time. I need to improve that.

Five Points Of the Star. I haven’t done this form in a while, so I was a little worried that it would be rusty. However, I *have* worked on the mirror form off and on in the past several months. It turned out to be fine. Nemesis was really struggling through the first few reps, though.

There were only 3 of us (not counting SK), and there wasn’t enough room in the dojo for us all to do the form correctly. It’s crazy how much ground this form covers. I just changed direction on the fly whenever I was about to collide with the wall or with Nemesis.

We picked three techniques out of the form to drill with the heavy bags and/or pads held by classmates.

Dragon Rides The Wind: Don’t cheat the full arm motion. Don’t turn the hips all the way over. Keep the hips facing sideways till the very last snap of the kick- then turn them, but not all the way. SK corrected me on this, and then I overcorrected the opposite way… grr. The striking surface is the heel, of course, but again- it doesn’t turn till the last second. Also- I want to come up on the toe, and I need to stop doing that. "Stupid-side" Dragon-Rides-the-Wind is dismayingly clumsy. Must practice this more on the side that we DON’T do it on in the form.

Front forward lunge with double Tiger straight punch. I had to cheat these a bit regarding hand position, as there is no way I can do Tiger straight punches on a solid target with my finger the way it is. Remember to drive off the back foot and DO NOT COME UP ON THE TOE (see a pattern here?)! SK kept coming over and stepping on my foot to call my attention to it.

Turn sideways and rake, then return with Crane’s beak. I had to do them all on the left side. The rake here is not a big motion with the shoulder- more of a "b****-slap" (according to SK). The entire body moves with the strike, but not exaggeratedly so. Do not stop the motion between the two strikes, make them flow together. The chambering arm on the Crane’s neck motion is important. The chest is supposed to open up a lot more than feels logical to me.

Then the bear-hug defense-to-throw sequence. We always belabor this bit whenever we work on this form. After some five years of coming back to it, I feel fine about it at this point (and in fact JM complimented me on the throw- twice). We keep talking about bringing in our BJJ gi pants so that we can do the throw properly…. it involves grabbing a clawed handful of your opponent’s groin and using it as part of the leverage to haul hir over, so of necessity we have to alter it a bit when we’re working with people we don’t actually want to castrate. We usually end up grabbing a handful of the pants on the inner thigh, and more than one pair of pants has been ripped beyond all repair and modesty while working this technique. I was wearing my rather expensive House Of Dra black cotton wrap pants today, and I shook my finger in first SK’s face and then Nemesis’ in turn as they prepared to throw me- warning, "Don’t you rip these pants!!" This was another technique I had to do on the "wrong" side tonight, because I could not properly grab a clawful of pants with my right hand… so I got a little discombobulated. Even though I have practiced it on the left side, I have never done it with a live uke on that side.

After that, the front roll (which has four different takedowns built in, before you even start looking hard) to sweep. Mind you, this is a DIFFERENT sweep than that Snake sweep, and it’s not an Iron Broom either. A sweep is never just a sweep around here.

SK wanted us to work the sequence on each other and find more takedown options beyond the obvious four. I like this roll as a Monkey-style attack where you hit the opponent’s knees with your shoulder blades and knock hir down as you roll over top of hir; if you have good body coordination (as I do), you can deliver a lovely axe kick right to the schnozz, and then you’re on the ground on top- which is just where I want to be.

Note that if the opponent is still standing when you go for the leg switch kick, it is a "check" style kick to the ANKLE- not trying to blow out the knee as I was attempting to do. JM found that amusing. I was like, "Why on EARTH would I NOT being trying to destroy the knee at this point??!?" and she laughed, "It’s ALWAYS about DESTROYING with you!" Well, of course. I am a Tiger. Tigers destroy. And this is a Tiger form, no less. Well, SK does not want me to annihilate the knee at that juncture because the following sequence of moves are rendered null and void if you fail to check the ankle. (Who cares; I’d rather just shatter that knee and be done with it! Sigh.)

We worked on the sweep, too- JM and I both failed to sweep Nemesis- because he is NEMESIS. I pronounced that it was like trying to sweep a tree, and JM agreed. SK didn’t like the way I was hooking the ankle ("You’re being too NICE"- this after I was discouraged from shattering kneecaps; see the mixed messages he gives me?!); he wants me to STRIKE hard with the kick. It did work better that way, although I tend to not feel very confident in my sweeps. I prefer to hook the ankle and then attempt a takedown with the assistance of a kick with the second foot- and perhaps grabbing the ankle with my hand as well. I just feel like I have more options that way- and also, as soon as you’re down, I’m already latched on so that I can swarm on top of you- which- again- is just where I want to be.

SK talked about wanting us to stop thinking of forms as a set of rote motions and think of each technique as a MULTITUDE of different options for applications.

I gave Nemesis a ride home, and we had a long interesting discussion/debate about the merits of different types of armour.

Got an e-mail from CC asking if I’m still alive. I can’t decide if I should try again to press him for more regular classes right now. I still haven’t really figured out what I’m going to do as far as trying to adjust my training schedule to accommodate more Kung Fu practice on my own; not to mention that possible Tai Chi tutoring thing.

I really should have been hauling my lazy carcass into the (non-MA) gym to work on forms while I’m off the BJJ mat with my finger injury. It was an opportunity to 1) get caught up on some things I’ve been stinting on, and 2)avoid wasting a lot of time and getting out of shape. However, I found that once I was off my frenetic hamster-wheel schedule of continual classes, I became embarrassingly sedentary and it was hard to get motivated to get into the gym. I’m glad to say my weight hasn’t increased, though.

Yes, I’m still working on the pelvic alignment. It still feels like walking around with a broomstick up my butt. The chronically sore spot on my upper back feels a little weird, but I think it’s just because it’s not used to the new alignment- It seems like with the hips tucked under, that upper back area will be less likely to curve in an unhealthy fashion, and will probably be the better for it (eventually).

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