Side control, north/south

(One hour of) Sunday "Competition Class" at Gracie Seattle.

Running. Lindsey loves to run. Kitsune might love to run if only she could breathe. As it is, Run = no love.

Today was side control and north/south day. We spent the entire hour working on holding a tight side control, transferring to north/south, and back again. Then with a little resistance. Then with the bottom person trying to grab half guard.

Lindsey had said, "Pair up with somebody close to your own size" Sigh. I was bold today and grabbed Benny. He is a pint-sized purple belt and knows what he is about. I asked for his advice on grips, as my transition from N/S to SC didn’t feel controlled enough. We got it nicely refined by the end, I think.

Must remember to control hips *or* shoulders at all times, and if I let go of one end to move, I’d better keep a tight hold on the other end while I’m doing it. I also caught myself letting up on the pressure a few times while I was moving.

I still don’t really like the side control grip we were using- handful of the gi pants at the hip. I feel like my grip is weak and anyone can just yank their pants out of my hand. I’m also gun-shy about trying to hold death grips on handfuls of gi, because I’ve sprained too many fingers that way. I like to place my elbow on the mat beside their hip on the OTHER side.

Sunday kung fu. CN was there, which was unusual.

Five Points Of the Star. I got several reps of this in. I had to review the little change at the beginning that DD had given me last week. I think the clumsiest part of the form now is the front roll with the two kicks and leg hook. I’m still not quite getting all the required leg motions into the small window of roll time.

We worked on the sweep a bit more (This is a DIFFERENT sweep, mind you, than that Snake sweep I was having so much trouble with last semester). Note- no scooting on the thigh- once the sweep has reached its end, stand up and complete the rest of the rotation on the feet. SK and DD put on leg pads and had us sweep them.

Then some Tiger drills. The one with two claws, groin strike, and armbar. Once again no one could armbar Nemesis. I would love to take that guy to Cindy’s sometime and see what she makes of him. I wonder if she would actually be able to joint lock him. I’ll bet he’d drive the BJJ people nuts. Besides being almost impossible to joint lock, I’ll bet he could roll out of almost any hold. It would be interesting to have him come in and try it out.

The one with the drop to the ground, turn and kick. The one with the elbow strike, hammer fist, choke and kick. We had also reviewed these two last week.

During the break, I crawled up behind JM and choked her. Somewhat to my dismay, I ended up on the bottom AGAIN and got trapped there… although in my defense, I hadn’t really realized we were doing no-holds-barred (as opposed to sport BJJ rules) until she Tiger-mouthed me in the throat. So that was a little distracting, and I like to think I wouldn’t have let her get on top if I hadn’t been surprised by the strike. Although I must say it’s nice to be able to wrap my arm under somebody’s thigh and experiment with sweep setups with impunity because they haven’t practiced enough to know to slap that triangle on.

Sparring rounds (ugh). We had two stations going, DD and CN. That was actually better because that means fewer people in the audience.

JaE was striking enthusiastically with his injured right arm, even after he had hurt himself earlier and bowed out of a drill. I lectured him to be careful. He told me, "Thanks, Mom."

I let everybody else go first, even though SK kept poking me with his foot. Finally there was no further delay or escape. SK (the Snake) put me with DD… he knows that DD intimidates me more than CN does. Once again, going too fast. Once again, a couple of moves in and we ended up drilling (this time, Dragon Rides the Wind kick apps) instead of sparring. I found myself doing a lot of leg checking; maybe just subconsciously trying to keep DD at a distance. I need to be more conscious of either pairing or following the leg check with a hand strike instead of hanging back. DD was wearing some pads, which this group almost never does, and that was a weird adjustment to try to make. I found myself trying to avoid the padded areas and zone in on the unpadded ones.

Once again, not really sure what to say, as I can’t seem to assess my own sparring in any realistic or helpful way. It’s still feeling like crap, is all.

After the meditation and book discussion, SK asked how people were feeling about the sparring. I skulked away before I could be drawn into the discussion. I don’t *KNOW* how I feel about the sparring (other than "crappy"). What I do know is that I do not like being put in the position of discussing my sparring anxieties in front of the whole class and DD. I don’t even want to discuss them in the carpool in front of JM and Nemesis.

(pic- Julie)

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