I want to learn how to sweep.

130.5. Ooops. I was parked comfortably at 127.5 on Saturday, but there was a minor Pizza Incident on Monday. No more pizza till after the competition. Sigh. I need to go buy some more packages of those plain chicken breasts.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle.

Standup- blocking two jabs and going to the reap. Not standing up- an upa in which you grab the forearm and tricep. Then another one in which you reach down and grab your own pants cuff to trap the opponent’s leg. Drilled with Bree.

A little positional training- hold front mount vs sweep. Are my sweeps ever going to get better? With Bree planted on top of me like a small pickup truck (not that she’s fat or anything, but she has considerable weight on me), an upa seemed laughable. Carlos was not happy with me when I went for the ol’ standby of escaping to half guard… not that *I* am entirely happy with that either, as I most often get stalled in bottom half guard. Carlos gave me the scenario of "Eet’s PanAms and there’s tertty seconds left and the guy on top of you ees ahead by an advantage. You just lost, Keetsune. You have to sweep." Then even worse- he got on top of a guy and had the guy escape to bottom half guard. Carlos then passed his half guard, guy replaced it- wash, rinse, repeat- in this way Carlos racked up about twelve points in twenty seconds.

We switched partners a few times, and I couldn’t even get a sweep on the white belt girl. Arrrrrgh.

After positional training, Bryan took me over to the other mat and showed me a few Barata-licious things from the Rafael De Freitas seminar. They were a little tricky, but I liked them. I need to grab Bryan before/after class for a few minutes in the next couple weeks and drill those so that hopefully they will stick.

Tai Chi. Another 3 min standing meditation. LD remembered all of the points I’d given her for what you want to pay attention to posture-wise when you stand. We reviewed the walking forward, the walking backward (Repulse the Monkey), then added hand motions to the forward walking. She’s doing fine, but still *very* stiff. I’m not sure how to fix that other than to keep reminding her to try to relax, and to emphasize the smooth flow while I’m demo-ing. Maybe I could slip a Valium in her water bottle or something.

In light of the stiffness, I would like to try to work on some additional flow-type stuff before delving too deeply into the form. I’m going to try to find time to cruise around online and find more ideas. I also might e-mail CK and ask for more ideas…. although it would be nice to get a little further along before being reduced to running to CK for help.

Wave-Hands-Like-Clouds still seems a bit too daunting at this point, but we did a little sideways walking with a leading horizontal elbow and then a scooping (I know there’s a name for this, but I forget). I was watching her do this,and seeing two problems: 1)EXTREME stiffness (especially glaring in the moving arm) and 2)not enough body turn. I asked for one more circuit focussing on trying to relax the arm and picture a marionette string attached to the back of the wrist and doing all the lifting, while there is a weight attached to the elbow to drag it down. She is *SSOOOOOOOO* stiff that if I could think of a way to introduce this without it seeming to be condescending, I would actually tie sashes to her wrists and make her sit there where I move her arms around and she tries to remain limp.

On the next circuit, I told her to not worry about the arm this time, to just focus on the body turns. After about three of these, she was like, "Wow, you should have told me *that* before. Doing it that way makes the arm go where it’s supposed to all by itself." Yup.

Then we did the opening move of the form- by which I mean *just* the step out into high horse. The next movement is an arm raise, and I just am reluctant to do any more arm stuff while she is still so damn stiff.

I was wearing my fox ears today, and LD told me that it was really hard to take me seriously while I was wearing that hood.

Evening BJJ at Cindy’s. I had actually been planning to go to Gracie Seattle…. I haven’t had a Rodrigo class in a long time, and I wouldn’t mind trying to catch some of those white belt women who are rumored to appear in the Wednesday evening class (including Vanessa). However, I was a bit late getting out of Tai Chi, and Cindy’s class starts at 6:30 instead of 6…. the prospect of getting to class *not* late (and even having time to stop for a sandwich) was too alluring.

I was expecting to see a nice shiner on Leilani, but she didn’t have a mark on her! She was laughing at me because my wrist bandage "…keeps getting bigger! It started with just a bandaid, then it was a coban wrap, and now it’s an ace bandage!" Yeah, the bandage keeps getting bigger because it’s failing to get the job done. Even the gauze pad, tape, coban wrap, more tape, ace bandage and MORE TAPE that I wore tonight didn’t protect the wound from abrasion and sweat-soaking. Although the fat ace bandage did seem to inhibit Leilani a bit from gripping my wounded wrist with an iron-clamp hold while she was kimura-ing me. That same wrist has also been a little hinky since Carlos wristlocked me shortly after he arrived last summer. Every once in a while, it just seems to want to reminisce- and ache for a few days. This morning I woke up and for no apparent reason, it was doing its thing.

We reviewed the kimura from guard, the guillotine from guard, and added a triangle for when the opponent brings the elbow inside your knee to try to defend the kimura.

Positional training. Closed guard- pass vs sweep or submit. Then side control- escape or submit vs hold the person down. Leilani was working REALLY hard tonight. I was still hard on her, but did remember to let her have a couple things. Gave positive feedback as always. Also, some suggestions as we were working: "Careful, feel my knee sliding in for the mount? Grab that half guard if you can. See where my arm is…so what do you want to try for?"

A roll with Leilani, and then one with yet another tweenager. This one was fine to work with as well (in fact, when I made an involuntary gargle while I was trying to outlast his triangle, he paused to ask if I was okay before he finished me off…. sigh).

I did actually get a sweep on the tweenager and one on Leilani; it wasn’t easy, but I was focussing- still thinking about my sweep frustration from this afternoon. The one on Leilani, in particular: I actually managed to ANALYZE what limbs I needed to trap and where her weight was and where to lift…. this is just not coming instinctually to me, and it’s difficult to find the brainspace to focus during most live rolls. I had a number of unsuccessful attempts before getting the sweeps.

Leilani told me as we were packing up that my suggestions while rolling are really helpful, that she learns when she works with me. Wheras Alecia just crushes her. Yeah, I hear ya sister. She was gratifyingly horrified when I told her I might have to fight Alecia at the Revolution. I told her that she still has time to sign up, and she laughed some more.

I haven’t rolled with Cindy for a while, which is sad. This is another reason I miss the three-to-five-person lunchtime classes.

Cindy is starting an adult boxing class. I’d love to try, but I feel like I’m already spread too thin. Maybe sometime in the future.

(pic- Jim)

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