Nemesis, the sequel


Thursday Lunchtime BJJ Gracie Bellevue.

After Pat half-killed us with warmups (He must have a lot of time on his hands to troll Youtube for all these drills and exercises), we paired up and pummelled for a bit. I got a big white belt guy who, after a while, underhooked me and hooked his fingers through the waistband of my gi pants to hold me in place. Due to the height difference, this also lifted me up on my toes. I exclaimed, "HEY!! No fair!!"

Then a guard passing drill. One person on hir back, the other overwraps both thighs, posts hand and head beside opponent’s hip, and hops legs over to the opposite side. This was good agility practice. I quickly found out, though, that as soon as I went up on my toes, I was telegraphing that I was about to hop over- allowing the guy to get ready to catch me in half-guard. I started hopping up on my toes and then waiting a bit before making the jump. That position was unstable for me to hang out in, though. Maybe it would be less of an issue with a person who didn’t already know what you were planning to do.

Another problem: I didn’t get too far above his knees before his hams were too wide for my stubby little arm to overwrap properly- yet I was supposed to be high enough on his body to be shoulder-pressuring his belly. Dream on!

Then we did side control to mount to side control flow drills. Pat (who was on my case all hour because I am one of the few people in that class competing this weekend) came over and told me to be more assertive with the shoulder pressure- to turn the guy’s face to the opposite side. So I gi-burned the poor guy’s jawbone really hard for the rest of the drill. "Sorry…." "No, go for it, you’re competing in two days!"

Positional sparring relays: closed guard. Pass vs sweep. I went with a blue belt guy not too much heavier than I, albeit taller. It was a long, hard tussle. I finally passed his guard, but he made me work really hard. Then a slightly bigger white belt. I couldn’t get my guard closed around his trunk. He passed halfway, I caught bottom half-guard, and we struggled there for a while. I didn’t actually sweep him; he just had crappy base… and he eventually fell over on his butt and I scrambled on top. Then Sergio. If he was HALF as big as he is, I still couldn’t put him in closed guard. He very easily forced me into inverted guard and then threw my legs to one side and passed.

Thursday evening Kung fu. I had planned to leave an hour early to hit the Sports Authority in Bellevue before picking up my carpool people. I want to look for a spandex/lycra skullcap that will control my hair while I’m rolling. The ones I found online cost twice as much for shipping as the cap itself costs, making the total price ridiculous… so I don’t want to go that route except as a last resort. Especially since I don’t even know if it will work.

Well, I left shortly before 4:30, and like an idiot I got on 520. Two hours later, I was STILL sitting on 520. I just have to say, Seattle traffic BLOWS DEAD LEPEROUS RATS, okay? I didn’t get to the sports store, I texted my carpool and told them to leave without me, I had to stop for gas because I burned so much sitting immobile, and I didn’t get to class till 7:10. When we all finally got there, I was even more annoyed when I saw that JM wasn’t there… if I hadn’t gotten buried alive in traffic and had to bail on the carpool, SK and I could have actually had some time alone in the car to talk about the political stuff from RS’s visit. I had e-mailed him and told him that RS would see him. I had also told him that I don’t want to discuss this topic in front of other people, so to not bring it up in front of classmates.

Nemesis brought his brother in for a class. I have already forgotten the guy’s name… ha ha…. I am hopeless, aren’t I? He looks so much like Nemesis that it’s comical. He’s very slightly shorter and very slightly less skinny. Even the pattern of his speech and the way he makes certain movements are like Nemesis. Nemesis has assured me that his bro is not rubber-jointed, iron-boned and immune to all pain as is Nemesis himself. We’ll see.

We kept things simple. A few rounds of hand strike drills, then kick drills. After seeing the new guy kick, SK asked him if he was a bicyclist, because he has a lot of power in his kicks. Yes, he is a bicyclist, as well as a dancer- some kind of ethnic folk, contra, a few other types. Coolness! He is also a massage therapist. He was throwing out a lot of anatomical terminology, and I said, "I can’t wait till CK meets him!"

SK asked Nemesis and me what we’d done for the last few classes. When he heard that DD had worked on Five Points Of the Star with us on Sunday, he asked, "How much of that was actually working out, and how much was DD talking about the notes?" I started choking with laughter. (See, betcha thought I was exaggerating about that!)

We taught the new guy the opening moves of Five Animals. I haven’t done this form in a long time. Too long. At first I couldn’t remember which side to start on… because the last ton of work I’d done on it was on the Mirror version.

Then SK took the new guy out in the hall do to secret things, and Nemesis and I slo-mo sparred. I was a little anxious because we had no supervision. I shook my finger in his face and warned, "DON’T you injure me! I have a tournament in two days!" I did poorly for a while, then fell into an odd sort of zone/rhythm in which I developed a very intense fixation on his centerline. I’d wait for him to strike, then I’d follow his hand or foot right back as he withdrew it, and direct a series of aggressive strikes right at his centerline, on different levels. It is not my usual mode (especially against Nemesis), and it seemed to confuse him/take him aback a little. It felt like my hands and feet were on pulleys, ratcheting forward and back right on his centerline. It felt good… although counter to what I understand I’m SUPPOSED to be doing, which is looking for what’s open. I guess that after I’ve trained for a billion more years, I may be able to do both at once. Anyway, something I’d like to experiment with more- assuming I can ever duplicate that mental/physical "space" again.

Eventually SK and Nem’s bro came back in, which distracted me out of my weird little centerline groove, and I fell back into more my usual mode. After a few minutes, SK commented bemusedly, "Snake? Seriously?" Huh- well, I guess so. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been tending to drift into Snake style when I spar, for some odd reason. After time ran out, SK explained that he’d like to see Snake doing a strike SIMULTANEOUSLY with the parry, instead of directly after as I tend to do.

He also asked me about how the tai chi is going. When I told him how stiff LD is, he asked if it was around the surgery site… I said that it seemed to be a whole-body stiffness, but since I didn’t work with her until after the surgery, I have no idea whether she was this rigid prior to that trauma.

SK’s having his wrist surgery on Monday.

Cindy has a field trip to Summit BJJ planned for Sunday. Her e-mail said, "It will be a good chance to train with some different people and male up for no classes on Saturday." My response: "…and MALE up"? Are you saying that there are going to be a lot of nice single guys there?" šŸ™‚

(pic- Bianca (in the lavender gi))


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