BJJ on a wood floor…..

….it looks a lot like this (see pic), only over one’s entire body.

Archery is, therefore, not practiced solely for hitting the target; the swordsman does not wield the sword just fort he sake of outdoing his opponent; the dancer does not dance just to perform certain rhythmical movements of the body. The mind has first to be attuned to the Unconscious.

Guillotines and headlocks

Turn your body into a temple and nature starts talking to you. It brings you back to a wilder, more authentic state. Nature is not just a name to identify what we have not yet covered with concrete and asphalt. It is life lives without fear, without sense of guilt; life not enslaved by the artificial rules of a society which has lost it center. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior

All Mantissed out

When human beings lose their connection to nature, to heaven and earth, then they do not know how to nurture their environment or how to rule their world- which is saying the same thing. Human beings destroy their ecology at the same time that they destroy one another. From that perspective, healing our society goes hand in hand with healing our personal, elemental connection with the phenomenal world.


Perhaps even more than the dogma of scientific philosophies, the gloomy ghost of many different religious doctrines planted the seeds for the rejection of the body. Doctrines of renunciation according to which life is a sin to be amended. Doctrines born out of the fear to be truly alive. In their eyes, the Earth is nothing but a vale of tears, a place of suffering, nothing more than an obligatory stop on the way to reach better destinations. The body is a heavy burden pinning us to the ground, an obstacle on the way to Heaven. Not only are body and soul not in harmony, they are antithetical principles at war with each other.
-Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior



Form Of the Day: Hurricane Hands

I did a little Hurricane Hands this morning, and I had also done a couple reps last night, making sure to add in all the lost bits.

2 hours at the (non-MA) gym for formwork- mostly Mantis and Dragon. Bung Bo Kuen, Southern Mantis, Three Step Arrow, Spear Hand, Dragon Plants the Seed, Little Red Dagon, Touch Bridge, Box Form. Also Hurricane Hands, Catherine Dao, Chen Dao, Jian form, Tai Chi short open-hands form. Dao form seems okay now; Jian form took a couple reps to put all the pieces back together, but I think it’s okay.

I did each form four or five times, facing a different direction each time- to avoid, as Jodi wrote about once, getting reliant of visual cues.

I know that some people (BJJ folks in particular) are contemptuous about formwork, but I almost always leave a session feeling that it was time well spent physically, mentally and spiritually. The real challenge- as Ginger and I have been recently commiserating- is getting one’s butt into the practice space and getting started.

I feel good enough about Hurricane Hands at this point that I’m going to print out a form list and start cycling through Forms Of the Day.

Evening BJJ at Gracie Bellevue.

Carlos was raving about JB’s hip throw in the no-gi competition! He was impressed!

We drilled a hip throw, a guard pass for when the opponent has put one foot in spider guard, and a different guard pass ending in a KOB, then to side control.

I had a few painful moments with the injured finger. In particular the throws, my partner kept clamping that hand in his armpit as he went down. I think it may have been a little too soon to go back to BJJ. It also depends on what exactly we’re doing, though.

Carlos blew me a kiss on my way out. He’s so funny. Even funnier hopped upon Vicodin. He looks less like a chipmunk today, but you can still see the swelling in his face.

Black Dragon, Northern Mantis

Today many people spend eight hours a day sitting before a computer or behind a desk, forcing their bodies to an unnatural stasis. Overworked minds, inert bodies. Depending increasing more on an immaterial form of technology, we confine the body to a subordinate position. We grow detached from it. We forget its magic. We forget its power. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior

Revolution 5/11

I would have made weight if I’d been competing- 127.5 Saturday morning (and Sunday morning too).

Form of the Day Saturday- Hurricane Hands. I ran through what I could remember a couple of times in the morning and also in the evening, and retrieved about three quarters of it. There are still three blank spots. I searched everywhere for my notes. No luck. Same Form Of the Day today. I repped it a few times this morning. I sent SK an e-mail to see if he could come to class 10 min earlier tonight and go through it with me.

Revolution: The site was different this time… much smaller, and in that way less intimidating-seeming. The no-gi turnout in particular- both competitors and spectators- seemed a lot fewer people than my two previous Revolutions. Since my busted finger and I were not competing, I was wearing a dress, and it was amusing to see how many people didn’t recognize me wearing something other than baggy white pajamas. Carlos and I passed within a handspan of each other in the hallway. Cindy was standing right behind me in the bathroom line. Lamont was talking to JB sitting on her right while I was sitting on JB’s left. None of them recognized me.

Cornelia and handful of other female blue belts were competing, and I think they combined them all into one bracket (Cornelia got gold- yay!), but there was a grand total of two women signed up for no-gi (both in beginner). So if I hadn’t scratched, I probably wouldn’t have had anyone to fight in no-gi. Alecia had decided to not compete, or I would have had to fight HER for sure!

I think I was more nervous waiting for JB to compete than I have been waiting to compete myself. My stomach was all acidy.

JB won her first fight by running the time out with 2 points up (for guard pass). The girl kept holding JB in her guard and trying to triangle her, whereupon JB did the same thing she always does to me- heavy stack followed by (eventually) pass to side control. I was taping it for her, and I think the vid is going to be jumping up and down when she passed guard and then spinning all over the place (with screaming) when the beanbag came in. I was so excited that I shut it off before taping the rep holding her arm up, and I was kicking myself for that later.

Her next fight was a muscular and slightly shorter girl. They fought standup for the entire match. The other woman was using a ton of energy flailing around trying to yank JB down, but with poor technique. She wouldn’t come close enough, and her balance was terrible. I know that these sorts of things are a lot easier to see while you’re sitting on the sidelines, but when I saw that girl almost knock HERSELF over with a lapel yank, I had to shriek, "JB YOU CAN TAKE THIS GIRL DOWN!!!!!!" Rodrigo turned around and snarled at me because he didn’t agree with my advice. I’m embarrassed and regretful that I irritated Rodrigo- I should have kept my coaching advice to myself, and next time I will- but I still think I was right. I have spent 5 years being taken down by JB in kung fu, and I know she had the ability to take that woman down. It was obvious that the woman was getting really tired. The problem was, so was JB. They were both holding onto each other and staggering around like a couple of drunks, puffing heavily. Finally the beanbag arrived. They got another minute, and unfortunately the opponent got a takedown and landed in top side control, so JB ended up losing by 2 points in overtime. JB looked like a limp dishrag lying on the mat. A bunch of people surrounded them, and then somebody turned to me and mimed puffing an inhaler. My heart sank, because I had already chewed JB out for failing to bring an inhaler. I yelled back, "She doesn’t have one!" Much scurrying, and finally an inhaler full of Rickson Gracie-Knows-What bearing the lip-prints of Rickson Gracie-knows-whom emerged from the crowd.

I know JB was disappointed in her performance against that opponent, but I know she would have squished her if she’s been able to breathe adequately, and not gotten so exhausted (partially due to not being able to breathe adequately). Anyway, I am always happy to see people (especially women) fight for the takedown instead of somebody just pulling guard.

Jim got silver- I saw one of his winning fights. I don’t think Marc placed, but I saw one of his losing fights wherein he had what seemed like a really nice triangle for much of the match, but couldn’t finish it. I talked to him after, and he was frustrated, because he said that’s the same thing that happened to him in his last tournament. Peter got gold, and tapped one of his opponents in 39 seconds (he didn’t end up getting the "Vicious Submission" prize, but was in the running till somebody else got a 29-second armbar). John lost both his fights because he kept getting swept. I saw Alex kill some guy 13 to zero. I didn’t see the results for the kids, but I’m fairly sure E-man steamrollered the competition as usual.

There was only one other woman registered in no-gi, and we were worried that she might be a lot heavier. Luckily, she didn’t look huge (although her thighs were really muscular). They fought for the takedown for a while- the opponent was hauling down on JB’s neck, but didn’t seem to have anything to do from there. Carlos: "YOU control the neck! YOU control the neck, not her!!" I was so excited when JB got a beauteous throw and two points. But then some squeezing and oxygen deprivation occurred, and JB had to tap. After that she could barely breathe for several minutes. She really, really did not want to scratch the second match, but since breathing is kind of important while you’re trying to fight someone, she decided she had to. It would have been really embarrassing to have the ambulance come and everything.

JB ended up with silver for gi and silver for no-gi, and she earned team trophy points for both of her schools, so that was pretty good for a first tournament!

Alex didn’t make weight for no-gi…. one pound over. I said, "Don’t you want to go out and run some laps around the school building?" "I already did that." "Can you go pee?" "I already did THAT three times." Bummer. The next time I saw him, he was stuffing his face with pizza!