An “acceptable amount”

Five senses working together give birth to the sixth. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior

Scratched

A dog needs only a few seconds sniffing people to decide whether to snap at them, ignore them, or jump on their legs wagging its tail. Damaged perceptions are the only reason why humans need more time. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior

Shrek

Sigh.

JB is in town, and I can’t train with her.

My sprained finger is swollen, bent, and GREEN. Like a Shrek hand.

129.5 This morning, dispite having my workouts for the lat six days limited to one single kung fu class. Yay for me. (And yay for chicken breasts, eggs, and single-serve sugar-free oatmeal packets.)

Thursday evening

Thursday kung fu.

I showed SK my finger… I’m enjoying showing people my finger, since I get to flip everyone off in the process. Everyone is duly impressed. SK said, "Ooooh-is it supposed to be bent that way?" "No, nor it it supposed to be that size or that color."

It seems to be slightly more mobile and slightly less agonizing than my previous finger sprain- I’m hoping that means it is not as serious and will heal faster! I am tired of being broken!

I couldn’t do much with my right hand. A few hand strike drills were okay, but most of them I just did left-handed only.

After hand strike drills, we did part of the Tiger kick drill. SK made me come up and stand in front of the class while we were working on it. He also used me for another demo tonight, and used JoE for a demo too. JM got used for a couple of demos, but it does really look like SK is trying to be conscious of including different people and not having JM constantly at center stage. That will be a good change if it continues.

Then Five Animals. Marcie is up to "Graceful Horse". I can tell she’s daunted by it, but this is the most complicated move in the whole form.

Lastly, a little review of the one-step Black Crane defensive drills. I was drilling with Marcie, and I did most of the attacking since there were only a few Black Crane things I could do with my left hand only. I have worked with her very little as of yet. She has most often been working with JM, who gives her a lot of instruction…. I only gave one instruction, and then I shut up. I could have nitpicked, but she was doing most of it correctly.

Finger fail- again

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Lunchtime BJJ at Cindy’s. I am so happy that lunchtime classes are back at Cindy’s, especially since the next two weeks are going to be very work-heavy and my BJJ attendance is going to suffer.

We did round-robin timed spars, starting from standing. Perfect, that’s just what I would have wished for. Lamont let me take him down a couple of times, although it was obvious that he was LETTING me. I got thrown by Cindy a whole lot.

Note to self: Cindy wants me to brace my free foot on Lamont’s butt and ROLL when he leglocks me.

It only took a couple of rounds before I was exhausted. Felt like I was gonna have a heart attack.

Then I got thrown and landed on my right hand. There was that (now all too-familiar) crackling sound.

It’s the middle finger (I displayed it pointedly to them both) on my right (dominant) hand. The distal joint is bent a little funny, there’s a purple half-moon bruise under the nail, and the whole shebang is swollen. I can tell you this now, but for the first hour after I did it, I slapped an ice pack on it and was too scared to look at it.

I don’t think anything’s broken, but it feels sinkingly like that sprain from January… the one that kept me benched for a long time. I’ll know more in a few days. Right now, I can’t even turn the turn the car ignition key with my right hand. It seems to be only that one finger that’s injured, but presently any attempt to use the hand pulls painfully at the injury.

I’m vexed… this hand might well not be recovered sufficiently in time for the Revolution. If I can’t grip adequately with my dominant hand, I can’t compete. And what kept me benched even longer with the last finger sprain was the inability to take the pressure of bodies rolling over the injured part.

Just checked my blog archives (handy-dandy, this blog is sometimes!). I sprained my finger on Jan 8. Three weeks later I was sparring again, but not full-bore. I’m still complaining about the finger well into February. This isn’t looking hopeful… but maybe once I can stand pressure on it, it won’t be so functionally crippling because it’s not the index finger this time. There may also be more taping options this time. I didn’t tape the previous finger sprain because that just made it hurt more- as well as made it stick out more ("please injure me again!"), but THIS finger has buddies on each side- once the pain dies down some, I might be able to tape the middle three fingers and use a "cup" hand.

I was 131 this morning. I’m going to proceed on the assumption that I’m going to recover in time for the comp. I need to be 129…. preferrably 127. That means that although I’m definitely going to be benched for a while, I am ***NOT*** going to lie around the house eating. If I’m not at work, I’m going to go observe class, or else go to the (non-MA) gym and work on Kung Fu forms.

Fabiana’s in town! I wanna get a chance to roll with Fabiana!! Arggh! I hope I am not going to be injured during her entire visit the way I was last time. Sad

Black Dragon

From the Sleeper Athletics Facebook page…. this is one of the dads:

"Sitting in dentist office with Casey today and we are playing a game of who’s guy beats who…. He starts off with Spiderman, i counter with Superman, he goes Hulk, i go The Thing, he goes Triple H, i go Fedor, he goes Werdum (smart kid) i go Transformers, he goes Thor, i go Teenage mutant nija turtles, he looks at me and goes "so you wanna play that way do you? I got CINDY!!!!!!!!! game over"………I didn’t have an answer to that one, lol."

An hour of Competition Training at Gracie Seattle.

Lindsey and his warmups… the man loves to make us run. I am not a runner. There are good reasons why I am a martial artist and not a runner. Today I couldn’t even manage all the running and had to bow out of a couple laps. I managed to do all of his jumping jacks, though (must’ve been about a hundred).

We worked on transitions from side control to north-south and back again. I need to be better about remembering to grab the pantleg to keep the guy from rolling/shrimping. Other than that, I think Cindy’s endless drills on this have gotten me fairly good at it. Unfortunately, even if my technique is clean, ost of the guys can just bench-press me off.

Some King-of-the-hill positional sparring: try to hold side control and north-south versus try to get out. We only had about a dozen people today, and I do not like King Of The Hill much when there are so few people. It only takes most of these guys about twenty seconds to defeat me, so unless we have a lot of "stations" with constant rotation in, I spend a vast amount of time standing on the wall as opposed to doing anything.

Just before I had to leave, Lindsey showed a nice gi-tail choke. I want to remember to try these gi-tail wrap-ups in live sparring more often. In the heat of the moment, I usually just forget all about it… but I like how many of them do not take much strength, so they are probably a good thing for me to be utilizing.

Sunday Kung fu.

I have been practicing the bit of Arrow Hand, and the snappy "Mantis-y" energy seems to be getting snappier and more Mantis-y. We did not work on that at all tonight, though. CN was there, so we were working on Dragon.

First we ran through Lun Chi and Little Red Dragon. These are feeling fairly good to me. CN did a little spot-cleaning on those two, but everything he mentioned was stuff I was already doing.

Black Dragon stances. Walking forward and backward in Black Dragon stance (going backward is easier than going forward, ironically), with a ton-sau-ish parry and a punch. Alone and then with partners.

Then, Black Dragon stance with a bon-sau-ish parry and a punch (standing still). On heavy bags, then on classmates. I had been pleased with the feel of the rebounding energy in that first one; in this one, the rebounding energy was exponentially greater. The parry doubles as one of those little winding-up energy-swirling things that Dragon likes to do before it strikes- it felt like my fist was on the end of an industrial piston. Nor was I drawing from my *own* energy to power it- this is a sloppy habit of mine- I wasn’t getting tired at all even though I was working it for quite a while. Love it.

We got a chance to cycle through everybody a couple of times… I continue to be impressed with JM’s Dragon. I can feel the Dragon energy in it more than in anyone else’s (with the obvious exception of CN). She hits hard too. I had to ask her to lighten up a bit.

JM: "You keep circling around me!"

Kitsune: (innocently) "Would I do that?"

JM: "You’re trying to get my kidney!"

Kit: (innocently) "Would I do that?"

JM: "I *like* my kidneys!"

Kit: "You only need one!"

Working with Nemesis, he discovered that because of the height difference, he could meet all of my attacks with the same ton sau response- because even though I was striking high and low, to him they were all low. Huh. I was amused to find, when we switched roles, that the opposite was true for me- I was able to meet all of his attacks with the same bon sau response- because to me they were all coming in from on high. With JM, I could still get away with that- but just for good practice’s sake, I tried to meet her low strikes with the ton sau and the high ones with the bon sau. I often find myself getting paralyzed trying to choose the "correct" response in drills like this- but this time I was able to consciously relax into the Dragon and with only a few flubs, was mostly okay. Most of the other styles, I can’t relax into them enough to do that well.

I was hitting SK pretty hard in the abs (he can take it, and he’s constantly nagging me to hit him harder… hope he was satisfied today). Sometimes I went high and targeted his chest area instead. I had been aiming for JM’s throat, but I couldn’t easily reach the throat on much-taller SK, even with a step in. I targeted his jaw a few times, and was enormously pleased to feel five-o’clock shadow hairs; that’s how close I was pulling the strike- every time.

SK: (whimpering noise)

Kitsune: "What? Are you okay?"

SK: "You’re putting so much power into that strike- and pulling it just in the nick of time."

Kit: "Well, YEAH…..?"

SK: (whimpering noise)

Kit: "AHEM. My control is EXCELLENT."

SK: "If you hit me in the clavicle as hard as you’re hitting me in the abs, you’re going to snap my clavicle like a twig."

Kit: "Which is why I’m not hitting you in the clavicle as hard as I’m hitting you in the abs."

SK: (whimpering noise)

Kit: "MY CONTROL IS EXCELLENT."

Of course, having said that, the next shot should have broken something. But it didn’t. Because my control is excellent. Man, I do love me some Dragon.

Sparring. DD shlepped in at the very end and was watching, and I was very awkward and self-conscious as I always am when he and/or CN are watching. I made a serious conscious effort to mind-over-matter this away tonight, and had a very small success- which is better than no success. I had watched SK spar Nemesis first, and saw that SK was in full-on Snake mode. Nemesis was trying to play Snake’s game with the Snake…. foolish boy. I watched him chasing the strikes around and trying to Chi Sau the Chi Sau expert, and reminded myself to not get drawn into playing Snakes with a Snake.

Unfortunately, I neglected to manifest a coherent alternative plan… so I ended up spending way too much time backing off, and I ate a lot of his strikes all the same. I did do a couple of my ill-fated kamikaze lunges in, but they didn’t work, of course, and at least I didn’t just keep stupidly battering like I used to do. I stayed calm, part of the time. Okay, I’m going to call it progress that I didn’t let myself get baited in too much. But next time I need to have a few ideas in mind going in, and press some attacks of my own. I was way too hesitant tonight, and way too easily cowed into retreat once hit.

We also got to hear a new legend about CM tonight. The legend goes- a student kicked him in the groin, and hurt his foot.

I asked, "What do you need to condition for that? Same old bucket of sand?" I got a round of laughter for that one.

Next Sunday is the potluck, so there won’t be a class that evening. I’m just as glad of that, since I’m on tap to host Turtle Drum that Saturday, plus it’s my work weekend- so by Sunday afternoon, I will surely be very relieved to be able to skip MA and go straight home to bed after work.

Silverdrake has pinged me about the Sacred Hunt- he hasn’t asked this straight up yet, but it’s looking like he might be asking me to coordinate drumming for the Hunt again. Whooo-whee. I had assumed I was off the hook for that- I’d told Aspen that he was welcome to have the role back this year, and it had sounded like he was planning on it. I wonder what’s up with him. I guess I’m up for doing it again; although it’s a fair amount of pressure- especially on top of the fact that we are going to be at a brand-new site yet AGAIN this year. The Heralding coordination is going to be a lot of work due to the new site, although I got a pass to bring in Dru as an official third co-coordinator (and she will hopefully be my lieutenant again for the Hunt drumming, if it comes to that). The site is supposedly a lot flatter (which is good) and smaller (good for Heralding, bad for the Hunt). I hope it’s not going to be terrible trying to find a site for the Hunt. Just trying to keep curiosity-seekers out is a major PITA, tenfold moreso if the site is too close in.