The Wishbone


When we have worked hard and succeed at something, we should be allowed to smell the roses. They key is to recognize that the beauty of those roses lies in their transience. It is drifting away even as we inhale. We enjoy the win fully while taking a deep breath, then we exhale, note the lesson learned, and move onto the next adventure.

Friday

An attorney who in specializes in self-defense told me that of the 300 clients who said something to the police before talking to him, only two managed to NOT hurt their case. Those two didn’t help their case, they just didn’t hurt it any. If you are involved in a shooting, call the police, physically cooperate with them, but don’t say anything except you want to call your attorney. –Greg Hamilton

Today’s FOD is Bung Bo Kuen.

Besides the colleague who just got canned, one other is on jury duty for the next five weeks and an additional one is going on an extended medical leave. Getting to class is going to be an ever-increasing challenge for the rest of the year, especially with the weird hours and how crappy I’ve been sleeping. On the plus side- I’ll be able to get my mondo car-repair bill paid off.

Friday no-gi at Sleeper. Side control escapes to take the back. Positional training from side control. I have to duck out before 8 on work nights, so I only got one free spar with Cindy and one with George (was so exhausted after Cindy that I could barely move with George).

This week

you don’t stop fighting until the fight is over. You don’t need to go down just because you have taken a few hits. As long as you believe you can keep going you will. If you do go down, you are still going to win because you are going to gnaw through his Achilles’ tendon and bring him down to where you can rip his head off. -Greg Hamilton

Tuesday: FOD is Tiger Versus Crane.

Today I played with Frolic In the Mirror up to the "skipping Mantis" part.

When I began this "Mirror forms" project, I was viewing it as something that would keep me occupied in periods of not-getting-any-new-material for years to come. It is sobering to look at my forms list and realize that I can actually see the ceiling. After Frolic, Wood Monkey is really the only form that it makes decent sense to work off the opposite side.

I guess I could work the two two-person Snake forms- Kiu Two and Snake Versus Five- off the opposite side, but no one will ever be able to do them with me! All the other forms- including the Tai Chi forms- are encyclopedic enough that they are already doing all the techniques off both sides within the original form.

Wednesday: FOD is the White Crane Walking the Path fragment.

Thursday: The FOD is the Tai Chi short form.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Bellevue. The thought of food was disgusting, but- remembering how exhausted I got and how poorly I performed after not eating before class- I made myself eat protein and carbs.

Armbar from mount drills (Miriam had us folding up the leg closest to the head to remount; this was new and sort of awkward for me), double-leg drills, some back-and-forth "pick your own takedown", positional training from front mount and from closed guard.

Still too tired to want to do open mat; but it didn’t matter today since everyone scattered anyway.

Having a lot of trouble gearing up enough to make a decent effort. I just can’t make myself give a crap about much of anything right now.

Kung fu over at CC’s with CC and D. Mostly one- and two-step sparring. D is definitely assuming an assistant instructor role instead of fellow student.

Like CC, he complains if I hit even medium-soft…. it’s so difficult for me to remember to go that light after five years of going medium-hard in SK’s class. Even when I start out being really light and careful, as soon as we speed up a bit, I forget. I got reprimanded numerous times. Sigh.

They want me to try to go for a more varied range of targets; as I tend to stick mostly to head and neck. Again, old habits die hard. Especially when the opponents are a lot bigger and have thick torsos, I just have a hard time feeling confident with rib attacks and such. (Without thinking, I protested, "But *that’s* the soft part!" indicating D’s head. Oops.)

Also caught myself referring to SK as "my teacher" and that group as "we" a few times, even though I have a terrible dread that neither of those will ever be true again.

Chen sword form

You’ve just dumped a scumbag. Don’t put your gun away. You scan the area. Jackals and lions travel in packs. You probably will never be involved in another shooting in your entire life. This is it! Make the most of it. This is a target rich environment. See if there is someone else that needs to be shot. -Greg Hamilton

The FOD is Hurricane Hands. (The bowl is now empty- starting a new rotation).

+Chen Jian Form

Begin standing straight, facing north. Both hands at sides. Sword is in left hand, held backhand with blade up and lying along left arm with tip extending up beside left ear.

Slowly step left foot out to west (toe first) in horse. Slowly equalize weight. Pause.

Bring arms up slowly to horizontal in front ("zombie" pose). Shoulders are relaxed. Rt palm facing floor. Sword is still held along the forearm, so that when arms are horizontal, tip is pointing straight behind you.

Return arms to thighs.

Shift weight to rt foot. left heel comes off floor. Hands move to a "holding the energy ball" pose in front of stomach (rt hand on bottom). Sword is still held along left forearm. Now the tip is pointing to your left (west).

Lift rt hand (palm out) to your rt shoulder, with first two fingers up, as though signalling for the waiter to bring your bill.

Turn left to west and step out with left foot in a front stance. Left hand (with sword still lying along forearm- now it is again point-up) drops to groin and sweeps around left thigh to clear. End with hand just behind your left thigh and sword lying along the back of your arm as at the beginning. Rt two-finger hand presses to west past face and strikes (fingers up, thumb toward you) to west chin height, almost at arm extension.

Cross rt foot in front of left to west in a scissor. Rt two-finger hand stretches behind you (to east), diagonally down toward the floor. Left hand (with sword still lying along the back of forearm) stretches in front of you (to west) at an upward diagonal. Torso is facing north. Look behind you at the two-finger hand.

Bring left foot up to right, and lift rt toe in a narrow cat. Transfer the sword to the rt hand. Twirl the blade up-over-down in a circular motion behind you and to your left. End holding hilt in front of chest with with tip toward the floor, wrist bent in a gooseneck, left two-finger hand resting on the back of your rt wrist.

Step out to east in as deep a lunge as possible, left leg straight. Slice sword ankle-height from left to rt in a wide crescent. Torso turns with sword to keep it on your centerline.

Lift left knee to stand on rt leg. bring sword to ward horiz above brow (tip to your left, to west). Your torso is now facing north. As soon as you are in this pose, remove your two-finger left hand from right wrist and track it slowly (palm fwd, fingers up) across your face from rt to left till it is almost at arm extension off to your left.

Turn torso northeast and drop into as deep a lunge as possible. Left leg is straight. Chop sword down to northeast. Left palm goes to back of rt wrist.

Slice sword ankle-height from rt to left in a wide crescent. Torso turns with sword. Your lunge switches legs as you pass center, to end in a west-facing lunge with rt leg straight. Left two-finger hand (palm out) is above left temple to ward. Sword is horiz at chest level with palm up and blade tip angled to northwest.

Drop left two-finger hand to the back of your rt wrist and bring rt foot up to left foot.

Turn rt wrist down (this will turn the sword over).

Step out with rt foot to northwest in a forward stance. Push sword horiz at waist level to northwest. Tip is pointing southwest.

Pull left foot in to right. Turn rt wrist over so that inside of the wrist is up (this will turn the sword over)

Turn west and step out west with left foot for a fwd stance. Left two-finger hand (palm out) above left temple to ward. Push sword horiz at waist level to southwest.

Pull rt foot in to left foot.

Lift left knee to stand on rt foot. Bring left two-finger hand to cross chest and sit at rt shoulder. Rt hand circles clockwise to groin, left shoulder, rt shoulder, then chop sword in a point-down diagonal at your rt. Left two-finger hand continues its circle down-out-and-around to end warding (palm out) at left temple.

Drop left foot to floor behind you and transfer weight to that foot, lifting rt toe for a cat stance. Place two-finger left hand on rt wrist. Draw sword hilt to your chest, tip diagonally up to west. Inside of wrist is upward.

Lift left knee to stand on rt foot as you stab sword on an upward diagonal to west.

Drop left foot to ground in a narrow front stance to west (left foot in front). Level the sword horizontally over your brow (point pointing north, inside of wrist inward).

Pull left two-finger hand to your left hip. Draw hilt to your left, then drop it down to left hip, then level sword horizontally at waist (tip pointing to south). Settle weight back on left foot in a cat with body turned to northwest. Pull sword hilt back to rt hip. sword is now horiz at waist with tip pointing to southwest. Left two-finger hand returns to left temple to ward (palm out).

PUll left foot in to rt. Left two-finger hand goes to rt wrist.

Turn rt wrist up (this will turn the sword over).

Step left foot out to west in a front stance. Left two-finger hand goes above left temple (palm out) to ward. Push sword horiz waist level to north, tip pointing west. (inside of wrist is upward).

Rock weight back on rt foot. Place left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Turn left toe to north.

Put weight on left foot again and pull rt foot in to left. Turn wrist down (this will turn the sword over).

Turn 180 degrees to your rt to end in a front stance (rt foot in front) facing east. Push sword horiz at waist level to east. Tip is pointing northwest and inside of wrist is downward.

Turn rt wrist inside-up (this will turn the sword over). Transfer weight to left foot and pull rt foot back to left in a narrow cat. Pull rt hand with sword hilt in to chest. Sword is now held horiz at chest level with tip pointing southeast.

Step rt foot behind you and transfer weight to it, lift left heel to make an east-facing cat. Both hands pull to hips. Left is in a two-finger position (palm to ground), rt is holding sword hilt horiz at rt hip with tip pointing east.

Bring both hands to breastbone, left two-finger hand on rt wrist. hilt is against breastbone, sword horiz with tip pointing east. Step rt foot up to left. The feet are side by side, rt is up on toe.

Step east with rt foot and stab sword to east at breast level almost at extension of arms. left foot comes up on toe. Do not pause here; this should be a quick step with weight overbalanced forward that looks almost like a stumble.

Step forward to east with left foot and bring both arms down to hips as in previous technique. This is another quick, "stumbling forward" step.

Step forward to east with rt foot to make a forward stance. Left two-finger hand goes to rt wrist. Sword stabs to east at chest level.

(Note that the next set of techniques makes a double figure-8 motion withthe hilt leading, this should be one smooth continuous motion)

Turn torso to north, turning toes to north to make a high horse. Pull sword to horiz warding over brow (tip pointing east).

Drop hilt to left hip, then pull to rt hip.

Turn toe of rt foot to south. Turn body rt to south and make a south-facing high horse. Weight is on rt foot. As you turn, pull hilt up to rt temple. Sword is now horiz above brow with tip pointing east.

Drop hilt to rt hip.

Step rt foot to east and turn torso north in high horse. Lift hilt from rt hip to horiz waist level, tip pointing east. Inside of wrist is upward. Left two-finger hand leaves wrist and goes to ward above left temple (palm out).

Turn to west in cat (left toe in front). Sword hacks overhead (make sure it slices over and down, not floating over with the tip pointing up) to end horiz pointing west chest level. Rt elbow is braced on chest. Left hand braces rt wrist.

Pull sword back and down to rt hip. Tip remains pointed west. Left hand presses forward at chest level with two fingers up (palm out).

Rt foot steps up to stand beside left. Bring sword hilt back to breastbone, left hand supporting rt wrist. Inside of wrist is upward.

Turn rt toe to north. Torso turns northwest.

Lift sword to rt temple. Inside of wrist is outward (to north). Blade is now horiz at brow level with tip pointing west. Left two-finger hand is on right wrist.

Step forward left foot to southwest to make a front stance. Torso is now facing west. Swing sword in a powerful U-shaped arc down to groin and then up to above left temple. Tip remains pointing west at all times. Left two-finger hand remains on rt wrist.

Step rt foot up beside left. Torso turns southwest.

Step rt foot out northwest to make a front stance. Torso is now facing west. Swing sword in a powerful U-shaped arc down to groin and then up to above rt temple. Tip remains pointing west at all times.

Step left foot up beside rt. Torso turns northwest.

Step forward left foot to southwest to make a front stance. Torso is now facing west. Swing sword in a powerful U-shaped arc down to groin and then up to above left temple. Tip remains pointing west at all times. Left two-finger hand leave wrist to ward (palm out) at left temple.

Step rt foot up beside left. Torso turns southwest.

Look behind you to east. Step and cross rt foot in front of left to west. Thrust left two-finger hand to west on an upward diagonal. Turn blade point to east and thrust sword east on a downward diagonal.

Step left foot west to make a forward stance. Bring sword overhead (again, slice down- don’t let the tip float to the ceiling) to poke diagonal at the ground to west. Rt arm is held over head, elbow bent and against rt ear. Left two-finger hand braces rt wrist.

Rock weight back on rt foot and turn left toe to north.

Turn to your left to end east in a front stance (rt foot in front). Hack sword down to end horiz chest level, pointing east. Left two-finger hand circles down-out-and-up opposite the sword cut and ends at left temple (palm out) warding.

Bring left foot up beside rt. Torso is facing northeast. Left two-finger hand returns to rt wrist. Drop blade so that it is almost vertical to ground along your rt thigh.

Turn north and take a small step north with left foot, followed by right foot. End in a narrow cat with rt toe fwd. Bring blade up-and-over to hack north in a downward diagonal. Left two-finger hand drops down to groin, circles to left thigh, then up to left shoulder, completing the circle by ending pressed to rt wrist.

Describe a small counterclockwise circle on the ground with the point of the blade, moving only your wrist.

Step rt toe behind left heel, following with your torso, to end facing south. Pull up left knee to stand on rt leg. Pull hilt to rt hip and then sweep blade up to horiz at brow (tip pointing east) as you complete the turn. Pause. Remove your two-finger left hand from right wrist and track it slowly (palm fwd, fingers up) across your face from rt to left till it is almost at arm extension off to your left.

Step left foot east, toe turned north. Bring both hands to your left hip, placing left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Sword tip stabs to your rt (to north) hip level. Step out east rt foot to make a front stance, and continue the curving motion of the sword up to left shoulder and then around and down to end horiz pointing east chest level.

Without moving your feet, turn torso as far to your rt as possible and look over rt shoulder. Keeping arm straight, swing sword to point diagonally downward to west behind your rt hip.

Turn to east again and step fwd with left foot, then bring rt toe forward, to make a cat stance with rt foot in front. Bring sword up-and-around in a hack to east, ending with tip pointing down diagonally. Left two-finger hand circles clockwise to groin, left hip, then up-and-around to end on rt wrist.

Turn to south and step rt foot west in a deep lunge, rt leg straight. Bring sword around in a sweeping arc from your left to your right, ending pointed west at an upward diagonal. Inside of wrist is upward. Torso ends facing southwest. Make sure that the body turns *WITH* the sword, keeping the blade on your centerline. Left arm remains at a 45 degree angle off your left hip.

Turn east and shift stance into an east-facing forward stance with left foot fwd. Left two-finger hand goes to rt wrist. Sword is held horiz at waist level with wrist bent and tip pointing southeast.

Pull left foot *back* to rt foot to make a cat with left toe up. Turn inside of wrist downward (this will turn the sword over) and pull it toward body so that forearm is pressed against stomach. Sword tip is pointing northeast.

Step out east with left foot, then with rt foot to east to make a fwd stance with rt foot in front. Turn wrist up (this will turn the sword over). Push sword horiz at waist level to east. Tip is pointing southeast. Left two-finger hand goes above left temple to ward.

Place left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Turn wrist downward (this will turn the sword over).

Turn rt toe out as far as you can, and turn to your rt till you are facing north. You are now in a cat with left toe fwd. As you complete the turn, pull both hands down to hips. Sword is horiz at rt hip, tip pointing north.

Bring sword hilt up to chest level, place left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Blade is still horiz, tip to north.

Shift weight forward into a front stance. Stab to north, chest level.

Turn body to face east, shift weight onto rear (rt) foot. Pull sword hilt back to rt shoulder. Switch it to your left hand.

Turn body to face north and step forward with rt foot to stand straight. Bring left hand in an arc across brow, hilt up. End at left thigh, sword held hilt-down along the back of left arm and tip extending up beside left ear. Rt arm comes around mirroring the motion of the left, to end at the rt thigh.

Salute.

Sunday

Most people are grass-eaters with their heads down on the ground. The jackals and lions know this and think of them as that. Hold your head up and walk like you are the biggest, baddest lion that walks. The jackals and lions will notice and leave you alone because they don’t want to get hurt. Don’t challenge them because they might feel they have to respond to it. All you want is their respect, not their dignity. -Greg Hamilton

The FOD is Black Crane 1.

Lindsey’s competition class at Gracie Seattle.

I ate a salad before I went to class, and that was a mistake I will not repeat. I felt like I barely had enough energy to blink my eyelids, let alone do BJJ. Next time I will make sure to eat something more substantial.

Between that and the fact that I can’t turn my mind away from the Chernobyl that is my personal life, I didn’t have a very good class. I did get a triangle on a white belt, which is a big deal- that is one of my worst techniques. But I spent a lot of time lying there not being able to do much, getting frustrated and despairing.

It’s really hard on Kung Fu class nights. I really miss Kung Fu. SK is still not speaking to me, and I really miss him, too.

Last time I was a having a really bad time in my personal life, I applied myself with desperate abandon to my MA training and used it as a drug to help get through that time. This time, it’s harder, because I’ve lost my Kung Fu group/class at the same time. The double whammy is very difficult to take. BJJ helps some, but it also reminds me that I’m missing Kung Fu…. and BJJ doesn’t have quite the same depth of spiritual involvement (yet, anyway) that Kung Fu has for me. It is not quite as effective of a drug.

A few run-throughs of all the Mirror forms and their regular-side equivalents. I also worked a bit on the opening moves of Frolic In the Mirror.

Saturday

Ninety times out of a hundred it will work. If not, then you may have to give them the universal hand signal for LIE DOWN! (Holds handgun in firing position and repeatedly pulls trigger.) -Greg Hamilton

The FOD is Angry Snake Defends Its Lair.

Saturday BJJ at Gracie Seattle. "Intro" class followed by competition class.

It is spider guard day. We did 3 different spider guard sweeps. Got to drill with Jonh, which is always good. Fingers are all sore and gi-burned now, will have to tape tomorrow.

King Of the Hill starting in Spider guard. I was reasonably competitive passing spider guard, although I didn’t get a turn on the bottom- from which I would have done much more poorly!

Rolls with John, Sonia, and Prof Miriam (finally!) She is even smaller than me, and I was a brute- being heavy on top of her. That was fascinating and fun, though. Sonia mentioned that I was much "tighter". Cool.

I was going to go to Sleeper’s no-gi after that, but the place was locked up when I got there. Probably a tournament going on that I wasn’t aware of.

A few reps od Angry Snake, a few resp os the ending of the Chen sword form, a little double short sticks practice, a few mirror forms. I can do Hurricane Hands In the Mirror all the way to the end now, but I still need more practice on which Snake hand is on top after each of the turns.

Friday

This is the universal hand signal for GO AWAY! (Holds handgun in firing position.)
—-

The FOD is Kiu Two.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle.

It was hard to drag myself out- but I’m hoping that since I did, I will not have a huge battle to try to get to sleep tonight.

It’s supposed to be "advanced" (which sometimes tips the balance of me deciding to not go, when I’m wavering due to feeling tired or brain-dead), but the last few times I’ve gone, it has turned out to be something like "competition class" instead- lots of warmups and calisthenics, several sessions of timed positional training, then timed matches with various people. I spent most of the time working with Sonia. I started to try to keylock her once, then said aloud, "Oh, yeah, I forgot- I can’t keylock you!" She of the double-jointed arms. She then insisted that I *could*, as long as I had really good technique. Okay, so maybe it’s not fruitless to try.

I also rolled with Angus and Z. I got trapped in bottom halfguard with Angus. With Z, I’m used to getting tossed around like a catnip ball gets tossed around by a kitten- so this time I got on top and made myself as drapey and heavy as possible. He still swept me a couple of times, but that worked better than any of my previous efforts against him.

Note than Rodrigo commented that I need to "use my hands" more.

Ran through some Kiu Two, and Hurricane Hands In the Mirror.

Wednesday & Thursday

Sheep can be controlled by the sheepdog for the same reason they fear the wolf — they are both predators. The same relationships hold with the general population, the police, and the criminals. Most people are sheep, but you don’t have to be. If you have the skills and attitude of a predator the criminals will leave you alone — because they will recognize you as a predator and there is easier game available. -Greg Hamilton

Wednesday:

The FOD is Box Form.

A few reps of Box Form, a few reps of CC’s version of Box Form (note: remember to transfer weight to front stance at the end

Sunday/Monday

Sunday:

The FOD is Kiu Two.

A few reps of Kiu Two, a few reps of Angry Snake (again, with a pen instead of a dao), all the mirror forms in a string. Touch Bridge seems as good as the others now. I was able to do that tricky arm spin in Five Points, by cueing myself to remember the start position a couple of moves beforehand.

Many reps of the Mirror forms in progress, Tiger Versus Crane and Black Crane 1. TvC: That spinning flying kick, starting to come along a bit. I added a couple of the next techniques