Thursday night three-pack

Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. You may get killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it, cause it’s going to be empty. -Clint Smith

Evening three-pack at Gracie Bellevue.

Basics: like this morning, we did all spars. Like this morning, I was doing fairly decent. Albert is breathing a lot better- not huffing like a steam train any more. I complimented him on it. He also doesn’t seem quite as spazzy (even though I did him first, when he was fresh). I hope those days are behind us. Dave informed me proudly that he remembered to bring his inhaler today. Good boy.

Study Hall: "self defense". First, we paired up (me with Lindsey) and attacked each other, experimenting with different responses. It was somewhat challenging for me to do this from a BJJ mindset. My takedowns against resisting people are not that great. If we find ourselves on the ground, sure, I’ll do BJJ. But honestly, from standing, I’d be a fool to not use Kung Fu. Lindsey was impressed with my throws (but again, she was unresisting, so…), and at least I had *something* for every attack- even if it wasn’t jiu jitsu-y. The only time I froze up was when the prof came over and attacked me. Embarrassing. But I know that I froze because my mind was searching for the "correct" response- the one that I thought he wanted. If I’d felt free to do anything I wanted, I don’t think I would have frozen. At least I hope not.

After we did that for a while, we got in a circle, and Casey attacked us each in turn with a front straight-arm choke. I had to go first. The prof had specified that he wanted us to be doing jiu jitsu and not striking. I brought both arms up and circling around to break the choke, then I kneed him in the belly (okay, not BJJ, but Kung Fu has burned into my brain that you don’t just walk up to somebody and try to throw them- you have to "tenderize" them first), then I reaped him to the ground.

To be more jiu jitsu-y, Carlos suggests grabbing one of the attacker’s elbows and bearing down hard on it, while lunging in and hugging hir around the neck with the other. Throw. Armbar.

During the break, I pounced upon Ben and stealth-choked him, then we rolled around for a while. Then the advanced class was lining up, and I started to run away to the other room. Carlos: "Where you going?" Kitsune: "I wanna do basics class." "Why?" "Cuz my basics need work." He didn’t even dignify that with a reply, just shook his head and pointed to the mat. Damn. What was I going to do, argue? Say no? Especially with the entire class already on the wall staring and listening as we had this exchange. Sigh.

So of course, we were doing two complicated techniques with way too many steps and tricky grip changes which would have been a struggle for me on a GOOD day…. much less on my 4th class of the day, with too much bad stressful stuff going on my life right now to distract my focus. I was just not in good shape to tackle this. I felt bad for Kelly, who got stuck with me tonight. That’s a big part of the reason I don’t like doing these advanced classes… if I am struggling, it’s not just my problem- I’m being a burden to whatever unfortunate soul I’m partnered with.

Standup, judo grips. Step slightly to the side that you have the lapel. Switch lapel grip to cross sleeve cuff grip. Switch elbow grip to lapel grip. Pull opponent in and torque hir elbow up. Reap. I can do a reap, but the prof had to spend almost the entire drill period trying to correct my grips. I was confused, frustrated and irritated. I appreciate that he wants to help me get it right, and spends the time to do so- but the more he rides me, the more flustered I get and the more my brain shuts down. I was PO’ed because this was exactly why I had wanted to go over to the basics class. Sometimes I don’t understand the point Carlos is trying to get across to me (I’m speaking in the broader sense here, not just the grips thing… although I wasn’t getting the grips thing either).

You standing, partner on back with 2 end-of-cuff grips and feet on your hips. You grab hir left lapel with your rt hand, kneel and push your rt elbow and knee into hir left leg to displace the foot. Opponent hooks that foot behind your thigh. You squat further and push hir rt sole to the mat, then tuck right up against hir rump with that rt knee up between you. (Kelly suggested here that I need to remember to keep my weight back and sunk- I was leaning too far forward.)

Next, use a vehement shoulder motion to move that knee to the side. Now both of opponent’s knees are on the same side. Place your rt knee on the mat. You sprawl and crush hir to the mat curled up on hir side. Clear the hooking toe. Tiptoe around to side control.

As you go to side control, it’s a good time to 1)make sure you flatten the opponent out… using the lapel is a good way to manage this, and 2) slide your near hand behind the collar, thumb in. Once you have secured side control, slip your far hand into the collar palm up. Sidle and twist for baseball bat choke. This is the same choke I had been trying repeatedly to get a few weeks ago and failing; this time it was working beautifully- I don’t know why. There was tons of room to torque further, but she was already tapping.

A little positional training starting from the tucked-to-the-rump point.

One roll with Kelly and one with Ted. Managed to stay on top most of the time with Kelly, for a change. I haven’t sparred with her for a while, but she has tended to dominate me positionally. This time I was determined to not end up in her bear-trap closed guard, nor on the bottom. I achieved that, but couldn’t accomplish a whole lot. We were mostly straining against each other with me sprawled on top and both of us clinging for dear life to our respective positions.

Ted: I didn’t do very well. Stayed on top for a while, but then found myself on the bottom and was stuck down there for the duration.

Wowza… I am just too tired to blog after these Thursday blitzes… but if I don’t write notes on what we did, by morning it will be gone.

Ian has his purple belt!


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