Sweep day


Nothing says, "Please don’t rape me." like multiple jacketed hollowpoints. -John Fogh

Carlos said to someone today, "I need to order FIVE purple belts." John immediately rounded on me with a big sheet-eating grin on his face. I was like, "No, Rickson Gracie, no…." He mentioned that a group of the other four stripe blues were brainstorming on how to try to avoid promotion. "Stop showing up" of course is the easy way, but nobody likes that one. The other sure shot is "Ask the prof, "When am I going to get my purple belt?"".

The attitude shift at blue belt amuses me. Most people are dying to get their blue. But it’s funny how many high blue belts view purple with all the anticipatory delight with which they would view a ripe case of hemorrhoids.

I said to John, "I have never felt more clueless. I feel more clueless now than I did as a white belt. Now I fully understand the true depth and breadth of my cluelessness."

My prediction is Glenn for sure. Overdue. Ben. Ron. John himself is a probable but not certain. Same for Tom and Lance. Some of the others are good enough, but will probably be made to do a little more time (the other John, Nelson). Ritchie? Sigh. His attendance has slacked off the last few weeks. He’s gotten better as far as being a snot to work with- but I’d like to see him marinate his teamwork skills a little longer before repping this school at purple. Sonia’s been a 4-stripe blue for a while, and I know she’s been getting lots of classes in, so maybe. I haven’t worked with her for a long time, so I don’t know how she’s doing. We don’t have any women above blue right now with the exception of Angela. It would be nice to get some. Nicer still if it’s someone *not me* on the hot seat.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Bellevue. I was/am so unbelieveably sore from yesterday. The primary issue is that some invisible tormenter is standing behind me boring an invisible electric drill right between my shoulderblades. But pretty much everything hurts.

Today was sweep day.

Lunchtime: butterfly sweep.

Begin with opponent in your butterfly guard, lying on your chest. Bump your hips violently and knife your forearm down your chest to place along opponent’s collarbone. Do not attempt to wedge your hand in there sideways. Which arm to use? Your hand should be on the side that opponent’s nose is on.

Press opponent’s chest up, sit up, scoot butt back. Do not sit flat on your butt- you should be on one cheek with the other knee up. I found myself wedging my knee against the opponent’s chest to make sure he stayed off me.

Keep elbow glued in place- move forearm only to get the underhook and hug the opponent. Grab hir other sleeve to prevent the post. Sweep. If done correctly, the opponent ends up beneath you with one arm crossed over hir own throat, which is lovely (for you).

Drills, positional training. John left me a ton of little circular fingerprint bruises on the insides of my biceps. He was straining and straining to get a sweep on me at one point, and I said, "Hold on a sec. Where is my weight?" He paused a moment, evaluating, and then changed the direction of his efforts- launching me over his head using mostly my own energy to reverse myself. I caught air. He was impressed.

I spent the time between classes soaking in a hot epsom salt bath.

Basics: flower sweep (why on earth is it called that??).

Opponent is in your closed guard. Use both hands to grab one sleeve cuff and pull hir fwd with your legs. At first I was yanking the opponent as far as I could diagonally (that’s kind of how Adrian was demo’ing it), and that was totally not working with my puny body. The arm was now blocking me from getting at the leg (third stepof the technique). It took a lot of experimentation to figure out how to modify. Much less pulling, put opponent on my chest as if s/he’s a baby I’m going to rock to sleep.

Reach over hir shoulder on the side that you stretched the arm. Adrian was grabbing under the opposite armpit. Another snag for me. Even on my moderately-sized partner, it was difficult to reach.More experimentation. Hugging around his neck worked. Yank the side of hir head down on your chest.

Curl up and underhook the leg. Scoot butt around and sweep.

Rotating spars with everyone. Gavin is totally turning into a bucking bronco the moment he feels my knee sneaking in for a KOB. He never lets me get it any more. I’m so proud. The Indian blue belt whose name I can’t pronounce (it has seventeen letters- no kidding, I counted on his attendance card) has great choke defense. I worked really hard for most of the roll trying to get a choke. Just when I had managed to sneak the second arm in and thought "Hallelujah, I think I have it," the buzzer sounded just as I was trying to adjust for the final squeeze.

Study Hall: I was starting to drag. We worked on a basic guard break and pass, and a leg-underhooking sweep from deep half guard.

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