Even people who are completely devoted to cultivating a certain discipline often fall into a mental rut, a disengarged lifestyle that implies excellence can be obtained by going through the motions. We lose presence. Then an injury or some other kind of setback thows a wrench into the gears. We are forced to get imaginative. -Josh Waitzkin, The Art Of Learning

Daniel has been promoted to purple!

Friday evening no-gi at Sleeper.

Before class, I tried to drill that takedown from Wednesday on Terry, and couldn’t quite get it- so asked Jalen for help. Still kind of awkward. You are kicking out with the leg on the SAME SIDE as the arm you’re using to hug the head. I was reluctant to commit to the kickout unless I felt the opponent’s balance already compromised. Terry was standing there like an oak tree rooted in cement, and I felt like if I turned my torso to try to complete the takedown, he would still be standing right there and I’d just be dangling off his neck with my arm twisted up and my back to him (no thank you). Getting the opponent to push into you is critical. Then you are bearing down hard on the head/neck as you kick out. Fortunately, Cindy reviewed the technique and had us drill it, so I hope I have it now.

After that, just sparring interspersed with cardio and (ugh) pullups, and those pullup thingies where you begin straight-armed with the handles at your hips.

Jalen, Terry and Axel. Tried to get a footlock on Terry, and *still* can’t manage it. Dagnabbit! I tried the "more relaxed" closed guard a few times. It only worked on Axel, but this was not surprising- Jalen and Terry are good enough that I can’t assume that doing a technique correctly is automatically going to result in it actually WORKING.

I did the toss-over-the-head throw on Jalen and not only *got* it, this time I managed to get into side mount before he could scramble. He knows by now that I’m trying this takedown, so I was surprised that he pushed into me in standup like that. I think he was giving it to me in the hopes of luring me into some trap or other. Well, I got him this time, nice and clean. I got the no-lapel baseball bat on Axel, which is great- I have been wanting to work on that. He tapped. The next time I went for it, I got one arm positioned and then said, "Don’t let me get THIS again," and he defended well.

In the final spar, I had back mount on Terry and a short choke in; it was THIS CLOSE but I was just too damn exhausted to squeeze out the final bit of oomph to finish it. He tapped me with a footlock. He attempted to triangle me a few times, including one that I almost did not escape. I had pressure on his downward thigh and he seemed to be squeezing it to a finish with just the other leg and his arm. I panicked a little and wanted to abandon the thigh and start writhing to escape. But I tried to focus on, "If I control this leg, he can’t finish it (I hope I hope)." I got out. Whew.

Saturday: My glutes feel like there are knives poking into them with every step. It’s those between-spar cardio exercises!

Thursday: One full hour of sparring with Kelly. I was on the bottom a lot. She tapped me about 4 times, I didn’t tap her at all. Had fun, though.

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