Be my hero


One we learn how to use adversity to our advantage, we can manufacture the helpful growth opportunity without actual danger or injury. -Josh Waitzkin, The Art Of Learning

Friday evening Old Farts’ class at GB Bellevue.

For some bizarre reason, they have scheduled an Old Farts’ class in Seattle in THE SAME TIME SLOT. Now I know some people aren’t willing to make the commute, but some are- so why would you want to split your pool; why not have the two classes on different evenings??? Each class would be larger, and some people could come to BOTH. I would.

Hip throw setups. I was working with Peter (not gigondo-purple belt Peter, white belt Peter), and he’s the first training partner (teachers excluded) in my entire martial arts history to whom I have not had to say, "You’re going to have to squat lower." He apparently is a judo guy.

Bear hug from behind. Bring forearms up and drop body a bit to make a little room. Grab opponent’s hands and try to keep them locked together on your solar plex. Maneuver your lower body to the side so that your pubic bone is close to oppnent’s hipbone. One of your feet should be in front of opponent’s feet; one behind. ("Dog humping leg" position)

Now- continuing to keep opponent’s arm(s) if you can- take the knee that’s in the front of hir and drop it to the mat between hir feet. Roll over your shoulder, taking opponent with you. When hir back hits the mat, you will be on top, but your back will be to hir- so you have to continue the roll and end in side mount.

If you do it right, there are three possible bonuses: 1)As soon as opponent’s back hits the mat, your own shoulder blade is planted on hir chest and your weight can press down to pin hir there while you change position. 2)As you’re getting into side mount, you are nicely positioned to trap opponent’s near arm right under your arm and on top of your thigh. Lovely segue to armbar or multiple other sub possibilities. 3)As you are getting into side mount, you are also nicely positioned to whack the opponent in the head with your elbow as you turn to your belly. In fact, you are *so* nicely positioned to do this, that specific care has to be taken to *NOT* do so, should this be your training buddy or BJJ comp opponent as opposed to a Bad Guy.

Next technique: You have closed guard. Pull opponent fwd with your legs, while bringing your arms to your chest, up and around to trap one of hir arms in your armpit. (don’t forget to move your head out of the way… in fact I raised my hand in class to suggest this, when Doug did not mention it. I don’t think I’ve been in a class *YET* where some pair did not bonk their foreheads together doing this maneuver).

Now: with the arm that you have used to pin opponent’s arm, use your hand to sieze hir opposite lapel. Don’t yank it taught, because your next move is to use your OTHER hand to reach behind hir neck and stick your thumb in the collar right at the tag.

Now whip THAT arm over hir head and pull. Beauteous choke! Peter was tapping almost immediately, while I still had miles of room to tighten up more. When he did it to me, I noticed that it is kind of sneaky in that it doesn’t *seem* dangerous until you’re already tapping. I like this one.

Peter is going to give me a swelled head. He thinks I’m Rickson Gracie. He kept showering me with compliments. He actually told me tonight that I’m his hero. Hee hee. He’s not trying to come on to me, either- he’s married. It seems that he’s just inspired that someone tiny and older (he is also tiny and older) can make purple around here.

A short roll with Prof Carlos (the young bucks were having an open mat in the other room). He was going light because he has a hand injury. I got him in closed guard at one point and exclaimed, "LOOK- my closed guard is relaxed!!" He cracked up, and asked me how it’s working out for me. I told him that I haven’t had enough chance to practice with it as of yet, but look- I’m trying! I also tried to footlock him. I need to be gripping further up on the toes than I am wont to do. When Carlos corrected my grip, I was like, "Geeze, it feels like I’m going to break your toes." So he did it to me, and weirdly enough the pressure is in the top center of the foot, not the toes at all.

Then a roll with Ross, and I tapped him over and over and over without working too hard- while giving suggestions. He gave me one KOB, and I started counting loudly- after that he remembered to scoot out immediately. He pulled me into his guard 4 times with his rt leg going down bent on the mat, whereupon I cruised right overtop it and passed. The 5th time he did it, I stopped and asked what he was trying to do. Turns out he did not have a solid plan, so I said, "Okay, you’ve done exactly this same thing 4 times now, and 4 times I have immediately passed in the exact same fashion- so that is not working for you; do *something* different." So he put me in butterfly guard instead, and that worked better for him. He is also giving me way too much room when he is trying to get on top- I had enough room to dance the cha cha before easily replacing guard- so I told himto either get closer, be heavier, or get into a different position.

After that, all the young bucks were sitting on the wall played out, and none of them was up for another roll (sniff). So I went back over to the Old Farts’ side, and started rolling with a big blue belt, but before we had done more than a few minutes, Doug was flicking the light switch on and off to tell us to GTFO.

I still had energy left, so I went over to Sleeper, hoping to catch the last little bit of open mat. But no one was there. (sniff).

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