Two guys and a strap

Words create sentences, sentences create paragraphs, sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe. Imagine, if you like, Frankenstein’s monster on its slab. Here comes lightning- not from the sky, but from a humble paragraph of English words. Maybe it’s the first really good paragraph you ever wrote, something so fragile and yet full of possibility that you are frightened. You feel as Victor Frankenstein must have when the dead conglomeration of sewn-together spare parts suddenly opened its watery yellow eyes. _Oh my Rickson Gracie, it’s breathing,_ you realize. _Maybe it’s even thinking. What in hell’s name do I do next?_
-Stephen King

Wednesday: power lifting.

A new washer and dryer have been installed. The old washer was supposed to have been left in the entryway by the movers, so that it could be taken to the storage unit. Imagine my surprise when I arrive to find it sitting outside on the deck in the rain.

Kitsune: ((In dismay))"Why is it outside?"
Housemate: "I dunno."
Kitsune: ((exasperated wordless stare))
Housemate: "It took two guys and a strap to move it."

{translation: "Don’t even ask me to help try to move it"}

So I moved it myself. If it took two guys and a strap, maybe I’m in the wrong line of work.

WIP: I edited my posted sections and removed a crap ton of "passive" language. I didn’t really realize how bad I am about that. At this point, trying to change that aspect of my writing during the process is going to cripple me to an even slower crawl than I’m already at…. so the plan is to do a focused first and second edit just for that. First edit: eliminate most of the was’es. Second edit: look for more instances of passive writing- but it looks like about 70% of my crime is the dreaded WAS.

I still have way too many had’s. I don’t know how to fix that.

While I was at it, I also found several more little extraneous bits that didn’t seem to add to the narrative, so I chopped them.


Lunchtime BJJ, GB Belle. Today I got kimura’ed by a Pan Ams medalist!

Opponent on hir back with feet in your hips, you standing. Pass guard to KOB. Opponent pushes at your knee. You kimura.

Notes for me: Grab the wrist with all fingers and thumb together. I keep wanting to have the thumb on the other side- which increases chance of injury (to me) as well as makes me slower (since I now have to readjust my grip before I can complete the technique). Furthermore, having my thumb on the other side does not do anything for me anyway (do I really think I’m going to be able to hold hir there like that?)

Also: Move further down on the opponent’s body and try to pin hir with the knees before beginning to crank the arm. Hold the arm up higher and pressed against my chest- but don’t pull it so high that that elbow is not bent sufficiantly. Turn my torso- don’t just push with the arms.

Next: same setup, only instead of kimura, finish with an armbar. One foot behind opponent’s shoulder blade; pants grip. DON’T LET GO OF THE PANTS!!!!! (Yep, I’m still doing it)

Three spars, three minutes each, different partners. Begin sitting back to back.

I notice that I am getting faster at setting up the Del a Riva guard- I have to think about it less- even though I was not able to finish it this time.

I also noticed some things that I was not bothering to try because the defeatist in me just assumed that they would not work. This is nothing new… but it is something that needs to be fixed, so noticing it is good.

A little story from PSG

There’s no jiu jitsu in this. Names changed to protect the innocent.


I was on the staff radio at an event, and the facilitator of a major evening drum-centric ritual had locked her keys in the car with all of her drums and other equipment in it.

She had a family member at home Fedex her the spare, and it was supposed to arrive "sometime" during that day. If we were lucky. We were out in the middle of nowhere.

The rit was scheduled for 6pm, and she was semi-hysterical all day long.

She spent the entire morning and afternoon repeatedly calling staff up at the farmhouse and asking if her keys had arrived yet, and repeating with deadly earnestness, "PLEASE call the SECOND they get here. PLEASE. The very second. I really mean it. I’ll send a runner up to get them. This is vitally important. PLEASE. Do you understand?" And tireless repetitive versions of same. (all the staff members have FRS radios on, and all campers in our vicinity can overhear them. Whatever you say on radio is going to be heard by every single staff member as well as about 2/3 of the general festival population. So we were all listening to this all day long.)

On approximately the eight-thousandth rep of her plea, one of the staff at the farmhouse responded, "Oh, yeah- your keys are here. Been here for a while. Want me to bring them down with me when I haul the dinner stuff down to the valley?"

There was dead silence on the radio for a very long, pregnant moment.

You could just feel the entire population of the valley (nearly 2,000 that year) hold its collective breath.

Now, you have to realize that the facilitator, Lou, is a drumming Fire Goddess with a volcanic temper and a positively acid tongue. I was sitting there alone in my tent with my radio, wheezing breathlessly with laughter because I was picturing all three hundred pounds, swirling red muumuu and wild arm-length afro hair of her, considering and discarding various responses and trying to come up with one that was okay to say over the air (again, most of the camp was listening, and anyone who knew Lou was holding their breath waiting for the violent shitstorm to unleash). The longer the silence stretched, the harder I was laughing.

A very, very long moment later, she finally said, in a very carefully neutral and quiet voice, "No, Fran, actually that’s not okay. I’m sending someone up to get them right now."

Greedy Business

You need to distinguish between damage and distraction.
If you let yourself get distracted, it works. And if it is novel, people tend to get distracted. -Rory Miller

Okay, I am TOTALLY, thoroughly and superbly pissed off.

I showed up today in my french vanilla gi. Carlos had said yesterday that the white one was okay. I was ready to say to Casey, "You happy now??!??" Well, he still wasn’t happy. He says I can’t even wear the white one. It’s a white gi, with Gracie Barra patches all over it- but that’s STILL not good enough. Because it is not a white gi with Gracie patches all over it that was bought from the Gracie Barra Evil Overlord Monopoly.

I am now down to *one* acceptable gi (WTF am I supposed to do when I take more than one class in a day? Wear it dirty? Wear it wet?) with an atrocious fit that I’m not sure can be altered- and even if it can, it’s going to involve taking the big back patches off and then sewing them back on, which will cost a mint. If they think I’m ever going to compete in that thing, they’re nuts.

ATM I am *way* too torqued off to even consider coughing up more money to the "You are not a student to us, just a dollar sign" GB (the GB stands for "greedy business" in case you ever wondered) conglomerate. But even if I end up caving on this in the long run, I swear to Sweet Baby Kron Gracie I will quit before I let them put me in one of those GB rashies- they are all made by MANTOS. Yes, the porno-ad company. I wouldn’t take one of their products as a gift, and run around wearing the Mantos name on my body. Hell will freeze over first.

Did I mention that I’m really really irritated??!? Seriously.

Lunchtime BJJ, Greedy Business Sea. Rolled a bit with Crisanne to warm up; had her do the upa. She seemed to have it down, so I started pressing her to do it faster- within three seconds of the mount. Also rolled a bit with Casey, who is kissing up to me because he knows I’m annoyed (although I refrained from describing in depth to him exactly *HOW* annoyed), and doesn’t want me to hate him.

Standup: Judo grips, Yank down on the lapel side while tapping sole of foot below knee, then yank down on sleeve side while stepping hip to hip and reaping. Setup only. 40 reps. "Relax" says Angela.

Shoulder throw, opponent’s bicep locked between your bicep and forearm (NOT beside your neck). Make sure to turn the ENTIRE 180 degrees. My biggest challenge continues to be having the feet planted parallel between opponent’s feet and close enough together. Today I was managing both turn and positioning, but with way too many little time-consuming adjustment steps. 40 reps.

Cross step, turn 180, kick back with the same foot you cross-stepped with, pull opponent over your leg for takedown. 40 reps.

Pass half guard: opponent on hir back, you standing at hir feet with one lapel grip and one leg cuff grip. With your trapped leg, push knee fwd into back of opponent’s thigh. Then kick it back like a mule. Set it down beside opponent’s ribs. Stick your other leg out. KOB. A million reps. (Well, maybe not a million, but it felt like a million)

Same setup, only after you pass half guard, opponent turn in to you. With the same leg that you were KOB’ing with, stick that one straight out back. Now place your shoulder on opponent and carwheel over to hir back. Do not at any point let go of those pants cuffs. Like the previous technique, once you are passed, your arms are in an X.

Angela is going to be fighting Sijara Eubanks again this year, it looks like. And she is excited about it! She has a great attitude.

22 people from GB Seattle are registered for PanAms. Last year it was only 10.

The blue and white Borg

If you teach self defense as primarily a physical skill, you limit the chances for success for the less-physical students, who are far more likely to be victimized anyway.- Rory Miller

Well, it’s finally come to a head. They’ve segued from telling to me to not wear my green and brown gi’s to Gracie’s any more to _TELLING_ me to _NOT_ wear my green and brown gi’s any more. I am so annoyed. This is such a dumb rule, perpetrated for the sole cause of shaking students (I mean PROFIT GENERATING UNITS) down for more money. I don’t really blame my teachers; I blame the Borg-esque GB marketing machine juggernaut. Casey was as nice about delivering the news as he could be. But the fact remains, I’d rather juggle skunks than buy a GB gi, solely on principle. Which leaves me with a bare 2 acceptable uniforms, one of which fits so crappily that it is a distinct and very irritating tactical handicap. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Lunchtime BJJ at GB Belle. Happy Birthday Nelson!

All sparring. Doug, Prof Carlos, Casey, Ross.

I tried a footlock on Carlos; I am *still* not getting the job done. Today, choked too far up on the leg. I was also reprimanded for trying to escape same by rolling onto my stomach. As I have been told numerous times before, grab the lapel and put the foot on the mat. Also: beware the wristlock when trying to do gi chokes from guard. There really was no permutation of gi choke that I could come up with, which the prof could not wristlock me from.

Another thing he did today that he has done before- leave himself open for a triangle from guard, which I totally did not even see, because I never try triangles. He wants me to stop trying the same selection of tricks that I always do. He pretty much knew what I was going to do in every situation- and he doesn’t even work with me nearly as often as a lot of other people do.

At least when he got to his feet, I tried to jump guard instead of fighting fruitlessly for the takedown. Not that that worked either, har har. But at least I failed in a DIFFERENT matter this time.

Note: trying to do de la Riva, esp on *HIM*- pull my elbow in. Otherwise he will jointlock me. Elbow in, then pull lapel so that opponent’s head is DOWN.

He discussed the "work smarter, not harder" principle- he wants me to work harder on seeing and going for opportunities that are presented. In fact he had a lot of advice today, and I’m not sure I absorbed even half of it.

Ross is improving by leaps and bounds. His pressure from the top is very good. I praised the way he uses even the side of his face to press me down hard. I also caught him pulling out a nice underhook- "Wait! Don’t do that! You always do that. Keep that underhook."


If you see the situation clearly enough, you can almost always cheat from the other person’s point of view. You can almost always break rules that are only rules that exist in the other person’s head. And that is a huge advantage. -Rory Miller

Sunday: Mulched the roof. Yes, that’s right. First, removal of fallen boughs; then, raking the leaves and accumulated mulch off the shingles; and just for extra yuks, scooping gutters. Still have to clean up the mess around the porch- will do that another day. Ditto, the crap from the rear incline mostly went onto the back porch roof. That is already in the process of collapsing and cannot be walked on. I may be able to get some of it from the ground with the stepladder. Another day.

I had to take off my shoes and socks to do the steepest parts, and haul myself up to the apex by hooking the rake head over the edge and using it to pull myself up. I am the only physically able person in this household who is fit for manual labor, so I get all this sort of fun stuff. And yes, I had a (mini) Dr Pepper when I was done- so there.

Monday lunchtime BJJ, GB Sea. No caffeine this morning. I felt limp.

I jumped on Crisanne before class, and taught her how to defend each of the things I had done to her last week in the mock tournament. In said tournament, she had also spent a long time trying fruitlessly to cross collar choke me, so I explained why that hadn’t been working out for her. Now I feel better, like I sort of made up for tooling her like that.

Standup: deflect fireman’s kick (while turning at the hips), return with an elbow strike. This was just different enough from the Shaolin Black Crane version to royally screw me up. Carlos came over to correct me, shaking his head and saying, "Purple belt, purple belt…." I hate it when he does that… my insecurity immediately starts wailing that he must be regretting my promotion.

Guard pass: opponent has same-side sleeve cuff and cross-lapel grip. You grip hir lapels on the side that s/he has YOUR lapel, and pull your elbow in to constrict hir arm. With the other hand, grab hir pants at the hip. Open your own knee on the pants-grip side, push hir thigh to the mat. back out. KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT and head up (yes, you can do this even if you’re bent at the waist). Let go the lapel grip, underhook thigh, grab lapel again, stack, pass.

Drilled with Z. He is tiny, but has awesome pressure when he stacks this pass.

One roll with Lindsey and one with Bryan. I ended up getting one arm trapped over my own body with Bryan, even though I was paying attention to *NOT* letting this happen, since it had happened repeatedly on Friday. Lindsey- freakishly flexible. Very very good at replacing guard- she just folds up and sticks her knees back in there, from any position, no matter how you try to resist.