I am posting my trip writeup on the BlogSpot version of my blog only, since there is no jiu jitsu in it and it’s likely that only the deathly bored would be remotely interested in it.

I came home with a sinus infection which is forcing me to delay my return to class, but I hope to have some actual BJJ to write about soon.

Virgin Burn

There is no jiu jitsu in this.

PSG writeup soon…. well, eventually…. lots of laundry, sleep and other things to catch up on.

This pic shows two of the Herald Camp teens, Finn and Darien, at their "virgin burn"- ie, spinning actual fire for the first time. So proud of them.

Thursday spars

There is an element of leadership to training as well. Consistently, good leaders push the power down. Every leader you have ever had that you truly respected trusted you. Told you that you were trusted. And you were given as much responsibility as you could handle. Being loud and aggressive and telling people they are wrong may feel like leadership, but from the outside we all recognize that an insecure prick is not a leader.

Back mount escapes

Sign above toilet at Bothell school: "Hope your aim is better when you fight!"

Re: Assassin Songbird……

(Ratgirl): He’s fighting with the ‘bird’ reflected in the glass. I had a crazy robin do that to my bedroom window a few years ago. He would switch Windows as the sun moved and created reflective windows.

Ah, spring!

(Kitsune): It’s been almost a week!!!!!!! When is he going to give up????????

(Kitsune): There is literally a huge pool of guano under the window and a second one under the section of wire opposite the window where he takes his breathers between bouts. He is there ***ALL*** frickin’ day long.

(Ratgirl): Dude! You are killing me! You should really make your living writing 🙂

I think that stupid robin carried on for a couple of weeks. Ear plugs!

Wednesday evening in Bothell.

Back mount escapes. With my extreme shortness, I continue to be challenged by trying to keep my weight on the opponent and still be able to get any traction on the mat. I also cannot reach across myself to fight the leg easily, unless I get my body *way* turned into the opponent first. Also, I cannot lie back on opponents chest and then remove the hook. I need to at least get AHOLD of the foot first, because once I lie back, I can’t reach it.

Positional sparring from back mount.

One spar with Cindy and one with Eric. Cindy pulled her current favorite little trick on me a few times, but I am slowly getting better at seeing it coming and avoiding putting myself into the setup for her.

Eric- same old same old- defensive, on the bottom. I again managed to avoid taps and injuries. I spent most of my time in bottom half guard. He kept getting out (with much work), but I would immediately replace it. I could tell he was getting frustrated (and tired). I think if the time limit was longer, I might eventually be able to wear him out enough to start working… but it would take longer than 8 min.

A Ninja Songbird is after me.

Somebody has contracted a Ninja Songbird to take me out.

A little background……

I’m lying in bed during the day (I often work nights) trying to sleep but being kept awake by a faint but near-constant, rhythmic "phock…..phock….phock….."

I’m morbidly sure that this is a catastrophically expensive plumbing leak somewhere, and I keep getting up to go into the bathroom and kitchen nook to search for it. Of course, every time I get up, I stand there motionless in my jammies for fifteen minutes listening to pristine silence. Back to bed. "Phock………phock…..phock…….."

This goes on for a few days, until I am ready to lose it. Then I go downstairs into the basement to look around. There’s no plumbing down there that I’m aware of. While I’m down there, I happen to notice an LBB (Little Brown Bird) flinging itself against the window. "Phock…." Ah ha.

The back deck is entirely enclosed in chicken wire- a cat playground that the cats decided they didn’t care for, so I haven’t bothered to remove the insulating plastic from the doors for a couple of years. Okay, so the vines have forced a hole(s) in the chicken wire and the wildlife is getting in.

For the next few days….. "Phock….phock….phock….." Every time I go downstairs to peek, that bird is clinging to the wire opposite the dark window. Every few minutes, it flings itself against the glass.

OKay, so it found a little hole somewhere and squeezed in, and now it’s trapped.

Unfortunately, with the door closed off and the entire thing choked with vines, there is no simple way to open the enclosed porch up in order to release the bird or admit a kitsune with a net. Just getting down the slope to have a look around from the outside is an expedition.

I confess I left the matter for a few days, hoping that the bird would find it’s own way out. It’s not like it’s going to starve (hell, the termites alone would feed a battalion of LBB"s).

Several days later, it’s still phocking around out there, so I reluctantly put on my galoshes and armed myself with a pair of wire cutters and crept down the slope.

No LBB. There’s a bird OUTSIDE the enclosure, singing in a tree.

I go back inside, downstairs, and look out the window. There it is, on the wire. "Phock……phock….phock….."

Back outside and down the slope. Crawl all around the enclosure. No bird inside. No discernable hole.

This time, I stood motionless at the corner of the deck for about 15 min, until that LBB In the tree flew into the vines and- a moment later- re-emerged inside the enclosure.


So it can get out anytime it wants- only it usually doesn’t WANT because it is spending all of its time flinging itself against a dark window. I have also seen an LBB battering itself against the upstairs window 1 story above this one on a few occasions this week.

The only conclusion I can draw is that it’s after me.

Seriously, WTF??????!!? What is it doing, and why????

Taking out the trash

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."

Saturday: My tongue is about three sizes too big for my mouth today.

I have never really had need of a mouth guard, but yesterday while getting tossed around by those two huge guys, I bit my tongue in several places. Large white belts can be very JARRING.

Thursday: no-gi followed by "black belt" classes at Bellevue.

No-gi: all spars. I was expecting to get my butt handed to me, since I have done almost zero no-gi since Cindy’s school closed, and it has always been a weak area for me anyway. Surprisingly, I was competitive with everybody (expect for Casey, who is too far above my level for me to expect to be competitive with). I forget that since GB Seattle and its affiliates do very few no-gi classes, most of these folks have had less no-gi experience than I have.

Black belt: Butterfly sweep, then "Taking out the trash."

Opponent starts in your butterfly guard, lying on your torso. Bump up and slide horiz forearm under hir head to brace along collarbone. Use free arm to post on floor, and let the knee on that side lie on the mat. Scoot butt back a little. "Windshield-wiper" your forearm under hir armpit and hug around hir back. On the other side, hug hir arm to your chest so s/he can’t post, and lie down on your side, lifting opponent’s leg with your hooked toe. One s/he is over, you can go to side control, scarf, KOB or front mount.

"The trash": AS you attempt this sweep, opponent places sole on mat just before you lie down. You underhook it and hug the leg to your ear, then rock opponent backward towards hir hip. This is counterintuitive, as most sweeps seem to have you aiming to roll hir toward the shoulder- but s/he has a free post up there, so you have to go for the hip. Care must be taken to extricate your foot (and ideally the arm as well) before we settle.

A little positional sparring from butterfly guard. Kelly and I both kinda suck at butterfy guard, although she did manage to accomplish two sweeps to my goose egg.

A couple of spars. I was competitive with Kelly, although I did apologize to her once for using a weight advantage. I determinedly avoided her legendary "bear trap" closed guard, chanting "No-no-no-no-no-no!" every time she tried to pull me into it, which made her laugh. She started doing the same thing when I went for collar chokes. Neither of us got any taps.

I was down to 135.5 Friday morning. Not going to hit my goal of 132 before departure for Illinois, but 134 seems doable and I’ll be okay with that. It will give me that much more incentive to not go hog wild at the campground- where I won’t have access to a scale (nor to a fridge and microwave, which makes it easier to eat small frequent meals and control portions). I don’t want to find that on my return, I have bounced right back up to 139.