James’ juicy neck


Chi, outlaw Taoist wanted in vain by the inquisition of Western science; the breath of a God forgotten in a mortal body; nightmare of the laws of physics; Zen warrior of our will; fuel in the engine of the universe. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

I almost didn’t go in tonight because of the twisted ankle, but I wanted to work it some…. I knew I just needed to not do anything stupid. I wore the brace and stayed strictly on the ground. It was an open mat, which is probably a good thing.

I rolled a bit with Casey (no jackets) and then for a long time with James (also no jackets). I seemed to be doing fairly okay with James, even though he’s big and muscular and technical. Very shortly I found myself zeroing in with razor hyperfocus on his succulent neck. Guillotines, head-and-arm chokes, RNC, baseball bat. I was also using head control a lot- pushing his head to the mat, hanging on the back on his neck.

He pointed out that sometimes when I slap a guillotine on, I don’t fully commit to jumping closed guard. It’s true. Reason A) I play almost no closed guard… but at a tournament, it may be reasonable to expect that I might be fighting people that I can actually get my guard closed around. There’s a shocking notion. Reason B) If I’m not positive that the guillotine is on really well, I don’t want to jump guard because I know that if it fails, I’m on the bottom- and I suck on the bottom, so I do **NOT** want to be on the bottom. But I need to be mindful of this tendency in myself, and make up my damn mind if I’m going to jump guard or not- and if I am, to do it wholeheartedly.

I had really been hoping to get in more rolling time with women this week… but I think that long session with James was really valuable. He was being really nice and helpful even though I was grinding terribly all over his neck. I’ll have to thank him personally if I win anything tomorrow.

I can’t help but notice there’s a T-rex on your crotch.


I expect the threat to have the advantage in size and strength; or to be crazy (mental instability or on drugs). Because almost all of them were one or the other. I think it makes sense, since you’d have to be crazy to routinely attack bigger and stronger people. –Rory Miller


Hallelujua! This is gratifying, in light of the fact that I wanted some carbs so badly yesterday that I was on the verge of tears. I went to Safeway (hungry and grumpy) and I stood there in front of the freezer case and stared at the creamy white cheddar baked mac and cheese for some time, while people streamed past and gave me odd looks. Then I bought eggs and mushrooms and went home and cooked a scramble.

I’m wondering if I should register for no-gi only at the next Proving Grounds (sub only) in Dec.

It feels very pressure-y to me to fight blue belts in tournaments. If I blow through them, they will (rightfully) resent that they had to deal with me in their bracket- and if they blow through *ME*, that’s embarrassing in front of all those people and all my teachers. (Go ahead, call me insecure, I know.) Also, at that small tournament, there was just not enough time to recover from the gi fights before having to go back in the ring for no-gi. You have worry about those looooooooooooong matches when it’s sub-only. It can get hairy.

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

I can’t believe I waited till the frackin’ morning before the comp to twist my ankle. I haven’t had any injuries of note for months, and I’ve been training a lot lately. Well, I twisted my ankle this morning doing drills. To be perfectly honest, I twisted it while trotting around to my partner’s feet end between guard pass reps. It doesn’t seem very bad ATM, but I wonder what it will be like in the morning. If nothing else, it’s distracting and I’m going to worry that it might collapse on me- in particular during no-gi standup. I doubt it will be an issue once we’re on the ground- especially since I won’t be doing any spider guard or DLR. Argh. At least I was able to locate my brace.

Stealing Julia’s idea, I painted my toenails and fingernails with the five belt colors. The Prof was the only one who noticed… but he got a huge kick out of it.

As often happens on Friday, we did mutitudes of fast drills. Spinning armbar from side control. “Slide into home” guard pass. Del a Riva pass. I was having a lot of trouble with the DLR pass, trying to clear my partner’s foot off my knee. He had long legs, and to keep ahold of the lapel as instructed, I had to bend far over and strain.

My partner was a nice white belt fellow named Luis. My very first rep of my very first drill (the spinning armbar), I kicked the poor lad in the head. God, sometimes you just want to slouch off the mat and call it a wrap when the very first thing you do goes like that.

Because all three of today’s drills involve to some extent zooming your crotch toward your drilling partner’s face, it wasn’t long before I spied something a little peculiar. Several reps later I was able to confirm that it was indeed a Sharpie petroglyph of a dinosaur- complete with a talking-balloon that said “Raaaawwr!” on the bottom edge of Luis’ gi tail where- when the gi was tied- it would lay right over his groin.

During the water break, I said to him, “By the way…. I can’t help but notice that you have a T-rex on your crotch. Is there a story behind this?” Apparently if there was one, he didn’t want to share, because all he would say is that his roommate graffiti’ed his gi. I had to tease him about that a few more times, though. I mean, you have to be ready to take a little ribbing when you come into a dojo with a rampant T-rex on your groin.

“Don’t give me any spazzes!”


When you play for those stakes, social violence is…well, stupid. You understand what the guy wants and if it makes him feel all big and bad, then so what? It’s no problem to you to give him that, because you know what high stakes are. Campfire Tales From Hell

I pinged Lindsay and Chrisanne and Kelly, but none of them could come in and work no-gi with me today. I went in anyway, and Tagir was lurking about, so we rolled no-gi for an hour and then did the combined beginner/advanced class. It was down to a pack of newbie whites, Lance, and us.

Jamie had us do some interesting new exercises. We had to stand on our hands with our feet on the wall (bellies to the wall) and “walk” sideways. The turn our backs to the wall and do it again. It was easy for me to keep my balance, but my biceps got tired quickly. Could also feel core engaging big time.

Del a Riva sweep. Ah, white belts. Mine was having so much trouble lifting his hips up high enough to scoot to the side, and I also had to explain how to avoid breaking one’s shoulder when one is being swept in this way. He still groaned pitifully every time he hit the mat. Poor guy had to be all of 22, if that. I remember how painful it used to be for me, too, before I’d had it done to me a fajillion times and got used to it.

Partner has DLR, you put hand in back of collar and drive into hir with knee, s/he pushes back, you flick trapped leg out and go to side control. You may need to sitback to clear the other leg.

Finally: Same as above, only when you get to side control, partner throws arm over your shoulder. Finish with spinning armbar.

A little positional sparring from DLR, then from side control.

One spar with Tagir, and one with a different white belt (I had said to Jamie, “Don’t give me any spazzes!”). This one was pretty good, although using too much strength (he was skinny enough that I could take it). He was huffing and puffing like an overweight badger. It made him gas quickly. I told him that that was his thing to work on.

A cancellation…. and some TMI


I don’t think conflict is a physical problem most of the time, and even when it is a physical problem, there are minds and social rules and the world involved. The more of those elements you can manipulate skillfully, the better off you are. Sometimes you play the cards, sometimes you play the person and sometimes you play the table. –Rory Miller

Well shazbot- Amanda’s a no-show. There are no other female purple belts registered. My gi bracket is cancelled.

Evening BJJ in Kirkland. I’m giving myself points for effort, but it really just does not work to try to do MA classes the day after working a graveyard shift. I took a Nyquil and did get a few hours of sleep, but it was just not enough. I felt like something on the bottom of someone’s shoe.

Unfortunate timing of hormonal cycles means that this week- today in particular- I have felt as if I had two gigantic, swollen, painful pumpkins sitting on my chest. It seems as if they are taking up the entire room. It hurts just standing still, nevermind being squooshed beneath Izzy’s excellent top pressure. (Sorry for the TMI, men… but you should take this moment to thank the patriarchal deity of your choice that you don’t have this crap to deal with, because it’s terrible.) I really hope I make weight, because another unlovely aspect of this time interval is randomly gaining a few extra pounds of water retention overnight.

Same keylock/armbar/kimura sequence as Monday. For some reason I had the idea that the kimura wants a 90 degree elbow. When you’re doing it flat on the mat, the arm actually can/does go almost straight by the time you start pulling up on the elbow. Cindy notes that I am being sloppy about making sure the opponent’s wrist is pasted to the mat throughout. Also, she recommends “monkey grip” (ie, no thumb). I feel insecure with this grip, but I can’t get a decent grip on 99% of people with the normal grip (their wrists are too big around) so I guess I have nothing to lose.

Flow drill: side control, keylock, backsit with good “kickstand”, front mount, dismount with backsit (mind your kickstand again), side control, keylock, wash, rinse, repeat.

This was cool: From side control, isolate the near arm with your elbow and thigh. Sneak your own gi tail into the hand nearest opponent’s feet. Feed it over opponent’s chest and beside hir neck and grab it with the hand behind hir head. Palm down. Bonus points if you can keep the tail hidden under your cupped hand and/or dig into your opponent’s face to obscure the fact that you’re sneaking it in there.

Now: Give a little tug to snug it up. Mind that your arm around opponent’s head is snug enough that s/he can’t pop hir head out. Now lean away, toward hir feet, making an X shape. Don’t worry about that near arm now, it doesn’t matter. Place forehead to mat beside hir hip (if you even get that far).

A little positional sparring from side control. I was not doing well against Izzy, and feeling more and more exhausted. I had really, really wanted to ask her and Dave to roll with me afterward (no-gi), but I was just limp.

More asymmetrical than ever


Martial arts are one among the many means to come in contact with our perceptive potential. During the practice of martial arts, we go back to a primordial simplicity. No need of drugs, objects, or external substances to help us. We are left alone with our bodies. We don’t have to wait for things to happen, we make them happen. It is like Zen archery or like climbing mountains: we use the body as a takeoff runway for inner skies. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path


Tuesday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. It was pretty amusing to see all the tape and Advil getting passed around before class, among those who are doing the evening training camps.

Standup: opponent throws cross jab. You throw up “Black Crane” type elbow shield and change level. Scoot in and try to get an elbow strike to opponent’s ribs. Then grab for double-leg takedown. Opponent defends by spinning out and grabbing headlock. You grab behind knee and around waist and take down. Now: same headlock escape and armbar as yesterday. Today we grabbed the pants as we sat back for the armbar.

I had some issues with the way that this differed from what we did yesterday. I didn’t like the reaction to the headlock not involving fighting the neck hold at all. I can see that if you take the guy down, most of the danger is past- but if that headlock is on well and good, I’m concerned that he might break my neck or choke me out or otherwise put the screws to me before I can take him down.

Asymmetrical choke, again. I actually got praise for this by Carlos.

King Of The Hill from top side control and then bottom side control. I got really destroyed by everybody today in KOTH. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to get destroyed by Otavio Sousa. Maybe another morning.

Five days out


Unarmed arts only exist for emergencies you didn’t see coming. If you can predict it and plan it and force is unavoidable, it is stupid to go in without a weapon. For that matter, without getting every advantage you can. –Rory Miller

Evening BJJ at Kirkland.

Same techniques we did this morning. Additionally: Keylock, failed keylock to straight armbar, failed straight armbar to kimura. Note that this kimura requires both a switch of handholds and a “standard” motorcycle grip wrist turn.

Positional training from side control.

Then a couple of rolls with Izzy and a couple with Dave (both gi and no-gi with Dave). Dave was being a prince helping me out.

Found out that Izzy has a lengthy judo history. Now I feel a little better about how poorly I am doing against her… she seemed to be catching on scary-quick, and now I know why!!!

I’ve been having a great couple of weeks BJJ-wise, and I wish I could pinpoint why. It’s not that I have been getting more taps or tapping less; in fact the scoring has been on the lower side for me. But I have just been kinda feeling like I sort of know what I’m doing. Wish I could bottle it.

Tournament in five days. I would shank somebody for a piece of garlic bread right now.

Asymmetrical chokes


What’s your opponent’s strength? What will he be relying on? Deny him that. While remembering that, if he’s good, he knows you’re going to try to deny him that, and will be devising ways to prevent you from denying him that- while trying to deny you your strengths too. -Campfire Tales From Hell


Lunchtime BJJ Kirkland.

Standing headlock. Fight the arm at your throat while turning your face into enemy’s ribs. Do not turn face toward crook of elbow.

Place free arm about hir waist. Swing your leg back and go to one knee to put the party on the ground. Side control. If s/he clings to the headlock, grab your own wrist and post on hir face while you posture up to pry it off. Note that to use the full strength of both arms, you want to use the hand on top to clasp the wrist on bottom. Note also that if you are a tiny Kitsune, this may not be sufficient against a behemoth and you may have to resort to some squirming and twisting to pop your head out.

Side control flow drills. SC with gable grip, backsit, front mount, dismount, SC. Rinse, repeat.

Same, only no gable grip- elbow in the ear and opposite hand controlling the hip nearest you.

Asymmetrical choke. Side control with your arm under opponent’s head. Grip gi at far shoulder. I found an ouside grip better- ie, I tended to get too bound up if I tried to grip in the lapel. But you have to be able to keep hir down, so do what you need to do. The arm nearest opponent’s feet, push that under and across your own chest until you can grip behind the collar. Now flip your first forearm over hir face and choke with forearm. You need to make sure you dig in well under that jawbone, because s/he is going to be straining hir chin down as soon as s/he realizes what you’re doing.

Some positional sparring from side control.

A roll with the new guy (I think he’s another “John”- I need to retain his name, because he’s a really nice guy. He uses a lot of muscle, but he is aware of it and chagrined by it. He’s very polite. He seems to be having a lot of fun. I hope he stays.) and one with Cindy (no-gi, with copious standup). Almost got a tomoe nage on the new guy- it wasn’t very clean and I couldn’t get on top after, but I did manage to loft him over. Too bad- it only works on each new person once, so I blew it!

It was much fun to watch Cindy rolling with the new guy, while I heckled from the sidelines.

“You’re breaking all the rules!”


Ecstasy is not a faraway, unreachable dimension. It is right here, just a few feet away from the sleep of the senses. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path


Saturday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

I had forgotten about the training camp… the visiting black belt who is doing the training camp was running basics class. I hid in the locker room because if I’d gone out to sit by the mat and watch, Rodrigo would have insisted I go on the mat even though I didn’t pay for the training camp, and I’m not fishing for charity.

I had a good stretching session, did some Tai Chi short form, then Chen Dao and Catherine Dao with a coat hanger substituting for the dao.

Competition class. Positional sparring. I wasn’t doing that great, but I also had a very challenging group of people to deal with. Rodrigo divided us up into pods by size and rank, and I was in the “Small But Mighty” group- Suranjan, Lindsey, Z, Coach Dynamo, a couple of others, but no easy marks.

I love watching Z and Suranjan fight- I told Lindsey that they look like a couple of overcaffeinated ferrets. With ten legs apiece. And rabies. In a clothes dryer set on Fast Spin. They just whirl in a blurred little furious ball and you can hardly even follow the action.

One long roll with a Small But Mighty blue belt that I’m not familiar with. I spent almost the entire time struggling to pass his guard, with a couple of brief intervals where I found myself on the bottom and he was passing *my* guard. My guard passes are decent- but damn, he played excellent guard.

Then I got Cindy, who had just come in and was nice and fresh. It quickly became apparent the The Move Of The Day was the crucifix. Before long, my objective of “survive” became “try to last thirty seconds without finding yourself crucifixed.” We did some standup, too (no-gi). I feel so intimidated trying to do standup with Cindy. I felt like I was doing really terrible overall, but she told me I was good. It really is impossible to tell how I’m doing when I’m rolling with Cindy…. I just know that lying on the bottom like a possum is bad.

Turtle Drum. This was interesting. I walked in and set my stuff down, and immediately Jen pounces on me because my rug is too close to the altar and there is too much water in my mug (!). “You’re breaking all the rules!” I was aghast. I shoved my rug back against the wall and dumped half the water into a plant (this was a mug of water with a little floating turtle candle in it, for the altar). “But if we don’t get that many people, you’ll need to be closer in than that.” “In that case, I’ll move.” “Oh, do whatever you want.” She flaps her hands and walks away.

Five minutes later, here she is again: “Wow, why did I just jump down your throat like that? Guess it’s turned into a knee-jerk reaction whenever I see you in here, ha ha.”

What the hell????!?!? We had a whole freaking encounter session about her cutting me down with her criticism to the point that I didn’t even want to be a facilitator for this event any more. She wants me to come back and run this shindig- ideally next month- but within sixty seconds of my entering the building as a mere participant, she’s all up my butt. And the most bizarre part of that was not even questioning the amount of water in my mug, it was the fact that I could see that she was wrestling with herself to try to narrow my list of sins to just those two…. she, like, visibly bit her tongue and stopped herself after the “rug” and “water”. What is going on here? Is she subconsciously threatened by me? Is she a drama whore? Is this just how she reacts to stress? Are we really stuck in this dynamic? I don’t want to deal with that from her while I’m trying to run a big public event. That will freak me out.

She also did some of the same things tonight that she raked me over the coals for not doing: she did almost no closing at the end (called quarters at the beginning but did not close them at the end; if you’re going to do one, you really should do both), and didn’t shill for money, which was the biggest thing we clashed about that last time.

Otherwise: I had brought the “Tom Ox” drum for the first time, and I think it did well. Also, Tiala (doumbek)- had one very nice song with that- egg shaker, water drum, double woodblock, and the large-size ocarina. It turned out to be a flutey and whistley night. That was mostly really nice, although two or three of them did get a little out of hand a couple of times. I had never used the ocarina here before, but when everybody was making a big flute section, I gave it a try. At first it seemed like it was not in a compatible key, but I went up an octave and found a five-note sequence that seemed to harmonize well.

There was quite a bit of toning and chanting, which people seem to really enjoy, so I’m always happy to see that (and help it along). Some dancing, which to me is also a good indicator of a drum circle going well.

Jen was unhappy with the entire schmeer musically. Thekla also felt that there was some weirdness here and there. I thought it went fine. (And oftentimes, even when the more experienced people at a drum circle think it was a disaster, the newbies still had a blast.)

I was pretty much resolved to go back and try facilitating a Turtle Drum again, but now I’m vascillating (again). I’m not sure if I can deal in a constructive manner with having Jen riding my ass and undermining my confidence while I’m trying to focus on leading a group ritual (which is nervewracking enough when you *don’t* have an authority figure looming over you with a scorecard in her hand).

Having her experience a completely different eval of the energy than I did makes me question my own ability to read the circle. I might have been tempted to write it off as more clash-dynamic if Thekla had not mentioned something “off” as well. Think I will make an open-ended request for participant feedback on the Facebook group (If my internet connection ever comes up again… sigh).
Sun: 128.5

I spent part of the day in the hospital lobby with my laptop and a bag of candy corn, because internet is still down at my place. The Facebook feedback about TD is very positive. Jen bought up the fact that she dropped the ball on the closing. She feels that there was an out-of-control level of “catharsis” going on. I remarked that I think a certain level of “catharsis” is inevitable for an event that close to Samhain, with the theme of “Release into the Beauty of Darkness”, and a few participants had also created a lovely and powerful altar to those who have gone ahead. What do you expect? Kittens and Tinkerbell? I didn’t percieve it as having gotten out of hand.

I ranted some more on Facebook/blogs/forums about Schultz/Maldonado and LI, and got some conversations and shares among my own contacts on it, so that’s a good thing.

Bree sent me photos of three big bruises that I gave her in class the other day.


I should mention- just in case I turn up dead- that the assassin songbird is back. Phock, phock, phock, against the window. He wakes me up every morning at the crack of dawn and comes back periodically all day long to fling himself tirelessly against the glass. Either constant practice at flinging yourself against window glass is like most other things and you get better with more reps, or he’s flitting off to the gym and getting in a little Crossfit between kamikaze bouts- because he’s getting better. The inital soft thumps have turned into hard, sharp raps- to the point that I periodically go downstairs to see if he’s managed to crack the window yet. He’s also figured out that if he goes to the little north-side window, there is some ivy he can perch on and chain his phocks so as to get several blows in succession. So maybe he’s not *quite* as dumb as he seems, or maybe he got this suggestion from his asassin decoder ring. I wonder who put out the hit on me, and for how much.

The tangled web we weave


Stacking: a skilled fighter will use many things in combination. Strikes and gouges can both set up a throw and do damage during the execution. You can lock a limb while sweeping a leg. You can use a lock to slam the threat into a corner or over a coffee table. It’s all good. –Rory Miller

Fri: 128. Okay, so maybe it’s a LITTLE funny.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: Judo grips. Push and pull back and forth a few times to make foe step back and forth. Then as s/he is stepping forward with the foot on your elbow-grip side, pull DOWN with the elbow grip and UP with the lapel grip as you use your same-side foot to sweep opponent’s ankle between the two of you. You want to do this very suddenly, after s/he has committed hir weight to the step but before hir foot is down. (Note: stupid side is phenomenally stupid.)

Now: Top side control. Use knee to isolate the arm. Go for KOB, but it’s a trap!!!!!! As opponent puts hand on your knee, you pin it to hir belt. That knee you have on hir belly, stretch it all the way behind you and then sweep it in a huge glorious circle around to stick your foot behind opponent’s neck. You are going OVER TOP of hir arm. As you put your foot behind the neck, grab your own ankle with the other hand.

(Note: as you do this sweeping circular motion, you can also yank the opponent’s head and shoulders up a bit to make it easier to stuff your foot in there. If s/he has turned toward you a little in order to try to shrimp out from under your KOB, this will also make your life easier. Thank you very much.)

Now roll. DO NOT LET GO OF YOUR ANKLE!!!! Place your other foot on opponent’s hip. Opponent is probably helping you at this juncture because s/he has now realized your dastardly plot, and is trying to get postured to defend the triangle.

As long as you have kept that ankle, you ought to be able to complete your adjustments in a leisurely fashion.

You can also finish the triangle without rolling if you wish.

Opponent is in turtle, you sprawled on top N/S. Place left arm against the left side of hir head and scoot to that side. As you are sinking the crossface, go ahead and secure a grip on hir OPPOSITE bicep.

Now reach under hir with your free arm and hug both hir biceps. Pull hir arms towards you and dump hir on the mat on hir back. If you stay nice and tight, and focus on placing your kneeling thigh under hir biceps, you can keep those arms trapped- which is a great position from which to do all sorts of mischief to bring about a finish.

Finally: gi choke from closed guard. Break opponent’s posture and grips and lock hir right bicep under your left armpit. Linger there at smooching distance while you get the fingers of that same hand into hir opposite lapel (you can use your other hand to feed it if you need to). Don’t tighten it up to the point that you don’t have enough slack for the next step: stick the thumb of your right hand into the back of the collar right at the tag. Now whip your forearm over hir head and choke.

One roll with Daniel, one with Ron, one with the visiting black belt.

Ron seemed to be doing some catch and release, to the point where I was like, “Come on, finish your subs. Tap me, dammit. I’m competing next week.” He replied, “I’m ALWAYS trying to tap you, Kitsune.” He was also doing a lot of inverted guard. I sprawled heavy on his face (sorry Ron) and used his gi tails to wrap up his shoulders and neck. I did not have a cohesive plan with that- my brain isn’t that geometrically clever- but I did manage to get him so tied up that he found himself unable to transition into any of the nasty little tricks that he likes to set up from inverted guard. As we panted there with our faces about two millimeters apart, and I watched him try to move one way and then the other while dismay began to creep into his eyes, I whispered, “Oh, the tangled webs we weave.”

So after two ten-minute rolls with Daniel and Ron that were tons of fun, Doug goes to put Mario with the visiting black belt, and Carlos stops him. “He’s been training hard all day. Geef heem a break. Let heem go weeth Keetsune.”

I couldn’t decide whether to be insulted or not. On the one hand: Sparring me is apparently considered a “break” or at least markedly less work than sparring Mario, who is the same rank (taller and heavier, but it’s not like he’s a grizzly or anything). On the other hand, since Carlos is the one who is ranking me, one would think he wouldn’t want me to roll with his buddy if he thinks said buddy will pull him aside after class and ask him, “Dude, what kind of bad acid trip were you on when you gave that chick a purple belt????”

So anyway, I fight the visiting black belt- who is a smaller-size guy and turned out to be great fun. He was letting me work some- even let me have a choke tap. I seemed to be rolling pretty well, and I got the sense that he didn’t think I sucked. He also gave me a split lip, but it was well worth it.

It was a fun night of training.

Public service message: Paul Thomas Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing MMA school (Katy, Texas) has indicated that Nick Schultz (the guy who raped a teammate at TLI and left her semiconscious on a cement parking lot in the middle of a winter night) is welcome to come back and train there (he has trained at Paul Thomas before). Please help spread the word that Paul Thomas Jiu Jitsu Kickboxing MMA welcomes dangerous and immoral asswipes onto its mats to troll for their next victims among its students and their families. Please also indulge me as I will be using this blog on an ongoing basis to publicize schools and sponsors who support rapists. We need to get this out into the light where everyone can see.

An hour of Lindsey


Systems talk about chi, intent, fa-jing, or some other “magical” effect, and the desperate seeker (who if he had just picked something, stuck with it, and put in the required hours of focused practice would be a master) runs from one to another, looking for the magic key to power. He never finds it because he never stays long enough to realize that the secret doesn’t really exist. -Campfire Tales From Hell


Lunchtime BJJ at Bellevue.

Winter training is in one sense worse than summer training…. Carlos comes in in the morning and turns the heater on full blast, and you can feel it roaring and baking on you as you do the “warm-ups”, and halfway through the first round of whatever you’re drilling, you’re ready to sell your soul to anyone who will turn that fucking heater off. I have learned to not grouse about it, though…. if you bitch, Carlos leaves it on even longer.

More side control today.

You are under side control. Place the knee nearest the opponent’s feet against hir ribs (You must remember to do this FIRST). Frame, push, stick that knee in there. Bring your other leg over opponent’s head and armbar.

Positional sparring from side control. Person on top is supposed to skate around, side to side, N/S. I was feeling very low-energy… in part because I was being cooked to death. I was spectacularly inept on the bottom. Some of the guys are very good at catching arms, and I was getting caught with arms over my head and crossed over my chest- moreso as I got more tired and frustrated. I get sloppy when I get frustrated. I did a little better on top.

No-gi open mat. I spent a full hour rolling with Lindsey. I very much enjoy rolling with Lindsey. She is also a really valuable person for me to train with leading up to the tourney. She is at 138 right now (although she feels so light!), and is very cool about my doing just a TEENY bit of shoulder pressure and crossfacing, etc. She did catch me in a couple of bad positions twice, although none three times.