You can’t truly know your limits- physically or emotionally- until you’ve reached them. Go to your limits often enough, however, and they move. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: Cross-grab opponent’s elbow, same-side grab the wrist, PULL hir to you at the same time that you step forward. Step on hir foot to check, go to the clinch on the back (one arm trapped). I couldn’t make myself step on John’s foot (and I sure as hell didn’t want him stepping on mine), so I checked the ankle with the arch.

You are sitting, opponent is standing and grabbing your pants at the knees. Same technique as above, only this time you are standing up, with your inward foot between hir feet and bowing your outward leg…well, outward. Do not place hand on the mat. You can grab the shin just below the knee and use it to help hoist yourself up.

You standing, opponent on hir back with knees up. Go to the side, KOB. Opponent turns on hir side, places hand on your knee, and shrimps. Grab hir wrist, twirl and kimura. Try to keep the person pinched firmly between your shins. John was cheating the turn and shrimp, so I was having to yank him upward by the arm with each rep in order to get him on his side. Which I can do, but that gets exhausting after a while…. and it also requires changing levels again (when Carlos was exhorting us to get and stay low). I was debating asking him to turn more, or just sucking it up… then he complimented me on how I was moving him where I wanted him. So I kept my mouth shut.

Same entry as above, only this time you sink your arm under opponent’s arm, hook, twirl and armbar. DON’T FORGET TO GRAB THE PANTS!!!!! Actually, I didn’t forget that ONCE this time, to my delight. John was intrigued and impressed by the way I seized him high on the arm (just above the elbow) and (again) yanked him up to make sure he was on his side. I explained that you can always slide back down the arm once you’re in position, and grabbing way up there works for no-gi as well as making it less likely that you’ll lose the arm (or find yourself holding only empty sleeve) in gi.

Repetitive drills to exhaustion. There was lots of getting up and getting down again today, which is always hard on John and me as the oldsters.

Found out that Hadley and Amy are both absent from the rolls of the Proving Grounds this weekend. Kind of a bummer. I was asked if I would be willing to do gi as well- there is a blue belt coming from Oregon who has no match. I said okay. She is smaller than me, too. That made me feel guilty. I was 132.5 this morning naked. Every time I went to eact something today, I thought about that blue belt coming all this way and having to fight fat, purple belted me- and I reconsidered. Turns out that guilt is a better motivator to cut than the fear of not making weight.

More side control escapes


Just like animals attack when they perceive fear and weakness, people can unconsciously feel a person’s power and will probably avoid conflict with those who are animated by deep self-confidence. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland.

Pummelling with rotating partners. This is always exhausting, and I was feeling limp before the warmup was done. The comp is next weekend and I’m feeling anxious about making weight. I don’t think I ate enough this morning to get through a BJJ class.

Side control escapes.

Underhook, roll, shrug, and go to side/back before the opponent gets fully settled. My weak point continues to be the shrug, although I am getting faster with the roll (at least till I start getting gassed).

Same thing as training partner moves from your closed guard and tries to pass to side control.

Opponent in top scarf- push face away, swing legs out, hook leg over opponent’s face and push down/sit up. Cindy likes to have us do this back and forth as a continual drill. (Again- exhausting)

Same thing as training partner moves from your closed guard and tries to pass to scarf.

A little positional sparring from 1)locked on side control, and 2)about-to-lock-onto-side-control.

A spar with Dave, one with Cindy, one with a white belt champion Tai Kwon Do guy. Too tired to take on Lamont.

Chrisanne! And Will!


If you are attacked, every second of hesitation is a second of damage. The longer the hesitation lasts, the more damage you take- the less able you become to do anything effective when and if you do act. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Chrisanne!!! 🙂 There were actually *FOUR* women on the mat. Wow.

I attacked Chrisanne and rolled a little with her to warm up.

I didn’t like the grin on Carlos’ face. Sure enough, he was in a really drilly mood.

100 takedown setups. Fast. Then guard passing- eight or ten different guard passes, twenty times each, fast.

Three five-minute spars. Chrisanne, Justin, Alex (the blue belt one, not the humongo almost-brown-belt one).


Evening BJJ in Kirkland. Will!!! I love working with Will.

Side control
. Basic replacement of closed guard.

Side control, top opponent is blocking your hip. Shrimp out, brace matward shin against opponent’s arm. Kick your other foot over hir head. Control the arm. (You may be able to armbar from here.) Square up, foot on hip. Other foot on bicep. (You may be able to triangle from here). This was kind of a complicated sequence… but as always, Will is a sublime partner, and we were able to kick out a bazillion reps, and I even found an omoplata opening.

Dave was a little too enthusiastic with his demo, and almost popped my elbow (the left, of course- the elbow and the shoulder on that side have been intermittantly troublesome for a long time). I managed to bite my tongue on the yelp. I am still finding it very restimulating when I get passed over for more junior students as demo dummy, so it makes me really reluctant to be a baby when I am in the role.

One five-minute spar with Dave. I was pretty tired (and a little headachy) by then, but he seemed impressed with my work- and did not appear to be handing me a bunch of stuff.

Do I get to keep it?


RCW(Revised Code Washington) 9A.16.010

unless a different meaning is plainly required:

(1) “Necessary” means that no reasonably effective alternative to the use of force appeared to exist and that the amount of force used was reasonable to effect the lawful purpose intended.

(2) “Deadly force” means the intentional application of force through the use of firearms or any other means reasonably likely to cause death or serious physical injury.

Sunday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle. I was happy to see Ben and Aussie Dave walk in.

We were all purple belts and up. I was the lowest-ranked person in the room! That was weird. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

As usual: king of the hill from different positions.

During one break, I noticed the black belt and two brown belts having a belt-tying workshop. I asked, “Don’t you guys know how to tie your belts yet?!” Black Belt Nate said, “This method does not come off- ever.” I said, “Next time I roll with you, I’m going to try to take it off!”

So I did. I got his belt off, and asked, “Do I get to keep it?” “Only if you can take it off me *AND* choke me out with it.” I looped the belt around his neck, and then froze up! “I can’t do it… this just feels so….. wrong and disrespectful!”

Belly-banded it for the last few days. Like it better than the clip holster. I can feel the band, but I don’t really notice the bulk or weight of the gun most of the time. Still feel a little stiff, but not as bad as with the holster.

“Oh my God…..”


You and your weapon are a pair. Without your weapon, you are unarmed and can only do what meat can do. Without you, your weapon is an inert lump of metal. Together is all that counts. Comfort isn’t enough for that. It takes work and practice to make that pairing effective. –Rory Miller

Saturday lunchtime no-gi at Kirkland.

Guard passing. Double-unders; tripoding and then wrapping the guy’s wrist behind his own back, the one where you push the guy’s knees to his chin and then leap into front mount when he pushes back; the one where the guy is too smart to push back, so you sit on his thighs, then break-dance to side control.

For the leap-into-front-mount, I warned Dave sternly, “Don’t you thump down on my ribs!” He was completely offended. Then on my first rep, I clubbed him in the head. I am the worst drilling partner ever. I will insult *and* brutalize you.

Positional sparring, pass open guard versus retain open guard. Positional sparring from closed guard. King of the hill starting from some of the guard pass positions we worked on today.

A couple of short spars.

After sparring and water break, as we were lining back up, there happened to be a lull in the chatter just as one of the white belts trudging down the line moaned softly to himself, “Oh my God!” We all broke up laughing.

I went shopping wearing my clip holster. Which was- conveniently- an excuse to go shopping. I had been told that it is common for virgin concealed-carriers to feel like we’re wearing flashing neon sandwich boards that say, ***!!!I HAVE A GUN!!!*** I wonder if I’m the only one who is afraid to bend my leg. I dropped a shirt on the floor and then just stood there looking down at it, thinking, “Damn… what am I suposed to do now?” Ha ha. Visiting a public restroom was also terrifying. I had very carefully positioned the gun in its high-quality, well-fitting holster, and it stayed put quite well, but I just can’t get over the feeling that any moment I’m going to blast my own leg off. I think I may feel better about the belly band. I’m happy to have different options to try. I also stayed cool when two cops came marching into the store looking for a guy they were chasing. I left. Kind of nice to know that if I ran into the guy they were chasing, I was armed.



When you ask someone how he or she gets so much done, the answer usually includes, “I don’t watch TV.” –Richard Moran

Another 2 hours of private handgun instruction. We focused exclusively on revolvers today.

A little review first. Note that I tend to not choke my right hand far up enough on the grip, and I tend to want to leave too much space between the heel of my left hand and the grip. Wrap left hand all the way around the right, press heel of hand in firmly- don’t leave any space- and wrap left thumb overtop all.

Note that different types of revolvers may have different mechanisms for popping the cylinder out. Some revolvers do not offer both single- and double-action.

To pop cylinder out, cup gun in left hand. Operate crane latch with right thumb.

Don’t forget: cock the gun with the LEFT thumb, so you don’t have to move/compromise your grip. It’s easier to cock it when it is in the “down ready” position. Trying to cock while holding it in firing position results in waving the muzzle all over the place.

On the range. We shot several different common concealed carry revolvers. My accuracy and precision are otherworldly. Nothing but bullseye after bullseye, with multiple bullets following one another through the same holes. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I knocked the instructor’s socks off. 😉

I bought a Ruger SP101. It’s a little on the big side for a concealed carry gun, but I prefer a larger, heavier gun for accuracy and less kick. It fits in the front of the belly band beautifully. I was wearing a scrub top and you can’t see it. Slightly behind the rt hip works as well. I felt like this would be very visible, and didn’t even believe the instructor when she said it wasn’t obvious. Had to go in the bathroom and look for myself.

I also bought a leather clip holster, cleaning kit, self defense (hollow point) ammo and some practice ammo, and dummy ammo. On top of the private lessons, my credit card was weeping for mercy. Now is not the time to be throwing money around, but this really needed to be done.

I was planning to go to Doug’s BJJ class tonight, but I got called in to work. Unfortunately there was candy and cookies there. I was 130 this morning.

Brotherhood Of the Banned


The primary skill, rarely practiced or taught, in defense weapons is getting the weapon into play in the first place. Drawing under close assault. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ at Bellevue.

You are seated, opponent standing before you grabbing your pants at the inside of one knee. Cross grab hir arm, use it to pull yourself up and around (Your inside foot remains planted between hir feet, your outside knee bends as you life yourself) and rear clench.

Opponent tries to butterfly sweep you. You post on your outside hand, slide your OTHER SIDE knee between hir legs, then launch backwards into side control (or the back, if s/he fails to roll back, which is difficult for hir due to you trapping hir leg)

Standing pass of DLR guard.

Multiple short spars with the same person (John).


An hour and a half rolling with Kelly, first gi and then no-gi. We started from standup each time- and she took me down with the same wrestling takedown every time; I was unable to either defend or land in a decent position. Needs more work. I stopped trying to hang onto her neck after I once got a really disquieting set of cracking sounds as I went down on my ass. (Wide-eyed: “Are you okay?!!!??” “Yeah.” “If you had closed your eyes and dropped to the mat, I would have had a fuckin’ heart attack.”) I tapped her twice, she tapped me about ten times. I won’t say it wasn’t frustrating- especially the amount of time I spent trapped on the bottom- but she is really good practice for me.

Georgette feels that women have the right to know that they are learning self defense from an accused rapist, and that they have an accused rapist between their legs in jiu jitsu class. The following Facebook page has been created for the purpose of

1)whining that poor sweet Mat Maldonado is being “stalked” and “harrassed” online, and

2)posting photos of Georgette, her work address, her salary, and pleas for people to call her employer.

Um, yeah.

Please visit the page and share your feelings.

A bunch of us have already reported the page to Facebook for harassing Georgette, but please add your complaint to the list.

He is still swaggering about saying that he did nothing wrong… my hope is that the next time he has the opportunity to do what he did, he will think about all this “unjust harassment” that resulted, and decide that it just isn’t worth it.

I am proud to report that two of my awesome teammates- Griff and Casey- as well as myself and a whole bunch of other people have been banned from posting on the page and had all of our comments censored. Please join our Brotherhood Of the Banned. 🙂

Sherdog tucks its tail

I’m sure the thread on this link is going to get deleted pretty quick, so I’ll summarize. The Sherdog site has deleted multiple threads (several thousand posts in all) regarding Lloyd Irvin Jr and his associations with rape. Conversations on that topic are no longer permitted. (!!!) Yeah, you heard me. Apparently he and/or his cronies started whining threats about lawsuits, and the Sherdog mods caved “quicker than a cheap folding chair at a fat man convention” (thanks NateTX4112).

All new threads about LI… as well as any threads about the censorship itself … are being deleted as fast as people can post them.

Just another case of dangerous elements in our midst trying (and SUCCEEDING!!!!!! They are SUCCEEDING, folks!!!!) to intimidate us all into shutting up and letting them go about their victimizing in peace.

This message brought to you because you have a right to know who you’re training with, and who your families and friends are training with.



Some things won’t get fixed until the Band-Aid is ripped off. –Richard Moran

I have some generalized bitching to do. It does tie into BJJ (doesn’t everything, eventually?), but feel free to skip it.

I am under a lot of stress right now. Part of it is resulting from the necessity of dealing with seemingly endless truckloads of nonsensical bureaucratic red tape. I have little patience for this type of thing at the best of times; and when I’m stressed out and short-tempered, I just want to start cracking some heads together. It might make them pay better attention, at least. These people are not LISTENING to me.

I tried half a dozen times to sign up for paperless e-delivery of my credit union statements (which are being mailed to me in the form of a murdered tree every month and taking up a ridiculous amount of room in my file cabinet). It didn’t work. I emailed their help line. And again. And again. Finally got a response after a month- consisting of a copy of the same instructions from the website. The ones I already followed six times and had it return error messages. I called my financial advisor. It took another week and three rounds of phone-tag to get him on the line. First he gave me a number that went to a company that had no idea who I was and what I was talking about. I called him again. Then we did a conference call with the company that handles the e-statements. It was like a 40-min call… during which I’m standing in the driveway shivering in the snow because I can’t get cell service in the house. We had to explain to the guy numerous times that no, I was not in front of the computer, and no, he could not fix this problem by reading me the instructions off the website. He was no help, but we ended with him promising to e-mail me a paper form that I would fax in. Do you think this form ever appeared in my e-mail box? Of course not.

My workplace has begun rolling out the BMI sanctions. Everyone is supposed to attend a 10-min “health screening” so that they can record your weight and height. I e-mailed human resources to ask if the screeners were qualified to write the waivers for those of us whose BMI’s are skewed due to excess muscle mass. She responded with an explanation of what the “health screenings” consist of and what they are for. I responded with a polite version of, that’s nice, but you did not address my question. I explained the waivers and asked what those of us in that situation are supposed to do. She responded with an explanation of what a BMI is and that the company’s focus is to encourage people with out-of-range BMI’s to diet and exercise so that we can promote a heathier workforce.

Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to brick walls. I think I’m going to start inserting random profanities, nursery rhymes and cookie recipes into my conversations and e-mails just to see if I get a reaction. ***ANY*** reaction.

This is the person in the human resources office who was assigned to answer employee questions about the BMI program, and she has never even heard of the waivers. This does nothing to reassure me that the company is going to handle this competantly. I’ll be damned if I will submit to a “health screening”. Once they have those numbers, I can’t put the genie back in the bottle. I’m confident that they **WILL** be misused, and then I’m stuck with all the stresses and headaches of trying to do damage control with the not-listening, red-tape bureacracy after the fact. It’s better that they not have the data. Problem is, refusing to get on their little merry-go-round is going to gyp me out of hundreds of dollars in health insurace premiums. Financially, the obese people who submit to the screenings will end up paying less than me. This is exactly the type of shit I knew I’d be wading in the first time I saw the news about the BMI program.

My boss took me into her office this morning to chew me out about something that had happened at 7pm on 2/3. Obviously, I had gotten out of bed, driven to work, done this wrong thing, drove back home and went back to bed, and then reappeared at work three hours later at my normal time pretending that I had not been involved in this nefarious activity. I explained this to her, and she looked at the time stamps and acknowledged that there was no physical way that I could have been the person responsible for this error…. then proceeded to explain why it was wrong and what a hassle it caused and what should have been done instead. I repeated 4 times, like a robot, “That’s a good thing to explain to whomever did this. I didn’t do this.” I controlled my words, but I’m afraid that a little emotion may have crept into my tone of voice after the first couple reps. Then she told me that my quarterly review would be next week. Wonderful. Thank you. I can’t wait to hear all about my errors *and* my surly attitude.

I could go on… this is how my entire month has been, seriously, I have eight or ten ongoing situations on the burner here that are playing this same movie. but I am just feeling my fuse getting shorter and shorter, and I need to do a reset and get a grip before I start painting walls with blood around here.

I am realizing that besides the prevalent theme of “HELLO YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO WHAT I’M TELLING YOU, DUMBASS”, the thing that’s tying all these incidents together is that I am having a repetitive and compounded defensive reaction to what feels like me being invalidated.

I am well aware that my poor self-esteem is at the root of this emotional overreaction. It’s like, “I have a mental soundtrack playing 24/7 telling me how much I suck; I do *NOT* need *YOU* to tell me more about how much I suck!!!!!!!” It’s even worse when it’s something that I know is a false accusation, like the work thing that is really not my fault and the BMI that really does not mean I’m a fat lazy sow.

There are a few things that need to happen here. These are destructive patterns, and I need to do something differently in order to disrupt the pattern. First thing: I need to notice when this song starts, and just take a moment to tell myself, “Here is that pattern again. Here is your blood pressure rising. Here is the defensiveness. It’s okay to feel this way. The manner in which you have been habitually responding to it have not been working out very well for you. Now just take a moment to consider before you react.”

I think one thing that I need to resolve to do is to stop the cycle of repeatedly explaining things to people who are not listening to me, and wasting my time, and getting more and more frustrated. Next time I find myself there, I think I need to get over the reticence about appearing impolite, and the aversion to causing a confrontation, and just look them in the eye and say, “I’m sorry, you must not have heard what I just said to you.” and pause long enough to let them grasp that we’re breaking the script. (I consider myself a good communicator, so the failure to resolve these incidents heaps another spoonful of “you suck” on the pile. Didn’t I explain it well enough? This must be my fault too. The objective reality, I think, is that yes I did- the other person is not listening, which is their failing and not mine. But even if I can truly internalize that (which is a struggle), I still have to resolve the practical aspects of the issue somehow.)

Another thing that needs to happen is that I need to explore methods for resisting feeling invalidated by other people. Why is it- KNOWING that my body is healthy and that I diet and exercise more than 97% of the population, I still fly into a head-exploding, defensive rage at being told that I “need to diet and exercise” by some human resources drone who doesn’t know me from Adam? And whom I know for a fact is simply wrong? Why can’t I just blow her off? Well, because her judgement- anyone’s judgement- is automatically regarded as more valid than my own. Which means that if she says I’m a fat lazy sow, I really must *be* a fat lazy sow. If my boss insists on correcting me on someone else’s mistake, well, maybe I did make that mistake after all. Or I might do so in the future. Or I should take the responsibility for it even if I didn’t make it. Not only do I suck, my perceptions are wonky and I can’t trust my own judgement. That’s a sad and SCARY place to be.

This is giving other people way too much power over me, as well as using up a lot of my energy and just making me feel like crap. And I’m not getting the objectives solved (“What’s your objective?” my former shrink liked to remind me, when I got too sidetracked by trying to wring justice out of my exchanges and forgot the original point of said exchange).

This definitely plays into the most destructive block in my training- my defeatist attitude. Fortunately, I train with mostly nice folks and I don’t have a lot of people telling me to my face that I suck. Occasionally I have a situation such as Hostility Boy treating me with unveiled contempt, or getting plowed by multiple white belts in succession, or having a brand new no-stripe white belt offer to show me how to do some BJJ, which makes me feel invalidated. This is part of the angst of being forced to wear belts as well. Wearing a colored belt is making an assertion to yourself and others around you that you have a certain level of skill. It is sort of INVITING challenges to your feeling of validation, especially if you have a hard time keeping up competitively with those of your own rank or lower.

Might write more on this later. It is definitely a big issue that I need to do something with, for the sake of my training, my career and pretty much all other aspects of my life. But right now I need to gird up and make myself tackle one more set of phone calls to some bureaucrats.

Dang. I have way too much practical crap to deal with right now to get sucked into one of these big navel-contemplating self-help projects. But isn’t that the way it always goes.

Defensive corsets


If you would have trouble shooting the mentally disabled, you have the two concepts of self-defense and justice intertwined. You want whatever force you use to be used on someone who is bad- or, preferably, evil. That does make the conscience easier. Unfortunately, you can be hurt or killed by people who may not be able to understand the ramifications of what they do. –Rory Miller

Belly band holster feels like a corset. Next to the skin is not very comfortable. Over a cotton shirt, under a scrub top, is fine. Will try over a cami/under a t-shirt next.

Friday at Kirkland, the location’s first no-gi class.

Pummelling. Situp sweep. Failed situp sweep to guillotine.

Failed situp sweep to this: wrap your arm over opponent’s head so that the back of hir neck is in your armpit. Underhook hir armpit. You can gable-grip your hands here if you wish. If you’re mean like Cindy ( 😉 ), you can dig your elbow right into hir spine as you sweep (or armbar, if s/he is too stubborn to go with the sweep).

I had to leave before the rolling, as it was a work night.