…Violence… is the most international and oldest language there is. It is common to all societies. It is attached to the very fabric of life. Depending on their fighting ability, every animal on earth ends up taking on the role of predator or prey. Not only nearly all animals fight, but even the cells inside our bodies fight against germs and bacteria. No one who lives in a physical body can completely ignore the language of violence. Whether by choice or not, anyone may have to deal with it. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Four black belts in the mat for Friday evening in Bellevue. Prof. Herbert is back. Not only that, he remembered my name. Happy to have him and his bag of little-guy tricks in the house again. Also fun- as always- to watch the Brazilians learning English. Today he learned “calf”.

Armbar from guard. Herbert used a cross tricep grip and a deep lapel grip. He observed that I fail to get my leg into the armpit firmly enough and also fail to bear down on the opponent with my shins (which second persistant problem of mine Cindy has oft commented on as well).

Failed armbar from guard, reach across opponent’s throat to grab your own ankle. This can end up as a choke, a crank, or a crushing of the bones around the eye socket, depending on how well you can get into position (or not). My drill partner had no neck (when I pointed this out to him, he cheerfully agreed that other classmates had complained of the same), so this fact combined with the extreme shortitude of my legs made this one a real problem. It was barely possible- on the stupid side only- by using my pants cuff (Doug informed me that I am allowed to put my fingers in my own pants cuff, which I was not aware was legal).

Same entry, but opponent defends by pulling the arm out. You paste hir OTHER arm to your chest, hip out and turn on your side, making sure to hook your toe behind hir neck. Bring the other foot over hir head and gogoplata. I loved this, although I’m probably not going to be able to retain it until it comes around another few times. I am inexperienced with the gogoplata. Prof. Herbert has shown another couple of gogoplata moves in the past. I think they will be great for me, they seem made for my shape and flexibility.

Positional sparring from closed guard. Then a roll with Doug and one with a blue belt guy whom I have worked with once before, but his name escapes me at the moment.

Right elbow continues to be painful and weak. It has been over two months. Left shoulder is even worse (just over a month on that one). I have been very careful on the mat and have asked all partners to be careful as well. Left shoulder is actually causing me a considerable amount of pain while trying to sleep. I wish these damn things would heal up already.

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