A blue belt in Eenglish.

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As a warrior, you are given weapons very few people possess. The self-confidence of a wild animal, a spirit that can’t be broken, the tranquility of one whose roots are too deep to be disturbed by minor events. If you don’t change the world, certainly no one else will.
Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. I really enjoy Friday evenings in Bellevue- partly because there tends to be a whole bunch of black belts on the mat, and partly because Doug is there. I always enjoy Doug. This evening I got to enjoy Chrisanne again as well.

Standup: Grip your partner’s same-side wrist on the outside, then hir tricep on the inside. Yank. Fast and hard. This was a little challenging with my left-and-right dyslexia, but it was fun to work the precision and speed. With a good hard yank, you can almost get them to turn their back to you.

You on butt, partner standing and gripping your pants at the knee. Same grabs as before, only you are now using them to stand up. Place chest on partner’s thigh, pick up leg and pinch it between your own legs. Now you can take down with a variety of techniques, or move to the back. Note that you want to try to trap opponent’s near arm as well, if possible. When Prof Herbert demo’ed this on me, he didn’t haul his weight on my arm at ALL. I tend to be a hauler, especially with someone like Chrisanne whom I might well be able to haul right into a stumble or even a fall. But this pointed up the subtle differences between my getting up and Herbert’s getting up, which as you may expect showed quite a gap in both speed and smoothness.

Some positional sparring, one person on butt and one person standing and gripping pants at knee. I focussed on variations of the previous technique. I was excited when Chrisanne both a)thwarted my tomoe nagi with good placement of her tiny, tiny weight, and b)flummoxed a different takedown attempt in which I tried to sweep her front way, then back way in rapid succession. I set up both of these pretty smoothly and without a lot of telegraphing. Proud of her. We also revisited that armbar setup that she had been working on last time, and this time it was much tighter with all the details pretty much perfect.

A few spars- Chrisanne, Kevin, Doug (no-gi with Doug). Chrisanne was tired- she’s still trying to build back from being out for a while- but if you push her a little and give good encouragement/feedback, she rises to the challenge and it’s so much fun to see. Kevin- he’s good and tends to have me on the ropes, but tonight I seemed to have about eighteen butterfly hooks and kept him smoothly in open guard most of the time, even threatened a handful of subs. This whole threatening-of-subs thing is still kind of new to me, and I’m surprised when it happens. Especially when there are threatenings of omoplatas, which just don’t really tend to come easily to me.

Doug was fun, as always. He didn’t let me tap him, but let me get really close a number of times. I pulled off a couple of nice techniques with him.

Ankle is still sore, and I had to give up a position a couple of times to Kevin in order to protect it. But I can mostly function. I didn’t ask everybody to baby me tonight.

I told Prof. Herbert that his English is a lot better. I’m impressed. He replied, “By next year, I weel be a blue belt een Eenglish.” He can teach a whole class now and pretty much communicate with you on his own, as long as you’re not talking astrophysics or something. There was one funny moment when he was demo’ing with Doug, and said, “Don’t put your hand here, because eef he does THEES, then….” he made a twitching motion with his extended elbow and looked to Doug for help, at which point Doug supplied, “POP”. Herbert: “Yes, POP.” Hee hee hee.

Dru wants me to show her some defensive techniques that she can do with her cane, and ways to get up off the ground. She is pretty mobility-challenged. I’m excited about showing her some things.

It was raining cats and dogs today, so I didn’t get to do any hiking.

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