Uphill, then downhill.

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The stakes aren’t just pride and emotion. They can get real serious, real quick- even if you thought you were playing for such penny-ante shit as your pride. –Campfire Tales From Hell

I am missing some classes because my insomnia rages unchecked. There are many times when I just do not feel safe to get behind the wheel. The doc has informed me that I may work my way up to four of these prescription sleeping pills (and presumably not die). I took two yesterday (I skipped the one-and-a-half step) and it did nada.

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup, judo grips: Turn almost side-by-side with opponent and stick your near leg between hir feet really far back. When s/he shifts balance to the other foot to try to move away or seek a steadier stance, quickly yank your foot out and trip hir OTHER foot. Speed, correct timing, and getting the person offbalance are key…. as well as being a convincing actor and making the foe think that you really are fixated on that near leg.

Standup, you put an arm up to guard and the opponent grabs your wrist/forearm. Extricate arm (keeping opponent’s arm) and scoot almost side-by-side again- only this time you grab the belt. Don’t go to the back. This was just a setup, but it was almost irresistible to do a straight armbar from here. Unfortunately, the straight armbar involves stepping back, and carlos wanted us to step forward.

Triangles from open guard, baiting opponent to yank hir sleeve cuff away from you so that s/he pulls one arm back.

One spar with Christy. I am always expecting her to smash me; she’s technical, very strong, has MUCH better cardio, and some weight on me. I haven’t rolled with her much in a while, but the last few times I have, I was able to control her. I even got a sub today (head and arm choke). I also had several pointers for her in regards to her upcoming competition.

One spar with a four stripe white belt girl. I was able to handle her pretty easily.

These two elderly dogs are still walking/hiking me into the ground, and it’s embarrassing. The upside is that we are getting lots of exercise. Nor do they like to allow me to stroll along. Unless I work really hard- with constant attention- to rein them in, we are power-walking the entire time (regardless of terrain). One problem I’m running into is that many of the trails here go UP a mountain and then back DOWN. Coming down is a bitch on my bad knees, even when I’m not being yanked along by an impatient dog who never gets tired. If I have to walk downhill, I’d much rather do it FIRST, when I’m fresh.

Down five

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No man, however civilized, can listen for very long to African drumming, or Indian chanting, or Welsh hymn singing, and retain intact his critical and self-conscious personality. –Aldous Huxley

I’ve lost 5lb from walking my dogs. I think the meds are also affecting my appetite (in a good way). I was worried about the typical weight gain that goes along with anxiety/depression drugs. Yet I didn’t really want lunch yesterday, and had to make myself eat it (because I was going to class and knew I needed the fuel), and I didn’t really want dinner either, but made myself eat it (because I knew I just had not eaten enough that day). I am snacking less at home, as it is disconcerting to have two dogs staring at me. I have been binging on a lot of junk food at work, partially because my insomnia is just making it really hard to get through the day. If I can get this insomnia solved, I think that will be less of a problem. Unfortunately, the insomnia rages unchecked in the face of prescription drugs.

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Standing guard pass to KOB. When opponent pushes at your knee, turn to hir feet and take a modified side control, propped on your elbow. Pick up hir top pants cuff and place hir shin between your shins. Grab hir other pants cuff and the belt or back waistband. Dive over and pull the person into your back mount. This was similar to what we did last week, so I was able to translate (and even figure out- and explain adequately- to Peter why his technique wasn’t working). It’s all about getting that knee hooked nice and snug with the opponent’s knee. If it’s too low, or too lose, you don’t have adequate control of the opponent’s body.

Several rounds of sparring, the first round with Cindy, whom I have not worked with in forever. So that was great (albeit exhausting!)

Brain Surgery

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There’s a difference between inflicting lethal damage and stopping power. Someone can be fatally wounded and still functional enough to take you with them. Mostly it depends on how dedicated they are to taking you out. Pain alone won’t stop someone hellbent on killing you. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Missed a day of hiking due to rain (still did the multiple mini-walks). Otherwise, still hiking/walking every morning.

I am on drugs! I have an antianxiety med and a sleeping pill. I insisted that the doc not give me anything potentially addictive, and no refills on the sleeping pills (if I want a refill, I will go back to the clinic and we will have a discussion about my level of reliance). It’s only day 2, and I’m still on half-dosages of each. The only thing that has happened so far (aside from a mild headache) is that while dozing about 12 hours after taking the first half-tab of the antianxiety med, I had a bizarre mental picture of a bunch of bats and rats and pigs with sharp edges, flickering like newspaper on fire. Since I do not do substances (well, until now… sigh), I have never before had the experience of finding a thought in my brain that was obviously a foreign insertion. It was very odd.

Thursday evening no-gi in Bellevue.

Various basic drills… with RUNNING LAPS between each. We even had to watch the demo of each drill WHILE we were running.

Short spars with rotating partners, no subs allowed. Lots of them- like 12 or 14. Fortunately the room was jam packed with purple and brown belts. There was one lonely white belt in the room (he looked up the line and stage-whispered, “Hey- is this an advanced-only class???”).
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Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Rodrigo was there to teach tonight!

Great warmup roll with Casey. He let me slap on a number of subs, and get within a hair of finishing them, and then slithered out with ease.

Double leg setups shifting to single-leg. Scoop your arm (the one in front of the opponent) under hir thigh so that you are almost grabbing hir ass, and step backward while you pull hir to the floor. Place your hand on hir hip, “Slide into home” over hir thigh, side control.

Stand up in closed guard (don’t forget to grab the sleeve cuff first!). As opponent opens guard and slides to floor, frame up your elbows on your knees and wedge yourself between hir knees. Press one knee to the mat and slide the *FAR* knee through, placing it in hir armpit (it is important to get this high). Make sure to keep your toe down until you backsit to move to side control. This move- which is not exactly brain surgery, and I use it all the time- was AWFUL on the Stupid Side for some reason. As usual, the first time I tried it on the stupid side, that’s when the prof chooses to come by. He of course questioned why I can’t do this very simple thing, and I said, “It’s the Stupid Side,” whereupon he instructed, “Do the Stupid Side again.” (Argh!)

This last technique actually *WAS* brain surgery……

Same entry, only when you press the knee to the floor, instead of hugging the head to pass, you take the arm closest to opponent’s head and wrap it over hir thigh. This presents your shoulder the the mat near hir ribs (your back patch in hir face). Roll, and as you go over, catch hir leg and hook your knees together. If you do this right, as you roll upright again, you force hir into a roll. As s/he rolls, maneuver hir into your back mount. (You must hip escape a bit to make this work). Get hooks. Choke.

I have never done this before (although it has been done to me many times), and it hurt my brain- but Rodrigo demo’ed it about a billion times, so I was surprised when I succeeded. Even more surprised when my white belt partner marveled “You make it seem so smooth!” Still, this is way too complex for attempting live at this point. It normally takes three times of a given technique coming around in the teaching rotation before it really starts to gel for me.

Lots of reps of all of these.

Found out that said white belt partner has NEVER sparred, so it was a good excuse to stay for one roll. She was assertive and heavy on top, but I was able to handle her, and give her some pointers that she seemed very appreciative of.