Thursday: break-in. Friday: pit bull attack. How was your week?

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Many people receive the answer to their prayers, but ignore them- or deny them, because the answers didn’t come in the expected form. –Sophy Burnham

Thursday lunchtime gi in Bellevue. We got Rodrigo today! Carlos and Doug both had surgery at the beginning of the week, so they will be on the bench a while.

Opponent in turtle, you sprawled on hir left hip. Grab hir left sleeve cuff and right lapel. Move to the side and pull hir onto her side, switching to a “sash” grip. Stay heavy and keep public bone to the mat. As s/he places hir top foot on the mat to try to recover turtle, you stick your bottom leg into the space that s/he has just made between the mat and hir hip, and wrap hir bottom leg. Pull hir back into you, and place the second hook. Do not forget to trap the arm. (Note: do not- as I wanted to do- try to jump/climb on top of hir to get the back mount. PULL hir into you.)

Same entry, only now as you pull the foe onto hir side, you use your lapel grip to open the lapel and slide your other hand in. I always want to snug everything REALLY REALLY TIGHT, and Rodrigo instructed me to loosen up and slide down a bit on this lapel grip- because you want the person to try to recover turtle instead of realizing that they’re about to get choked. As they go into turtle, you clock choke. Do not straighten your arm and pull at this. Keep the elbow bent and lean your chest over the opponent’s head. Rodrigo puts his forehead on the mat.

My stupid side, which I only tried a few times at the very end and only because we had done about a bajillion reps, was much tighter because that side had me doing the clock choke with my dominant arm.

A little positional training from the point where you pull the opponent onto hir side and try to keep hir down, while opponent gives some (but not crazy) resistance.
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So some crazy and/or drugged homeless guy broke into my garage this morning. It scared the poop out of me, but I was very happy that I had a gun, so that I knew I could defend myself if he tried to get into the house. I was even happier to see the sheriff pull in. I could have set off the audible alarm and probably scared him off, but I wanted the cops to get him, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about him coming back (for a little while, at least). He broke a window in my rear garage door, but luckily did not damage my car. The nice deputies caught him red-handed in there, carted him off in cuffs, and booked him for Burglary in the second degree.

I think the only thing I could have done better was to be more proactive about checking out odd noises. I heard some thumping, but assumed it was the cat messing around upstairs. It was only when the thumping continued that I went up to check, and found her asleep. I figured then that I had a bear in my garbage can. But when I looked out the window, I saw an unfamilar dude lurching up my driveway while holding an animated conversation with himself. Next time I will check out weird noises more promptly. If he had gone to the front door instead of the garage after rifling the garbage, things could have turned out much worse than they did.
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So, the day after some crazy homeless guy broke into my garage, my dogs and I got attacked by a loose pit bull. It tore up Teal pretty badly. I was well weaponed up, yet could not adequately defend.

Because I am so paranoid, my head is always on a swivel and thus I glanced behind me and saw the pit come out of the driveway. As soon as I laid eyes on that dog, I knew we were going to get attacked. I yelled “NO!” powerfully, as that has been recommended by some dog-savvy friends. I was then able to get off a couple yells for help and get my pepper spray out of my pocket before it was on us.

The dog attacked Teal, and I emptied half the can of pepper spray right into its eyes to no effect at all. I could not shoot it because we were in the middle of a populated subdivision. My knives would have been a poor weapon- this dog was not responding to pain compliance techniques, and I would have had to get under its throat and get a few really good deep slashes to put it out of commission. At that point, my bag of tricks was empty.

All I could do was yell for help. I tried to pull the pit off my dog, but it just kept hold and I was dragging both dogs. I really needed a second person- one to grab each dog and pull them apart. But although ten or twelve people came out to see what all the screaming was about, no one helped. 😦 Now I know what Kitty Genovese felt like.

Eventually the dog owner’s dad came out, and stood there to stare for a moment before wading in. He grabbed the pit’s harness and gave it a couple of ineffectual tugs, then he started whipping the dog over the back with a little nylon strap. Of course that didn’t do jack. Finally I gathered my wits enough to yell at him, “grab the harness and pull him off! Grab the harness and pull him off!” Which he finally did. As I fled for our lives, the guy was lying in the middle of the street bear-hugging the dog.

So, several lessons learned.

1)Don’t expect help. Even if there are lot of people around. They will just stare, or maybe take out their iphones to video your attack. You are on your own.

2)Please don’t be that person. If someone is yelling for help, fucking HELP.

3)I thought I was well weaponed-up, but two of my weapons were inappropriate for the situation and the third one failed me. I have thought a lot about what would have helped in that situation, and I decided that a hammer would have gotten the job done. I went to Lowe’s and bought a really nice heavy mallet with a comfy grip and good balance. I am now carrying that whenever I walk the dogs. The next loose dog that puts its teeth in my dog is going to get its fucking skull bashed in.

4)It was astonishing to what extent my brain switched off in the presence of that much adrenaline. I had to leave the scene, because Teal needed to go to the ER, and that guy still did not have his dog under control, so we fled. Later I had a hard time finding the attack site, I wouldn’t have been able to pick that guy out of a lineup, and I was even unsure what color the dog was- which is funny seeing as how I was wrestling with it for three minutes. Your brain really shuts down all the extraneous details. Next time, remind self to stop and take note of details, especially if you have to flee the scene.

5)Even if you have decided that your pepper spray is useless, don’t put the can back into your pocket. Just the small amount of dried liquid left on the outside of the can ate right through my pants and gave me a miserable chemical burn. My entire thigh looks like it’s been roasted over a slow fire. (Again- how did that monster dog just ignore this? I knew it wasn’t going to respond to pain compliance techniques, but I was hoping that the pepper spray directly into the eyes would blind it and make it difficult to breathe. Nope.)

6)January is tactically useless. All he did was run circles around us in scared confusion. I always hoped my dog(s) would try to do something if I was screaming for help, but it did not trigger him. Note: do not expect his help in the instance of a break-in.

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I went to BJJ class on Friday night, but I had too much going on to blog it, and now I can’t remember what we did. I also missed ALL classes the following week.

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Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. I got to drill with Nelson, which is always wonderful.

Triangles from guard.

From guard: fake a scissor sweep, then hook your toe under the thigh instead. Sweep hir AWAY from you. Note that you have to be really close to make this work- if you shrimped out too much getting set up for the scissor, it’s really hard to lift the guy using just leg strength.

Same basic thing from standup.

My favorite choke: the one where you get a deep cross grip and then grab a handful of gi at the back of the shoulder to finish. We turned our bodies to use the thigh to force the opponent’s head down as if we were going to armbar, then swung back to finish the choke straight on. Weirdly, it’s a chicken-wing pulling motion- yes, the very thing we are always told NOT to do. But it was beautiful. I found, while being the uke, that when the opponent swings that leg up, it makes you think he’s going for a triangle or armbar, so you want to yank back- which will just make you choke yourself even harder.

Three spars with three white belt ladies. They are all game and trying hard. Gave them all some (I hope useful) pointers.

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