Is my B. O. that bad?


Most of the time, the person who “wins” at violence is the one who crossed the line. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Open mat at Seattle.

I got there kind of late because I slept in a bit….. I never get to sleep in, and it was just so nice…. but I got to Seattle and as I walked in, everbody was clearing out.

Me: “Is my B.O. *that* bad??”
Peter: “It’s pretty bad.”

He stayed to roll with me for about 10 min, then he had to leave and the only person left was a young-20’s blue belt that I’d never met before. He was fun. We rolled for an hour.

Now that it’s getting cold, it is tempting to wuss out on hiking…. but the dogs are still eager to go, and one of my nearby walking buddies is being really helpful about getting us out there.

Look, spaghetti arms!


There are times when the body needs to heal, but those are ripe opportunities to deepen the mental, technical, internal side of my game.  You should always come off an injury better than when you went down.   -Josh Waitzkin, The Art Of Learning
Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.  All spars. Justin, Nelson, John, Justin again. All good, competitive spars. Was noticing where my acrobalance/dance/contact improv experience crosses over. In those arts, you often work with a partner(s) to achieve a certain movement- but just as Johnny taught Baby, you have to lock your frame. Otherwise, your partner’s movement does not move YOU where you are supposed to go. I was noticing my opponents today trying to move me in ways that required some degree of cooperation from me- mostly being tense enough (frame locked) to be levered this way or that. When I made myself limp and heavy at the moment that they tried to lever, the movement did not work (and I stayed on top).

The ego- a challenge that is constantly revisited.


“Great dancers are not great because of their technique,
they are great because of their passion.”
– Martha Graham

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

I need to quit being so lazy about blogging my classes the same day- if I wait, I really have problems transcribing the techniques, and I can only assume that’s going to translate to further problems retaining them.

I remember that I warmed up rolling with Peter. He is getting quite technical, but still using a lot of muscle. I guess I have not worked with anyone in a good while who muscles that much. I had thought I had grown out of the whole dick-waving thing where I try (vainly, of course) to muscularly match muscley men who are much more massive than me. Found out that I am not. I kind of hurt myself straining against him, and I also hurt myself by being too stubborn to tap. I certainly EXHAUSTED myself. Time to revisit that important lesson.

We did some guard pulling from standing, and a sweep, and some triangle stuff, and Carlos pointed out that we do not need to have our bodies torqued way over to the side to do the triangle. We can just alter the angle of the leg. And of course, it is critical to remember that pushing your leg down/forward is a lot more effective than trying to basically squeeze your thighs together in a nutcracker motion.

Teepee. Chrisanne was delighted with this, as it seemed to solve some of her short-leg issues in finishing the triangle. While I was happy for her, three reps of this gave me an immediate splitting headache.

I was taking my headache toward the locker room when Cindy walked in. For once in my life, my reaction to seeing Cindy walk in was “shit!”…… because I knew that she was competing the next day, and I had also mentioned the Friday evening Bellevue classes to her the day before- so I couldn’t just flee without letting her beat on me some. She wanted to drill a horrible takedown- a twisty arm drag that wrenches the elbow, shoulder, *and* back; and while you are writhing in pain, you get your foot hooked and hoisted above your head to get dumped hard. The first eight or ten weren’t too bad, but after that, I wanted to cry. It would have hurt any time, but after my lengthy muscle-roll with Peter and my pounding headache, it was agony. Had to really grit my teeth to stop myself from saying, “I’m sorry, I just can’t do any more of this tonight” (probably with a sob on the final syllable). After drilling, I was able to roll a bit with her, then begged off and gave her Ron instead. I always feel bad/ashamed that I just don’t have what it takes to be a good uke for Cindy, especially when she is in comp mode….. I always try, but end up feeling really inadequate.

I’ve got all the answers. Well, THIS one, at least.


”We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same.”
– Carlos Castaneda

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Man, I wish I could get to class more often. I was so happy to be in class. Carlos even remarked on the fact that I was laughing a lot today.

We did a bunch of spider guard sweeps that had about 862 steps with 5 critical little details in each step, and I have just tried and failed to transcribe any of them… although with Camille’s help, I did okay performing them. She is better than I am at regurgitating long sequences of choreography, which is a persistent struggle for me.

I had one delicious moment of triumph today. Carlos demo’ed to the middle of one of these sequences, and said, “Now what if your opponent does THEES right now?” The front half of the line shouted several suggestions, all of which Carlos tried and demonstrated the wrongness of. Then he told us to experiment with our partners and see if we could figure out something that would work. I immediately hipped out and transitioned to an armbar- AND I WAS RIGHT(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I was the only one who figured it out!!!!!!!!! To be fair, this was partly because we had been doing sweeps all day and everyone else was searching for a way to salvage the failed sweep. Whereas I- either because I still retain a ridiculous amount of always-attacking Tiger attitude, or just because my sweeps suck- went for a sub instead.

Related and funny: at one point, the prof noted that during the sequence of one of these sweeps, we must pause and remove our opponent’s arm from the place where it naturally ends up, because if we fail to do so, it turns into a bicep slicer and we will get DQ’ed. He demo’ed the bicep slicer, and obviously noted my eyes lighting up (as they do whenever a choice bit of “bonus violence” presents itself). He looked at me sternly and said, “Keetsune. You do thees in competition?” “No sir.”

One spar with Camille, one with the tattooed purple belt whose name I can never remember, one with Jason. All fun rolls. Tattoed purple belt keeps pulling guard on me, and I tried to tell him that I’d like to work standup and that it’s okay for him to take me down, as long as he doesn’t slam me. He’s one of those people who insists on being a little *too* careful with me.

Had to skip the structured dog walk tonight…. even January would have been disenchanted with the freezing rain. We have been hearing all week about this monster storm that’s supposed to be coming in, and apparently the world is supposed to end and everything, but it has yet to materialize (except for some freezing rain). Rilla and I took dogs out in the rain yesterday (on her urging… we decided even 20 min was better than nothing…. if it had just been me I would have bailed, which is why I want walking partners to push me… I thanked her), and the sun ended up coming out and we walked for 2 hours. Particularly glad to get that in, in case we are stuck inside for the next week.

This commute is killing my training….


You may think you have an ace up your sleeve. Hell, you might even have one. But recognize that the other guy has three or four. If he didn’t think he had something that would let him win, he wouldn’t play. –Campfire Tales From Hell

I have done four classes since my last blog post. Still struggling a lot with insomnia and the resultant generalized “feeling like crap” as well as the issue of not feeling safe- or just plain not feeling like- driving to the school and back. Also feeling lazy about blogging. 😛 All I want to do is sleep, and since I can’t sleep, all I feel like doing is nesting with a pile of books. I really want to go to jiu jitsu- I miss it, I crave it- but I’m struggling.

Anyway, I remember working on clock chokes; I remember working with three white belt guys over two days who were all respectful enough that I felt comfortable giving pointers. One of them in particular thanked me several times. It always feels so good. I really enjoy helping newbies, when I feel like they are actually listening to me- and I think I’m good at it.

I remember rolling with the visiting prof, whom I am pretty sure had me pegged as the village idiot because I kept asking him to show each technique One More Time. He started looking me right in the eye while he taught the class, and helped me more than anyone else in the room. That’s great, although it did make me want to show him- when we finally rolled- that I actually do know a thing or two. I think I surprised him a bit. 🙂

Worked with Chrisanne last night, which was wonderful. Hip throws, hip throw to armbar, armbars from mount. I am getting better at remembering to pinch my knees together, which has ever been the detail I tend to neglect. Chrisanne and I did two spars (from standing) at the end… they were great spars. We are so evenly matched.

It’s been raining for a week and a half, so walks with the dogs have also been curtailed- surely a contributor to my general laziness. Finally got a 3 hour hike on Weds and an hour each Thurs and Fri. Was a bit sore after the 3 hour, but felt much better overall. Dogs get woefully stiff- and January gets very restless- when they are not getting hikes, so it’s great incentive… although I can’t do anything about the weather.

The Halloween candy situation at work was reather devastating. And now we are swinging into The Holidays. It would be good to try to keep my eating under some semblance of control.