Two Hours Of Kelly

bicep 001

A man who knows that body and spirit are part of each other doesn’t need anyone to remind him that he is alive, nor does he have any reason to upset the ecological balance. Only the sky above his head and the earth under his feet. His body is the only home. It is the only thing that never abandons him, the only one that truly belongs to him. Such an individual is a threat to every form of established authority. A wolf that can’t be tamed. He is not under anyone’s orders and doesn’t accept dogmas because he already has within himself everything he needs to face life. When streams of power flow in the veins of your body, dependency on external factors is reduced to a minimum. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday evening: aborted class. The guy with the key was a no-show. We stood around and debated the merits of practicing takedowns in the parking lot. Then we talked about BJJ. Then we talked about peeing on electric fences. (This is what you have to put up with when you hang around with groups of guys.)
Sat: 127.5

Open mat in Bellevue. I spent just over 2 hours rolling with Kelly, first no-gi and then gi, with about a 5-min break in between the two.

Pic- that’s my left bicep- seventeen separate finger/thumb marks! Cool, huh?!

Kelly’s doing phenomenal- she’s a beast! She was on top the *entire* afternoon- which, while frustrating, was good in that it forced me to work off my back a lot (where I’m weak). I feel like I got a lot of good practice/experience today.

She is one of the few people upon which I have difficulty executing the comb-over escape from front mount to half guard; her tiny little feet tuck up under my thighs and she’s so tight that I’m stuck.

She also executed the Move Of the Day from Thursday on me, three times… only finished it once, but it’s a sweet move, hard to see coming.

With her long legs, the “lockdown” is devastating… even when she just gets one of my legs, it HURTS (she’s bony, too), and I can’t do a whole lot while she’s got me transfixed there.

I made a point of telling her all the things she was doing that sucked the most for me, and encouraging her to do them even more.

Kitsune: Oooh. That really hurts when you do that, and the angle that it creates with my neck makes it really difficult to defend.
Kelly: Oh! Sorry!
Kitsune: No, keep doing it! Do it more! It’s great for you!

I worked a lot of open guard. I set up the lasso sweep that we learned on Friday, and was astonished when it actually worked! msn_red_fox_smilies-18 Then I played with that lasso foot on one side and spider guard on the other, and managed to sweep her a couple more times in different ways. That’s really exciting, as sweeps are by far the WORST part of my game.

Another thing I was excited about- I managed to get a couple of armbar subs that weren’t really “techniques”, but improvised. Improvising is something else I don’t have a gift for, so it’s a thrill when I get something like that.

To work on: I am still letting myself get caught with one arm up by my head. I did it three times, and was cursing myself, although she was not taking advantage of it. After the third time, I asked her to clamp on a head-and-arm every time she saw me do that. She doesn’t feel solid with head-and-arm chokes, but I told her that as long as she had me well pinned, she had the leisure to adjust and play around till she got it. So that happened another four or so times. I really need to quit doing that. It is a terrible habit. I should start asking everyone to make a point of being ruthless about persuing me with that.

Tried for omoplatas several times, but only succeeded once. Chokes remain my most reliable tool… although I really am tickled about those creative armbars.

At one point we had stood up, and she jumped guard, catching me completely by surprise. I not only dropped us both like a rock, I had my fist wedged against her neck and thumped her a good one as she landed. She seemed to have hurt the back of head more, though. I felt terrible.

No-gi evening


Despair is an indulgence. –Karani

No-gi in Bellevue. Fortunately Kelly and I had coordinated to both be there. Apparently she has gotten stuck with some rough partners in the no-gi class to the point where she is going less often. It was good that she was there for me to work with, because the only other people there were Luis and Tagir. Both are on my “safe partner” list, but the size/strength disparity is considerable.

Pummeling. Then Single-leg setup drills.

You have side control. Foe turns into you and sticks lower knee in. You move the arm closest to hir head OVER, then turn your hips toward hir feet and use your hip to move the knee. Grab hir far knee/thigh and pull it toward you as you mount.

Same entry, but when you turn toward the feet, your opponent brings hir elbow to the mat. Turn BACK toward hir head, grab the bicep and yank that puppy outta there. Close your arm over it so that you are in a modified scarf. Take a moment to make sure 1) the inside of opponent’s elbow is toward the ceiling, and 2)shove hir head so that it is lying on your thigh. Now step your other leg over hir head and armbar.

A roll with Tagir and one with Kelly.

Spent quite a bit of time on my butt while Tagir tried to come in on me. Normally I’d get up and work standup as soon as we detangled enough; but I wasn’t feeling up to getting thrown by Tagir tonight. As we handfought, oddly enough I found myself falling into Snake hand guard positions. That hasn’t happened in a long time.

Note that Tagir is working on guillotines. He tried one on me and I managed to squirt out, but he got one on Kelly and kept it clamped on her for a few minutes before she finally had to tap.

I seem to be doing better against Kelly than I have done in the past. A year ago, she dominated me every roll and tapped me sometimes. Then there was a several-months-long period where I didn’t work with her, and now- while I’m not tapping her very often, she’s not tapping me hardly at all and she’s not on top of me the entire time. I’m starting to wonder if she’s coming up against that wall- the one that people tend to hit when they are gifted and start out doing very very well in their first couple of years.