Maybe I should have been offended instead of relieved?

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My crystal ball has never been very good. I’ve noticed that bad things generally happen to me when I’m not expecting it rather than when I am expecting it. For example, I’ve never been in a _planned_ car accident. I’ve never had a flat tire I was expecting to get. And the day my middle son was struck by lightning, we sure weren’t expecting that to happen!
 That’s why my default setting is to carry the gun, even at times and in places where I “feel safe.”
-Kathy Jackson, Cornered Cat

Thursday no-gi and Friday evening gi in Bellevue.

More double-leg setups from standing.

Double-leg attempt to be met with sprawl.

Opponent bearhugs you from behind. You drop down to clear the forearms, lift them in front of your chest, turn body to the side, and step one foot behind opponent’s foot. Takedown. If they defend, we lifted them off the ground and sort of contact-improv’ed them across our lower backs to drop them on the other side. I’ve never done anything like that in BJJ. It was unexpected to be picked up like that. It’s something I don’t usually think to do to an opponent (in BJJ). Judging by everyone else’s response to the concept, it might be worth experimenting with live. Particularly as I have lately had the recurring thought that I ought to be working harder to formulate my nonexistant bottom game and should stop always leaping for the top.

Opponent is turtled. You do a “sash grip” over one shoulder and under the other. Switch legs and stick your far knee under hir belly, pull hir into back mount. At this point it was essential to be sure you had a grip with your fingertips digging into the palm of your opposite cupped hand. I do not like this grip and had to readjust it every rep. It was also essential that the arm OVER opponent’s shoulder had the palm toward the ceiling (another thing I had to pause and check, and usually adjust). After getting your back mount points, move into S mount. Scoot the front leg way up on hir chest and sit down, bringing other leg around and over hir floorward shoulder. Now, if you dig your forearm bone into the side of hir neck (this is why the palm of this arm had to be facing up) and pinch your knees together, it was a nasty choke. Usable in no-gi. If you do it wrong it becomes a crank, so be careful. I like S mount, and I found that my usual positioning needed a very conscious adjust to move that front leg from belly to chest. If it wasn’t far up enough on the chest, the move did not work. If everything was positioned correctly, we didn’t even have to lean back or knee-squeeze, it already hurt bad enough to tap.

Spider guard sweeps- pull opponent’s arm across your chest before sweeping. Neglecting to control the arm and neglecting to be aggressive enough about breaking down the opponent’s posture are two persistant problems with my sweep game. I got WAAAAAAAAAAAY under my partner and manhandled her balance around.

Same entry, only instead of sweeping, place foot on opponent’s shoulder blade and use a turned-in knee to elbow-lock. This was beautifully nasty- I love it. It is very Cindy-esque. Ha ha. I can’t wait to try this on someone live. Preferrably Chrisanne, who missed this class. (Insert evil chuckle)

King of the hill- back mount vs escaping back mount. I am fairly good at escaping back mount, but I am hopeless as a backpack- and since that’s where I was for this entire cycle, things did not go very well for me.

Carlos cautioned me TWICE this week for what he saw as me doing a technique too fast/rough- in both cases, I had my usual perfect exquisite control and there was absolutely no danger. This frustrates and offends me. I accidentally made Kelly yelp *ONCE* about three years ago (on a technique that I had done to numerous kung fu classmates about 3x as hard and they didn’t react), and I think that one unfortunate occurance has really stuck in Carlos’s mind and he has me irrevocably pegged as someone dangerously careless. I’m about the most careful and controlled MA’ist on the WHOLE PLANET, so it winds me up when he does this. (Maybe THAT is why he didn’t put me with his girlfriend! He put her with a WHITE BELT! Hmmm, maybe I should be offended!)

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.

Day one of one-a-day

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What you do instead of your work is your REAL work. –Roger Ebert

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: opponent has both hands laced behind your neck. You lace your hands over hir elbow, chicken-wing your arm out and step to that side. This twists hir spine uncomfortably and makes it easier for you to move your hands inside and grab behind hir neck instead.

Next, we went from the chicken–wing-and-sidestep to a double-leg. Note that you must plaster yourself right against the opponent and slide down hir body, otherwise you will not be close enough. Hug just above the knees.

Opponent is turtled in front of you. Sprawl, crossface, sash grip around chest, switch far knee in, pull opponent into your back mount. Three notes: 1)don’t forget to grab the wrist at the end. 2)You must make sure your shin is pressing against opponent before you start to pull hir over, and kick that baby under *as* you are pulling. If you wait till after you have hir capsized, it’s too late to shove that foot under. 3)Try to dive in a diagonal direction over the shoulder instead of pulling opponent sideways. I continue to find myself subconsciously resistant to this, as I keep feeling like I am just going to slither my tiny self over hir shoulder to plop onto the mat while s/he continues to turtle there like a rock. This doesn’t make logical sense, because if THAT is how it is, I am not going to be able to haul this person sideways either. I have nothing to lose and a slightly better chance of succeeding if I go on the diagonal. I found it slightly more palatable if I made a point of shoving the shoulder aggressively to the mat as I went.

King Of The Hill, sweep versus pass (any guard, choice of the “king”). I didn’t do all that great, but I was overmatched by everyone (they all outranked me except for one big muscley white belt).

I’m doing it. I am going- not quite cold turkey, but- one pop per day (first thing in the morning). This is day one. I am jonesing badly, but it helps that I have no Dr Pepper left in the house (just A&W root beer, which is great, but not quite as bad of a trigger). I also took the A&W out of the fridge- it is not so tempting when it is warm, and I have no ice.

I want to do this experiment to try to figure out if it will help my crappy sleep any. Also, I am wondering if the sugar-induced glucose roller coaster is contributing to the fact that I feel exhausted all the time. This latter question involves ALSO cutting down on solid junk food. That’s going to be extra-challenging. Usually when I’m trying to reduce my pop, I console myself with extra junk food, and vice versa. I don’t like being at this weight. I don’t like being exhausted all the time. I don’t like not being able to get to sleep, and I don’t like waking up every couple of hours when I *do* manage to get to sleep. I don’t like getting up feeling even more exhausted than when I went to bed. I don’t like the idea of going to the doc and getting on some drug to try to get some sleep.

Change direction. And again.

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Unless it’s a sport fight that has a certain number of rounds to determine the winner, a real fight usually lasts only seconds. Campfire Tales From Hell

No-gi at Bellevue.

Single-leg takedowns. Put head on the inside (ie, against opponent’s flank).

Same, but now you clamp opponent’s ankle between your legs and shove hir backward for 2 hops before changing direction and dragging the leg to the side so that s/he falls on hir ass. Note that when you grab the leg and put your head on the inside, you should deliberately press that shoulder to hir thigh. When you do the final drag, you should switch your head to the outside and press the OTHER shoulder to hir thigh.

Same, only now you assume s/he is fighting that final drag, so you abruptly switch direction AGAIN and shove hir straight backward, snatching at the free leg so that it’s now actually a double-leg. It doesn’t take much, though- you’re just sort of pawing quickly at it, not grabbing it. Make sure that you get to the side as s/he falls so that you don’t end up in guard.

Sprawl N/S on opponent’s turtle, then spin around, get both hooks in and turn yourself into a backpack. Note that you should not sit upright as if you are riding a pony to stick your hooks in. Your chest should remain plastered to opponent’s back at all times. Also- remember to not leave your head far enough forward to get grabbed and yanked over hir shoulder by your head. That sucks. And finally- the near side hook should go in first. Do not spin to the opponent’s back and throw your far leg over and try to stick that one in first.

A little positional sparring from closed guard and half guard.

One spar with Chrisanne.

I had to stop and take my contacts out halfway through the class because they were giving me problems. It was unpleasant to revisit the whole vulnerability-of-being-half-blind while sparring thing. I thought that once we started grappling, it would be fine, but I still had an uneasy feeling in my gut even though I wasn’t really using my eyes at that point. It makes me worry a lot about what would happen in a real violent encounter once my glasses got knocked off. I wish contacts were not so uncomfortable for me and did not mess so badly with my near/far vision. The glasses are a very serious tactical handicap- even moreso psychologically than physically.

“Just let it happen” Uh, no.

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(Being in a) Hard Zone demands a cooperative world for you to function. – Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

Thurs lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. We were professorless today, so Nelson was kind enough to work with us on a couple of judo throws, and then we sparred.

I continue to have great difficulty getting out from under side control (I continue to request that people put me there and just sit on me). Chrisanne likes to trap my near arm so that I can’t get my elbow down, which makes it even harder.

Also, I need more options for attacking Chrisanne’s Teflon Turtle. She doesn’t let me get any hands or feet in anywhere. Next time I get some private moments with an upper belt, I will ask for suggestions for that.

Currently arguing with some asshat on Georgette’s wall who feels that women should not carry guns and should simply submit to rapes in the hope of keeping their lives (because if you “escalate” , that’ll just make things worse for you). I don’t know why I argue with these people. It just gives me indigestion and makes me hate humanity even more. I should just find a forum to publish my eloquent wisdom as articles instead.

That’s because they have been working with CINDY.

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Addiction is huge in crimes…. Because it is one of the few things that we experience in the modern era that imitates survival violence. Whatever you might do for food or water on the edge of death is what an addict will do to feed his addiction. –Rory Miller

136

Friday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

You are sprawled N/S on turtled opponent. Cross right arm over your chest and stick it straight down to the mat beside hir neck as you spin to that side of hir body. Grab hir wrist. Hop to place your right knee against hir, take the back, KEEP THAT WRIST GRIP. This appears to be a straightforward attempt to take the back, but if you keep that wrist grip and throw your leg over opponent’s head as you fall back, it turns into an armbar.

I got this really nice and smooth after several tries…. and then OF COURSE professor walks over to look JUST as I try to do it on the stupid side and mess it all up. Why does he always time it thusly???!!!

Same thing, only opponent clasps hands to try to defend the armbar. You transition back to the backtake.

One spar with Crisanne. She is doing great- assertive, heavy pressure on top, everything really tight. She tapped me twice. I wasn’t going 100%, but I was going hard enough that I was quite impressed with her work. Lindsey rolled with her next, and when I saw him at his studio afterward, he raved (unprompted by me) about how much her jiu jitsu has progressed. He specifically praised her assertiveness (again, unprompted by me). I could just pop with pride. I PM’ed her and told her about it, and told her how proud I am of her.

Dieting angst: I might have had the time and energy for at least one more spar had I not been hungry enough to start chewing the mat. I am not sure how to deal with this issue. I could carry energy bars, but I really don’t want to eat those caloric things while I’m trying to lose weight. I do carry Slim-Fast’s for emergencies, but if I drink one of those and then try to roll, I am pretty sure I’d puke.

After class (and lunch), I went to Lindsey’s studio and we put together my backpiece, part of which is the Ox Head pic that I used on yesterday’s blogpost. I took my own weapons to the studio- we are going to arm him with my own bo staff, K-bar Khukri and Spyderco folding knife. The Victorian goth angel on the other half of the piece is going to have my actual tai chi sword. Lindsey is excited about the art, which is great- it’s always a good thing when your tattoo artist actually likes the piece and you know s/he’s going to enjoy working on it.

Evening BJJ in Bellevue. Doug got a big grin on his face as soon as he walked in and saw me, and challenged me to a death match. I’m feeling so much love from my teammates this week. Honestly, I have just worked with so many awesome drill partners and sparring partners- people who push me, and with whom I have fun, and from whom I learn. I am gonna have to write a gooshy FB post to all three GB pods.

Almost all King Of the Hill from various positions with Prof’s Doug and Sean down. Haven’t done this for a while, and after three classes in two days, this was probably the best possible thing as opposed to trying to cram yet another set of techniques. There were only about 6 of us (besides the Prof’s), so we did not get much downtime.

Did I mention how fortunate I am feeling at class this week??? Six students and three black belts on the mat. Who gets these ratios???? How incredible is this?

Doug and Sean were raving after class about what good wrestlers the two unfamilar (to them) white belts were. I said (since they were familiar to ME!) “Yes, that’s because they are from the Kirkland pod and they have been working with CINDY!!!!!)

Two long spars with Christy. She is also working very hard and doing extremely well. She- like Chrisanne- is very very good about listening to everything I say and incorporating it into her game. I tried to KOB and mount her several times, and she got the hell outta there before I could count 3. I’m so proud of my ladies.

Then one with Doug. Always a treat. I was doing a lot of skating around from side to side on top, very flowy. Something I always can use practice on.

Hurts so good

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The people without great talent but with desire tend to become the technicians. When others are more talented, you must be more skillful to win. Most of the really superb martial artists and fighters I’ve known have been runts with a drive to win. Small and weak, they couldn’t afford to be merely good. They had to be fantastic to hold their own. –Rory Miller

Saturday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

Warmed up with Coach Dynamo- mostly sitting on top of each other in turn and groping for sub grips that we couldn’t get.

Drills to exhaustion:

Standup- Single leg

Guard pass to kimura

Opponent double-legs, you sprawl, crossface, move to side, double-unders, pull opponent into your back mount

Lots of getting up and getting down; this is always a vast amount of hard work.

Triple-partnered with Angela and Kelly, all of us going 110%.

Too tired to stay for 2nd hour “competition” class.

Thighs (lower fronts) aching by the time I got home. Usually it takes till the next morning- or at least that evening- before noticable muscle aches set in, so I know we worked hard. Always nice to work with Angela and Kelly. They take it seriously and bust buns.

The tangled web we weave

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Stacking: a skilled fighter will use many things in combination. Strikes and gouges can both set up a throw and do damage during the execution. You can lock a limb while sweeping a leg. You can use a lock to slam the threat into a corner or over a coffee table. It’s all good. –Rory Miller

Fri: 128. Okay, so maybe it’s a LITTLE funny.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: Judo grips. Push and pull back and forth a few times to make foe step back and forth. Then as s/he is stepping forward with the foot on your elbow-grip side, pull DOWN with the elbow grip and UP with the lapel grip as you use your same-side foot to sweep opponent’s ankle between the two of you. You want to do this very suddenly, after s/he has committed hir weight to the step but before hir foot is down. (Note: stupid side is phenomenally stupid.)

Now: Top side control. Use knee to isolate the arm. Go for KOB, but it’s a trap!!!!!! As opponent puts hand on your knee, you pin it to hir belt. That knee you have on hir belly, stretch it all the way behind you and then sweep it in a huge glorious circle around to stick your foot behind opponent’s neck. You are going OVER TOP of hir arm. As you put your foot behind the neck, grab your own ankle with the other hand.

(Note: as you do this sweeping circular motion, you can also yank the opponent’s head and shoulders up a bit to make it easier to stuff your foot in there. If s/he has turned toward you a little in order to try to shrimp out from under your KOB, this will also make your life easier. Thank you very much.)

Now roll. DO NOT LET GO OF YOUR ANKLE!!!! Place your other foot on opponent’s hip. Opponent is probably helping you at this juncture because s/he has now realized your dastardly plot, and is trying to get postured to defend the triangle.

As long as you have kept that ankle, you ought to be able to complete your adjustments in a leisurely fashion.

You can also finish the triangle without rolling if you wish.

Opponent is in turtle, you sprawled on top N/S. Place left arm against the left side of hir head and scoot to that side. As you are sinking the crossface, go ahead and secure a grip on hir OPPOSITE bicep.

Now reach under hir with your free arm and hug both hir biceps. Pull hir arms towards you and dump hir on the mat on hir back. If you stay nice and tight, and focus on placing your kneeling thigh under hir biceps, you can keep those arms trapped- which is a great position from which to do all sorts of mischief to bring about a finish.

Finally: gi choke from closed guard. Break opponent’s posture and grips and lock hir right bicep under your left armpit. Linger there at smooching distance while you get the fingers of that same hand into hir opposite lapel (you can use your other hand to feed it if you need to). Don’t tighten it up to the point that you don’t have enough slack for the next step: stick the thumb of your right hand into the back of the collar right at the tag. Now whip your forearm over hir head and choke.

One roll with Daniel, one with Ron, one with the visiting black belt.

Ron seemed to be doing some catch and release, to the point where I was like, “Come on, finish your subs. Tap me, dammit. I’m competing next week.” He replied, “I’m ALWAYS trying to tap you, Kitsune.” He was also doing a lot of inverted guard. I sprawled heavy on his face (sorry Ron) and used his gi tails to wrap up his shoulders and neck. I did not have a cohesive plan with that- my brain isn’t that geometrically clever- but I did manage to get him so tied up that he found himself unable to transition into any of the nasty little tricks that he likes to set up from inverted guard. As we panted there with our faces about two millimeters apart, and I watched him try to move one way and then the other while dismay began to creep into his eyes, I whispered, “Oh, the tangled webs we weave.”

So after two ten-minute rolls with Daniel and Ron that were tons of fun, Doug goes to put Mario with the visiting black belt, and Carlos stops him. “He’s been training hard all day. Geef heem a break. Let heem go weeth Keetsune.”

I couldn’t decide whether to be insulted or not. On the one hand: Sparring me is apparently considered a “break” or at least markedly less work than sparring Mario, who is the same rank (taller and heavier, but it’s not like he’s a grizzly or anything). On the other hand, since Carlos is the one who is ranking me, one would think he wouldn’t want me to roll with his buddy if he thinks said buddy will pull him aside after class and ask him, “Dude, what kind of bad acid trip were you on when you gave that chick a purple belt????”

So anyway, I fight the visiting black belt- who is a smaller-size guy and turned out to be great fun. He was letting me work some- even let me have a choke tap. I seemed to be rolling pretty well, and I got the sense that he didn’t think I sucked. He also gave me a split lip, but it was well worth it.

It was a fun night of training.

Public service message: Paul Thomas Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing MMA school (Katy, Texas) has indicated that Nick Schultz (the guy who raped a teammate at TLI and left her semiconscious on a cement parking lot in the middle of a winter night) is welcome to come back and train there (he has trained at Paul Thomas before). Please help spread the word that Paul Thomas Jiu Jitsu Kickboxing MMA welcomes dangerous and immoral asswipes onto its mats to troll for their next victims among its students and their families. Please also indulge me as I will be using this blog on an ongoing basis to publicize schools and sponsors who support rapists. We need to get this out into the light where everyone can see.

“This is how people, like, take down LIVESTOCK.”

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I differentiate strangles (cutting off blood to the brain) from chokes (cutting off air). Both have similar effects, but chokes take longer and are more likely to trigger a panic response. These are the only techniques that work on everyone despite insanity, drugs or rage. –Rory Miller

Thurs: 128
Fri: 130
Sat: 128
Sun: 130
Mon: 128
Tues: 130

Come on…. is this supposed to be funny? I’m not finding this very funny.

I registered for the Revolution. 1 weight class up from my ideal in no-gi. I just don’t feel like spending the next two weeks starving myself.

Weds: 130

I dreamed about competing. At least, the lead-up to competing. I had that same acid feeling in my gut that I get when I’m waiting to go on the tourney mat. Does this count as time served toward my goal of learning to cope with the adrenaline dump?

Weds lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland. Escapes from side control.

Bree was here. I barely recognized her. She looks great. She’s lost quite a bit of weight. It was very nice to work with her again.

Frame up, push, shrimp, get LOWER knee in, use feet to push opponent’s knees as necessary, replace full guard.

Then: frame up, push, keep upper elbow planted while you windshield-wiper forearm to opponent’s armpit. Jerk that elbow up- and shrug- at the same time you jerk downward elbow down. Turn belly-down and either take the back or deal with the turtle.

Next: same entry, only when you get to the side of your turtled opponent, turn 90 degrees to hir. Reach under hir and grab the knee. Pull knee while driving into opponent (use head and straight arm “punchthrough”) to take top side control.

Then: same entry, only opponent grabs whizzer as you escape side control. Now you must hook hir near shin and pull it outward as you move your body behind opponent and between hir feet. Whip the arm free with a powerful circular slinging motion. Note that you must be careful to get BOTH of your knees behind the opponent- if you straddle hir shin, s/he can roll and kneebar you.

Drills with the “punchthrough” technique… Cindy likes this drill because when you get done doing the technique, you are already in position for your partner to do the technique. Then: positional sparring from side control.

I went straight home after that without rolling, showered and immediately set to work making cat food. That took me all freakin’ day and I was late to evening class.

From under side control: Frame, push, shrimp, bring top leg over opponent’s head and set it on hir shoulder. As opponent tries to figure out WTF you’re setting up, you pop the leg back over the head and triangle. This was weird, but I liked the sneakiness of it.

“Punchthrough” technique again, and drills of same again. Switch partners and repeat.

Positional sparring from side control. God do I ever hate being under side control. I flail uselessly, I get pancaked, I waste a lot of energy, I get really frustrated. The only things that seem to meet with a small amount of success are 1)Black Crane elbow down to my own hip on the floor, turn on belly, let them back mount me. That sucks, but frankly I’d rather fight off being back mounted than fight off bottom side control. 2) wait till they try to change position or sub me, and attempt an escape while they are doing so. #2 is not going to fly on Cindy’s mat because she harries me if I just lie there.

I gave Mike my KOB lesson, and also talked him through defending a bunch of chokes and other things I was throwing at him in rapid succession. Note that he is having a lot of trouble with breating. He is either doing the huff-and-puff or holding his breath altogether- not sure which- and then having to pause the roll and gasp on hands and knees. From now on, will make a point of continually reminding him to breathe during the roll.

A roll with Cindy. We took our gi tops off. She was squashing my face with her forearm, pretending to kneedrop on my belly, she tickle-pinched me once in the side and made me shriek, then insisted that it never happened. I kept arguing that this and that thing she was doing to me was illegal, and she argued that they was not. The whole time, she giggled. “I know what you’re doing,” I gasped out. “You ‘re trying to make me hate you enough to get rougher. I’m not going to be manipulated like that.” I got smeared, but the plus side was that I was moving continually at a high rate of speed… you have no choice when someone is constantly bouncing all over you grinding on your face and doing all sorts of other painful crap to you.

Next- because there’s never enough pain to be had- we did some standup involving one meathook and one head- get to the side of the person and drive your head into the opponent (just above the eyebrow into opponent’s jaw hinge or into the flat spot distal from the eye) and push hir around like that or use it to set up a takedown. Then, both hands behind our own backs and fighting just with the pushy heads. Depending on position, one head is totally in control of the whole scene. Note that I need to pay attention to my neck position, posure, shoulder position, etc or else I am not well set-up to try this. But it is very effective, and holy Christ does it ever hurt. Both Dave and I were tapping like crazy almost as soon as she got position and started pushing- never mind any takedowns. Very quickly I was reduced to geniuine PLEADING: “Oh Jesus, no, please don’t demo that on me again, please….”

Then we did a supremely evil takedown. I mean, this is just sadistic. As a defense-oriented martial artist, I would love to have this in my toolbox…. but I don’t think I am going to be able to bring myself to do it on some poor girl in a comp, much less one of my buddies. This is the kind of thing you’d do to someone evil who deserves pain. Like…hmm….yeah….. maybe someone who would screw a semiconscious teammate and then leave her lying alone on the concrete in a parking lot in the middle of a winter night. Yeah, that’s the type of person I’d be able to practice this on. Repeatedly. Gleefully. With full commitment.

“Meathook” behind the neck with the left hand. I tend to want to try to hang weight off that hook, but Cindy notes that the elbow is supposed to be planted against the chest so that you’re pulling with the hook and pushing with the elbow at the same time. Right hand behind-the-bicep grip.

Now: choke up on that meathook side abruptly, pulling your armpit right to the neck. Clamp.

The first time Cindy did this to me, she simultaneously pulled her bicep grip so that my arm was clasped across her belly with my palm TOWARD her- yes, this twisted my spine and put my shoulder blade toward the ground and made it impossible to defend wherever she chose to put me. I really liked that aspect- but when it was my turn, she said that I was getting too fixated on that arm and that I didn’t actually even NEED the arm at all- she had me let go of the arm and gable grip my hands together.

Now, take the foot on the SAME SIDE as your armpit clamp, kick it through hard and let yourself drop to the mat on your ass. Yeah.

You know, there is really no way to describe this so that you can appreciate the true level of terror and torment. I mean, you could twist someone’s head off and watch it shoot across the room. That certainly is what it feels like when it is done to you. At the same time that your head is being twisted and popped off like a grape off the stem, your attention wars between that and the fact that your spine is contorting as you are being borne inexorably toward the floor. Backwards. Hitting the floor (backwards, with your opponent’s full weight on you) is the LEAST of your worries at this juncture. It becomes immediately apparent that if you fail to spin your own body and throw YOURSELF onto your back with lightning speed, your spine is going to crack. Oh, and while you’re doing that, try to get your neck aligned because your head is about to pop off. Hurry. You have about two seconds to parse this and then figure out how to physically make it happen. If you survive the takedown and find that you are not a quadriplegic, congratulations- now enjoy trying to get your breath back and get out of bottom scarf… unless you just want to tap right now and give your opponent the win before she kills you, since she’s obviously a fucking homicidal maniac. (I love you, Cindy!)

Kaungren (watching in horrified fascination): “This is how people, like, take down LIVESTOCK.”

Cindy then did it to me again, and Mike dashed in to mime branding me on the ass.

Lessons from no-gi

bjj82

Most people live at a comfortable distance from their bodies. As humans, we spend so much time inside our heads that we often forget the way out. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

It was gratifying to learn that Ben and even Carlos are sore today as well. I had to tape all eight fingers tonight. I am so sore, and so tired… but I can’t blow off lunchtime class tomorrow, because I’ve been cyberstalking Angela all week bugging her to come in. I need to not only show up, but make it worth her while. Ahhh- I’m exhausted just thinking about it!!!

Lessons learned in no-gi tonight:

1)If you think you might have to fight everyone in the room, DON’T leave all the biggest, scariest guys for last.

1b)Don’t leave the professor for DEAD last, when you’re wrung out and can’t make a decent account of yourself.

2)My standard spar opening of pouncing on the opponent, applying top half guard, and then passing works great on most people, but NOT on black belts. I have learned to not stick my right arm between Cindy’s neck and left shoulder, because she promptly armbars it every single time. Tonight Carlos did the exact same thing. I usually stick that arm in there and then work for position. I wonder if it would work if only I operated faster and more forcefully. IE, give them something more immediately pressing to deal with before they can slap the armbar on, and/or get my shoulder socketed in there posthaste. A “meathook” behind the neck instead of placing my forearm there might be a better option as well.

3)Kelly passes my guard repeatedly with that same “seatbelt” pass that JB likes. I need to stop letting her set that up, because once she has it set up, I can’t seem to stop her from completing it.

4)I tend to be hesitant about putting hooks in while perched on the backs of huge turtling guys. They simply use an elbow to pin one of my feet to their ribs and then capsize sideways, trapping me underneath. If I do choose to commit to hooks, I need to commit to a fast, hard, technically perfect chokehold at the same time. No applying hooks and then working for position.

5)I think I am spending too much time working for position- full stop. I should try less futzing around and more FINISHING. Even when I think I’m getting a head start by pouncing and applying a position, I am *still* kinda waiting around to see how they respond, and then I’m on the reactive end of the equation yet again.

6)You can’t grit your teeth and wait out one of Carlos’ subs. He won’t give up, because he *KNOWS* he has it on right.

My belt was sopping by the end of class tonight. People who don’t launder their belts….. eeeeww.