Eye-opening

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The four lines people cross that take their actions out of the self-defense justification are:
1)The threat isn’t physical
2)The threat isn’t immediate
3)They cross into excessive force
4)They participate in the creation and escalation of the situation.
-Marc MacYoung
Thursday BJJ in Bellevue. I had a really good spar with Seth; asked him to not let me do any escapes so that I would be forced to try other things. He praised me for staying on the move.

Thursday BJJ in Bellevue.  A lot of King Of the Hill from back mount. As usual, I was doing well at escaping back mount and I was not doing well at keeping it.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. All spars. Carlos left early, so Chrisanne wanted to spar with me for the first time in forever. I didn’t injure her. Another good spar with Seth (no escapes allowed). Kevin…. OMG. Nobody rolls like this guy. Every BJJ artist on the planet should get a chance to roll with this guy once just to experience it.  That Brazilian purple belt woman that I have always found challenging- neither of us was able to tap the other tonight, and we spent a long time working standup… so nice to get to work standup with someone my own size. New girl: she stared at me wide-eyed after time was called and exclaimed, “That was….. so EYE-OPENING!”

Chrisanne is competing next month for the first time. She has 4 stripes on her blue belt. I have spent a lot of time puzzling over our differing strategies. She has done everything possible to set herself up to win. Whereas anyone who has been reading my blog for a while well knows, I am self-sabotaging- I set things up so that if I lose, I have excuses. It seems like either Chrisanne or I have things fucked up- and I suspect it’s me.

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Half guard passing game

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The Tueller Drill:
Sergeant Dennis Tueller, of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department wondered how quickly an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet (6.4 m), so he timed volunteers as they raced to stab the target. He determined that it could be done in 1.5 seconds.

Saturday in Seattle.

You sitting, opponent standing. S/he moves to your side. You turn so that the knee nearest opponent is on the mat and your far knee up. Near palm on the mat and far arm in high warding position. Brace against opponent’s collarbone and technical lift to get to feet.

Opponent sitting, you standing. You go to hir side and wrap your FAR arm under hir legs as if to pass. S/he pushed your head to the mat. You hop your feet over hir to the other side.

From closed guard: Do a basic guard break and underhook a thigh as if to stack and pass. Then hop to the other side instead. Opponent starts to roll away from you. Get a sash grip (make sure you are UNDER hir ceilingward arm) and stick your hook in under hir hip as she tries to gain hir knees. Take the back. At this point, get a choking lapel grip.

After we had drilled this for a while, we had the backmounted person free a hook and try to crabwalk out. Attacker keeps the sash grip and rolls belly down sprawling. A choke can often be accomplished from here. if it is not happening, loosen up enough to bail opponent to trying to escape, and retake the back.

Rolls with a handful of people I had never met before. Taught an upa to a white belt. Got two straight elbow locks on a blue belt- the same elbow lock I got on Sean yesterday. That is awesome. But I need to work on remembering to stay out of top half guard on people who are good at retaining half guard and/or doing useful things from bottom half guard. That blue belt had a gnarly half guard retention, and I actually commented on it, yet still found myself sliding right back into it repeatedly. I feel so good about my top half guard passing that I tend to just go into it and proceed to pass as a routine part of my game. It usually works, but I need to take note when I draw someone who is not letting me get away with that, and try OTHER things.

I’ll never forget…..

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To achieve an elite standard of personal performance usually requires a fair amount of natural ability, motivation and commitment. It does not follow that an elite martial artist also has the ability to pass those skills on to others at all levels. In fact, the opposite is usually true. To become an elite performer usually means that the student has natural ability and therefore learns skills quickly and easily. A great degree of self-motivation and commitment is also required and such performers generally find little difficulty in applying themselves to the rigors of training, grading and competition. Since very few students achieve such high levels of performance, too often a coach does not understand the needs of these “lesser mortals” who are in fact the majority. When one looks at specific groups such as junior, female, male, elderly, competitive, aggressive, shy, introverted, or combinations of these, many martial arts coaches in the past have been- to say the least- underprepared.    Tony Gummerson, “Teaching Martial Arts”

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Friday:
I read a book that basically gutted me. Have you ever read a book in which the sadist- I mean the author- makes you totally fall in love with a character and then tortures that character with an endless litany of events that are a thousand times worse than death? Till you’re almost hoping the poor sap just buys it, but you don’t think you can handle that? I read a *LOT*, and this is only the second book that has made me feel like that to an extent that it made me feel actually traumatized. In addition, I’ve only read 4 books in my life in which a character death has made me cry. So this was a double-slam. And it was book 3 in a series, so I was already in love with the character by the start of book 3… there was no lead-in or warm-up, she started torturing my poor dear on page 1 and didn’t stop till the epilogue. I didn’t really want to read book 3, because by the end of book 2 I knew there was absolutely no way this was going to not end in savage and bitter heartbreak… but I couldn’t bear to not find out what happened.

I know this is partly because I’ve had a difficult week and incredibly little sleep, but I’m feeling really gutted and raw right now.
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Thursday:

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Standing guard pass drills to KOB to start. These squat-heavy techniques are hard on me and John, especially at the beginning of class, when it’s THIS hot, and when it goes on for about five years. Prof. Herbert had the timer set to ding every twenty seconds, so every twenty seconds we would stop, panting, and look pleadingly at him- but he made us keep going…. and going…. and going…..

Same thing, only starting from spider guard. When opponent straightens one leg, you step on the thigh of the OTHEr (bent) leg and pass to that side, yanking both the leg and sleeve as you move into KOB.

Same thing yet again, but now instead of KOB, paste the top of your foot to the opponent’s shoulder blade and place the other one over hir neck. Armbar. This was a classic Herbert move- he likes these things where he gets his strong, short legs in there and hooks his toes all over you and then subs you to death. As usual, what works well for him seems to be working well for me, although of course he does it about a zillion times faster and more gracefully. But I was already nicely set up to segue into this, as I had been setting up a bit of a straight armbar while doing the KOB.

A little positional sparring from spider guard.

Sparring with John, then Ed. Ed ankle locked me about ten times in a row. He looks like he could be doing his taxes while he tools me.
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Evening in Bellevue:

Luis is injured and specifically asked me if I would work with him. I know this is mostly because I am tiny, but I do like to think there’s at least a LITTLE aspect of me being trustworthy and safe for the injured to work with. He did, however, bring up that time I ran over to him while he was lying on the mat and dropped into front mount and apparently did not catch myself QUITE as high on my knees as I had intended- he moaned like he was dying, and I felt AWFUL…. that happened about 3 years ago and I’ll never forget it- but I was really hoping that he had!!!! No such luck!!! I asked him if he still loves me anyway, and he said yes.

He let me do more than my share of the drills, since they were hurting his injury… although he had to tell me several times to be heavier (I was trying to be gentle on his injury). When he admonished me to be heavier in N/S, I whined that I was trying to not smother him with my enormous belly. He laughed for a really long time when I said that.

“Around the world” flow drills: side control to scarf to N/S to scarf to side control, etc etc. At the end, we did some front mount as well. Luis suggests using my forehead heavy on opponent’s belly in N/S. It was quite immobilizing when he demo’ed it on me.

N/S, pull both of your opponent’s gi tails under hir armpits and snug them in as tight as you can. If s/he is wiggling around, it actually makes this easier than if s/he is just lying there. Then hop up to your feet and step forward so that you force opponent into a sitting position. There should be very little pulling involved, unless you really WANT to work that hard for some reason. Sit back down in back mount and squeeze opponent between your knees. Grab for the choke immediately. When s/he goes to defend the choke, sink the hooks in and immediately roll to the side (NOT to your back, and make sure you pick the correct (pillow) side).

Everyone has been asking me if I’ve had a chance to work with Amy (Dex’s wife, blue belt, professional MMA fighter), and she was there tonight, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen her. I would have liked to spar with her, but not in the shape I was in at that juncture. She has a big-deal fight scheduled next month and is training very seriously right now, and I was way too tired at that point to be able to press her.

Fat man roll

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Intention and lack of intention; mindfulness and no mind at all. Magic lay in the tension between those spaces, in the otherwise senses of the esoteric understanding of two things that did not admit of one another at all. –Elizabeth Bear

Sun: 128
Mon: 129.5 (eep!)
Weds: 129.5

Wednesday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland.

“Fat man roll”: You are in turtle, with opponent hanging off your hip. Opponent is foolish enough to commit hir arm deep enough for you to trap on the side opposite hir. Roll, KEEP HIR HAND TRAPPED as you keep weight on hir chest. Roll toward hir feet to take side control. For some reason, I always want to roll toward hir head, so I asked Cindy what would happen. All sorts of unpleasantess, beginning with Cindy getting double underhooks and shucking me off like nothing.

You are in turtle, opponent hanging off your hip. You grab hir far pantleg, scoot your butt away from hir, place the sole NEAREST hir on the mat, and pull your other leg through under you to replace full guard. Remember to pull your head back so that you don’t get folded up under the opponent.

Same technique, only starting with opponent sprawled N/S on top of your turtle.

Opponent has back mount on you. Hand-fight the choking side (if there is one) and fall to the opposite side. Lie on opponent’s thigh, remove the lower hook. Use the SAME HAND to now start fighting the other leg while you scoot out and take side control.

Same entry, but opponent gets half guard as you are trying to escape. Prop yourself on hir chest with mucho weight on and use your other leg to pry your trapped leg out. From being the demo dummy on this, I learned that the angle of this pressure on the joints is quite painful, and not practical to try to clamp down and resist against.

A little positional sparring from back mount. I continue to struggle with both sides of this. Today my biggest problem was that I could not seem to fall to the side and pin the thigh without taking the entirety of my weight off the opponent (at which point I could never recover- I ended up lying on the mat beside him and he simply rolled on top).

A few spars. I got muscled around a little today by larger men, but I managed to superior-technique myself into a top position for some of the time with both.

Cindy declined to roll with me because she was holding out for me to come back tonight instead of going to Bellevue.