Unicorns

bjj49

 

This is how a book or story has to start. Something rings in my head, like Great Tom. A knell.

Or sounds in my brain like a horn. A call to battle.

Sometimes two characters argue in my mind.

Sometimes it is a character tapping me on the shoulder.

Sometimes it is a vision, a picture in my head.

Only when I hear that ringing, that battle horn, that clear argument, or feel that tapping, or see that vision do I know there is a story I have to tell.

Then I must invoke the magic word. Oh, yes- there is one. All truly successful writers know it.

I shall whisper it in your ear: BIC.

It stands for Butt In Chair.

Really. Hard work is the only real magic there is… if the book in your head is going to get onto the page.

-Jane Yolen

 

 

Friday women’s class: I was too lazy to blog it and now I can’t remember what we did, except I remember doing double-leg setups and upas.

 

Thursday lunchtime class: Pulling guard and using one foot to strip one opponent’s grip, then scissor sweep.

 

Same, only use pendulum sweep.

 

I had some issues here, and at first I was irritated that we were doing both of these in one class because I kept sticking elements of the scissor sweep into the pendulum sweep. I tend to try to turn everything into the scissor sweep; the pendulum sweep feels like one of those “this will never work for me live” things (I think partially because of the emphasis on powering it with a lateral-to-medial shove of the thigh which feels like a very weak movement to me, and also I am always wanting to hip out). It turned out to be annoying-yet-educational because it forced me to focus on the differences.

 

Scissor sweep- I am decent at this; I just need to remember to keep my knee toward the ceiling. I want to put it too low across the opponent’s ribs, and a decent player is going to just flatten it (and me behind it) and squash me. I usually end up trapping the posting arm adequately, but I need to be more mindful and assertive about it.

 

Pendulum: Do not turn on my side. STRAIGHT leg, up to the ceiling, socketed assertively right into opponent’s armpit. Another mindful and assertive post-trapping. CUP the knee (you do not need to try to remove this grip). Also, Carlos adjusted my angle of launch from sideways to upper-diagonal (like the upa). The sweep comes from that thigh shove PLUS the lifting of the opponent’s knee with a flaring of the elbow. That elbow flare was the one thing I didn’t really get enough time to iron out to my satisfaction after ironing out the rest of my problems.

 

Both sweeps could also use a lot more more lower-leg shoving.

 

A little king of the hill, pass vs sweep. I got very excited because I was able to not only hold off John for quite a while, but eventually SWEEP him (gasp!). True he wasn’t going 100%, but he wasn’t babying me around, either. My expanding ego was swiftly returned to earth like a popped balloon by my next opponent, a while belt guy who shoved past my guard in about 4 seconds.

 

Carlos instructed the 4 large male white belts to not even engage the women. While I understand this, I was a little peeved  that it wasn’t “be careful”, it was “don’t go near them at all”. I don’t want to encourage the male white belts to refuse to work with women. There is no reason they can’t learn to be careful. (Carlos added, “Oh- except for Keetsune,” and I was like, “Yeah, bring it,”- but then he said he was kidding. I wasn’t.)

 

Friday women’s class: same techniques. Good. Was able to get my shit together better this time.

 

In addition: Failed double-leg to bear hug and lift; uke hooks foot around attacker’s shin to foil the lift, then bend down and grab opponent’s ankle and lift for takedown. KOB.

 

I am feeling hungry for more sparring; we don’t do any sparring or much KOTH in women’s class. I’m having some stress at work, and could really use the sparring. I stayed after class Thursday and did one spar with Camille, in which I was able to handle her well and mount her repeatedly to troubleshoot her sorry upa.

 

One of the fresh blues said to me in the locker room- in a tone that should be reserved for unicorns, Jesus, and Cindy Hales- “I want to be just like you.”  I don’t know how to react to this. I still don’t. I managed to not laugh.

 

 

 

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Not quite cauliflower

bjj3002

Maintaining honor and winning are indirect goals. Killing is a direct goal. Working toward direct goals peels a lot of bullshit off of your tactics. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: double leg setups.

Then, double-leg setup switching to a rear bear hug. Trap the far arm (not the one on the side you circled around on), and point your face toward the trapped arm so that you don’t get an elbow in the nose.

I thought I could go without my headgear for a while….. it’s so damn hot…. and wound up getting “not-quite-cauliflower-but-getting-there”. Just from pressing the side of my head against the guy’s gi while I was doing the double-leg setups. Silver lining: this does prove that I’m being good about keeping my head up and pasted well against his side.

Armbars from KOB.

Spar with John. I managed to twist my bad ankle. I’m limping on it now, which ticks me off because I have a day of hiking planned tomorrow.

Spar with Amy, finally. She is pretty tough, but I was happy to see that I could handle her. I did notice a few improvement points for her, which I hope were helpful.

Evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Double leg setups again, which I was not thrilled about due to my gimpy ankle and the fact that my knees where still whimpering about the previous round of double leg setups. Carlos showed us a new one, involving grabbing both heels (one from the outside, one from the inside). He didn’t really talk about the shoulder pressure on the leg, but I was pleased to note that even though I have never seen anything like this before, I was able to ID that shoulder pressure on that particular spot as the REAL meat of the technique.

You are in side control and moving to mount, opponent bridges toward you, you pop over hir back and S-mount. Advance to armbar or ezekiel, depending on whether the arm is over or under yours. I struggled with this because I had to keep pausing to note where the arm was and then try to remember which option that meant taking.

A little KOtH from closed guard, pass vs sweep. I did pretty poorly at this, despite the fact that we were divided into 3 weight classes and I didn’t have to deal with the behemoths tonight. I was getting pretty tired by this time.

One roll with Lindsey. I got a tap, which made me happy, as she makes me work for it.

I’m having some trouble keeping my weight from creeping up, now that I’m taking a break from comps. I’m trying to gear up to go on a little diet. I think disciplining myself about snacking at work is going to be a major key right now.