Some old guy already taught me that one.

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Ultimately your mind and intellect are what save you, your body is the tool they use. So keep the tool in good working order, but tune up the engine. Campfire Tales From Hell

Friday BJJ in Bellevue.

Bullfight passing of spider guard. After bringing foe’s feet together and planting them on the mat, grab hir right wrist with your left hand (the WRIST, not the gi sleeve). Keep the pants cuff on the other side. Step beside hir right hip with your near foot and give a good ceilingward yank at both wrist and pants cuff before moving to KOB. You may then be able to transition to an armbar- but make sure you FIRST trap the arm firmly between your knees and THEN clear opponent’s grip on your sleeve cuff before re-grabbing the wrist and applying the armbar (one foot over hir neck and the other knee folded with your toe under hir ribs). Unsurprisingly, my biggest problem proved to be remembering to grab the leg (ideally both legs, although with my stubby arms I’m not going to count on that) before dropping back into the armbar. Also, as soon as I tried to speed up, I started getting sloppy about clearing the sleeve grip. I asked why it was necessary to clear the sleeve grip at all… it seemed to me that clearing it is just an invitation for the opponent to try to yank hir arm down in an attempt to get out of the armbar. Carlos explained that it may be difficult to maneuver the hand into position at the apex of the armbar if s/he still has your sleeve. (I think you could probably muscle that…. if you’ve got them well and truly trapped in the armbar, that cuff grip is not going to save them except in cases of extreme muscle disparity… but even in a comp I would prefer to not muscle that.)

Opponent bearhugs you from behind. Lower stance, bring your hands up to your chest to free forearms, and cover hir hands on your chest with your own hands. Step slightly to the right and stick your left foot behind hir feet. Kneel on right knee and plant right shoulder on the mat, making sure to drive downward forcefully enough and hold tight enough that opponent can’t free hir hands before getting tossed over your shoulder. Go with the roll and end in a T shape with your shoulder blades on opponent’s chest. Keep butt off the mat and apply as much weight as possible as you roll toward hir feet and move to side control, then KOB.

I have done both of these before, and felt comfortable enough to go decently fast *and* work them both sides. Armbar portion turned out to be much tighter on the Stupid Side, although my brain was very slow to grasp the guard pass from the Stupid Side.

A little KOTH, open guard pass vs defend the pass, me down in open guard the entire time. Lots of white belts- so I spent some time explaining what a guard pass is, some time telling a small woman to try to experiment with different positions and movements instead of trying to simply muscle out of spider guard, and some time getting Captain Cavemanned by muscley spazzy male white belts.

A roll with 2 white belts and one with Doug.

First white belt was strong and spazzy, so I was mostly just trying to control him. Let him have an upa, since he performed it correctly.

Hip-threw and then subbed the second white belt several times, explained about turning and shrimping out from under KOB, and explained about keeping the chin to the chest while I was groping for chokes.

I have rolled with Doug enough that I am recognizing a lot of his sneaky little traps and refusing to fall into them. (freezing in the middle of a guard pass that I know is going to result in a sweep) “Gee, I think I’ll slide right into side control LIKE AN IDIOT. Some old guy taught me that one. You’re going to need to come up with some new tricks, Doug.” He also let me get that same one on HIM… I was excited that I 1)remembered it, and 2)was able to make it work, as it’s kind of complicated and not at all intuitive.

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I love getting my tail kicked by Chrisanne.

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At (long) range, you are taking fire. You may not know from where in that first instant. Hit or not, you have to MOVE. You were ambushed in this precise spot because it is the best place to kill you. You MUST get out of that spot (or “Off the X” as we say). –Rory Miller

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. I was standing on the wall minding my own damn business waiting for class to start, and Casey comes over and grabs me and tries to hurl me to the ground. We end up thrashing around like a couple of weasels while the entire rest of the class stands there in line and watches, making comments about the “mutter…mutter… purple belts….”

Standing: ankle pick as yesterday. I’m noticing that with your lapel grip, you can shove the opponent to either side to finish the takedown. Pushing often works better (and is less work) than pulling.

Bullfight pass to KOB

Failed bullfight pass to underhook both of hir thighs, stack, and pass. I don’t try to set this up often- I feel vulnerable sticking both arms under like that- but I love the way the pass itself feels; I like to grab the tag of the opponent’s pants and stack the crapola out of hir and then squish down on top of hir thigh until s/he’s begging to let me pass. At the same time, you can grind into the throat and/or twist the head away by levering on the jaw with the other forearm. It’s lovely.

Positional sparring from spider guard, varying goals. My suckage at passing spider guard is trumped only by my suckage at trying to sweep from spider guard. But I can hang out *IN* spider guard effortlessly defending the pass until the second coming of Christ.

Some epic sparring with Chrisanne. We started from standing multiple times. She got a couple of really sweet takedowns, and some lovely technical taps. Nice and tight. She is almost never on the bottom any more, and she is always attacking instead of waiting to react to what I do. When we scramble, she gets on top first. Her game has changed 180 from eight months ago. I love it when Chrisanne is kicking my tail. It makes me feel so proud. I am getting to the point of going close to full bore on her, too.

Robert

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When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

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Robert has passed away. I am very unhappy. I knew that he had cancer, but I had no idea that the end was so imminent. Robert was so strong and vigorous, and worked like a dog, I just assumed that he would be one of those people who goes, “F You, cancer!” and thirty years later he’s still on the mat. But it was quick.

He was liked and respected by all. He was the humblest guy on the mat, even though he was a high-level black belt in another art. He came in here in his 60’s, put on a white belt, and busted his ass till he got to purple. I wrote on his FB that he is an inspiration to live up to. I hope that when I am his age, I am still kicking ass as hard as he was kicking it.
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Interesting pre-class weapons discussion with (big, blue-belt) John. He had a Japanese weapon that looked like a forearm-long metal spike, with one curving piece at the hilt. We were discussing the practical merits of adding this and other weapon options during grappling. I can think of all sorts of juicy things to do with a short stick while grappling.

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. All spars. Chrisanne was a rock star today. Aggressive, technical, attending to every small detail. Best of all, I rolled with her first and last, and her last roll (when she was really tired) was almost as awesome as her first.

Suranjen is still letting me tap him multiple times. I don’t know why he has been rolling like this with me. I don’t know how to ask.

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Evening BJJ in Kirkland. Dave likes to exhaust the spazzy white belts before teaching technique. He does this by making the class run laps, then do alternating drills of pummelling and side control-scarf-mount flow drills till we are all reeling and dripping.

Basic closed guard break, knee up, slide through. Lots of attention to many small details.

Then, once you have the guard broken and knee up, disengage and then come back in for a bullfight pass.

One spar with Dave and one with Leone.

Faster, faster, faster!!!!

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When the senses wake up, people talk about altered states, but actually nothing about them is altered. The only real alteration is the sleep into which we often let them fall. Bringing them back to life is the only natural thing we can do. It is as if we defined the starting of an engine as an “altered state” only because we consider normal leaving it turned off. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Weds: 127

I’m not losing any more weight, yet my jeans won’t stay up. The SMALLEST on my spectrum of jeans, mind you- not the “fat day” jeans.

Forearms still very weak and sore. Grips are poor enough that I decided it wasn’t worth going to class. Frustrating. The rest of my body- and brain- wants to be on the mat.

Thurs: 130 (Geez)

Grips feel recovered enough to try class today.

Carlos: “I donno why you always go with the two hunnert feefty pound guy…” He took that guy away from me and gave me Daniel instead.

Whew…. Day Of the Dreaded Drills. Spinning armbars; bullfight pass setups; Step into sitting opponent’s half guard and push hir down with a hook hand over the opposite shoulder while “sliding into home” with the near knee, then all the way around to N/S.

We started out with a nice mellow U2 soundtrack which Carlos threw out and replaced with pounding, driving electronica. He ran around getting in our faces and yelling at us to go faster, faster, faster!!!!

Next time I think I’m dying in jiu jitsu, I’m going to picture Daniel’s face doing those bullfight passes…. I **KNOW** how tired and hurting he was- because I was too- and he was just a machine. We both kept up a cheerleading patter which I hope helped him half as much as it helped me.

I would have tossed my cookies when we were done, but that would have required a core muscle effort that I just could not manage.