There are no anonymous mouthguards.

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Will you spend your time and pursue your training in a doomed attempt to not die? Or will you train to live harder and truer? –Campfire Tales From Hell

Thurs no-gi in Bellevue:

There was a massive, delicious-smelling buffet in the lobby when I walked in. I walked right by. Carlos told me that there was food (like I could have missed it). I said, “I didn’t come here to eat.” I thought he’d like that, but he informed me that I was being rude. Again with the awkwardness and frustration of trying to make better diet decisions in a world that constantly wants to shove food in your face. And again with the cultural minefields. Five years with this guy and I still can’t always figure out what’s going to offend him.

Pummelling.

Pummelling to backtake.

You have butterfly guard. Hug opponent around torso, lie back- load and lift.

Same, only now opponent whizzers you on one side. Grab hir wrist and hold it there while you remove your arm. Press hir wrist to hir own belly as you use your free arm to hug hir around the torso, lie back, and load-lift.

Same, only now as you lie back, yank hir arm hard across your bodies and kick with your opposite foot to spin the opponent and drop hir into your back mount. Hooks. Choke. Note- don’t forget to grab hir wrist in the backmount. This is a detail that I persistently forget across multiple techniques.

You standing, opponent sitting. Rocking-chair hir back. S/he sits up and wraps hir left arm around your right thigh. Dive your right hand UNDER hir arm. Place the blade of your left forearm on the back on hir neck. Gable grip. Sprawl. (ow… this made me want to tap right then… neck crank and spine bend…. and I was scared of what would come next) Rotate your arm circle so that your left bicep is facing the mat. Kick right leg through and drop to the mat. Head and arm choke. If you can’t get it, inch your body toward opponent so that your chest/belly cranks it worse (ow). I’m so happy I was doing this with Chrisanne. If it had been some big dumb whitebelt, I think I would have faked a stomachache and bailed. It was scary enough with Chrisanne.

Two phenomenal rolls with Chrisanne and one phenomemal roll with Danny.

Walked past the buffet a second time.

——————
Fri gi in Bellevue.

Same agenda, minus the head-and-arm, and plus this:

After the pummelling and backtake, your attacker lifts your feet off the floor in a bearhug. You need to achieve a slight shift to the side before s/he lifts you. Then you can hook a shin around hir chin from the outside as you are lifted, preventing hir from lifting you any higher or from throwing you. As s/he drops your feet to the floor, you bend your knees, reach between them, and grab hir foot. Yank. As soon as you have hir on hir back, kneebar. Then drop the leg, lift the foot that is between hir legs, and pivot to move to KOB. You can add a face/throat strike here (this is self defence), or- if you are working with Chrisanne- you can beep her nose.

Many drill reps, as Carlos is wont to due on Friday nights. Chrisanne and I had aching legs from the night before. I started out the butterfly boosts really strong (it was fun and felt good) but I slowed down considerably as time went on. Chrisanne gained eight pounds with each set. It was partially that I was already sore from the previous night’s reps, and partially that I was glucose-deficient (I had eaten lunch, but run errands before class, and should have bought a sandwich or something before going in), but mostly it was the fact that I am old.

I got a compliment from Carlos on my butterfly sweep to backtake- he liked my snappy foot kick as I twirled my enemy into my back mount. Chrisanne and I were both struggling a bit with the the fact that we were tired enough by then to make the technique quite physically challenging to complete even if we felt like we knew/understood the steps.

Positional training from butterfly guard. I suck from butterfly guard. Chrisanne is better at this than I am. She swept me two or three times, and I got squat.

I was too hungry to stay for sparring. It was punishingly hot and muggy, too.

Carlos (pointing at a random mouthguard lying on the floor): “Rodney! Your mouthguard!”

Me (wonderingly): “You can identify everybody’s mouthguards on sight?”

Yes. He can.

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Your heep need to move

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People get very uncomfortable around people who are very comfortable with force. -Rory Miller

Thursday no-gi, Bellevue. I had to skip last week because my tattoo was still too scabby. I did considerable exercise-like yard work, though.

Mount escapes.

1)Basic upa, begin by yanking down on foe’s shoulder if s/he has it wrapped around your neck. After you land in hir guard, Push one of hir knees to the mat and slider over hir thigh, your inside knee first. Underhook far arm. Side control. Mount, without ever lifting pressure from hir chest/shoulder/neck.

2)Mounted foe is scooting high on you, Grab your own wrist with opposite hand and form a frame to push hir hips back. Place feet as close to butt as possible and pop hips in air as hard as you can, keeping your frame in place. (Professor Carlos: “Your heep need to move!!!”) Pull your knees in and put opponent in butterfly guard. Now straighten legs to shove hir back. Sit up and scoot in (land on your hip NOW to avoid an extra step later), hug under hir arm, grab opposite bicep, butterfly sweep.

3)This was a new and tricky one. Same entry as above, only you get just one knee between Bad Guy’s legs instead of two. Stretch out to shove hir away. S/he should land with one knee up- the one opposite the side you have YOUR knee in. Swing your free leg around the OUTSIDE of hir other hip and place your foot on the hip. (Be careful to not cross- or get shoved across- hir centerline). Now pinch hir thigh between your knees and roll hir to hir outside hip, Ankle lock. (Make sure to use blade of forearm on ankle, not flat).

I had to take some allergy meds before class, so my brain was feeling a little foggy- primo conditions for injuring someone or myself- thus I elected to bow out of sparring.

Friday evening

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(Defensive display) is almost always a stupid choice and a sign of a pure amateur. –Rory Miller

Friday evening at Bellevue.

Unfortunately Linday was ill and could not join us tonight.

Also unfortunately, someone brought in a bucket of Halloween candy.

You have opponent in your guard, grips on hir sleeve cuffs, feet on hir hips, knees in. S/he puts one knee up on the inside.

You take the leg on the OPPOSITE side as the one s/he put up, and swing it over the arms and hook the toe under hir thigh.

Use your grounded foot to scootch body out sideways, yank hir arm across your body. Now you can dump hir and get on top.

If s/he tries to stand up and post with the other foot- go to armbar. Note that this is why you needed to take care to pull that arm across your body in the previous step. If you got sloppy with that, you will not have this option. Note also that finishing this armbar involves bracing the bent knee firmly against opponent’s torso.

If s/he pulls the elbow down far enough to kill the armbar, underhook hir leg and straighten your legs to Dump hir. Get on top.

Sparring with Chrisanne, starting from the position described at the beginning of technique 1.

More sparring- a white belt and a blue belt that I don’t know, then Christy and Casey. I was able to handle the two lower belts fine. Being aware that life underneath Christy is unpleasant, I stayed on top. I was able to hang out on top and threaten various chokes for the entire roll. Got two of them (including a head-and-arm, which I was delighted with, as I enjoy these and am not yet as proficient with them as I would like).

Casey of course is more of a challenge- although when we began, he claimed to be too exhausted to tie his belt, which boded well for me.

Hike!

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It is better to avoid than to run, better to run than to de-escalate, better to de-escalate than to fight, better to fight than to die. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Back-and-forth single-leg setups, judo grips. We all got reprimanded for not having the collar grip hand high enough. If you let it slide down to opponent’s chest (and this is easy to do after a Brazilian reps, even if you started out with a nice high grip), they can wristlock you.

Standing spider guard pass drills

Standing guard pass to KOB to spinning armbar

I grabbed John to drill with, but Carlos took him away from me and gave me Danny (which was fine), then took HIM away from me and gave me Pedro, which was less fine. Pedro is about 13, and has been here long enough to learn good pressure and some wicked subs but not long enough to learn the concept of drilling (ie, let your partner execute the drill), or that you need to be careful how hard you thump down on the ribcage of a classmate old enough to be your mother.

King of the Hill from standing up in opponent’s guard

Rotating short spars with many people, starting from butterfly guard.

After class, a two hour hike up a mountain and back down again. Including the copious stairs of a very tall fire lookout tower at the top. I did fine on the way up, but coming down is hell on my patello-femoral sydrome knees. They are gonna be screaming in the morning. But holy cow there is a lot of gorgeous scenery up here. And hiking is such good exercise. Especially when you take along a trash bag and pick up the garbage that utter and complete assholes insist on throwing all over a beautiful piece of nature when they come to visit.

When I got home, there was additional heart-racing cardio in store when I saw a sheriff parked in my driveway. Turns out the alarm in my garage had gone off- but we found no signs of an intruder, so it appears to have been a false alarm.

Thank you for showing up.

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Absence is the most efficient survival strategy. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Taking nearly a month off class does not appear to have had any effect on my injured elbow. It was a bit worse after the tournament. I’m frustrated with it, but I guess it’s time to just suck it up and keep going, working around it as best as possible.

Drilled with a new woman- Christy. She’s already got some really good basics. She informed me that she had “HEARD of me”. Geez. Cindy was present today, and immediately proceeded to tell Christy all about how I like to neck-crank little kids.

Butterfly guard. You grab opponent’s ankles. Place left foot in hir rt hip. Turn on your right hip and pull hir left leg crossways across your lap. Your right knee should be under this leg. Curl up and scoot in terribly close, low, as if you are trying to crawl right up hir butt. Do not let go of the ankle. Once you are tucked right up in there, you can let go of the ankle and grab the back of hir belt. Technical lift to get your leg in position to take the back.

You standing, opponent on hir back with feet up. You swipe hir left foot to the side and step your right foot to hir left hip. Hike up on one leg and paste your bent left leg against hir left leg, right under the knee. Fall onto your right hip. Pinch knees together, opponent’s leg between them. Grab the pantleg. Tripod up, in a sort of KOB position, only you are KOT (knee on thigh). Keep the shin, and pressure down on the thigh to keep them there. Grab the near lapel. When s/he pushes back, pull the leg, turn your hip and go to side control.

I was at first grabbing the far lapel, as I generally like to do, and Prof. Carlos came over to correct me.

Kitsune: “Why don’t I want to hold the far lapel?”
Carlos: “You want to try eet on me?”
Kitsune: “NO.”

Christy was kind enough to rescue me at that point by setting up an armbar to demo why you don’t want to hold that lapel, and I’m sure she did it much gentler than Carlos would have. I thanked her humbly.

Christy had a brace on her ankle, so I was being extra careful, but Carlos still came over to warn me to fall on my HIP and not my back, so as not to injure her. He even started to suggest that I switch to the other side, but she demurred. Now, I’m very happy that he is diligent about looking out for everyone’s safety, especially the women. But it irritates me and hurts my feelings when he acts like he thinks I’m going to injure people by being careless. I know Cindy’s just giving me crap when she does this- she knows that I’m very careful and I am extremely safe for anyone to work with. I can’t help thinking that that *ONE* time that I accidentally extended Kelly’s elbow a bit too much and she yelped during drills has burned into his mind that I’m unsafe. That was a very, very, VERY isolated incident in a long history of safe martial arts partnering, and she was *FINE*. I wish we could put that in the past. I don’t like feeling that Carlos regards me as an unsafe partner.

Several rounds of positional sparring from butterfly guard. Then one round with Christy and one with Nelson. Nice to see him again. He has cracked his floating ribs. He actually went to the doctor, so you know it hurts pretty damn bad.

When we lined up to bow out, Carlos thanked a number of people for a number of different things, and then added, “Thank you Keetsune, for showing up.” Blush.

Brotherhood Of the Banned

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The primary skill, rarely practiced or taught, in defense weapons is getting the weapon into play in the first place. Drawing under close assault. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ at Bellevue.

You are seated, opponent standing before you grabbing your pants at the inside of one knee. Cross grab hir arm, use it to pull yourself up and around (Your inside foot remains planted between hir feet, your outside knee bends as you life yourself) and rear clench.

Opponent tries to butterfly sweep you. You post on your outside hand, slide your OTHER SIDE knee between hir legs, then launch backwards into side control (or the back, if s/he fails to roll back, which is difficult for hir due to you trapping hir leg)

Standing pass of DLR guard.

Multiple short spars with the same person (John).

Later…………

An hour and a half rolling with Kelly, first gi and then no-gi. We started from standup each time- and she took me down with the same wrestling takedown every time; I was unable to either defend or land in a decent position. Needs more work. I stopped trying to hang onto her neck after I once got a really disquieting set of cracking sounds as I went down on my ass. (Wide-eyed: “Are you okay?!!!??” “Yeah.” “If you had closed your eyes and dropped to the mat, I would have had a fuckin’ heart attack.”) I tapped her twice, she tapped me about ten times. I won’t say it wasn’t frustrating- especially the amount of time I spent trapped on the bottom- but she is really good practice for me.

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Georgette feels that women have the right to know that they are learning self defense from an accused rapist, and that they have an accused rapist between their legs in jiu jitsu class. The following Facebook page has been created for the purpose of

1)whining that poor sweet Mat Maldonado is being “stalked” and “harrassed” online, and

2)posting photos of Georgette, her work address, her salary, and pleas for people to call her employer.

Um, yeah.

https://www.facebook.com/justice4matt

Please visit the page and share your feelings.

A bunch of us have already reported the page to Facebook for harassing Georgette, but please add your complaint to the list.

He is still swaggering about saying that he did nothing wrong… my hope is that the next time he has the opportunity to do what he did, he will think about all this “unjust harassment” that resulted, and decide that it just isn’t worth it.

I am proud to report that two of my awesome teammates- Griff and Casey- as well as myself and a whole bunch of other people have been banned from posting on the page and had all of our comments censored. Please join our Brotherhood Of the Banned. 🙂

It’s hard to troubleshoot your partner’s technique while you’re faceplanted on the mat.

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“What do the faeries do with the people they steal?” demanded Rimo.

“They eat them.” Taffi’s voice came out muffled, since he had both knees up and his head buried in them. –The Hole In the Clouds

127.0

These last three pounds are going to be a ripe bitch to lose. It doesn’t help to know that it isn’t going to matter by way of brackets. I’m going to have to fight Amanda, maybe Stevie, possibly one more; we will have to fight each other regardless of what we weigh…. although fortunately we are all usually within a bracket of one another. No-gi intermediate (where I’m going to stay as long as possible, although at some point I’m going to get forced up to advanced, which will be a tragic hoot) should have one or two other women- maybe as many as 4 or 5- in each of my possible weight classes, so it will matter… but I don’t know those women well enough to try to pick and choose where I want my weight to be in order to fight specific people. I know that I’m in my best possible condition at 124, though- so for my own purposes I’d like to be there.

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle. Feeling a little sore from yesterday’s drills- especially my glutes (those bullfight passes!). I told Carlos that I was sore from his class, because he loves to hear that.

Shannon was there today, and we were both looking forward to working together because it’s been a while- but Carlos split us up and put me with a new white belt girl (Laura).

We did a number of complex techniques today. My brain had to scramble to keep up. If I’d had a day like this as a new white belt, I would have been in tears. Laura actually did really well, although needing considerable guidance. I did the techniques first, talking my way through it with one succinct word per step and pointing out any critical details. I think we mostly did okay together, although Carlos had to come over and help a few times. In particular, it is very difficult to talk your partner through troubleshooting her omoplata while you are faceplanted on the mat with your arm twisted behind your back so that you can’t see what she’s doing.

Rodrigo often tells his classes (with varying degrees of patience) to not presume to “help” fix each other’s technique, because- as he says- half the time, you’re telling them wrong. Yet he once chewed me out (when I was a young blue belt) for *failing* to correct mistakes on the white belt I was drilling with. So I get a little frustrated sometimes with the mixed messages. Today, Carlos reprimanded the class to not “fix” each other’s techniques. Then less then 20 min later he was asking me what was wrong with me for not having Laura’s techniques all perfect. Mind you, I *was* walking/talking her through everything, but these were a bunch of complex techniques with 8 or so steps apiece, and I am not yet so perfect that I have every single detail down pat myself.

1)Opponent attempts a double-leg, you sprawl. Place right arm stiffly beside the left side of hir head and spin around so that you are hanging off hir hip on that same side. Double underhooks, high lapel grips. Little hop to bring your FAR leg in and place the knee beside opponent’s knee. Other leg stretched out straight behind you (don’t mount the person). Pull hir into your back mount. Note that you need to have a little distance between the bodies- if your crotch is pasted to hir butt, it’s very difficult to prevent yourself from rolling on your back (an issue that I used to have tons of trouble with in the past, but I’m starting to get the hang now). Hooks in nice, lapel grips high and tight.

2) Begin in butterfly guard. Break opponent’s grip on your right pantleg and swing leg COUNTERCLOCKWISE to hook foot under hir armpit (“lasso”). YOU MUST KEEP HIR HAND TRAPPED- ON YOUR BELT!!! Place left knee horizontally across opponent’s trunk with knee toward your lasso side.

Grab opponent’s pants at ankle (no fingers in pantleg!!!) with your left hand and pull hir to load hir onto you. As you do this, stretch that leg out so that you are “talking on your phone” with opponent’s knee.

Use folded leg to gently lever opponent off you onto hir back. Hir wrist that you still hold- press that to the mat. (I found that you really need to take a moment here to make sure hir fingers aren’t going to break when you do the next move).

Which is- technical lift, to KOB.

3)Begin in butterfly guard. Go to lasso again, but this time you square up with your free knee pointed at the ceiling.

Now take that leg and straighten it, propping it on opponent’s left shoulder with the outside of your shin on hir ear.

Fold that straight leg forcefully over opponent’s neck.

Switch your right hand grip to opponent’s elbow. Then let go with left hand and swing your body so that you are nose-to-tail with opponent. Fold legs with opponent’s arm trapped in your crotch. Don’t let hir front-roll.

Finish omoplata.

4)Begin in back mount, double underhooks. Let go with rt hand and reach over shoulder to get choking grip. Let go with left hand and grab pants.

Bringing opponent with you, roll on your back and then on your rt side, and pull/kick your rt leg under you so that you come up in S-mount. (If necessary, adjust the front foot so that it is snug against foe’s belly).

Turn your rt shin/foot out. Come up to a squat. Sit back on butt while bringing right foot over opponent’s shoulder.

Choke-a-rama.

See? How’d ya like to take a brand new person through all that, at a rate of speed so as to finish in about 40 min?

Then we did a little KOTH from back mount. High belts down (being back mounted)- including me. I was slow to escape most people today, but I did escape all but one- a big cop who was totally muscling the crap out of me. He was tall enough to stretch me out and then bow my back so that there was no way for me to reach his feet even if I tried to use my thigh to lift a foot up to grabbing height (an invaluable trick!) He was almost able to tap me just with the back-bowing, but he wanted the choke, and I defended that (with difficulty… this was painful and I was scared for my spine, but he was pissing me off and I hate to tap to muscling). He tried to get my pantleg for a bow and arrow, but I scuttled that plan as well. He finally muscled me with a sloppy choke and I had to tap.

I did about 4 rounds with Shannon, and she was doing well enough that on the final round, I was forced to resort to some chest pressure and face-grinding. I hate doing that sort of thing, and I whispered, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” while I was doing it. Then after I finished the escape, I apologized again and told her that she was doing so well that I had to resort to that- it was the only thing I had left.