There are no anonymous mouthguards.


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 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.

Why are white belts so self-conscious about sucking?


In any incident, your first line of defense is your observation skills and instinctual feeling or intuition. Do not discount how important these are to your life, whether in fighting or getting along at work. Campfire Tales From Hell

Friday evening in Bellevue. I skipped Thurs because my tattoo is still stinging. I skipped tonight’s sparring for the same reason. I really wanted to get on the mat, but after the techniques and drills, the left half of my back felt like I was being roasted over a slow fire. It didn’t help when Chrisanne gave me a comradely slap on the back RIGHT on the most sore spot. I whimpered, and Carlos happened to be standing right there to see it. 😛

Warmup roll with Casey.

While we were doing that, a white belt who was jus finishing up the Monkey Bar Gym session was dithering about staying for the BJJ. We encouraged her, but she was like, “I suck, I really suck BAD…” Why do white belts get so self-conscious about sucking? Of course you suck! You’re a white belt! I informed her that we all suck; if we didn’t, there would be no reason to be here because we would already know everything.

As we were running warmup laps, I was following Casey and Casey was following Lance, who is quite a bit bigger than both me and Casey put together. Casey commented wryly, “I feel like I’m chasing a bear!” and I simply could not stop laughing for a really long time.

Pummelling (ow)

Butterfly guard sweep (ow)

Carlos wants me to crawl up higher in front mount and pinch my knees together. Chrisanne moaned when I pinched my knees together on her ribs, so I guess that’s good advice.

Note that if you do not want to front mount your foe after butterfly sweeping hir, you can keep hold of the near arm, do a low-to-the-mat technical lift type maneuver to get yourself belly-down, and end in side control with that arm trapped straight out down your linea alba. Nice position to get a little Shoulder Of Justice in while you’re there.

Opponent defends butterfly sweep by bringing hir arm to the inside and pushing against your chest. Grab that arm by the wrist, yank it down to your belly button, and sweep hir the OTHER way. Note that for me, this does not work at ALL on the stupid side. Way too weak and unbalanced-feeling.

Kimura from guard. Make sure to get leg high up in opponent’s armpit (this is a chronic problem for me in this technique as well as a few similar ones) and close the guard. Carlos adjusted Chrisanne’s knees in a way that made me groan “Ohgod, that sucks.” and they both started cracking up. Carlos: “I love to hear that.” Chrisanne says, “Good, then I will keep doing it like that!” Carlos reprimaded me for doing a hip escape. Just stay where you are and be forceful with that leg. If you are assertive, the Bad Guy does a face plant on the mat. Carlos points out that for best results, you want a push-pull action- namely, keep hir arm straight and push it up as you force hir shoulder down.

Your heep need to move


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.

“No pants! No pants!”


Self-defense is far more difficult emotionally than physically. The mechanics, in other words, are simpler and for most people easier than the will aspects. –Rory Miller

Saturday no-gi in Kirkland.

Partner drills- hip-ups, armbars from guard, pummelling.

Arm drags from standing, take the back. Partner pushes down your 2nd arm as it comes around, steps out with hip thrust, turn to face you.

You in butterfly guard, partner on knees. You arm drag and scoot under to deep half. KEEP THE ARM (this was my error). Hook the foot and move shin out. This torques the person’s knee and makes them unlikely to argue when you pull them into back mount.

Same entry, this time you post and brace forearm across hir collarbone. Scoot butt out a bit. Bring foot (on the opposite side as you have the armbrace) underneath and hook toe on the outside of opponent’s knee. Swim your armbrace to underhook as you place your forehead against the collarbone instead. Plow forehead into opponent’s chin (this sucks mightily to be on the recieving end of, and distracts you from protesting the rest of the technique) as you grab hir tricep to keep hir from posting and butterfly sweep her to front mount.

KOTH from back mount. I was sucking so badly here today, badly enough for Cindy to notice and get disgusted with me. I recieved a long lecture on my persistant 1)failure to mount any offense, and 2)insistance on being too nice to my partners to the point that I am not doing the techniques correctly out of reluctance to discomfit them. This discussion was accompanied by tactile learning aids in the form of a brutal elbow to the breastbone that forced some embarrassing sounds from me. I was informed that I do not need to be nice to Pedro or Aussie Dave, who both assured me smilingly that this is true. Aussie Dave is just one of the downright sweetest people I know, and my mind quails from the image of me grinding my forearm into his throat.

One spar with Aussie Dave, then I watched Cindy roll with Jill. I yelled at Jill that this was no-gi and she had to let go of Cindy’s pants. For the rest of the roll, she kept grabbing pants and then letting go like she’d been burned, squawking in dismay, “No pants! I forgot! No pants!”

Ankle is a little worse today. It seemed to be doing reasonably okay on Thursday, but it did not like Friday or Saturday training. I can still see visible swelling. Must dig out ankle brace.