I have a new favorite choke.

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When fighters fight, their souls touch. –Jacob Duran

Previous Thursday and Friday classes, Bellevue: all spars. Didn’t have much to say about them.

Thursday lunchtime gi, Bellevue:

You have butterfly guard. Get right-hand cross lapel grip and place left foot on opponent’s right bicep to stretch hir out and pull hir forward. She will have to put up hir right knee, where you have stuck in a butterfly hook (your right foot).

Push that butterfly hook through deeper. PULL THE ARM DOWN and under your ankle, yank it up onto your belly. (This was the bugaboo for me, for some reason- had trouble braiding all the limbs in the correct order in that particular little knot). Triangle-lock your other leg so that opponent’s right leg and arm are both trapped here. You need to sweep to the side that hir post is NOT (I had a little trouble with that too…). The trick (assuming you have managed to trap the arm effectively) is pinching your knees together and tipping them to the outside to spill the opponent. Pinching the knees together is a persistant failing for me over several techniques, so I really need to pay attention to the techniques that use that.

Another thing that stymied me was that you have to be square with the opponent, flat on your back, and disturbingly far away from hir to make that last bit work. I am used to having to curl up like a pill bug, quirk to the side, and tuck myself as far under an opponent as possible for most sweeps. And NEVER NEVER flat on your back. This one was the opposite, and it always freaks me out when I have to try to do those rule-breaking outlier techniques.

John was having trouble as well, and Carlos was getting frustrated with both of us. He got so frustrated with me at one point that he walked off (I hate that worse than anything), but he was a lot harder on John. I whispered to John, “He’s being rough on you because he’s getting ready to promote you to brown,” and John thanked me.

One great roll after class with John. I also found his pulse.

I am going to take a CPR/first aid recertification class, and finding the pulse quickly and consistantly was one of the things that I had problems with last time I tool this class back in college (when dinosaurs walked the earth). I want to find pulses on everybody I meet until I feel really comfortable with it. So far I have quickly and easily found five out of six; that sixth person I had to grope a little, but I did find it.

There is a fire station only 2 miles away from my house. I had always intended to get am EMT certification, just to have the skills, but with the station that close it would be nice to volunteer there or pick up a little extra money now and then. They will even pay for your EMT classes, if you commit to a certain workload. It’s in Everett and the scheduling is going to be very difficult with my work schedule. I think I can power through it, but I will have to wait until my two elderly dogs pass….. I just can’t be away from the house that much while I am taking care of them. That’s okay. I can use the interim time (years, maybe!) to study so that I know all the Book Learnin’ backwards and forwards by the time I do the class.

In the meantime, I am going to check pulses obsessively on all of my BJJ bretheren. I have promised to not try to transition to a choke if they let me.

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Friday evening:

Women’s class- same techniques as yesterday. Good, I needed more work on them. Happy to see that I was not the only person struggling with the same aspects.

2nd class (ooof)- I almost died doing the second class, but it was worth it because I learned my NEW FAVORITE CHOKE.

Pulling half guard from standing (why am I so clumsy at this? I have done it before and was not this clumsy…. I need to practice this more).

Opponent drapes over you as you have half guard (lying on your right side). You grab a handful of gi at hir knee with your right hand, and stick your thumb into the back of hir collar. With a twist of your body, you can now roll the person over yourself and dump hir on the opposite side (You are now lying side by side, feet to head, on your backs). Do not let go of grips as you roll up and take side control.

THIS CHOKE- oh my. You are in bottom half guard and the opponent is squashing you. (I like it already, because how much time do I spend here? YEARS!!!! What am I able to do from here? VERY LITTLE!!!!)

You are on your right side, frame up and use your right elbow to shove opponent’s top half toward your left. (Note that in no-gi, you can also do this, cupping opponent’s shoulder.) Snake your left hand under opponent’s arm as if you are trying to reach under your own armpit- then grab your own bicep instead. This can be a choke or (with a body twist) a shoulder lock- and it comes on FAST, so be careful and don’t slam it.

Simple. Effective. From the position that I spend the most time paralyzed in. I am in love.

 

I found Chrisanne’s and Doug’s pulses. They are alive.

 

Thursday: break-in. Friday: pit bull attack. How was your week?

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Many people receive the answer to their prayers, but ignore them- or deny them, because the answers didn’t come in the expected form. –Sophy Burnham

Thursday lunchtime gi in Bellevue. We got Rodrigo today! Carlos and Doug both had surgery at the beginning of the week, so they will be on the bench a while.

Opponent in turtle, you sprawled on hir left hip. Grab hir left sleeve cuff and right lapel. Move to the side and pull hir onto her side, switching to a “sash” grip. Stay heavy and keep public bone to the mat. As s/he places hir top foot on the mat to try to recover turtle, you stick your bottom leg into the space that s/he has just made between the mat and hir hip, and wrap hir bottom leg. Pull hir back into you, and place the second hook. Do not forget to trap the arm. (Note: do not- as I wanted to do- try to jump/climb on top of hir to get the back mount. PULL hir into you.)

Same entry, only now as you pull the foe onto hir side, you use your lapel grip to open the lapel and slide your other hand in. I always want to snug everything REALLY REALLY TIGHT, and Rodrigo instructed me to loosen up and slide down a bit on this lapel grip- because you want the person to try to recover turtle instead of realizing that they’re about to get choked. As they go into turtle, you clock choke. Do not straighten your arm and pull at this. Keep the elbow bent and lean your chest over the opponent’s head. Rodrigo puts his forehead on the mat.

My stupid side, which I only tried a few times at the very end and only because we had done about a bajillion reps, was much tighter because that side had me doing the clock choke with my dominant arm.

A little positional training from the point where you pull the opponent onto hir side and try to keep hir down, while opponent gives some (but not crazy) resistance.
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So some crazy and/or drugged homeless guy broke into my garage this morning. It scared the poop out of me, but I was very happy that I had a gun, so that I knew I could defend myself if he tried to get into the house. I was even happier to see the sheriff pull in. I could have set off the audible alarm and probably scared him off, but I wanted the cops to get him, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about him coming back (for a little while, at least). He broke a window in my rear garage door, but luckily did not damage my car. The nice deputies caught him red-handed in there, carted him off in cuffs, and booked him for Burglary in the second degree.

I think the only thing I could have done better was to be more proactive about checking out odd noises. I heard some thumping, but assumed it was the cat messing around upstairs. It was only when the thumping continued that I went up to check, and found her asleep. I figured then that I had a bear in my garbage can. But when I looked out the window, I saw an unfamilar dude lurching up my driveway while holding an animated conversation with himself. Next time I will check out weird noises more promptly. If he had gone to the front door instead of the garage after rifling the garbage, things could have turned out much worse than they did.
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So, the day after some crazy homeless guy broke into my garage, my dogs and I got attacked by a loose pit bull. It tore up Teal pretty badly. I was well weaponed up, yet could not adequately defend.

Because I am so paranoid, my head is always on a swivel and thus I glanced behind me and saw the pit come out of the driveway. As soon as I laid eyes on that dog, I knew we were going to get attacked. I yelled “NO!” powerfully, as that has been recommended by some dog-savvy friends. I was then able to get off a couple yells for help and get my pepper spray out of my pocket before it was on us.

The dog attacked Teal, and I emptied half the can of pepper spray right into its eyes to no effect at all. I could not shoot it because we were in the middle of a populated subdivision. My knives would have been a poor weapon- this dog was not responding to pain compliance techniques, and I would have had to get under its throat and get a few really good deep slashes to put it out of commission. At that point, my bag of tricks was empty.

All I could do was yell for help. I tried to pull the pit off my dog, but it just kept hold and I was dragging both dogs. I really needed a second person- one to grab each dog and pull them apart. But although ten or twelve people came out to see what all the screaming was about, no one helped. 😦 Now I know what Kitty Genovese felt like.

Eventually the dog owner’s dad came out, and stood there to stare for a moment before wading in. He grabbed the pit’s harness and gave it a couple of ineffectual tugs, then he started whipping the dog over the back with a little nylon strap. Of course that didn’t do jack. Finally I gathered my wits enough to yell at him, “grab the harness and pull him off! Grab the harness and pull him off!” Which he finally did. As I fled for our lives, the guy was lying in the middle of the street bear-hugging the dog.

So, several lessons learned.

1)Don’t expect help. Even if there are lot of people around. They will just stare, or maybe take out their iphones to video your attack. You are on your own.

2)Please don’t be that person. If someone is yelling for help, fucking HELP.

3)I thought I was well weaponed-up, but two of my weapons were inappropriate for the situation and the third one failed me. I have thought a lot about what would have helped in that situation, and I decided that a hammer would have gotten the job done. I went to Lowe’s and bought a really nice heavy mallet with a comfy grip and good balance. I am now carrying that whenever I walk the dogs. The next loose dog that puts its teeth in my dog is going to get its fucking skull bashed in.

4)It was astonishing to what extent my brain switched off in the presence of that much adrenaline. I had to leave the scene, because Teal needed to go to the ER, and that guy still did not have his dog under control, so we fled. Later I had a hard time finding the attack site, I wouldn’t have been able to pick that guy out of a lineup, and I was even unsure what color the dog was- which is funny seeing as how I was wrestling with it for three minutes. Your brain really shuts down all the extraneous details. Next time, remind self to stop and take note of details, especially if you have to flee the scene.

5)Even if you have decided that your pepper spray is useless, don’t put the can back into your pocket. Just the small amount of dried liquid left on the outside of the can ate right through my pants and gave me a miserable chemical burn. My entire thigh looks like it’s been roasted over a slow fire. (Again- how did that monster dog just ignore this? I knew it wasn’t going to respond to pain compliance techniques, but I was hoping that the pepper spray directly into the eyes would blind it and make it difficult to breathe. Nope.)

6)January is tactically useless. All he did was run circles around us in scared confusion. I always hoped my dog(s) would try to do something if I was screaming for help, but it did not trigger him. Note: do not expect his help in the instance of a break-in.

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I went to BJJ class on Friday night, but I had too much going on to blog it, and now I can’t remember what we did. I also missed ALL classes the following week.

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Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. I got to drill with Nelson, which is always wonderful.

Triangles from guard.

From guard: fake a scissor sweep, then hook your toe under the thigh instead. Sweep hir AWAY from you. Note that you have to be really close to make this work- if you shrimped out too much getting set up for the scissor, it’s really hard to lift the guy using just leg strength.

Same basic thing from standup.

My favorite choke: the one where you get a deep cross grip and then grab a handful of gi at the back of the shoulder to finish. We turned our bodies to use the thigh to force the opponent’s head down as if we were going to armbar, then swung back to finish the choke straight on. Weirdly, it’s a chicken-wing pulling motion- yes, the very thing we are always told NOT to do. But it was beautiful. I found, while being the uke, that when the opponent swings that leg up, it makes you think he’s going for a triangle or armbar, so you want to yank back- which will just make you choke yourself even harder.

Three spars with three white belt ladies. They are all game and trying hard. Gave them all some (I hope useful) pointers.

Carlos let me touch his katana.

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It’s all about the visualization. -Savage Kitsune

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Same setup as that wacky sweep that Chrisanne and I worked on all last week, only this time instead of sweeping hir backward, you sweep hir forward. This means that after you swing your leg to the outside and place it on the Bad Guy’s hip, you place the other one on hir knee and stretch hir out. Pull hir arm across hir own centerline ( remember well from various other techniques that this makes it HUGELY difficult to defend the sweep). Note that you still have to remember to underhook the ankle, which once again was the step I left out as soon as I tried to speed up.

One short spar with John. I was happily surprised to find myself on top the whole time. John has become a fearsome opponent, and it’s very challenging to not be completely dominated every time.

Thursday evening I hiked…. as I wanted to see the Cirque Du Soleil, and avoiding the $15 parking fee meant a pre- and post- performance hike. Which was fine, although I had to circumambulate half of Marymoor Park on the way in. I kept running into dead end streets, and businesses backed up to the park with fences all around them.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Prof. Carlos won a katana in a comp last weekend, and was playing with it before class. He let me play with it too, to my humble gratitude. It led to an interesting conversation about handling other people’s weapons, and whether or not it was disrespectful to grab the sword by the blade or drop it on the floor. He knows I had a lot of TCMA etiquette pounded into me before coming to BJJ. He actually apologized to *me* for dropping his own sword on the floor, when I winced.

Standup: front choke defense.

Pull guard to loop choke

Top half guard to gi tail choke. A second permutation in case foe defends by pressing your forearm down.

King Of The Hill, side control, mount vs escape. I was on the bottom the entire time and did very well- although granted I was almost always escaping to my Home Away From Home, bottom half guard.

One roll with Frasier, who tapped me with a keylock.

Jiu Jitsu On Ice

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The best targets for a swing with a (n impact weapon)- unlike a blade- are bones. You can bruise muscle with a club or staff and even get a “charley horse”, but for the most part an adrenalized threat won’t feel the pain, won’t notice immediately and it won’t swell up until long after the fight is over. Smash his finger bones, however, and he loses the ability to hold his (weapon) immediately. –Rory Miller

Thursday no-gi, Bellevue.

Several drills, most of them new to me. Missing the first part of the week is proving to be problematic lately, as Carlos has been teaching new drills and then building variations off those same drills for the remainder of the week.

Half guard sweep: From standing, one meathook behind neck and one outside bicep grip. Shove the bicep across opponent’s body and drop to your butt, putting hir leg in half guard (on the side OPPOSITE the way you shoved hir arm). Underhook hir remaining leg and scissor your own legs as you roll, sweeping hir forward. My main problem here is that I tended to be in too much of a hurry and didn’t want to take the time and effort to underhook the leg properly. I also didn’t seem to want to let go of that meathook. On Chrisanne, it was possible to retain the meathook all the way through the technique, but I was pulling her down with main strength. On a bigger/stronger opponent who is going to posture up and fight the meathook, I am going to need to be more aggressive about attacking the legs. Note also that you end up in top half guard. Best to anticipate this and make passing a fluid and uninterrupted part of the total package before the opponent can do anything about it.

You standing, opponent on hir back before you with feet on your hips. Shove the legs over hir right shoulder and place your hand on the small of hir back. Stack mercilessly until s/he wants to roll into turtle. Hug hir shoulders from behind (over/under) and place your head on the mat on the opposite side of hirs- ABOVE it a bit. Roll. The head placement is critical because otherwise, you will finish with a backtake (which is fine, but not our objective ATM). Getting a good grip and THEN doing the roll is critical. You need not fret as much as usual about being pasted tight to hir back first. As long as your hug is technically correct, the recieving end of this is painful and chokey enough that you find yourself needing to go along for the ride whether you like it or not. You end in a T formation, and usually the opponent’s far arm is just waiting for you to trap it with your legs. Now you can do a shoulder lock or a choke (or if you are having That Sort Of Day, both!)

Rolls with Chrisanne, JP, and Casey. I asked all of them to get me in side control or/and front mount, and then just be heavy and try to hold me there, because that has been my experience with Chelsea (whom I will be battling tomorrow in both gi and no-gi). Not that Chelsea just holds me there- but she DOES tend to get in one of those positions ASAP, efficiently zip up every molecule of space, and then rest her superior weight, significant musculature and excellent grounding skills on me while she leisurely selects a sub and finishes me off. I need to stay the hell out from under her (which also means I can’t pull guard at the beginning…. fighting for the takedown with her is not going to be any picnic, but I should try), and do my damndest to get out from under before she gets me bagged and tagged, if she does get on top. She’s so heavy and tight that in the past, once she lands there, I have felt an immediate futile leaking away of all strength and energy, and could just lie there gasping helplessly while she finishes. I wish I knew how to counteract the feeling of weakness and exhaustion that grips me in this scenario. It takes all the fight out of me.

Anyway, I was able (with specific focus) to stay mostly out from under Chrisanne, but the boys very efficiently put me in side control and pinned me. I continue to want to put an arm up beside my head. I need to frame and stop giving away my arms. Another thing I did a couple of times with JP was to move both arms to one side of my midline, as Georgette has advised against. Also, as Georgette pointed out and JP pointed out AGAIN last night, I want to try to get my BOTTOM leg in first to try to replace guard. I end to instinctually try to get my top leg in. I feel vulnerable lying on my back, and always feel a driving instinct to get belly-down. This results in backtake, which I am currently making a greater effort to avoid.

I need to keep in mind that tomorrow’s comp is sub only, no time limits, and I don’t need to get my panties in a knot if I have to lie under side control for a while…. as long as the time is not being used by Chelsea to vacuum up all the extra space (in which case I *do* need to light a fire under it, because “it’s not gonna get any better”).

Apparently we may have a few additional opponents in no-gi, but I don’t know who. I don’t think it’s anyone I know. It’s just Chelsea in gi.

Amusingly, JP apologized for sweating on me. I told him that he had BETTER be sorry, because I do not like sweat and I do not want to get all sweaty in here. Casey was wallowing in a lake of sweat and it was like Jiu Jitsu On Ice. Chrisanne also gave me a fat lip- but since that doesn’t affect function, I don’t really give a darn.

It’s been raining for three straight days… and I cannot pull blackberries, nor work on my yard terracing, nor work on my fence, which is driving me crazy. Also, being stuck inside, I am fighting the munchies. I registered at 131- and it’s probably not going to matter (Chelsea’s quite a bit bigger, don’t know about any others), but I did get down to 129 and it’s frustrating to backslide.

Trifecta

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How are impact weapons used? You smack people with them. You can spend years learning nuances of jo staff or bo fighting or try to recreate quarterstaff technique from old manuals, but the basics aren’t that hard. You hit people. –Rory Miller

This entire week, I have spent 4 hours per morning in my yard, pulling blackberries by hand. On Weds and Thurs, I also spent an additional 4 hours in the afternoons (for a total of 8 hours a day those two days). It has been a lot of exercise, and I am irritated that I haven’t lost any weight. But I have made serious inroads on the blackberry problem. I have a heap of mangled vines the size of a car. I am going to have to slack off at least some next week , though, if I want to have any grips for Proving Grounds. My hands are killing me. Knees are bitchy as well. Otherwise, not feeling a lot of body soreness. It’s nice to be 43 and be able to do eight straight hours of yard work two days in a row and feel fairly okay.

Also- turns out that sticking your hand in the lawn mower to clear the blades is a dumb idea even if it’s a Flintstone (reel) mower instead of a motorized one. Damn thing bit me. I have an enormous protruberant blood blister on my finger. Fortunately it’s on my non-dominant hand. I was growling because the blades are dull, but I’m lucky they were, or I could have chopped off the tip of my finger.

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Thursday no-gi in Bellevue. It was a drill-till-you-die night. I began with a spar with Casey. I didn’t feel like I did too well, but he praised me.

Ben and Kevin both have been promoted to brown belt!!

Single leg setups.

Standup, meathook behind head and bicep grip- transitioning to a standing armbar. Yank hir down to break hir posture. If s/he jerks upright, let hir- and do a double-leg.

Flopping from one side of a turtled opponent to the other- knee tucked in on each side.

We learned one new drill that was actually fun- you standing, opponent on hir back with feet on floor and knees up. You place your left hand on the floor just inside hir right foot, and your right hand atop hir left knee. cartwheel to the opposite side. Repeat. This was enough of a dance-ish technique that I was very coordinated at it and found it easy and fun.

These, MUCH LESS FUN: In open guard, press opponent’s left knee to the mat and hike hir right leg onto your left shoulder, hugging the thigh. skip from side to side, pressing each of your knees down on hir thigh in turn. This was not a good time for my achey knees, but I was soldiering along until Carlos came by and informed me that my butt was too high. He pressed my butt down, and after 3 reps, my body failed me. It was not a pain threshold or an exhaustion threshold, it was a case of I told my muscles to do X and absolutely nothing happened. Chrisanne did not do well with these either, but we both felt a little better when we noticed that the mid-twenties muscley boys beside us were moaning louder than we were.

Same setup, only now you press your palm to the small of opponent’s back and try to force hir to roll into turtle. You slide your knee under there, grab the over-one-shoulder-and-under-other-armpit back hug, control that wrist (That was the part I kept forgetting), and choke. Also, if opponent blocks your knee, hop over hir and do it on the other side.

When time was called, I keeled over and lay there in the fetal position for a while, as everyone else started lining up. I had to get up because Luis stared jeering at me.
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Friday evening in Bellevue, all spars. Sore from yesterday.

Peter, Chrisanne, Peter again, some blue belt guy, Doug twice, Carlos.

I choked blue belt guy to a tap three or four times. Kept telling him, “Put your chin down, put your chin down,” If you don’t listen to me, buddy, I’m just going to keep right on doing it. He started to go out once. He didn’t go totally out, I don’t think, but he greyed and then had to pause for a moment. He then told Carlos and Doug that I “choked him out”. I have never choked anyone out.

The Doug-Doug-Carlos trifecta at the end nearly killed me. I was trying really hard to stay mobile and attacking, especially since Carlos informed me before we began that he was going to hold me down in various positions and he expected me to get out. For many of these positions, I had to try and fail at several options before he let me escape.

Note- with Casey, Doug and Carlos, I was noticing that when they are standing and I am sitting open guard, I sometimes fail to contact three points- which I need to be doing. Worse, sometimes when I *had* three points, I voluntarily let one go.

Nonetheless, I felt competent today.

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I should mention that my 30-Day Plank Challenge failed at four minutes. I got through Day 26. I cannot do a four minute plank. Three and a half minutes is my limit. If I wanted to do more than that, I would need to plank regularly for a few weeks at least and build up to it.

The stripe fairy

stripe 001

All the world will be your enemy
Prince with a thousand enemies.
And when they catch you
They will kill you.
But first
They must catch you!

-Watership Down

Thursday: 127.5

You can run…. you can hide…. you can even leave your attendance card in the box so that it doesn’t get marked….. but the STRIPE FAIRY is still gonna get you in the end.

No-gi class in Bellevue. Began with a grueling series of warmups featuring all sorts of mutated pushups, backwards and forwards iron buffaloes, and anything else that Carlos’ twisted mind could come up with. Bear crawls with your partner backpacked on your back. Bear crawls with your partner papoosed on your belly. Thank God (blue belt) Lindsey was there today. Even she was almost too much for me. It wasn’t the weight that was the issue; it was more a problem of restricted limb movement with a human being pasted precariously to your torso.

Opponent is lying on hir back with you standing, hir feet on your hips, Push the feet to your left, swing RIGHT leg over the opponent, and drop with your right hip on top of hir left hip. Go to side control.

Same entry, only this time the opponent turns toward you and tries to swing hir leg over your head. Punch BOTH your arms to the other side, slide through using hir hip as the balance point, and take side control on the opposite side.

Opponent tries to double-leg you, you snap hir down and sprawl on top N/S. go to the side, reach both arms under opponent’s chest, grab far bicep with both hands, and pull to place opponent on hir shoulder. Keep weight on hir while you switch your arms so that the outside of your bicep is on hir clavicle. Now use “RNC” formation with your arms and lean your hip on hir head.

A couple of short spars. Carlos put a big white belt guy with me, and then gave him a lengthy talk about how he need not go easy on me. After he made the point three times, I said, “Okay, that’s enough! Now he’s going to kill me!” “I know thees guy ees a gentleman.” And the guy was, to the point that I actually had to reiterate to him that it was okay to put some weight on me.

I also had to have a talk with Lindsey, who is really hyperparanoid about hurting me (“but you’re so LITTLE!!!”) and won’t put barely an ounce of her her hulking 135lb down on me. She was doing that first guard pass drill brushing over my hip like a butterfly. I told her to be kinda careful of my RIBS, but she could thump down on my hip as hard as she wanted. She also wouldn’t complete her subs even with repeated urging. I tried to explain to her that as two colored-belt training partners who have worked together for a while, she needed to trust me to let her know if she’s going too hard, and trust me to know when to tap.

Next: Advanced class. It was a relief to see Kelly, whom I haven’t glimpsed since I crunched her elbow. I once again sought reassurance from her that I hadn’t injured her. Oh, she now has 4 stripes! Pam also got a stripe tonight! And- uh, well, me too.

We divided into teams of three and drilled double-leg setups from standing, then did the same inverted turn exercise that we did last night.

Then: opponent is in your guard. Pull hir fwd with legs and work hir bottom left gi tail free. Underhook hir left leg and feed the gi tail OVER your own thigh to the hand which is now underhooking the leg. Now you can scootch your butt out just a bit and go for- surprise- an armbar on opponent’s RIGHT arm!

If opponent pulls arm out, Keep ahold of the other grips and go for an omoplata.

If you go for the omoplata and the opponent hops one leg over you to straddle your head, you can (still retain those grips!) lunge up and force hir to continue the roll until you are on top. If you still have that gi tail, and now your weight down on hir, s/he can’t get out. Go to side control.

Several rounds of positional sparring starting from closed guard. I was working with Ron, and I was very pleased to try some of my new strategies when he inevitably went for deep half guard. I wasn’t able to get his head and package him up like Cindy had shown me… but I am very proud to say that I did **NOT** consign myself helplessly to the sweep and fall back on my ass. I did in fact manage to stay on top- it was messy, but I stayed there.