Focus, mood, and energy level


The laser sight on the Taser (or on some firearms) puts a red (usually) or green dot where the dart or bullet will land. One company that manufactures laser sights refers to this as “Helping criminals make informed decisions”. –Rory Miller

I’m feeling frustrated right now with my lack of self discipline regarding work on my fiction. One of my favorite writers has made some noises about possibly offering some personalized mentoring to people. That perked my ears. I’d love to treat myself to that if it’s in my budget, but that would involve committing to setting ass to chair and fingers to keyboard (and not to fart around on the web, to FOCUS). I’ve been pretty good about keeping up on the training blog, so I decided that I might try posting some more stuff to Facebook (I usually limit my FB postings mostly to the martial arts quotes that I also put on my blog). Today- as a writing challenge- I wrote about changing light bulbs, and tried to make it funny and interesting. I got a good response.

I am quite firmly anti-drug, but today I also did a bit of an experiment. Like any self-respecting psychology enthusiast, I am certain that I have about a dozen assorted undiagnosed mental pathologies. One of which is a moderate helping of ADD.

No one I know would ever give me two tabs of a controlled substance (let’s call it Subtractorall), and if they did, I would never take it. But let’s just say, hypothetically, that I took a Subtractorall today just to see what would happen (specifically, in class).

Well, hypothetically, I feel energized. Normally, the combo of depression, severe allergies, and wonky work hours has me perpetually feeling exhausted, and constantly prioritizing bed over any other activity that I don’t absolutely *have* to do. Right now, I do not feel tired…. and it’s very bizarre because I don’t really know what it feels like to not be tired. I was really excited to go to class, and was bouncing around and singing.

I also feel less depressed than usual…. although I may have stacked the deck in that respect by writing the light bulb treatise this morning. Creative work of any type tends to temporarily unfreeze my emotions, and I get happy or deeply morose (often both in succession… there’s that undiagnosed bipolar disorder at work).

I also have a powerful placebo effect response, so it’s entirely possible that I feel different simply because I was expecting something different to happen.

I will need to hypothetically run this experiment again on a different day and see if similar hypothetical observations occur.

Unfortunately, class today in Bellevue was an all-sparring class, which was a little disappointing because I had wanted to see if I could focus better on drills and learning new technique.

My goal for today was to not give people my back. This resolution resulted in having fewer (percieved) options once trapped under side control. I still did some turtling, but not as much as I usually do- and when I did it, I tried to transition out of it instead of just hunching there and waiting for the other person to take my back so that I could escape. I asked a few people to try to take my back- and if they could get it- to choke me and make it hurt (No one got it today).

I did mostly well at staying on the move.

Suranjen continues to let me have a bunch of KOB’s, a bunch of front mounts, a bunch of taps. I continue to not know how to ask him why he’s doing it, or how to ask him to stop. I am 100% certain he is holding back in a major way. He didn’t used to do it, and I don’t get why he is doing it now.

With John, I decided that I did not want to be in his guard today, so I was pretty assertive about passing, getting and staying on top. Was moving well with him today, mostly.

Did some standup with Nelson, which is always fun. One hilarious moment- I glanced over my shoulder to make sure there was enough clear mat space in that spot to try to throw him over there, and he took that instant to throw me instead. That’s what I get for being considerate!

Another unusual thing- I wasn’t exhausted at the end of class.

Move your head.


Stopping violence or potential violence is a separate issue from “justice”- motive and mental competency are keys to determining the level of criminal culpability, but are irrelevant to whether someone must be stopped before they hurt somebody. –Rory Miller

Thurs “advanced” class in Bellevue. This turned out to be a combined class- Prof Carlos is at Worlds, I think…. Prof Jamie taught us.

Cross collar choke from guard, Kimura from guard, situp sweep from guard, hip throws, pulling guard from standing, pulling guard from standing and then transitioning to armbar. I was working in a trio with Nadine and Chrisanne, and was able to give them some good hints and feedback (such as, MOVE YOUR HEAD TO THE SIDE before you swipe someone’s posting arms off your belly and yank them down on your chest in closed guard). As amusing as it can be to watch white belts bash their foreheads together, I just don’t have the heart.

Positional sparring from closed guard and spider guard.

One spar with Casey and a couple with Chrisanne. Chrisanne was working tighter tonight. I did have to remind her to assertively jump on me right off the fist bump instead of sitting back on her haunches and waiting meekly to get shoved to the mat. But she was feeling really heavy on top tonight, and doing a good job controlling all my parts so that I couldn’t effectively get out of her scarf or side control.

I will unfortunately be missing Friday evening class- my cat is having surgery tomorrow, and I will have to stay home in the evening and keep an eye on him. I’m all out of good library books, and most of my PSG packing is finished- so maybe I will actually get a little writing done? Made another batch of cat food last night with the tape player going- the stirring of the creative juices put an intriguing new scene into my mind. Need to stay out of the kitchen, at any rate- especially with the missed class. I’m going to have to be really careful if I want to make weight for next weekend. I’m right on the edge. My fridge is full of eggs, but all I want is pizza!

“Do you do yoga?”


If you get injured- shot or otherwise- while running, keep running. Most people survive wounds. Most wounds are psychologically, not physically, incapacitating. You may be killed. You may bleed out. DO NOT give up. Not even if you are shot. –Rory Miller

Friday evening BJJ, Bellevue.

Side control to scarf, throw your leg over opponent’s head and grab your own lapel, trapping opponent’s arm. Place your other hand on the mat, then knee, then turn and armbar (the foot closest to opponent’s feet is under hir back). Little Prof Herbert stays amazingly tight throughout- he’s so close to the guy that he’s practically scootching underneath him.

Same, but opponent defends armbar by joining hands. Pull your feet out one at a time and cross them over top of hir arm. Bicep slicer(!)

Then switch to a grab-your-own-wrist grip and roll towards opponent’s head to break the grip. That one I learned from Carlos some time ago and have actually effectively used, along with a foot on the bicep to pry at the arm.

Next: I know there’s a name for the keylock when the opponent’s palm is on the mat by hir hip, but I don’t know the name (no one ever names techniques here). Anyhow, you’re in side control going for that, and the opponent grabs hir own belt or gi tail to defend. The arm closest to hir feet, place that elbow on the mat and your palm on your ear. thread your other hand through and grab the bicep of THAT arm (this took some wiggling, for me). Now move to NS and kick your trainling leg under in a sit-out. KEEP elbow on the mat (this is counterintuitive, but the prof corrected me on this specifically and it changed EVERYTHING). Once in position, you barely have to lift in order to finish a shoulder lock.

Positional sparring from side control. Then one roll with Kevin and one with a good blue belt guy I’ve worked with a couple times. As we slapped hands to start- him drenched in sweat and puffing like a locomotive- he commented wonderingly that I wasn’t even out of breath. Kevin and I had just had a long, lively, competitive, technical roll. I asked blue belt guy if he did yoga. He was that flexible, esp for a guy. He said no, but that he’d done lots of MA and always worked on his flexibility.

I seem to be moving more and setting up- or at least threatening- more subs lately. It seems like a slow, meandering improvement. I’ll take it.

I put on some music last night while making the cat food. Found out that my CD player has bought the farm. Tape player still works, although will not rewind. Sigh. Last week I organized most of my art supply boxes, and I have my tables set up now… so I can start working on projects any time. I also churned out three pages on my book today- which I haven’t worked on in a long time. Frustratingly, as I make a few tentative moves to break out of creative deep-freeze, my mind immediately starts hamster-wheeling on past trauma events (Autumn ’11). I really hope those thought processes are not mentally associated with the book (although I started serious concrete work on that right after the trauma, to try to divert myself- I’m going to be really vexed if that’s the case). The alternative theory, of course, is that *ANY* venture out of robotic day to day “enduring life” and into a creative “LIVING life” mode causes my subconscious to lunge up reflexively like Pavlov’s Demon Dog to sabotage me with toxic thought processes. I am my own worst enemy. It kinda makes me want to put the art away and just go back into zombie zone. Seriously, it’s like I can’t allow myself to feel pleasure and enjoyment (in art) without serving up a load of emotional garbage to make sure it’s tainted. Either feel nothing at all, or open the door that lets acute pain back into the space. I mean, just look at this paragraph. This happened because I sang along with 2 cassette tapes and wrote three pages of fiction. This is how I get. I don’t know if it’s worth it.

Problem is, my MA, my artistry, and my spirituality are all fused together. I can make some progress on MA while in endurance mode… you just have to keep going through the motions… but it is slow and crippled.

I am going to get all my hair cut off tomorrow. Looking forward to being able to get on the mat without that sweaty swim cap wrapped around my noggin for a while. I’m thinking about getting a Marine cut next month right before PSG. If I got a Marine cut and dropped ten pounds, I don’t think my Evil Twin and I would be able to tell OURSELVES apart.