He’s asking for a roll in the hay.


Violence works. It is something that bad guys use to get what they want. When people look for the sources of violence or seek peace, this is the elephant in the room that everyone ignores. As long as violence works, some people will use it. -Rory Miller

Evening BJJ in Bellevue. Almost everybody was watching Amy win her MMA fight, so it was a very small class. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked with anyone other than Chrisanne. I was hoping Peter would be there, but he was not.

One of the warmups that Doug had us do tonight was a logroll all the way down the mat with hands and feet both up off the mat. I looked at that and thought, “What’s hard about that?” I did it really fast, twice (one direction and then the other). All was well until almost to the end of the 2nd run, and then quite abruptly I stared to feel nauseous. It was very odd. I have always done a ton of MA and dance and acrobatics and all sorts of stuff, and I have never had that issue. I guess I will limit the logrolls to once across the floor (half one way, half the other). Nausea persisted through class- mild but distracting. I had to skip the sparring, which sucked because I love to get a chance to spar with Doug.

From bottom half guard: Get the underhook, then go deep (get your face waaaaaaaaay down there to avoid being crossfaced out). Grab opponent’s far foot and pass it to your other hand, behind hir butt. Underhook hir other knee. Rearrange your feet- CAREFULLY- you have to make sure you keep that foot trapped- so that you can roll onto your stomach and scissor your legs for the sweep. Go to side control around either side, you can keep the foot if you are able.

From bottom half guard: go for the kimura. (If opponent is sitting up, yank hir forward with your legs so that s/he has to post.) When s/he sticks hir hand in hir groin to defend the kimura, keep ahold of the wrist but use that over-the-shoulder hand to grab the back of hir belt or pants instead. Now loosen your legs just enough to make the opponent think s/he can pass. As s/he does, hoist hir overhead and to the side (like an upa). S/he ends on hir back, you can keep the arm and finish the kimura from the top. Or take top control, or armbar, or whatever (I was ending up in N/S, which was fine with me). Note that this takes about as much effort as wafting a feather. The opponent’s own effort to pass lofts hir over. You are not using arm strength to heave hir, and you are also not dragging hir over your face. Doug does this to me ALL THE TIME, so it was nice to learn it. I will have to ask him for a defense. I hate finding myself being swept when I know exacly what’s coming and can’t stop it, but the alternative seems to be park there and allow yourself to be kimura’ed. There must be another option.

Doug likes to end his classes with a choke. This one was from closed guard. Pull opponent forward with your legs and do a double circular parry in front of your face so that as s/he posts, you whizzer one bicep. Clamp it nice and tight and grab hir opposite gi lapel with the same hand. Stick the thumb of your OTHER hand into the lapel just above your first grip. Slide it up to the back of hir collar, then whip the forearm over hir head and choke. This is a sublime choke. The guy was tapping almost immediately, and there was still miles of room left to add more pressure. When he did it to me, I noticed that because both hands are on the same side, I didn’t immediately register it as an imminent threat. Also, once he started applying it, I held out for a bit thinking “It’s fine… it’s fine…” and then ALLOFASUDDEN there were the black roses blooming in front of my eyes. Once it was truly in position, it was damn quick.

All three of tonight’s techniques begin with positions that I find myself in frequently but then get stalled in because I can’t quite remember what to do. If at least one of them sticks and I can remember to try it live, I’ll be very happy. In particular, my brain seems to have an extraodinarily difficult time retaining the mechanics of gi chokes- an area in which I would really like to expand my practical toolbox. I can’t wait to try this one on Chrisanne.

Doug (as Hozier comes on the sound system): “This music has got to go.”
Kitsune: “You don’t like this one?”
Doug: “No… it sounds depressing. And I’m not sure what it’s about.”
Kitsune: “It’s about sex. He’s asking for a roll in the hay.”
Doug: “Really?!?”

It’s a purple belt world.


Standing up to a person only draws a line around your territory. Defending it is what keeps you safe. –Marc MacYoung

Sunday: 134.2

I know intellectually that pop bloats you, but it is truly astounding to what extent decreasing (not eliminating, just decreasing) the amount of pop for just two days has deflated the appearance of my protruding Buddha-belly. I swear, dieting would be so much easier if I was more vain about my appearance.

But here’s something that actually MIGHT inspire me: concealing my pistol in its belly-holster may be easier if my belly is flatter. Yeah, that’s it.

Also, when I lose weight, my boobs get smaller. Lord knows, life is better on the martial arts mat with every cup size lower.

Unfortunately, past history has proven that for me- unlike most people- eliminating pop altogether does not result in immediate weight loss.

Monday: 135.6
Tues: 135.6

Eggs- it’s what’s for dinner. And lunch. Tonight my assistant informed me that if I didn’t lay off the carrots, I was going to turn orange. I informed her that I was okay with that, as long as I am FIT and orange.

Thurs: 136

I’ve been really really good all week with food. Less food and wiser choices. Slightly less successful with pop, but I did cut down.

Leslie, Casey and Cindy are all injured and off the mat. I’m feeling grateful and privileged at the moment that I’m not on the bench, because I know well how that feels.

Thurs lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

(blue belt) Jay, looking up and down the line: “We’re the only two blue belts??!”
(blue belt) Nick: “Guess so.”

They look left at the three or four white belts, then they look right at the eight or ten purple belts. Jay mutters something about “………..purple belts…..”

Kitsune: “It’s a purple belt world, Jay.”
Jay: “So they tell me, Kitsune…. so they tell me.”

Standup drills- double legs, single legs, sprawl on opponent’s failed double-leg and then spin around to the side and take the back. Carlos suggested pulling the guy into your lap instead of jumping on hir back.

Opponent kneeling, you in butterfly guard. Cross-grip the arm and yank hir to all fours. Sink one leg into a deep half guard position, then take hir back either by climbing aboard or pulling hir into your lap. I do not feel comfortable with this technique on someone bigger than me (which means 99.9% of people). Once I have that leg sunk in there, all s/he has to do is sink down on it, and I am pinned on the bottom. If s/he’s going to be mean, s/he can just keel over and capsize on top of me and crush me like a cockroach. I am in a position with a very limited set of options, and have no mobility to get elsewhere. Even John was like, “I guess this isn’t really workable for your body,” after we messed with it for a while. I won’t say of a technique, “I _CAN’T_ do X with my body” because every time I try to go there, Cindy (who is as small as I) does it with no problem. So I won’t write it off…. but for my present level, this doesn’t seem like a good one.

Positional sparring from the above position. I sucked from heep half, but I am pretty good at escaping back mount- even after explaining to John exactly what he needed to do to stop me.

A couple of spars.

Thurs evening BJJ in Kirkland. I haven’t been to Kirkland in ages, and I miss Dave. I miss Cindy too, but Mondays and Wednesdays are not good for training, with my present work schedule- I haven’t seen her in a couple of months. 😦

Warmups at Kirkland are longer and more tiring than they usually are at Bellevue. It’s a good thing (pant, puff).

Pummeling. I suggested to white belt that he not bend at the waist, but bend his knees if he finds me too short to comfortably pummel with. He did not straighten up. Okay, fine, buddy, take it or leave it. I don’t care. I’m going to guillotine the snot out of you if you do that while we’re sparring.

Flow drill: You on your back, partner standing, your feet on hir hips. S/he grabs your legs and tosses them to one side, steps to your hip. You shrimp out, cross far leg over top and replace guard.

Guillotines from standing; operating from failed double-leg.

Keylocks from mount. Dave suggests that if we’re having trouble getting opponent’s arms off hir chest, to first press the elbow down and then lever the wrist to the side.

Same entry, then opponent tries to roll away from your keylock. Transition to S mount, do not change grips. Clasp hir arm to your chest and straighten your back. Transition to armbar. You still do not need to change grips. Found myself wanting to, but tried to resist urge.

Same entry, now try to bow and arrow hir instead of armbar. Variation: windshield-wipe your shin against hir back and sit, pulling hir into your lap. Kick that leg out and place it over hir arm.

Also note: it is helpful to take up any slack in that pantleg before securing the grip near the knee.

A few spars.

Really tired. This two-classes-per-day thing is not easy. I am going to try to do it again tomorrow.

Deep half guard dilemma


Writing is a job. It is not waiting for some mysterious force to smack you upside the head with inspiration. It is a job and you do a job by working. Sit down. Write words. That simple. Writer’s block isn’t what is going on. What’s going on is an overwhelming mass of projects. It’s like a huge pile of dirty dishes in the sink. You want to believe that if you just don’t look at them, they will magically go away. But that’s not how life works. You do the dishes. One at a time. Until you are done. _Rory Miller

Sat: 129
Sun: 130 ankle weights
Mon: 130 ankle weights
Tues: 130 ankle weights
Wed: 129.5

Nurse in break room (with quizzical expression): Do you work all shifts??
Kitsune: Seems like I’m *always* here, huh?
Nurse: Uh, yeah.

Wednesday lunchtime BJJ at Kirkland.

Foe bearhugs you from the back. You grab hir hands, lower base a titch, and swing left foot behind foe’s feet. Now kneel on rt knee and roll, rt shoulder first. Keep that grip, so that opponent is carried helplessly over your shoulder. S/he hits the mat and you roll over top of hir. You land belly up. Your shoulder blade remains glued to opponent’s chest. Keep pressure on. “T” up, then turn into top side control.

Note that if I ever have to drill this with someone heavy, to ask them to take it easy when I am the uke. Even with Cindy (130lb), I had to make really sure to let go before we entered the roll so that I could frame my elbows to protect my ribs. Even so, it hurt. This would be a perfect way for me to pop a rib out again.

Next: escapes from bottom side control. Frame up, push up a titch to get a little room, hip out, KEEP ELBOW PLANTED but windshield-wiper the forearm to underhook. Heist to knees. From here, depending on where you end up, you can take the back (your arm is high on foe’s back), single or double-leg (Head pops up, place sole on floor on same side, posture up, push and lift), or pull out opponent’s near leg and get behind it. Note that if you do this last, you MUST either 1)get BOTH legs back there, or 2)use your foot to pin opponent’s foot down. Otherwise you will find yourself being summersaulted and kneebarred. Note also to not lose track of that arm. I was focusing on the lower body action so much that I left my arm hanging straight out there, and Cindy elbow-locked me.

After class, I asked for help with the persistant problem of being sucked into deep half guard and swept.

Rule 1: do not resign yourself to the sweep and fall back on your ass (my habit). Stay on top. You may be able to simply sprawl heavy out of it. Otherwise, stay on top and try to wrap arm around opponent’s head. Bring knee/thigh up to support, and try to get nestled in there with opponent’s head resting on your inner thigh. Now grab hir far leg and try to squeeze hir into a Tiny Package (TM). It’s all about controlling the head. I immediately assumed that any big guy was just going to muscularly straighten out of this…. but if the head is kinked to the side and pinned in place, it 1)is very distracting (owwwww) and 2)makes it impossible to move the rest of the body much. There are more options from here, but the one I liked was to *let* the guy straighten out…. you go with it and grab a kneebar.

Note that I need to work these some more the next time I get to work with Cindy.