Your most important part


At an advanced level, a mature practitioner should begin to “look outside of the box” of his or her base style. At an advanced level, studying outside your base allows one to better perceive recurring patterns in human attack; that there are only certain ways that a particular joint or limb can move without injury; or that certain techniques are designed to produce or capitalize on a particular physiological reaction common to the species. It is therefore understood that ultimately, there may be a “correct” method to execute technique X within system Y, but ultimately, another system utilizes a nearly identical body mechanic in a related and equally effective manner to counter the same recurring human self-protection problem. The only “correct” method, therefore, becomes the effective application of that body mechanic in neutralizing or escaping a threat, and the study of individual style (judo, jujitsu, karate, aikido, and so on) comes to be seen as simply an individual on-ramp to what amounts in the end to a much larger road. –Michael Thue

Attempting to channel anger into one’s MA is inefficient, dangerous (to both parties) and potentially ego-wrecking (in a negative way; positive ego-wrecking being an actual valid thing in MA). Good to remember when a buddy impales me in the self esteem the day before a comp. Guy is a decent person and good friend, but possibly the most insecure person I have ever met in my life (worse than me, ha ha!). It is incredibly threatening to his masculinity to think that I might be able to beat him up if it came down to it. The fact that I have trained multiple MA’s for twenty years while his ass has been parked on the couch is irrelevant. I am not invested in needing HIM to know I could beat him up- it costs me little to throw him that bone, and I have (although, it must be admitted, with increasing levels of sarcasm as the years go by). Yet I have tried many times to explain to this friend that I don’t want to hear about it repeatedly. Regardless of the truth or untruth of the statement, it is disrespectful and just plain shitty of him to keep saying this to me when he knows what a big part of me is invested in MA. It is invalidating. And yes, I freely admit that my own self-esteem is crappy, and I am not in a position to shrug off his statements without being hurt, pissed, and unbelieveably frustrated. And thinking it may be true.

Anyway, he hit me with this again today, and it has raised angsty feels that I did not need the day before a tournament. I informed him that he has reached the bitter end of my tolerance tether on that score, and if he ever says that to me again, we are through. Needed to be done. But I am left feeling even more disheartened and conflicted than usual on tournament eve.

Was reflecting that defeatism/confidence/self esteem are by far the hairiest challenge for me in my MA journey. Making one wonder- if you’re into all that esoteric crap- if that’s what it all about, if that’s what it’s all FOR, for me. A higher power or my subconscious or whatever trying to use MA to heal my esteem. It occurrs to me that it may be necessary to actually try my hardest and fail, and cope with that. Actually trying my hardest and failing anyway is such a terrifying prospect that I can’t even wrap my brain around it. But I’m not sure where else to go from here, as I am making little if any progress on my defeatism. It may be that the only way through it is- THROUGH it. Straight through.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Drill- pushups and sprawl to backtake. After we did all the reps, Chrisanne collapsed on the mat to wait for the rest oft he pairs to finish. I said, “Oh no. Get up. We’re starting over.”

Sparring. I tooled a white belt, got tooled by a blue belt, played defense with another white belt who had already been too rough with Chrisanne, so I knew I had to wach it with him. Had Chrisanne (at my request) get me in bottom side control and front mount and just hold me down. She did it very well. I couldn’t get out. She also has excellently painful Shoulder Of Justice.


Carlos, after matching up everyone in the class except me: “Come here Keetsune, we gonna talk about smashing. (wicked grin)”

Kitsune: “Oh boy. Okay, as long as all we’re going to do is TALK.”

Carlos (more wicked grinning)

Chrisanne: “When she asks to be smashed by *ME*, that’s a different thing than getting smashed by *YOU*.”

So he did to me the same thing that Chrisanne did, and if I couldn’t escape *HER*, you can guess how well I did against him. He advises more hipping up, observing that I am underutilizing my “most important part”.

After we did that for a while, he started latching onto subs and then reprimanding me for passing his guard instead of dealing with the sub attempt first. That is another item for the file of “Sloppy shit that works on lower belts but not on purples and up…. so it’s time to stop doing it.” Usually I can pass guard and *then* get out of the sub attempt, which has been weakened by the now-suboptimal positioning. The purple belts and up, though, will often set traps that cause you to sub your own self when you move.

Carlos, re: the comp: “We all gonna be there- me, Professor Hodrigo, Professor Lindsey….”

Kitsune: “Wonderful.” (gahhhhhhhh!!)