Del a Riva and reverse Del a Riva


It’s easy to say, reading this in a safe and cozy environment, what you would do. But that’s only what you THINK you would do. It’s like yelling at the TV screen at the quarterback what he should have done on the last play. You didn’t see what he saw, feel the pressure he felt. You’re simply judging it from a technical standpoint, minus the impact of how emotion affects judgment and performance. You can’t know what it feels like until you’ve lived it. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Thursday lunchtime in Bellevue.

Ankle pick. We were picking the opposite ankle, which was a little odd, and made me have to concentrate really really hard to remember which knee to drop onto. Note that an ankle pick means pick the ANKLE- not the shin, not the knee. Also note that you can’t just pick it up without knowing (in advance- don’t try to wing it) where you are going to take it and how you are going to avoid fouling up your own legs. Once you have all of THAT straightened out, you can start worrying about yanking the lapel to tip hir.

Standing pass of del a Riva guard. Jerk violently upright to dislodge the foot, shove your pantleg holds to the floor (DON’T LET GO OF THE PANTS), pass to the side and take KOB. Carlos continues to remind me that in the end, every technique is ideally ONE step. I get wrapped up in cataloging and counting out my steps. In particular, I tend to execute standing passes with several shuffling steps to the side (which Carlos sometimes mimes me doing; it looks hilarious with his telephone-pole-length legs). Just step once and drop.

Standing pass of an inside del a Riva guard. I am unfamiliar with inside del a Riva, so that was interesting just trying to get into the drill position. Kind of the same technique, only we ended in side control instead of KOB.

Many drills of these, then positional sparring from these positions (varying goals… sometimes pass vs resist, sometimes sweep vs resist, sometimes pass vs sweep, sometimes free-for-all).

At the end, he did one of my LEAST favorite things…. more drills and positional sparring interspersed with cardio (pushups, sprawls, burpees (which Chrisanne always calls “barfees”)). Chrisanne was tired as hell but kept fighting gamely through the positional sparring with a little encouragement.

One roll with Jason. He crucifixed me, which was impressive. He is one of the few people who makes it really difficult for me to pass top half guard… he stretches my leg out in lockdown. He also keeps putting his arm up by his head. I trapped him in a head-and-arm a few times, but was having a bitch of a time trying to free my leg enough to finish it (he kept doing lockdown and pulling me down just far enough that I couldn’t get quite high enough to finish the choke).

DLR passing


In a sudden attack, you will have little or no time to work out your glitches, your ethical issues, your capacities. Whatever time it takes will cost you in damage. That is why it is imperative to work out all you can well in advance of any attack. –Rory Miller

Thursday advanced class in Bellevue.

Standup, judo grips. Foot on hip, on the side that you have the sleeve grip. Drop on butt, swing leg out, swing back in to DLR.

After we did that for a while, we advanced to sweeping partner over head from there. Note that although it seems necessary to heave the person forcefully over your head, it is actually much easier (and works better) to pull hir head to your chest- it forces hir to summersault.

Same entry- now when partner tries to sweep you, you kneel and grab hir pants at the insides of the knees. Push hir foot off your hip, then turn your body toward your knee-up side to remove the hook. Creep knee over opponent’s thigh, hug head, backsit, take side control.

Same entry. Now, when you try to turn your body to remove hook, opponent responds by turning knee in. Counter by turning the OTHER way and “sliding into home” knees and hips first. Take side control.

Positional sparring starting from one person in DLR, the other kneeling and gripping insides of knees. Rotating partners.

Brotherhood Of the Banned


The primary skill, rarely practiced or taught, in defense weapons is getting the weapon into play in the first place. Drawing under close assault. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ at Bellevue.

You are seated, opponent standing before you grabbing your pants at the inside of one knee. Cross grab hir arm, use it to pull yourself up and around (Your inside foot remains planted between hir feet, your outside knee bends as you life yourself) and rear clench.

Opponent tries to butterfly sweep you. You post on your outside hand, slide your OTHER SIDE knee between hir legs, then launch backwards into side control (or the back, if s/he fails to roll back, which is difficult for hir due to you trapping hir leg)

Standing pass of DLR guard.

Multiple short spars with the same person (John).


An hour and a half rolling with Kelly, first gi and then no-gi. We started from standup each time- and she took me down with the same wrestling takedown every time; I was unable to either defend or land in a decent position. Needs more work. I stopped trying to hang onto her neck after I once got a really disquieting set of cracking sounds as I went down on my ass. (Wide-eyed: “Are you okay?!!!??” “Yeah.” “If you had closed your eyes and dropped to the mat, I would have had a fuckin’ heart attack.”) I tapped her twice, she tapped me about ten times. I won’t say it wasn’t frustrating- especially the amount of time I spent trapped on the bottom- but she is really good practice for me.

Georgette feels that women have the right to know that they are learning self defense from an accused rapist, and that they have an accused rapist between their legs in jiu jitsu class. The following Facebook page has been created for the purpose of

1)whining that poor sweet Mat Maldonado is being “stalked” and “harrassed” online, and

2)posting photos of Georgette, her work address, her salary, and pleas for people to call her employer.

Um, yeah.

Please visit the page and share your feelings.

A bunch of us have already reported the page to Facebook for harassing Georgette, but please add your complaint to the list.

He is still swaggering about saying that he did nothing wrong… my hope is that the next time he has the opportunity to do what he did, he will think about all this “unjust harassment” that resulted, and decide that it just isn’t worth it.

I am proud to report that two of my awesome teammates- Griff and Casey- as well as myself and a whole bunch of other people have been banned from posting on the page and had all of our comments censored. Please join our Brotherhood Of the Banned. 🙂

I can’t help but notice there’s a T-rex on your crotch.


I expect the threat to have the advantage in size and strength; or to be crazy (mental instability or on drugs). Because almost all of them were one or the other. I think it makes sense, since you’d have to be crazy to routinely attack bigger and stronger people. –Rory Miller


Hallelujua! This is gratifying, in light of the fact that I wanted some carbs so badly yesterday that I was on the verge of tears. I went to Safeway (hungry and grumpy) and I stood there in front of the freezer case and stared at the creamy white cheddar baked mac and cheese for some time, while people streamed past and gave me odd looks. Then I bought eggs and mushrooms and went home and cooked a scramble.

I’m wondering if I should register for no-gi only at the next Proving Grounds (sub only) in Dec.

It feels very pressure-y to me to fight blue belts in tournaments. If I blow through them, they will (rightfully) resent that they had to deal with me in their bracket- and if they blow through *ME*, that’s embarrassing in front of all those people and all my teachers. (Go ahead, call me insecure, I know.) Also, at that small tournament, there was just not enough time to recover from the gi fights before having to go back in the ring for no-gi. You have worry about those looooooooooooong matches when it’s sub-only. It can get hairy.

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

I can’t believe I waited till the frackin’ morning before the comp to twist my ankle. I haven’t had any injuries of note for months, and I’ve been training a lot lately. Well, I twisted my ankle this morning doing drills. To be perfectly honest, I twisted it while trotting around to my partner’s feet end between guard pass reps. It doesn’t seem very bad ATM, but I wonder what it will be like in the morning. If nothing else, it’s distracting and I’m going to worry that it might collapse on me- in particular during no-gi standup. I doubt it will be an issue once we’re on the ground- especially since I won’t be doing any spider guard or DLR. Argh. At least I was able to locate my brace.

Stealing Julia’s idea, I painted my toenails and fingernails with the five belt colors. The Prof was the only one who noticed… but he got a huge kick out of it.

As often happens on Friday, we did mutitudes of fast drills. Spinning armbar from side control. “Slide into home” guard pass. Del a Riva pass. I was having a lot of trouble with the DLR pass, trying to clear my partner’s foot off my knee. He had long legs, and to keep ahold of the lapel as instructed, I had to bend far over and strain.

My partner was a nice white belt fellow named Luis. My very first rep of my very first drill (the spinning armbar), I kicked the poor lad in the head. God, sometimes you just want to slouch off the mat and call it a wrap when the very first thing you do goes like that.

Because all three of today’s drills involve to some extent zooming your crotch toward your drilling partner’s face, it wasn’t long before I spied something a little peculiar. Several reps later I was able to confirm that it was indeed a Sharpie petroglyph of a dinosaur- complete with a talking-balloon that said “Raaaawwr!” on the bottom edge of Luis’ gi tail where- when the gi was tied- it would lay right over his groin.

During the water break, I said to him, “By the way…. I can’t help but notice that you have a T-rex on your crotch. Is there a story behind this?” Apparently if there was one, he didn’t want to share, because all he would say is that his roommate graffiti’ed his gi. I had to tease him about that a few more times, though. I mean, you have to be ready to take a little ribbing when you come into a dojo with a rampant T-rex on your groin.

Kirkland Open Mat


Five senses working together give birth to the sixth. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Fri: 129

Open mat in Kirkland. Got to roll with Cindy (no gi), Shannon, a big blue belt guy who was sublime at not using strength, a new white belt guy and a less-new but out-of-practice white belt girl who were fun, and Anh- a blue belt lady from Edmonds that I’ve never met before. Anh is exactly my weight and size. We rolled no-gi as well. Ron was also there, and he was the only one I didn’t get to play with tonight. Oh well, we get to work a lot at Bellevue.

I tried a little of the DLR that we worked on yesterday. Trickier without the gi grips, of course- but Anh (unlike most of my training partners) is small enough that I can actually grab her wrist and keep hold of it. I noticed, though, that when you sweep someone into a face plant with DLR while in gi, the person can turn hir body a bit before hitting the foor. When you have someone’s wrist in no-gi, they don’t have that bit of wiggle room- it seems more likely to present a shoulder injury danger. I certainly didn’t want to break my fun new toy the very first time I got to play with her! I tried sweeping her backward instead, but her balance was too good for that. Something else to work on.