“No matter how fast you do eet, you still have to stay here for an hour.”


Peyton Quinn’s rules of conflict:
Don’t ignore him.
Don’t insult him.
Don’t challenge him or accept his challenge.
Leave him a face-saving exit.
Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Being the last kid picked for the kickball team today landed me a black belt drilling partner (Sean). I managed to fall/roll over his hand and also clock him in the forehead within the first five minutes. Sometimes I think I should be wearing a clown suit on the mat.

Carlos had the heat cranked up to “Brazilian Beach In July” again today. We did a long sequence, adding a new piece every 10 min or so, but always starting with the double-leg from standing.

Double leg from standing. I continue to suck at wrestling takedowns. I know I’m not getting close enough to the opponent during the setup- and also, going down (and- especially-getting up again) is difficult on my bad knees. Sean wants me to change levels as a distinct step BEFORE sticking my lead foot between his feet. As I am doing the double-leg, I can’t help thinking, “Good lord, his thighs are like cement pillars.” I hope I have cement pillars someday.

Failed double-leg to circling to the back and bear hugging. You lift opponent’s feet off the mat, s/he wraps one shin around your shin to prevent being picked all the way up and dumped sideways.

You have no choice but to put opponent down. S/he reaches between hir own feet and grabs your ankle, pull to take down. (Note- when you are being taken down in this fashion, do not attempt to keep the bear hug. All that will get you is the opponent thudding down on your ribs like a cement mixer.)

Opponent steps out and pivots (with bent knee, not a big straight-leg spin that will expose the leg to grabbing) and goes to KOB, then front mount. After waiting 3 secons in each position to get points, s/he sinks one cross collar grip.

I had learned long since that one does not want to push the choking hand across one’s own throat- thus telling your opponent, “No, buddy, don’t bother to choke me- let me choke myself! No problem!” So when Carlos told us to put one hand on the wrist and one on the elbow, I thought I knew what I was doing. But he wanted us to do something that felt counter-intuitive…. PULL the wrist cuff away from the choke. This necessitated switching hands for me. I still have enough Tiger mentality that the world is all about PUSH to me… it rarely occurs to me to pull. I had to pause at this step the first few times and think it over.

Upa. After that bobble, I was so eager to move on that I explosively upa’ed the crap out of Sean, and the next thing I saw was Carlos’ face.

“Why you breedge that way?”

“Uh, that would be stupid because he can post with that hand.”

“Then why you breedge that way?”

“Because I was in too much of a hurry and didn’t think.”

“No matter how fast you do eet, you still have to stay here for an hour.”   Which actually was kind a revelation, which I will try to keep in the forefront of my mind.

After upa, guard pass. A few different variations of leg spaghetti, involving trapping the opponent’s arm across hir own body and keeping both  hir legs stretched out. I felt really off balance during the pass- like it would be easy to tip me onto my back- but Sean explained (and I saw for myself when he took his turn) that the opponent had no leverage for even the tiny push it would have taken to tip me over.

A little King Of the Hill, starting from side control. Top person try to sub, bottom person escape, catch guard or half guard. Camille got a legit sub on me. Awesome. She did a couple of abrupt switches on me- when we were straining in one direction, she suddenly switched to something else in the opposite direction and caused me to use my own force against myself. I love that, and still struggle to work it into my own game. Both white belt girls are giving great Shoulder Of Justice. They will need that, as tiny as they are.

A roll with a white belt who was delighted for me to school him in a Bunch Of Things That I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was a White Belt.  I told him that the best way to thank me would be for him to do these things to me next time we rolled. I love it when somebody kicks my ass with something I taught them.


Day one of one-a-day


What you do instead of your work is your REAL work. –Roger Ebert

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: opponent has both hands laced behind your neck. You lace your hands over hir elbow, chicken-wing your arm out and step to that side. This twists hir spine uncomfortably and makes it easier for you to move your hands inside and grab behind hir neck instead.

Next, we went from the chicken–wing-and-sidestep to a double-leg. Note that you must plaster yourself right against the opponent and slide down hir body, otherwise you will not be close enough. Hug just above the knees.

Opponent is turtled in front of you. Sprawl, crossface, sash grip around chest, switch far knee in, pull opponent into your back mount. Three notes: 1)don’t forget to grab the wrist at the end. 2)You must make sure your shin is pressing against opponent before you start to pull hir over, and kick that baby under *as* you are pulling. If you wait till after you have hir capsized, it’s too late to shove that foot under. 3)Try to dive in a diagonal direction over the shoulder instead of pulling opponent sideways. I continue to find myself subconsciously resistant to this, as I keep feeling like I am just going to slither my tiny self over hir shoulder to plop onto the mat while s/he continues to turtle there like a rock. This doesn’t make logical sense, because if THAT is how it is, I am not going to be able to haul this person sideways either. I have nothing to lose and a slightly better chance of succeeding if I go on the diagonal. I found it slightly more palatable if I made a point of shoving the shoulder aggressively to the mat as I went.

King Of The Hill, sweep versus pass (any guard, choice of the “king”). I didn’t do all that great, but I was overmatched by everyone (they all outranked me except for one big muscley white belt).

I’m doing it. I am going- not quite cold turkey, but- one pop per day (first thing in the morning). This is day one. I am jonesing badly, but it helps that I have no Dr Pepper left in the house (just A&W root beer, which is great, but not quite as bad of a trigger). I also took the A&W out of the fridge- it is not so tempting when it is warm, and I have no ice.

I want to do this experiment to try to figure out if it will help my crappy sleep any. Also, I am wondering if the sugar-induced glucose roller coaster is contributing to the fact that I feel exhausted all the time. This latter question involves ALSO cutting down on solid junk food. That’s going to be extra-challenging. Usually when I’m trying to reduce my pop, I console myself with extra junk food, and vice versa. I don’t like being at this weight. I don’t like being exhausted all the time. I don’t like not being able to get to sleep, and I don’t like waking up every couple of hours when I *do* manage to get to sleep. I don’t like getting up feeling even more exhausted than when I went to bed. I don’t like the idea of going to the doc and getting on some drug to try to get some sleep.

It’s illegal


Stealing from the gods the fire of passion and creativity to lighten our life is just the first step of the trip, not the destination. Passion and creativity are not our private property, not our very own toys. They are the sparks lighting the fire of a big tribal camp. Having talent and not cultivating it is a crime, but cultivating it without sharing its fruits with others may be even worse. In its highest form, the way of the warrior is that of the bodhisatva: putting one’s talent at the service of a superior destiny. Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Lunchtime no-gi at Kirkland.

Some pummelling, some double leg setups. The double leg setups we were doing today…. 1)begin with feet square so as not to telegraph. 2)begin at very close range. 3) from pummel, make sure you trap or duck under opponent’s wrist on that side when you drop. 4)Step FAR in. I never step far enough. Foot should be between opponent’s feet and BEHIND them. 5)placement of the OTHER foot is eternally problematic for me. I tend to step *too* far forward with that one, and also too close to opponent. (See how I have exact opposite problems with each foot? Welcome to my world.) The hand placement, the upright back, and the head pressure I seemed to be doing (mostly) right this time (note this is about the eight millionth time Cindy has gone over this technique on a personal and intensive level with me).

Keylocks from front mount. I was corrected for failing to use the thumbless “monkey paw” grip. Also for not having the elbow close enough to the opponent’s head. When jumping from low grapevining front mount to high mount in the armpits, move more quickly. Pull the head off the mat to keep opponent from bridging.

If opponent joins hands to defend the keylock, go to kimura grip. I need to focus on keeping opponent’s arm folded firmly. S mount. Take the foot closest to opponent’s head and fold the shin back along hir back. Pull opponent’s head and shoulders into your lap. This rolls hir over your shin, which you can now use to pin hir arm. Opponent is now in a triangle, facing away from you, with hir head and shoulders in your lap. Choke way up to right under hir armpit- you do not want opponent’s ribs inside this triangle. Now you can let go of the kimura grip and grab your own ankle as you post on the mat with your other hand. Readjust the triangle so that your shin is shoved horizontally right under opponent’s chin. Now you have to scoot yourself all the way around hir head until you are lying on your side and can grab one of opponent’s legs.

This particular technique makes me very, very relieved that Dave is now usually the demo dummy. This one hurts. Badly. In all sorts of ways.

A few rolls- Dave, Cindy, a guy I don’t know. I wasn’t doing very well today in the sparring. Last night I had been marvelling that I felt competant in sparring, so I’m not surprised… it is common to have a “wow, I suck” day right after you start to feel like you might know what you are doing. BJJ likes to keep you humble that way.

Cindy also informed me that the bicep slicer that Prof Herbert showed us last night is illegal. Dang. I liked that trick. Herbert failed to mention that it is illegal. I’m really glad she told me that before I did it to somebody.

Chopped off all my hair today. Feeling kind of self conscious. With the long, long, red “mermaid hair”, that’s all everyone ever looks at. Now I feel like people might notice my body and clothes or something. It’s sure going to be nice to be able to do BJJ for a while without that spandex cap, though. And without having wet hair for three hours after the shower.