Not quite cauliflower


Maintaining honor and winning are indirect goals. Killing is a direct goal. Working toward direct goals peels a lot of bullshit off of your tactics. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: double leg setups.

Then, double-leg setup switching to a rear bear hug. Trap the far arm (not the one on the side you circled around on), and point your face toward the trapped arm so that you don’t get an elbow in the nose.

I thought I could go without my headgear for a while….. it’s so damn hot…. and wound up getting “not-quite-cauliflower-but-getting-there”. Just from pressing the side of my head against the guy’s gi while I was doing the double-leg setups. Silver lining: this does prove that I’m being good about keeping my head up and pasted well against his side.

Armbars from KOB.

Spar with John. I managed to twist my bad ankle. I’m limping on it now, which ticks me off because I have a day of hiking planned tomorrow.

Spar with Amy, finally. She is pretty tough, but I was happy to see that I could handle her. I did notice a few improvement points for her, which I hope were helpful.

Evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Double leg setups again, which I was not thrilled about due to my gimpy ankle and the fact that my knees where still whimpering about the previous round of double leg setups. Carlos showed us a new one, involving grabbing both heels (one from the outside, one from the inside). He didn’t really talk about the shoulder pressure on the leg, but I was pleased to note that even though I have never seen anything like this before, I was able to ID that shoulder pressure on that particular spot as the REAL meat of the technique.

You are in side control and moving to mount, opponent bridges toward you, you pop over hir back and S-mount. Advance to armbar or ezekiel, depending on whether the arm is over or under yours. I struggled with this because I had to keep pausing to note where the arm was and then try to remember which option that meant taking.

A little KOtH from closed guard, pass vs sweep. I did pretty poorly at this, despite the fact that we were divided into 3 weight classes and I didn’t have to deal with the behemoths tonight. I was getting pretty tired by this time.

One roll with Lindsey. I got a tap, which made me happy, as she makes me work for it.

I’m having some trouble keeping my weight from creeping up, now that I’m taking a break from comps. I’m trying to gear up to go on a little diet. I think disciplining myself about snacking at work is going to be a major key right now.

Okay, that one was my fault.


Predators do not see their victims as people, but as resources. Who you are has no more emotional weight than the wrapper his hamburger came in. –Rory Miller

Saturday no-gi in Kirkland. I was late for the second day in a row, and Cindy had given us a lecture about the disrespect of lateness yesterday. 😦

Morning of moving heavy things across the yard and up a flight of stairs to garage storage. In fact I have been doing an hour or two of this most mornings for a while, and will be continuing to do so till I get all my stuff moved.

Pummeling, pummel games (ie, try to get double-unders and hoist your partner), downblocks. I am terrible at downblocks, and worse when we start doing downblock games- ie, snatch at your partner’s knees while s/he tries to downblock on the side you’re snatching. I just cannot cope with my left and right, especially when people start doing cross-reaches. Note that it is not necessary to touch the mat with the hand.

Meathooks behind the head, elbow on breastbone, controlling. Inside and outside ties. Note that you should be gripping the bicep, not the forearm. When I do an outside tie, my hand wants to go naturally to the forearm just below the elbow, and I need to remember to consciously correct this each time. The palm should be up in a cupping pose. Dragging opponent down a few times, then letting opponent pop up while you drop to knee and go for double-leg.

Same sequence we did yesterday. Note that on this double-leg, I continue to fail to penetrate far enough in (drop knee between opponent’s feet). I also (STILL!!) fail to get back to the feet after the grab- for some reason my monkey-brain is convinced that it’s a good idea to try to double-leg a standing opponent from my knees. I’m embarrassed and frustrated that Cindy has gone over this detail with me a Brazillion times and I still keep messing it up. Perhaps it would help to visualize the mat as hot when I drop my knee on it- impetus to pop back up instantly. Cindy also reminds me to use my head more as a lever- tip the person rather than trying to lift them up.

She said that I need to have some coffee or something…. Anything to get a damn move on (my words, not hers) and stop being so ponderous in no gi (well, stop being slow and ponderous period, but especially in no-gi). “Worry less about potential problems and focus on the problem you have right now.” Ie, I continue to be too conservative and want to cling and stall in bottom half guard. I was trapped on the bottom a lot again today, and I think she’s more tired of looking at that than I am of living it. I am so tired all the time. By the end of drills- especially if we’ve been doing something with a lot of get-up-get-down, like takedowns or standing passes- I feel like a dishrag. Is this going to get worse and worse with age?

We did some takedown-sparring involving changing levels and moving the hands around to try to confuse/pattern the opponent before going in for the double leg. They were chivvying me to be more mobile and more aggressive. This was when I palm-heeled poor Dave in the nose. I felt so bad. It wasn’t about the aggression- I was just exhausted, and as I learned a long time ago, when I get too exhausted I get sloppy and start hurting people.

Knees hurt today from the stairs and all the up-and-down in class. Lots of bruising on insides of knees and on lower legs- I had noticed this on Thursday as well. Bad enough to wake me up several times as I tossed and turned.

Setting the record straight


The Warrior is not afraid of being afraid. He accepts it, looks it in the eyes, and challenges it. Refusing to be a hostage in the hands of one’s fears is the act of a Warrior. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

If you see Cindy running around with a black eye, she is going to spin you some fish story about how I attacked her and tried to bite her eyeball out. FYI: she double-legged me and decided to make double sure I’d go down by adding a gratuitous face-slam. She almost knocked my two front teeth out- however- I am told that this is not so serious because teeth, unlike eyeballs, are replaceable.

Friday lunchtime at Kirkland. I was late, and got there just in time to do some reps of the following sequence with Izzy: double-leg takedown to side control to mount, partner upa sweeps, you pass guard to side control, partner squirts out under your arm and goes to the back as you turtle.

Positional sparring from front mount.

One roll with a white belt, one with Cindy, one with Dave (no jackets).