No flowers. Really.

bjj05

Cutting off blood to the brain, whether you call it a “vascular neck restraint”, or a “sleeper hold” or “jime waza” is reliable despite size, strength, psychosis or drugs. It is also the safest way to shut down a human. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup drills- double-leg setups.

Next: Same thing we’ve been doing lately, with the sprawl-twirl to the side-take the back. I need to pay extra attention to positioning myself so as to shove in that lower hook adequately. Finish with any choke. I always like the RNC. Simple, reliable. I also did a few bow-and-arrows. John was impressed with my bow-and-arrow for some reason… I’m not sure what was particularly impressive about it, but okay, I’ll take a backpat.

Spars with rotating people. I got a kneebar on somebody today.

Straight to Lindsey’s studio. Getting tattooed is surprisingly exhausting, due to the fact that you are tensing every muscle in your body for most of a two or three hour period. I don’t know how some people sit for half a day. We did about 2.5 hours, that’s the longest I’ve done (I usually draw the line at 2). It was all linework, and on the back- which is not known as one of the more painful spots, although some areas were definitely more painful than others: along the spine, the outer sides (which is technically “ribs”, which I already knew was terrible), and along the very bottom edge- like tailbone level. Lindsey had suggested putting a line of flowers down there, which I vetoed, and when he was down there doing Ox Head’s boots, I was really glad that we weren’t putting a whole freakin’ line of goddam flowers down there. In fact, I was beginning to wonder if Ox Head would look okay with just one foot.

It looks incredible so far…. you can really see my Spyderco on his belt, which tickles me no end.

I was going to try to do one 2-hour session per month or so, but several people called in cancellations while I was there and Lindsey was (rightfully) grumbling about them- so I went ahead and took a spot for tomorrow.

The tat doesn’t hurt much right now- if it feels and looks all right in the morning, I might go to class before I go back to the studio. I know I’m not really supposed to, but it’s just linework! 😉

It’s hard to troubleshoot your partner’s technique while you’re faceplanted on the mat.

bjj1010

“What do the faeries do with the people they steal?” demanded Rimo.

“They eat them.” Taffi’s voice came out muffled, since he had both knees up and his head buried in them. –The Hole In the Clouds

127.0

These last three pounds are going to be a ripe bitch to lose. It doesn’t help to know that it isn’t going to matter by way of brackets. I’m going to have to fight Amanda, maybe Stevie, possibly one more; we will have to fight each other regardless of what we weigh…. although fortunately we are all usually within a bracket of one another. No-gi intermediate (where I’m going to stay as long as possible, although at some point I’m going to get forced up to advanced, which will be a tragic hoot) should have one or two other women- maybe as many as 4 or 5- in each of my possible weight classes, so it will matter… but I don’t know those women well enough to try to pick and choose where I want my weight to be in order to fight specific people. I know that I’m in my best possible condition at 124, though- so for my own purposes I’d like to be there.

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle. Feeling a little sore from yesterday’s drills- especially my glutes (those bullfight passes!). I told Carlos that I was sore from his class, because he loves to hear that.

Shannon was there today, and we were both looking forward to working together because it’s been a while- but Carlos split us up and put me with a new white belt girl (Laura).

We did a number of complex techniques today. My brain had to scramble to keep up. If I’d had a day like this as a new white belt, I would have been in tears. Laura actually did really well, although needing considerable guidance. I did the techniques first, talking my way through it with one succinct word per step and pointing out any critical details. I think we mostly did okay together, although Carlos had to come over and help a few times. In particular, it is very difficult to talk your partner through troubleshooting her omoplata while you are faceplanted on the mat with your arm twisted behind your back so that you can’t see what she’s doing.

Rodrigo often tells his classes (with varying degrees of patience) to not presume to “help” fix each other’s technique, because- as he says- half the time, you’re telling them wrong. Yet he once chewed me out (when I was a young blue belt) for *failing* to correct mistakes on the white belt I was drilling with. So I get a little frustrated sometimes with the mixed messages. Today, Carlos reprimanded the class to not “fix” each other’s techniques. Then less then 20 min later he was asking me what was wrong with me for not having Laura’s techniques all perfect. Mind you, I *was* walking/talking her through everything, but these were a bunch of complex techniques with 8 or so steps apiece, and I am not yet so perfect that I have every single detail down pat myself.

1)Opponent attempts a double-leg, you sprawl. Place right arm stiffly beside the left side of hir head and spin around so that you are hanging off hir hip on that same side. Double underhooks, high lapel grips. Little hop to bring your FAR leg in and place the knee beside opponent’s knee. Other leg stretched out straight behind you (don’t mount the person). Pull hir into your back mount. Note that you need to have a little distance between the bodies- if your crotch is pasted to hir butt, it’s very difficult to prevent yourself from rolling on your back (an issue that I used to have tons of trouble with in the past, but I’m starting to get the hang now). Hooks in nice, lapel grips high and tight.

2) Begin in butterfly guard. Break opponent’s grip on your right pantleg and swing leg COUNTERCLOCKWISE to hook foot under hir armpit (“lasso”). YOU MUST KEEP HIR HAND TRAPPED- ON YOUR BELT!!! Place left knee horizontally across opponent’s trunk with knee toward your lasso side.

Grab opponent’s pants at ankle (no fingers in pantleg!!!) with your left hand and pull hir to load hir onto you. As you do this, stretch that leg out so that you are “talking on your phone” with opponent’s knee.

Use folded leg to gently lever opponent off you onto hir back. Hir wrist that you still hold- press that to the mat. (I found that you really need to take a moment here to make sure hir fingers aren’t going to break when you do the next move).

Which is- technical lift, to KOB.

3)Begin in butterfly guard. Go to lasso again, but this time you square up with your free knee pointed at the ceiling.

Now take that leg and straighten it, propping it on opponent’s left shoulder with the outside of your shin on hir ear.

Fold that straight leg forcefully over opponent’s neck.

Switch your right hand grip to opponent’s elbow. Then let go with left hand and swing your body so that you are nose-to-tail with opponent. Fold legs with opponent’s arm trapped in your crotch. Don’t let hir front-roll.

Finish omoplata.

4)Begin in back mount, double underhooks. Let go with rt hand and reach over shoulder to get choking grip. Let go with left hand and grab pants.

Bringing opponent with you, roll on your back and then on your rt side, and pull/kick your rt leg under you so that you come up in S-mount. (If necessary, adjust the front foot so that it is snug against foe’s belly).

Turn your rt shin/foot out. Come up to a squat. Sit back on butt while bringing right foot over opponent’s shoulder.

Choke-a-rama.

See? How’d ya like to take a brand new person through all that, at a rate of speed so as to finish in about 40 min?

Then we did a little KOTH from back mount. High belts down (being back mounted)- including me. I was slow to escape most people today, but I did escape all but one- a big cop who was totally muscling the crap out of me. He was tall enough to stretch me out and then bow my back so that there was no way for me to reach his feet even if I tried to use my thigh to lift a foot up to grabbing height (an invaluable trick!) He was almost able to tap me just with the back-bowing, but he wanted the choke, and I defended that (with difficulty… this was painful and I was scared for my spine, but he was pissing me off and I hate to tap to muscling). He tried to get my pantleg for a bow and arrow, but I scuttled that plan as well. He finally muscled me with a sloppy choke and I had to tap.

I did about 4 rounds with Shannon, and she was doing well enough that on the final round, I was forced to resort to some chest pressure and face-grinding. I hate doing that sort of thing, and I whispered, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” while I was doing it. Then after I finished the escape, I apologized again and told her that she was doing so well that I had to resort to that- it was the only thing I had left.

Deep half guard dilemma

bjj4

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.