The training partner you don’t really want

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Never double down on stupid. Don’t reinforce failure. When you catch yourself doing the wrong thing, don’t let your monkey brain con you into doing the wrong thing harder. Always be humble enough to admit when you’ve screwed it up and change. And adapt. And win.  -Rory Miller

Three classes in three days, Thurs/Fri/Sat.  Good rolls with skilled people before and after class, including Doug and Casey on Friday, and Lindsey on Saturday.

Ghost escape from under side control (hey, I know the name of a technique!)  I Youtubed this very early in my BJJ career and tried it out on my kung fu teacher to see if it would work.

Another escape from side control- in which you block the crossface, grab opponent’s arm, and roll AWAY from hir, pushing hir arm toward your feet as you sit up and turn back in. Fortunately we did this both Friday and Saturday, as I struggled mightily with it on Friday. We are so hardwired to not turn away from the opponent like that. The two keys- have a firm hold on that arm and push it very aggressively toward your feet; and make sure your elbow ends up above the opponent’s arm (otherwise you can get elbow locked, as Carlos demonstrated on me).

Both of these escapes involved technical lifts, so a lot of getting up and down… always a slog for us old folks.

Takedown drills- opponent locks hands behind your neck, you lace hands over hir elbow and drag down. Then abruptly fling your elbow up underneath hir OTHER arm. Take the back (easy for me) or place your head on hir chest, arm behind hir waist, and kick leg out from under as if you’re dipping hir (hard for me). I should have drilled more of the latter, since it was harder (especially remembering where to put the head), but I am really oriented to that backtake.

Peter: “This is going to be The Year Of Back Mount for me.”
Me: (back mounting him) “THE YEAR OF BACK MOUNT!!!!!!!!!”
Peter: “Wait… it’s supposed to be the other way.”
Me: “You did not specify that.”

On Friday, I was anxious because for a while it was looking like I was going to have to drill with Carlos’ girlfriend, who just started training. Normally I like training new people, but sorry…… this is pressure I do not need. I trained with Henrique’s white-belt wife before- but they were fighting at the time, so he ignored us utterly, so that was fine.  😉   I would be really uncomfortable working with Carlos’ girlfriend in a class that he was teaching.

Saturday, I went to put in my contacts and found that one was torn…. so I had to do class blind.  When Rodrigo was matching us up to roll, I couldn’t see that he was calling me out to pair me up with Amy, so I just stood there in the line for way too long. At the break, I apologized and told him that I didn’t have my contacts, so I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. The next time he went to pair me up, he waved both arms above his head at me like he was flagging down a train.

At the end of class, he INSISTED that I be in the class picture. I always avoid the pictures, and they all know about that, so they usually leave me alone. Today he was so insistant, I reluctantly caved.

Weight has been dead steady for a week now. Frustrating. At least it’s not going up.

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Jiu Jitsu On Ice

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The best targets for a swing with a (n impact weapon)- unlike a blade- are bones. You can bruise muscle with a club or staff and even get a “charley horse”, but for the most part an adrenalized threat won’t feel the pain, won’t notice immediately and it won’t swell up until long after the fight is over. Smash his finger bones, however, and he loses the ability to hold his (weapon) immediately. –Rory Miller

Thursday no-gi, Bellevue.

Several drills, most of them new to me. Missing the first part of the week is proving to be problematic lately, as Carlos has been teaching new drills and then building variations off those same drills for the remainder of the week.

Half guard sweep: From standing, one meathook behind neck and one outside bicep grip. Shove the bicep across opponent’s body and drop to your butt, putting hir leg in half guard (on the side OPPOSITE the way you shoved hir arm). Underhook hir remaining leg and scissor your own legs as you roll, sweeping hir forward. My main problem here is that I tended to be in too much of a hurry and didn’t want to take the time and effort to underhook the leg properly. I also didn’t seem to want to let go of that meathook. On Chrisanne, it was possible to retain the meathook all the way through the technique, but I was pulling her down with main strength. On a bigger/stronger opponent who is going to posture up and fight the meathook, I am going to need to be more aggressive about attacking the legs. Note also that you end up in top half guard. Best to anticipate this and make passing a fluid and uninterrupted part of the total package before the opponent can do anything about it.

You standing, opponent on hir back before you with feet on your hips. Shove the legs over hir right shoulder and place your hand on the small of hir back. Stack mercilessly until s/he wants to roll into turtle. Hug hir shoulders from behind (over/under) and place your head on the mat on the opposite side of hirs- ABOVE it a bit. Roll. The head placement is critical because otherwise, you will finish with a backtake (which is fine, but not our objective ATM). Getting a good grip and THEN doing the roll is critical. You need not fret as much as usual about being pasted tight to hir back first. As long as your hug is technically correct, the recieving end of this is painful and chokey enough that you find yourself needing to go along for the ride whether you like it or not. You end in a T formation, and usually the opponent’s far arm is just waiting for you to trap it with your legs. Now you can do a shoulder lock or a choke (or if you are having That Sort Of Day, both!)

Rolls with Chrisanne, JP, and Casey. I asked all of them to get me in side control or/and front mount, and then just be heavy and try to hold me there, because that has been my experience with Chelsea (whom I will be battling tomorrow in both gi and no-gi). Not that Chelsea just holds me there- but she DOES tend to get in one of those positions ASAP, efficiently zip up every molecule of space, and then rest her superior weight, significant musculature and excellent grounding skills on me while she leisurely selects a sub and finishes me off. I need to stay the hell out from under her (which also means I can’t pull guard at the beginning…. fighting for the takedown with her is not going to be any picnic, but I should try), and do my damndest to get out from under before she gets me bagged and tagged, if she does get on top. She’s so heavy and tight that in the past, once she lands there, I have felt an immediate futile leaking away of all strength and energy, and could just lie there gasping helplessly while she finishes. I wish I knew how to counteract the feeling of weakness and exhaustion that grips me in this scenario. It takes all the fight out of me.

Anyway, I was able (with specific focus) to stay mostly out from under Chrisanne, but the boys very efficiently put me in side control and pinned me. I continue to want to put an arm up beside my head. I need to frame and stop giving away my arms. Another thing I did a couple of times with JP was to move both arms to one side of my midline, as Georgette has advised against. Also, as Georgette pointed out and JP pointed out AGAIN last night, I want to try to get my BOTTOM leg in first to try to replace guard. I end to instinctually try to get my top leg in. I feel vulnerable lying on my back, and always feel a driving instinct to get belly-down. This results in backtake, which I am currently making a greater effort to avoid.

I need to keep in mind that tomorrow’s comp is sub only, no time limits, and I don’t need to get my panties in a knot if I have to lie under side control for a while…. as long as the time is not being used by Chelsea to vacuum up all the extra space (in which case I *do* need to light a fire under it, because “it’s not gonna get any better”).

Apparently we may have a few additional opponents in no-gi, but I don’t know who. I don’t think it’s anyone I know. It’s just Chelsea in gi.

Amusingly, JP apologized for sweating on me. I told him that he had BETTER be sorry, because I do not like sweat and I do not want to get all sweaty in here. Casey was wallowing in a lake of sweat and it was like Jiu Jitsu On Ice. Chrisanne also gave me a fat lip- but since that doesn’t affect function, I don’t really give a darn.

It’s been raining for three straight days… and I cannot pull blackberries, nor work on my yard terracing, nor work on my fence, which is driving me crazy. Also, being stuck inside, I am fighting the munchies. I registered at 131- and it’s probably not going to matter (Chelsea’s quite a bit bigger, don’t know about any others), but I did get down to 129 and it’s frustrating to backslide.