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.

Ego games


Most people are not beaten. They give up. –Rory Miller

Mon: 128.5

I know I *could* get down to 124 before the Revolution, but I’m starting to think I just don’t currently feel like dealing with the level of deprivation it’s going to take.

Casey, on Facebook: Ben, you think life is only 1/2 guard!!!!!
Kitsune: When you roll with Ben, your life is 1/2 guard whether you like it or not.
Aussie Dave: At least it can be deep.

Today I got my ass kicked by some brand new white belts…. and I am currently feeling fairly mentally/emotionally healthy about it.

As a blue belt, this occurance tended to invoke one of two reactions: steam-shooting-out-of-ears frustration or black-hole despair; both accompanied by a running mental commentary about how epically I suck and how that will never change no matter what I do. I didn’t feel worthy to step on the mat or breathe the air in the school.

Today- at one-stripe purple when I might be expected to feel *more* pressure to avoid getting ass-kicked by new white belts- I am feeling “Okay, so I got ass-kicked by white belts. It happens sometimes. We all cool.”

I suspect part of my newfound maturity has to do with the fact that the white belts in question were polite and respectful, and didn’t act like dicks either during or after the ass-kickings.

Interestingly, what bothered me more was when Casey performed demos with- not me as the senior student in the room- but some of the more junior guys. I’m fairly sanguine about that when Carlos does it, because he’s about eight times as tall as I am and it’s just clownish for him to do demos with me. When other teachers pass me over for less senior students, it still presses restimulating buttons- although I am able to clearly recognize the reaction as such.

Standup: foes throws haymaker. You step in and use both open hands to block bicep. Overwrap same-side arm over foe’s attacking shoulder. Shuffle quickly to stand against hir ribs on OPPOSITE side as you hug that arm around hir waist. Step near foot in front of hir, squat, load, hip throw. Keep the arm. KOB. Figure 4 armbar.

Cross-collar chokes from closed guard.

Gi choke from guard: right cross-collar deep grip, open guard, foot on foe’s hip on the same side that you have the grip. Turn body. Get handful of gi on back of opponent’s shoulder. Square up and choke. This is one of my favorite subs, and very successful on white belts, although anyone I’ve ever rolled with more than once knows better than to stick their head up for it. I don’t do the body turn, though. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It seems like opening my guard gives the opponent more chance to escape- although doing it this way might make hir less likely to recognize what I’m doing so readily.

Ezekiel from closed guard: Hug opponent to your chest, right arm right around hir neck. Use right hand to grab inside left sleeve cuff, FINGERS IN. Slip left blade hand under foe’s chin with little finger side against throat. Pull choke and straighten legs to help it along. This choke is one that I haven’t quite solidified enough to include in my game yet, but I love it, so I hope it will gel this time. I think it might be good for my small hands.

A little positional sparring from closed guard- sweep vs keep from being swept- and a couple of short spars. This is where I got my ass kicked by white belts. Still doing relatively okay with it.

I wanted to ask Casey to roll a little no-gi with me after class, buthe was busy answering questions from one of the new guys and it looked like he would be a while, so I took my leave.