A double dose of Dave

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The guys who are the most dangerous are usually the ones who- to use a poker term- have the smallest “tells”. It’s not the wild-eyed, drooling-in-your-face mad dawg who’s the most dangerous. (Although odds are good such a person will beat you bloody if you give him an excuse.) Be far more concerned about the guy who doesn’t seem concerned about your “message” of what a big bad ass you are. Take for example the guy who- calmly- leans back in his chair and keeps his voice level- while his hand floats out of sight under the table. If someone isn’t getting uptight about your threat displays, odds are you dun tree’d yourself a bad ‘un. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Saturday lunchtime no-gi in Kirkland. Cindy was not there because she was at a seminar, but it was very nice to see Dave… and Dave… again.

I haven’t been to a Dave class in a long time, and it was amusing as heck to see how much he is turning into Cindy. Not just the way he moves, but his SPEECH PATTERNS as he teachers are mimicking hers. It’s a compliment. I’d love to be able to turn into Cindy. I doubt I have the raw material, though!

Standing guard pass vs replace open guard drills, standing guard pass to KOB drills, standing guard pass to KOB to stepping over the head and going to KOB on the other side. Note that when you step over, your shin should be touching the hip already.

Front mount to setting up what looks like it’s going to be a mounted triangle, but then turns into an armbar. You do not need to step over and lie down. Dave placed his shin on the opponent’s face. I hate kneeling on my partners’ faces. The girl I was working with had no problem doing so to me. Thus her mounted triangle position and armbars were nice and tight, and mine were loose because I was trying to be gentle. Good for her, you go girl!

Positional sparring from front mount. Retain vs sweep/escape.

The woman asked what belt I was, and I told her that this is no-gi, so it doesn’t matter. I was trying to fly under radar for the people I didn’t know (I like that we are not pressured to wear belts for no-gi at Kirkland), and I kept having to stop myself from automatically going to the front of the line when we lined up at each break. I did notice that after we did the positional sparring, when we lined up again, my partner deliberately moved over to my left to put herself- not me- at the end of the line.

Spars with my female partner, a guy I don’t know, then Dave (the other one). I was able to control the woman easily. I was able to defend getting tapped by the guy, although I spent considerable time under side control. Dave is always nice to me and refrains from tooling me when we spar, but I got several chokes on him that were *almost* taps. I continue to stick my feet under people’s armpits begging them to ankle lock me, and I should know better than to do that with DAVE, as he loves attacking feet.

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Front mount to S mount

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Fighting is almost always ego driven. –Rory Miller

I’m doing Vic’s 30 day plank challenge. Starting today at Day 2 because I just now found out about it. I flatter myself that I have halfway decent ab muscles, but I do not plank, so it’s entirely possible that I may be in for a rude awakening.

My trick wrist- the one that Carlos wristlocked when he first came here- was troubling me yesterday and today. Mostly during the open guard butt scoot warmups yesterday. I was mostly fine during the sparring. I’m wary, though, as the wrist tends to give me problems for a few weeks at a time once it starts hurting. Hope it won’t affect the plank challenge.

Saturday no-gi at Kirkland.

There were some painful techniques on tap today, and Cindy told me to be grateful that Dave was there to be the demo dummy…. and I truly was, as they are things that Cindy has done to me before and the memory of agony is fresh. I feel terrible as I watch Dave’s face contort. The vein on his temple starts bulging out and turning purple, too.

I was drilling with Andrew, who is fairly large, but he was very nice to me and careful. Dave, though, didn’t hear me say “tap” during the positional sparring, and continued to pull something that torqued the sheet out of my ankle and knee until I yelled “TAP- TAP- TAPTAP!!!!!” I know he would never do that on purpose, but dang, that hurt.

First we did some pummelling, then triangle drills, then armbar from guard drills (lawd I hate those!)

Front mount to S mount with seatbelt grip. Then front mount to S mount to armbar. Then front mount to S mount to torquing opponent’s own arm around hir neck and bellying hir down to the mat.

I struggled with many things today. Several of them were very basic white belt errors that I should not be making. Others of them were failing to correctly follow all the steps even after multiple explanations and demos. Cindy was getting frustrated with me, to my dismay and chagrin.

Positional sparring from front mount. Then a roll with Wayne. I haven’t done no-gi in a long time, and found myself frustrated with the lack of grips.

“No pants! No pants!”

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Self-defense is far more difficult emotionally than physically. The mechanics, in other words, are simpler and for most people easier than the will aspects. –Rory Miller

Saturday no-gi in Kirkland.

Partner drills- hip-ups, armbars from guard, pummelling.

Arm drags from standing, take the back. Partner pushes down your 2nd arm as it comes around, steps out with hip thrust, turn to face you.

You in butterfly guard, partner on knees. You arm drag and scoot under to deep half. KEEP THE ARM (this was my error). Hook the foot and move shin out. This torques the person’s knee and makes them unlikely to argue when you pull them into back mount.

Same entry, this time you post and brace forearm across hir collarbone. Scoot butt out a bit. Bring foot (on the opposite side as you have the armbrace) underneath and hook toe on the outside of opponent’s knee. Swim your armbrace to underhook as you place your forehead against the collarbone instead. Plow forehead into opponent’s chin (this sucks mightily to be on the recieving end of, and distracts you from protesting the rest of the technique) as you grab hir tricep to keep hir from posting and butterfly sweep her to front mount.

KOTH from back mount. I was sucking so badly here today, badly enough for Cindy to notice and get disgusted with me. I recieved a long lecture on my persistant 1)failure to mount any offense, and 2)insistance on being too nice to my partners to the point that I am not doing the techniques correctly out of reluctance to discomfit them. This discussion was accompanied by tactile learning aids in the form of a brutal elbow to the breastbone that forced some embarrassing sounds from me. I was informed that I do not need to be nice to Pedro or Aussie Dave, who both assured me smilingly that this is true. Aussie Dave is just one of the downright sweetest people I know, and my mind quails from the image of me grinding my forearm into his throat.

One spar with Aussie Dave, then I watched Cindy roll with Jill. I yelled at Jill that this was no-gi and she had to let go of Cindy’s pants. For the rest of the roll, she kept grabbing pants and then letting go like she’d been burned, squawking in dismay, “No pants! I forgot! No pants!”

Ankle is a little worse today. It seemed to be doing reasonably okay on Thursday, but it did not like Friday or Saturday training. I can still see visible swelling. Must dig out ankle brace.

It’s illegal

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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.

Setting the record straight

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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).

Kirkland

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’Feeling’ other people’s intentions when there is no time to comprehend is not a special talent reserved for enlightened masters. Only a bad relationship with our perceptions and a poor regard for our intuition can take this fundamental weapon away from us. Centuries of strict rationalism and skeptical philosophies have contributed to undermine our natural sensitivity. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Evening class in Kirkland, under Dave.

Opponent standing, you on your back with feet on hips. Opponent pushes your leg to the side and steps to the side, you cross far leg over top and replace the open guard. Over and over.

From closed guard: spider guard to triangle to armbar to omoplata to triangle.

From side control: near arm under opponent’s head, sit back on your hip, grab pantleg. Mount, grapevine, arm under head, dismount in “kickstand” position. Then side control. Rinse, repeat.

Basic back mount escape. Don’t forget to grab the pantleg and push it away. Also, noting that tilting the head to the side and then pressing it back against opponent before rolling onto the side makes a big difference.

Same, only this time opponent grabs half guard. Sit back on hip, clear the arm, CROSSFACE (very important), shoulder pressure. Now scoot butt back as you use free arm (and your other foot, if necessary) to clear the half guard.

You are in turtle, Opponent is sprawled on you N/S. Hug one thigh, pop head out on that side side and press it against opponent’s shoulder blade. Step the outside foot out. Pop your body out and lie back on opponent. Twirl around to hang off hir side, as s/he is now turtled. My biggest challenge here is remembering to circle the elbow back as I pop out.

Same beginning pose. This time grab both thighs and scoot in close. Pop head out, step out on that same side, use OUTSIDE hand to grab the near ankle. Push with shoulder (be very upright) and lift to spill opponent over. Take side control. There is a good opportunity here to also trap both legs on top of your thighs.

Sparring: Twice with a white belt I don’t know, once with Dave. With Dave, my amazing skills from this afternoon continued to reign. I did worse against the white belt, go figure- even though he wasn’t being smashy or ridiculously heavy. He had good basics, good guard passes and really good top pressure. In our first spar, I did loop choke him in about twenty seconds, which inspired much hilarity (him included).