“How do I stop you???!!??”

bjj68

 

 

I write for love, but love doesn’t pay the bills. -Stephen King

Thursday evening BJJ in KIRKLAND. It was nice to see Dave again.

I haven’t been here in a while and it was weird to walk in and have all these white belts (and a couple of  early blues) staring at me.

I know that we learn best when we are getting our tails kicked by better MA’ists, and I am constantly conscious of how very fortunate I am to have so many excellent people to kick my tail for me. It’s a very different experience to have a roomful of whites and baby blues that you’ve never laid eyes on before, and wondering, “Okay, how is this going to go? Are they going to try to prove something on me? Am I going to find myself in WW3 in here tonight? And if I do, can I keep it together?”

Standup: straightarm push to opponent’s right shoulder while snatching left shin (that’s SHIN, not thigh or knee). Lift and dump.

Triangles from guard. I just don’t use these, and while I’m excellent (in drilling) on one side, the other side is just not happening. OF COURSE, OF COURSE OF COURSE Prof Casey (whom I barely know and I doubt knows my name at all) walks over to look JUST AS I try it on the stupid side and make an idiot of myself. WHYWHYWHYWHYWHY????!!!???!!! Now I have made a stellar first impression on him as a purple belt who cannot execute a simple triangle in drill.

Cross chokes from guard, gripping the wad of gi at the back of the shoulder. My favorite.

Spars with a white belt guy and a blue belt girl. Was able to handle them both easily, although Blue made me work- she has lots of energy, flexibility, strength, and is in good shape. She kept beginning by pulling me into her guard, so after two or three of those, I made a point of pulling HER into MY guard instead. She seemed deficient on front mount escapes, so I showed her my favorite no-fail one and then skated around mounting her repeatedly and making her do it till she almost died of exhaustion.  Had one embarrassing moment where I KOB’ed her and she rolled the “wrong” way to escape. I was so surprised, and my balance was a little off, so she got me fair and square. It was a good reminder. Gracie Barra tends to be pretty formulatic, and I have really gotten used to “If I do A, he’s going to do B.” The only exceptions to that are the white and black belts, and I rarely work with white belts. When I do A and they do P instead, I need to not get caught flat footed. This is important as a defense-oriented MA’ist. I have to remember that if I get into a defensive situation, it is likely that the other guy will NOT be a trained grappler, and when I do A, I need to be ready for him to do P and R and UDK and aardvark and 74 instead of B.

Me: (setting up a keylock) “Don’t let me do THIS again,”
Blue: (wailing) “HOW DO I STOP YOU??!?”

The white belt was newer. On him, I did my standard “This is KOB. I get points for this, so as soon as I do it to you, you need to turn toward me and shrimp out before I count to 3.” And then skated around KOB’ing him repeatedly and making him do it till he almost died of exhaustion.

Both of them thanked me sincerely after, and said that they had learned a lot. I love that.

Besides making a point of teaching/drilling one thing (him, KOB escape; her, front mount escape) hard- which I make a point of telling them that I want them to retain and do to me next time- I feel that it’s educational for the lower belts for me to tire them out to the point that they are reeling when we are done, and I’m not breathing hard. Of course probably THE most important thing they need to learn is “relax and breathe”, and this is a good demo of what they are shooting for.

This did, however, leave me mulling a dilemma as I left. Is it helpful or not- on a purely selfish level- to make a point of going to Kirkland regularly so that I can work with lower-ranked people for a change?

Of course you learn things by teaching. And it’s a thrill to have your techniques actually WORK for a change instead of getting shut down every time even if you’re doing it right, just because the other person is six skill levels above you. But I wonder if my behemoth challenges- confidence and self esteem- would be boosted by doing this regularly, or would it be just a sop to my ego? I would love to find things that would genuinely boost my confidence and self-esteem, but I do not have time and energy to watse on band-aid ego sops.

I wonder if it would be helpful to come here to work on my weak bottom and sweep game with the white belts.

Thursday: break-in. Friday: pit bull attack. How was your week?

bjj9986

Many people receive the answer to their prayers, but ignore them- or deny them, because the answers didn’t come in the expected form. –Sophy Burnham

Thursday lunchtime gi in Bellevue. We got Rodrigo today! Carlos and Doug both had surgery at the beginning of the week, so they will be on the bench a while.

Opponent in turtle, you sprawled on hir left hip. Grab hir left sleeve cuff and right lapel. Move to the side and pull hir onto her side, switching to a “sash” grip. Stay heavy and keep public bone to the mat. As s/he places hir top foot on the mat to try to recover turtle, you stick your bottom leg into the space that s/he has just made between the mat and hir hip, and wrap hir bottom leg. Pull hir back into you, and place the second hook. Do not forget to trap the arm. (Note: do not- as I wanted to do- try to jump/climb on top of hir to get the back mount. PULL hir into you.)

Same entry, only now as you pull the foe onto hir side, you use your lapel grip to open the lapel and slide your other hand in. I always want to snug everything REALLY REALLY TIGHT, and Rodrigo instructed me to loosen up and slide down a bit on this lapel grip- because you want the person to try to recover turtle instead of realizing that they’re about to get choked. As they go into turtle, you clock choke. Do not straighten your arm and pull at this. Keep the elbow bent and lean your chest over the opponent’s head. Rodrigo puts his forehead on the mat.

My stupid side, which I only tried a few times at the very end and only because we had done about a bajillion reps, was much tighter because that side had me doing the clock choke with my dominant arm.

A little positional training from the point where you pull the opponent onto hir side and try to keep hir down, while opponent gives some (but not crazy) resistance.
———————————————

So some crazy and/or drugged homeless guy broke into my garage this morning. It scared the poop out of me, but I was very happy that I had a gun, so that I knew I could defend myself if he tried to get into the house. I was even happier to see the sheriff pull in. I could have set off the audible alarm and probably scared him off, but I wanted the cops to get him, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about him coming back (for a little while, at least). He broke a window in my rear garage door, but luckily did not damage my car. The nice deputies caught him red-handed in there, carted him off in cuffs, and booked him for Burglary in the second degree.

I think the only thing I could have done better was to be more proactive about checking out odd noises. I heard some thumping, but assumed it was the cat messing around upstairs. It was only when the thumping continued that I went up to check, and found her asleep. I figured then that I had a bear in my garbage can. But when I looked out the window, I saw an unfamilar dude lurching up my driveway while holding an animated conversation with himself. Next time I will check out weird noises more promptly. If he had gone to the front door instead of the garage after rifling the garbage, things could have turned out much worse than they did.
————————————————-

So, the day after some crazy homeless guy broke into my garage, my dogs and I got attacked by a loose pit bull. It tore up Teal pretty badly. I was well weaponed up, yet could not adequately defend.

Because I am so paranoid, my head is always on a swivel and thus I glanced behind me and saw the pit come out of the driveway. As soon as I laid eyes on that dog, I knew we were going to get attacked. I yelled “NO!” powerfully, as that has been recommended by some dog-savvy friends. I was then able to get off a couple yells for help and get my pepper spray out of my pocket before it was on us.

The dog attacked Teal, and I emptied half the can of pepper spray right into its eyes to no effect at all. I could not shoot it because we were in the middle of a populated subdivision. My knives would have been a poor weapon- this dog was not responding to pain compliance techniques, and I would have had to get under its throat and get a few really good deep slashes to put it out of commission. At that point, my bag of tricks was empty.

All I could do was yell for help. I tried to pull the pit off my dog, but it just kept hold and I was dragging both dogs. I really needed a second person- one to grab each dog and pull them apart. But although ten or twelve people came out to see what all the screaming was about, no one helped. 😦 Now I know what Kitty Genovese felt like.

Eventually the dog owner’s dad came out, and stood there to stare for a moment before wading in. He grabbed the pit’s harness and gave it a couple of ineffectual tugs, then he started whipping the dog over the back with a little nylon strap. Of course that didn’t do jack. Finally I gathered my wits enough to yell at him, “grab the harness and pull him off! Grab the harness and pull him off!” Which he finally did. As I fled for our lives, the guy was lying in the middle of the street bear-hugging the dog.

So, several lessons learned.

1)Don’t expect help. Even if there are lot of people around. They will just stare, or maybe take out their iphones to video your attack. You are on your own.

2)Please don’t be that person. If someone is yelling for help, fucking HELP.

3)I thought I was well weaponed-up, but two of my weapons were inappropriate for the situation and the third one failed me. I have thought a lot about what would have helped in that situation, and I decided that a hammer would have gotten the job done. I went to Lowe’s and bought a really nice heavy mallet with a comfy grip and good balance. I am now carrying that whenever I walk the dogs. The next loose dog that puts its teeth in my dog is going to get its fucking skull bashed in.

4)It was astonishing to what extent my brain switched off in the presence of that much adrenaline. I had to leave the scene, because Teal needed to go to the ER, and that guy still did not have his dog under control, so we fled. Later I had a hard time finding the attack site, I wouldn’t have been able to pick that guy out of a lineup, and I was even unsure what color the dog was- which is funny seeing as how I was wrestling with it for three minutes. Your brain really shuts down all the extraneous details. Next time, remind self to stop and take note of details, especially if you have to flee the scene.

5)Even if you have decided that your pepper spray is useless, don’t put the can back into your pocket. Just the small amount of dried liquid left on the outside of the can ate right through my pants and gave me a miserable chemical burn. My entire thigh looks like it’s been roasted over a slow fire. (Again- how did that monster dog just ignore this? I knew it wasn’t going to respond to pain compliance techniques, but I was hoping that the pepper spray directly into the eyes would blind it and make it difficult to breathe. Nope.)

6)January is tactically useless. All he did was run circles around us in scared confusion. I always hoped my dog(s) would try to do something if I was screaming for help, but it did not trigger him. Note: do not expect his help in the instance of a break-in.

——————–
I went to BJJ class on Friday night, but I had too much going on to blog it, and now I can’t remember what we did. I also missed ALL classes the following week.

——————–
Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. I got to drill with Nelson, which is always wonderful.

Triangles from guard.

From guard: fake a scissor sweep, then hook your toe under the thigh instead. Sweep hir AWAY from you. Note that you have to be really close to make this work- if you shrimped out too much getting set up for the scissor, it’s really hard to lift the guy using just leg strength.

Same basic thing from standup.

My favorite choke: the one where you get a deep cross grip and then grab a handful of gi at the back of the shoulder to finish. We turned our bodies to use the thigh to force the opponent’s head down as if we were going to armbar, then swung back to finish the choke straight on. Weirdly, it’s a chicken-wing pulling motion- yes, the very thing we are always told NOT to do. But it was beautiful. I found, while being the uke, that when the opponent swings that leg up, it makes you think he’s going for a triangle or armbar, so you want to yank back- which will just make you choke yourself even harder.

Three spars with three white belt ladies. They are all game and trying hard. Gave them all some (I hope useful) pointers.

A cancellation…. and some TMI

bjj0406

I don’t think conflict is a physical problem most of the time, and even when it is a physical problem, there are minds and social rules and the world involved. The more of those elements you can manipulate skillfully, the better off you are. Sometimes you play the cards, sometimes you play the person and sometimes you play the table. –Rory Miller

Well shazbot- Amanda’s a no-show. There are no other female purple belts registered. My gi bracket is cancelled.

Evening BJJ in Kirkland. I’m giving myself points for effort, but it really just does not work to try to do MA classes the day after working a graveyard shift. I took a Nyquil and did get a few hours of sleep, but it was just not enough. I felt like something on the bottom of someone’s shoe.

Unfortunate timing of hormonal cycles means that this week- today in particular- I have felt as if I had two gigantic, swollen, painful pumpkins sitting on my chest. It seems as if they are taking up the entire room. It hurts just standing still, nevermind being squooshed beneath Izzy’s excellent top pressure. (Sorry for the TMI, men… but you should take this moment to thank the patriarchal deity of your choice that you don’t have this crap to deal with, because it’s terrible.) I really hope I make weight, because another unlovely aspect of this time interval is randomly gaining a few extra pounds of water retention overnight.

Same keylock/armbar/kimura sequence as Monday. For some reason I had the idea that the kimura wants a 90 degree elbow. When you’re doing it flat on the mat, the arm actually can/does go almost straight by the time you start pulling up on the elbow. Cindy notes that I am being sloppy about making sure the opponent’s wrist is pasted to the mat throughout. Also, she recommends “monkey grip” (ie, no thumb). I feel insecure with this grip, but I can’t get a decent grip on 99% of people with the normal grip (their wrists are too big around) so I guess I have nothing to lose.

Flow drill: side control, keylock, backsit with good “kickstand”, front mount, dismount with backsit (mind your kickstand again), side control, keylock, wash, rinse, repeat.

This was cool: From side control, isolate the near arm with your elbow and thigh. Sneak your own gi tail into the hand nearest opponent’s feet. Feed it over opponent’s chest and beside hir neck and grab it with the hand behind hir head. Palm down. Bonus points if you can keep the tail hidden under your cupped hand and/or dig into your opponent’s face to obscure the fact that you’re sneaking it in there.

Now: Give a little tug to snug it up. Mind that your arm around opponent’s head is snug enough that s/he can’t pop hir head out. Now lean away, toward hir feet, making an X shape. Don’t worry about that near arm now, it doesn’t matter. Place forehead to mat beside hir hip (if you even get that far).

A little positional sparring from side control. I was not doing well against Izzy, and feeling more and more exhausted. I had really, really wanted to ask her and Dave to roll with me afterward (no-gi), but I was just limp.