Proving Grounds II

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Physical force is one of the most effective ways to get what you want. “Violence never solved anything” is not just a myth, but one of those statements of breathtaking absurdity. Violence has solved most of the problems that people have had until the modern era (it’s pretty much the only thing you can do about eating and not being eaten). Weapons make violence easier and safer. –Rory Miller

We had a five-woman bracket in no-gi. That was awesome. I had to fight all four of them. All tough ladies who fought good hard fights. I was so tired.

The first two, I didn’t know. I had weight on them- which I used- and experience on them. I felt reasonably in control most of the time. Both were very flexible and squirmy, though. They made me work for it. I got the first one with a papercutter and the second one with an RNC.

Amy was next, and I knew she’d be harder. We ended the first match (which is timed) with no subs. I was on top most of the time.

Now Hadley, when I was really tired. She got me with an armbar.

I got a nice hip throw on one of them, I think it was Amy. Excited about that.

I thought they were going to have me fight Amy again, but they didn’t. I came in second.

Notes: I have ethereal control, yet I don’t think I have really found a way to use it in BJJ. There were two points today where I got in position for an RNC in such a way that my arm around the shoulders felt just like a key sliding into a lock. I then failed to finish it promptly, because for some reason I have a pattern of doing everything very slowly and deliberately… which gives the foe time to escape. Now, many people slam subs on too hard, and I’m usully advising people to slow down and be careful. But this is where I should be exploiting my control. I should be slamming faster and harder. I know I have the skill to do it without injuring people. I’m not sure what the mental block is…. I’m beginning to suspect that I’m trying to set a good example because I don’t want them to start slamming things on *ME*. It’s hard enough to get some people to chill out and quit slamming things without having to try to explain to them why I am doing it and yet they should not. In comp, though, I should let myself employ that advantage.

Since my hands are always freezing, I wear cotton fingerless elbow length gloves everywhere, indoors and out. Today figured it would be plenty toasty in the gym, so I left them at home. Of course my hands and feet were blocks of ice, while my armpits were like faucets. I kept sticking my hands in my armpits to try to warm them up, because I was worried about my grips. Next time, bring gloves **AND** warm fuzzy socks.

The toe, to my relief, did not seem to be a factor. (Thank Gods, now I can go back to class after this work rotation.)

Not sure how to improve the exhaustion factor. I ate an enormous scrambled egg breakfast and was well hydrated. I’m glad that I didn’t try to do gi today as well (although Hadley was bummed). I think there’s still a significant adrenaline dump effect going on. My nerves were perhaps a bit better than the last Rev and PG. Still there, but not with the dramatic draining weakness.

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Hey!! I won a free Revolution registration at the Grapplethon! (I think the worth of that actually leaves me in the black.)

My assistant wanted to know why I was a little late on Saturday morning, and when I told her, she gave me ten dollars to donate.

The take from the Grapplethon has hit TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have decided to get a Dauntless Flame tattoo. I made some temporary tat stickers to get the size and location (left side, far enough to not interfere with the existing kanji) right, but still waffling on color/outlining. I’d like it to have red/orange/yellow, but I think it’s going to require some back outlining. I’m going to get Fire tattooed on me on the winter solstice, which I find subversive and amusing. 😉

Grapplethon

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So often I have witnessed things I would never have believed possible that I am more than willing to keep my mind open to the idea that our bodies are home to forces that we don’t fully comprehend. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Spent 5 hours at the Grapplethon, 11:30pm to 4:30 am. I wasn’t rolling the entire time, but I was rolling a lot. If we ever do another one of these, note that we had plenty of people around midnightish; they started dropping off around 2am. I would have been more use from 2am to 6am. But by 4:30, I needed to have a nap because I was due to spend the entire Saturday at work. At least I was able to watch the live stream at work, because The Big Bad Boss is usually not here on Saturdays.

I got to roll with 4 ladies that I have never worked with before. They were all asking me lots of questions- technical questions as well as getting-along-as-a-woman-in-the-gym questions. I’m still kind of dumbfounded when people do this; I keep wanting to look over my shoulder for the Gandalf-like figure they must really be seeking advice from.

I deliberately did not wear my belt. A handful of people there knew me, but it was really nice to be anonymous and no-expectations with most of the crowd. Although one of those women asked me (in tones usually reserved for speaking to movie stars and royalty) , “You’re a brown belt, right?” LOL. See what I get for trying to fly under the radar?

I also rolled with a few guys that I don’t know, and Peter, and Chris, and Griff. I was really happy to roll with Chris, because it’s been a long time. I had to peel him out of his sleeping bag. He had one of those subzero REI cocoon-style sleeping bags set up by the side of the mat along with a grocery bag of food, and he kept disappearing into his little camp at intervals.

I missed Lamont, and also Terry and Chelsea (although I spied the latter two suspects on the live feed later).

Griff not only spent the entire 24 hours on site, he spent most of it actively rolling, and taking the time to roll with almost everybody as well as teaching us stuff. He’s lost about half his weight- I barely recognized him. He tweaked my kneebars (pinch knees together, do not triangle legs), armbar off a failed keylock (turn little finger side of blade hand to floor and lift the propping forearm up a bit) and a few other things that I immediately forgot but I hope will come back to me later. He actually remembered my 16-min fight in the elevated ring in October (I think he might have been reffing that fight… Gods, I was so spacey) and made specific suggestions about things he observed. That was cool.

It had made over $7000 by the time I left, with over 12 hours to go (and- I assume- the biggest crowds to some Saturday afternoon, as it coincided with the onsite promotions class and BBQ). Twenty-one black belts on the mat for this (BEFORE promotions). Luiz was apparently promoted to black belt. Robert promoted to purple.

Amanda Loewen has her brown belt. It’s a relief. It’s kind of ridiculous for a purple belt to be able to fight Tammy Griego for over an hour straight without getting disassembled. I found out she has only been training for just under 4 years. Wonder if she has experience in a different MA.

Toe was mostly okay- I made a little shriek once when I caught it on Griff’s jacket as I was trying to replace guard- it hurt some but was reasonably functional. I did start to hurt more as the night wore on, though. I am going to have to be judicious about training this week. I’m seriously worried about making weight, especially if I can’t train as regularly as usual.