Thank you for showing up.


Absence is the most efficient survival strategy. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Taking nearly a month off class does not appear to have had any effect on my injured elbow. It was a bit worse after the tournament. I’m frustrated with it, but I guess it’s time to just suck it up and keep going, working around it as best as possible.

Drilled with a new woman- Christy. She’s already got some really good basics. She informed me that she had “HEARD of me”. Geez. Cindy was present today, and immediately proceeded to tell Christy all about how I like to neck-crank little kids.

Butterfly guard. You grab opponent’s ankles. Place left foot in hir rt hip. Turn on your right hip and pull hir left leg crossways across your lap. Your right knee should be under this leg. Curl up and scoot in terribly close, low, as if you are trying to crawl right up hir butt. Do not let go of the ankle. Once you are tucked right up in there, you can let go of the ankle and grab the back of hir belt. Technical lift to get your leg in position to take the back.

You standing, opponent on hir back with feet up. You swipe hir left foot to the side and step your right foot to hir left hip. Hike up on one leg and paste your bent left leg against hir left leg, right under the knee. Fall onto your right hip. Pinch knees together, opponent’s leg between them. Grab the pantleg. Tripod up, in a sort of KOB position, only you are KOT (knee on thigh). Keep the shin, and pressure down on the thigh to keep them there. Grab the near lapel. When s/he pushes back, pull the leg, turn your hip and go to side control.

I was at first grabbing the far lapel, as I generally like to do, and Prof. Carlos came over to correct me.

Kitsune: “Why don’t I want to hold the far lapel?”
Carlos: “You want to try eet on me?”
Kitsune: “NO.”

Christy was kind enough to rescue me at that point by setting up an armbar to demo why you don’t want to hold that lapel, and I’m sure she did it much gentler than Carlos would have. I thanked her humbly.

Christy had a brace on her ankle, so I was being extra careful, but Carlos still came over to warn me to fall on my HIP and not my back, so as not to injure her. He even started to suggest that I switch to the other side, but she demurred. Now, I’m very happy that he is diligent about looking out for everyone’s safety, especially the women. But it irritates me and hurts my feelings when he acts like he thinks I’m going to injure people by being careless. I know Cindy’s just giving me crap when she does this- she knows that I’m very careful and I am extremely safe for anyone to work with. I can’t help thinking that that *ONE* time that I accidentally extended Kelly’s elbow a bit too much and she yelped during drills has burned into his mind that I’m unsafe. That was a very, very, VERY isolated incident in a long history of safe martial arts partnering, and she was *FINE*. I wish we could put that in the past. I don’t like feeling that Carlos regards me as an unsafe partner.

Several rounds of positional sparring from butterfly guard. Then one round with Christy and one with Nelson. Nice to see him again. He has cracked his floating ribs. He actually went to the doctor, so you know it hurts pretty damn bad.

When we lined up to bow out, Carlos thanked a number of people for a number of different things, and then added, “Thank you Keetsune, for showing up.” Blush.

Monday evening


The first step to unlock the doors of perception and sniff the scent of the secret is to awaken the five senses from the numbness that normally surrounds them. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Monday evening BJJ in Kirkland.

Standup: foe presents you with a thrust kick. The defense was functionally identical to the Black Crane one- turn and deflect with the NEAR arm, and comtinue the swing back and up and around to an elbow/forearm strike. I continue to have the same problem I have always had with this one, of course: it’s difficult for me to remember under pressure which arm to deflect with.

You are in closed guard. Basic guard break, then underhook one thigh with a forceful throw of the shoulder and pass on the side. Press opponent’s knee to hir nose and grab the back of the pants to stack hir while you pressure down in an evil fashion. (Cindy urges me to get up on my toes to be even more evil.) Don’t forget that forearm in the throat. Pass to side control. I like this pass, if only I can adequately accomplish the shoulder shrug.

From here we applied a keylock. It made a dramatic difference to do what Cindy calls the “reverse motorcyle” and crank the opponent’s wrist toward the outside before pulling the elbow down. I did, however, finally identify at least one of the reasons I find that detail so tricky: although I had a female partner tonight, I still found myself dealing with the familiar problem of not being able to grip all the way around her wrist.

Positional sparring from closed guard: pass vs sweep or submit. After the white belt girl (who is pretty good already), I got to work with Will, whom I haven’t seen in a while. He handed my ass to me. It didn’t even bother me as much to get my ass handed to me by a teenage orange belt as it did to get pounded by the newbie whites this morning- because Will is damn good, and I adore him. The only thing I feel bad about is that it’s gotten to the point that I can’t really give him a challenge.

I was tired and a little headachey, so I pleaded off sparring. Cindy convinced me to do a few minutes of light standup gripfighting with the gi tops off, so that I could prove that I remembered the things she showed me yesterday.

Sucking sweeps


Martial arts training tends to be a very visually interesting way to lose. –Rory Miller

Friday: 127.5

Friday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

I got to drill with Vanessa today. More guard pull drills, with some passing and some sweeping. God, my sweeps suck. I wonder if I will ever get to a place of my sweeps not sucking.

I am happy with how much training I got done this week!

How d’ya like THEM spiders?

Today many people spend eight hours a day sitting before a computer or behind a desk, forcing their bodies to an unnatural stasis. Overworked minds, inert bodies. Depending increasingly more on an immaterial form of technology, we confine the body to a subordinate position. We grow detached from it. We forget its magic. We forget its power. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Today’s photo has absolutely nothing to do with BJJ. To my straight male and gay female readers, sorry. To everyone else: you’re welcome.

Fri: 128
Sat: 128
Sun: 128
Mon: 128

Pink Team in Bellevue: we drilled the comb-over escape from front mount to half guard, whereupon one’s partner passed half guard in whatever fashion she pleased, rinse, repeat. Then some positional training from mount- escape vs submit. Goddamn, Crisanne is getting good. She sticks to you like Spanx- leaves no room to work at all- digs that shoulder mercilessly into your neck, and lies on top of you like a sack of wet sand that feels much heavier than she is.

Then: advanced class.

You standing, opponent sitting with soles on the floor. You place your right hook-hand over hir left shoulder, paste your elbow to hir chest as you step forward with your right foot between hir knees. Now push hir on her back while driving right knee over hir rt thigh. Land on your hip like you’re skidding in for a home run. Try to pass your knee over hir forearm. Keep bodies pasted together, and don’t lift that elbow.

Next: same, but as you do this, opponent is foolish enough to throw an arm over your shoulders. Grab it and swing around for the armbar. DO NOT CHEAT THE GUARD PASS- this means don’t get sloppy with keeping the bodies close, and you must slide all the way into home before popping up for the armbar.

Opponent is now on hir back with feet on your hips. You standing. Grab hir right ankle with your left hand. overwrap hir left shin with your right arm. Step in and pin hir rt thigh up with your left knee. Now let go of that ankle and grab hir left ankle with both hands. Stand up and thrust your belly out as you shove the foot forward (note that you must clear your own flopping gi tails) then shove both of opponent’s legs away to hir right as you pass.

Next: same, but as you do this, opponent is foolish enough to start rolling away to turtle up. Stuff your right foot in the hole opening between hir waist and the floor, and thrust yourself into back mount.

Several spars. I continue to be ineffectual at defending Ron’s deep half- he got it within about 20 seconds, then continued to get it repeatedly. I made Pam deal with my spider guard for a good while (“How d’ya like THEM spiders?”) and coached and then pop-quizzed a white belt on nailing her chin to her chest as soon as I started groping for chokes.

Saeki got her blue today! When I saw the belts, I was so hoping for Crisanne to get promoted (not that it wasn’t great for Saeki). I did find out why it’s taking so long, though…. I found out that Crisanne had ASKED Carlos about it. (wince) Now he’s going to make her wait.