Dawn Patrol


A knife is anything portable and sufficiently thin to cut. I’ve found eyeglass earpieces that were sharpened to scalpels and plastic toothbrushes sharpened to puncture. A knife is primitive- no matter the skill and technology that went into it, the knife is an exemplar of more primitive, less civilized times. –Rory Miller

Ben posted that the Dawn Patrol Open Mat in Bellevue (6am to 8am) was on for the morning after Thanksgiving, and I was impressed with his doggedness, so I “like”ed it. Then he PM’ed me and said, “Does this mean you’re coming?” I had to work all night till 7:30am, so I said, “I’ll throw my gi in the car and see if I feel up to dropping in for the last 20 min.”

I got there and stuck my head in, and called, “I see a lot of guys sitting around on the mat yakking and not much rolling!” I also saw Hostility Boy- so I stalled a little, hoping he’d flake off… and thank you God, he did.

Ben and Aussie Dave were kind enough to stay for another hour, during which the three of us did rotating 8 min spars with no jackets, and they attacked my legs every which way. It was great. Although this does point up what an incredible body of work I have on my plate to become proficient at this sort of thing. It sure is a a different game in no gi. It sure is a different game at purple and above. Combine the two, and damn I have a lot of learning to do.

Ben got my arm trapped up over my head three times. The final time, he baited me into it… I resisted sticking my arm up there for some time, but I finally did it, and on he clamped.

I wasn’t sure how I would like doing an open mat on my way home from work in the morning, but I really enjoyed that.

Two Hours Of Kelly

bicep 001

A man who knows that body and spirit are part of each other doesn’t need anyone to remind him that he is alive, nor does he have any reason to upset the ecological balance. Only the sky above his head and the earth under his feet. His body is the only home. It is the only thing that never abandons him, the only one that truly belongs to him. Such an individual is a threat to every form of established authority. A wolf that can’t be tamed. He is not under anyone’s orders and doesn’t accept dogmas because he already has within himself everything he needs to face life. When streams of power flow in the veins of your body, dependency on external factors is reduced to a minimum. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday evening: aborted class. The guy with the key was a no-show. We stood around and debated the merits of practicing takedowns in the parking lot. Then we talked about BJJ. Then we talked about peeing on electric fences. (This is what you have to put up with when you hang around with groups of guys.)
Sat: 127.5

Open mat in Bellevue. I spent just over 2 hours rolling with Kelly, first no-gi and then gi, with about a 5-min break in between the two.

Pic- that’s my left bicep- seventeen separate finger/thumb marks! Cool, huh?!

Kelly’s doing phenomenal- she’s a beast! She was on top the *entire* afternoon- which, while frustrating, was good in that it forced me to work off my back a lot (where I’m weak). I feel like I got a lot of good practice/experience today.

She is one of the few people upon which I have difficulty executing the comb-over escape from front mount to half guard; her tiny little feet tuck up under my thighs and she’s so tight that I’m stuck.

She also executed the Move Of the Day from Thursday on me, three times… only finished it once, but it’s a sweet move, hard to see coming.

With her long legs, the “lockdown” is devastating… even when she just gets one of my legs, it HURTS (she’s bony, too), and I can’t do a whole lot while she’s got me transfixed there.

I made a point of telling her all the things she was doing that sucked the most for me, and encouraging her to do them even more.

Kitsune: Oooh. That really hurts when you do that, and the angle that it creates with my neck makes it really difficult to defend.
Kelly: Oh! Sorry!
Kitsune: No, keep doing it! Do it more! It’s great for you!

I worked a lot of open guard. I set up the lasso sweep that we learned on Friday, and was astonished when it actually worked! msn_red_fox_smilies-18 Then I played with that lasso foot on one side and spider guard on the other, and managed to sweep her a couple more times in different ways. That’s really exciting, as sweeps are by far the WORST part of my game.

Another thing I was excited about- I managed to get a couple of armbar subs that weren’t really “techniques”, but improvised. Improvising is something else I don’t have a gift for, so it’s a thrill when I get something like that.

To work on: I am still letting myself get caught with one arm up by my head. I did it three times, and was cursing myself, although she was not taking advantage of it. After the third time, I asked her to clamp on a head-and-arm every time she saw me do that. She doesn’t feel solid with head-and-arm chokes, but I told her that as long as she had me well pinned, she had the leisure to adjust and play around till she got it. So that happened another four or so times. I really need to quit doing that. It is a terrible habit. I should start asking everyone to make a point of being ruthless about persuing me with that.

Tried for omoplatas several times, but only succeeded once. Chokes remain my most reliable tool… although I really am tickled about those creative armbars.

At one point we had stood up, and she jumped guard, catching me completely by surprise. I not only dropped us both like a rock, I had my fist wedged against her neck and thumped her a good one as she landed. She seemed to have hurt the back of head more, though. I felt terrible.

The stripe fairy

stripe 001

All the world will be your enemy
Prince with a thousand enemies.
And when they catch you
They will kill you.
But first
They must catch you!

-Watership Down

Thursday: 127.5

You can run…. you can hide…. you can even leave your attendance card in the box so that it doesn’t get marked….. but the STRIPE FAIRY is still gonna get you in the end.

No-gi class in Bellevue. Began with a grueling series of warmups featuring all sorts of mutated pushups, backwards and forwards iron buffaloes, and anything else that Carlos’ twisted mind could come up with. Bear crawls with your partner backpacked on your back. Bear crawls with your partner papoosed on your belly. Thank God (blue belt) Lindsey was there today. Even she was almost too much for me. It wasn’t the weight that was the issue; it was more a problem of restricted limb movement with a human being pasted precariously to your torso.

Opponent is lying on hir back with you standing, hir feet on your hips, Push the feet to your left, swing RIGHT leg over the opponent, and drop with your right hip on top of hir left hip. Go to side control.

Same entry, only this time the opponent turns toward you and tries to swing hir leg over your head. Punch BOTH your arms to the other side, slide through using hir hip as the balance point, and take side control on the opposite side.

Opponent tries to double-leg you, you snap hir down and sprawl on top N/S. go to the side, reach both arms under opponent’s chest, grab far bicep with both hands, and pull to place opponent on hir shoulder. Keep weight on hir while you switch your arms so that the outside of your bicep is on hir clavicle. Now use “RNC” formation with your arms and lean your hip on hir head.

A couple of short spars. Carlos put a big white belt guy with me, and then gave him a lengthy talk about how he need not go easy on me. After he made the point three times, I said, “Okay, that’s enough! Now he’s going to kill me!” “I know thees guy ees a gentleman.” And the guy was, to the point that I actually had to reiterate to him that it was okay to put some weight on me.

I also had to have a talk with Lindsey, who is really hyperparanoid about hurting me (“but you’re so LITTLE!!!”) and won’t put barely an ounce of her her hulking 135lb down on me. She was doing that first guard pass drill brushing over my hip like a butterfly. I told her to be kinda careful of my RIBS, but she could thump down on my hip as hard as she wanted. She also wouldn’t complete her subs even with repeated urging. I tried to explain to her that as two colored-belt training partners who have worked together for a while, she needed to trust me to let her know if she’s going too hard, and trust me to know when to tap.

Next: Advanced class. It was a relief to see Kelly, whom I haven’t glimpsed since I crunched her elbow. I once again sought reassurance from her that I hadn’t injured her. Oh, she now has 4 stripes! Pam also got a stripe tonight! And- uh, well, me too.

We divided into teams of three and drilled double-leg setups from standing, then did the same inverted turn exercise that we did last night.

Then: opponent is in your guard. Pull hir fwd with legs and work hir bottom left gi tail free. Underhook hir left leg and feed the gi tail OVER your own thigh to the hand which is now underhooking the leg. Now you can scootch your butt out just a bit and go for- surprise- an armbar on opponent’s RIGHT arm!

If opponent pulls arm out, Keep ahold of the other grips and go for an omoplata.

If you go for the omoplata and the opponent hops one leg over you to straddle your head, you can (still retain those grips!) lunge up and force hir to continue the roll until you are on top. If you still have that gi tail, and now your weight down on hir, s/he can’t get out. Go to side control.

Several rounds of positional sparring starting from closed guard. I was working with Ron, and I was very pleased to try some of my new strategies when he inevitably went for deep half guard. I wasn’t able to get his head and package him up like Cindy had shown me… but I am very proud to say that I did **NOT** consign myself helplessly to the sweep and fall back on my ass. I did in fact manage to stay on top- it was messy, but I stayed there.