“What martial art you are doing?”

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The usual winner in a ground fight is NOT the best grappler, but whoever has friends who show up first and start kicking. –Rory Miller

Tues: 127.5

Tuesday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. We had a visiting black belt today- which always means a lot more work! I’m not sure if the prof is trying to show us UP or show us OFF in those cases.

Same standing thrust kick defense that we did yesterday.

Carlos: What martial art you are doing?
Kitsune: (hands over face in shame)
Carlos: I don’t know what you doing, but ees not zchoo-zchitsu.

Okay, so it’s NOT functionally identical to Black Crane. We are supposed to stand with one foot well forward. I honestly want to know how we can plan to have the correct foot forward when we are not dealing with a compliant uke who can be relied upon to kick with the “correct” foot. But I can’t think of a way to ask the question without having it sound like the dreaded “my MA is better than your MA” challenge, which place I DO NOT want to go with Carlos. It’s an honest question. I wonder who else I might be able to approach to straighten out that bit of confusion for me.

In addition, the copious errors of my ways included elbow striking with the “wrong” elbow. It appears to me that the technique will work with either elbow, but it seems to be better supported by the full weight of my body (as well as utilizing more of the torque from the turn) to use the “wrong” elbow. Oh well.

Despite my show of contrition and lack of argument, I wonder if he thinks I’m copping attitude when I inadvertantly bleed Kung Fu into my Zchoo-zchitsu; as it then turned into Pick On Kitsune Day- even though the room was packed, he was all up in my grill the whole hour pointing out errors in all of my techniques. Of course, many instances of POKD have no discernable trigger at all…. so who knows.

Foe is in your closed guard. Use right hand to pin hir left hand to hir belt. Secure left hand cross grip on hir left lapel OVER TOP of that trapped forearm. Knee up on the trapped side. Shin turn out on the OTHER side, toe posted. Stand. Switch sleeve cuff grip to opposite hand and grab pants. Break guard and squat, quickly moving to double inside-the-knee grips as you make sure your legs are out of DLR guard range.

Now: Step left foot out to the left as you yank opponent’s near leg straight and far knee to the mat on the other side. Sprawl and lay your face on hir belt, shoulder on the side of hir ribs. Dance to the side on toetips to pass.

If s/he pushes your face toward hir legs, go with the spin and do a breakdancing 3/4 turn on top of hir using your shoulder as the pivot. Now you are in side control, ideally with opponent’s arms trapped as well.

Today’s “Fun with English as a second language” moment: “Poo foot”…. Gordon was just as confused as I was by this instruction, and it was no clearer to either of us on the second or third repetition. Turns out “Poo foot” = “Pull foot”

Monday evening

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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.