Hurts so good

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The people without great talent but with desire tend to become the technicians. When others are more talented, you must be more skillful to win. Most of the really superb martial artists and fighters I’ve known have been runts with a drive to win. Small and weak, they couldn’t afford to be merely good. They had to be fantastic to hold their own. –Rory Miller

Saturday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

Warmed up with Coach Dynamo- mostly sitting on top of each other in turn and groping for sub grips that we couldn’t get.

Drills to exhaustion:

Standup- Single leg

Guard pass to kimura

Opponent double-legs, you sprawl, crossface, move to side, double-unders, pull opponent into your back mount

Lots of getting up and getting down; this is always a vast amount of hard work.

Triple-partnered with Angela and Kelly, all of us going 110%.

Too tired to stay for 2nd hour “competition” class.

Thighs (lower fronts) aching by the time I got home. Usually it takes till the next morning- or at least that evening- before noticable muscle aches set in, so I know we worked hard. Always nice to work with Angela and Kelly. They take it seriously and bust buns.

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That felt so good.

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One must understand that slaughter cannot be spelt without laughter.

Was supposed to have another session with Tylik yesterday, but *her* teacher sent her away for being too sick to work out. So I ended up just taking her through the Starbucks drive-through and then back to where she was staying. 😦 But at least it appears that she refrained from sharing her plague with me.

Friday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle. Got there early and did a good stretch, then worked Chen Dao several times using the bar portion of a small barbell. The balance and length were interesting. Heavy enough to make me work. I was mostly focusing on balance and footwork, though.

Short warmup roll with Chrisanne (although I was already sweating from the dao).

Standup: single leg. Drills: pass guard to KOB, then to 1)kimura, or 2)spinning armbar. I felt pretty good with all of these, as soon as I figured out what Carlos wanted (he got a little impatient with me on the single leg…. sorry…)

I gave lots of feedback to Chrisanne… she always takes my advice to heart, and it’s so nice to watch her work hard and get better and better.

One roll with a whitebelt guy, one with Cindy, one with (black belt) Lindsey. I was excited to show Lindsey how the tat had healed up. He’s happy with how the color looks on my corpse-pale skin.

It was great to work with Chrisanne again, it’s been a long time. I wish I had had enough gas left to ask Cindy to drill takedowns, but after Lindsey I was wiped right the heck out. He gave me good feedback and compliments, which was cool. It’s been a while since I’ve rolled with him, too- he seemed impressed with my progress.

It was so nice to get back on the mats. Chrisanne’s been off for a bit as well (altho not as long as I have), and we were both raring to go and ready to work our butts off, which we did, with one another’s encouragement.

A cancellation…. and some TMI

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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.

Five days out

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Unarmed arts only exist for emergencies you didn’t see coming. If you can predict it and plan it and force is unavoidable, it is stupid to go in without a weapon. For that matter, without getting every advantage you can. –Rory Miller

Evening BJJ at Kirkland.

Same techniques we did this morning. Additionally: Keylock, failed keylock to straight armbar, failed straight armbar to kimura. Note that this kimura requires both a switch of handholds and a “standard” motorcycle grip wrist turn.

Positional training from side control.

Then a couple of rolls with Izzy and a couple with Dave (both gi and no-gi with Dave). Dave was being a prince helping me out.

Found out that Izzy has a lengthy judo history. Now I feel a little better about how poorly I am doing against her… she seemed to be catching on scary-quick, and now I know why!!!

I’ve been having a great couple of weeks BJJ-wise, and I wish I could pinpoint why. It’s not that I have been getting more taps or tapping less; in fact the scoring has been on the lower side for me. But I have just been kinda feeling like I sort of know what I’m doing. Wish I could bottle it.

Tournament in five days. I would shank somebody for a piece of garlic bread right now.