Push it, old folks….

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Even more than strength and agility, awareness is our best weapon: a dynamic awareness that can look simultaneously into the present, the future, and the past. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

Drills:

Single leg setups

Single leg setup with takedown

Single leg setup with takedown- opponent grabs half guard- you turn toward hir feet, pressure on neck, pop knee out, turn toward hir head, knee slide through, UNDERHOOK (this was the part I got reprimanded for missing), KOB.

Second verse, same as the first; only now when you KOB, opponent turns into you and places hand on your knee. You take the arm closest to hir feet, underhook hir arm, twirl around hir head and armbar. Opponent does hitch hicker escape, gets to knees. You scoot into hir and grab half guard. S/he does the escape describes in the previous section, to KOB. Rinse, repeat.

I was working with Robert, and I hope I didn’t drive him nuts today, because I was not only tweaking his technique (which got better and better as the hour went on) but cheerleading him relentlessly to push his exhaustion envelope. For those of us who are not 22 any more, I feel that it really lights a fire under our training to give that percieved limitation a big old EFFFF YEEEWWW every once in a while. Besides, it makes such a difference to work with training partners who push you and take a real interest in your progress.

Cindy came in at the end, and it was tortuous to not stay and play with her- but I promised Chrisanne I would be in Bellevue tonight, and I don’t know if I would have enough gas to do so if I stayed to spar this morning.

The tangled web we weave

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Stacking: a skilled fighter will use many things in combination. Strikes and gouges can both set up a throw and do damage during the execution. You can lock a limb while sweeping a leg. You can use a lock to slam the threat into a corner or over a coffee table. It’s all good. –Rory Miller

Fri: 128. Okay, so maybe it’s a LITTLE funny.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: Judo grips. Push and pull back and forth a few times to make foe step back and forth. Then as s/he is stepping forward with the foot on your elbow-grip side, pull DOWN with the elbow grip and UP with the lapel grip as you use your same-side foot to sweep opponent’s ankle between the two of you. You want to do this very suddenly, after s/he has committed hir weight to the step but before hir foot is down. (Note: stupid side is phenomenally stupid.)

Now: Top side control. Use knee to isolate the arm. Go for KOB, but it’s a trap!!!!!! As opponent puts hand on your knee, you pin it to hir belt. That knee you have on hir belly, stretch it all the way behind you and then sweep it in a huge glorious circle around to stick your foot behind opponent’s neck. You are going OVER TOP of hir arm. As you put your foot behind the neck, grab your own ankle with the other hand.

(Note: as you do this sweeping circular motion, you can also yank the opponent’s head and shoulders up a bit to make it easier to stuff your foot in there. If s/he has turned toward you a little in order to try to shrimp out from under your KOB, this will also make your life easier. Thank you very much.)

Now roll. DO NOT LET GO OF YOUR ANKLE!!!! Place your other foot on opponent’s hip. Opponent is probably helping you at this juncture because s/he has now realized your dastardly plot, and is trying to get postured to defend the triangle.

As long as you have kept that ankle, you ought to be able to complete your adjustments in a leisurely fashion.

You can also finish the triangle without rolling if you wish.

Opponent is in turtle, you sprawled on top N/S. Place left arm against the left side of hir head and scoot to that side. As you are sinking the crossface, go ahead and secure a grip on hir OPPOSITE bicep.

Now reach under hir with your free arm and hug both hir biceps. Pull hir arms towards you and dump hir on the mat on hir back. If you stay nice and tight, and focus on placing your kneeling thigh under hir biceps, you can keep those arms trapped- which is a great position from which to do all sorts of mischief to bring about a finish.

Finally: gi choke from closed guard. Break opponent’s posture and grips and lock hir right bicep under your left armpit. Linger there at smooching distance while you get the fingers of that same hand into hir opposite lapel (you can use your other hand to feed it if you need to). Don’t tighten it up to the point that you don’t have enough slack for the next step: stick the thumb of your right hand into the back of the collar right at the tag. Now whip your forearm over hir head and choke.

One roll with Daniel, one with Ron, one with the visiting black belt.

Ron seemed to be doing some catch and release, to the point where I was like, “Come on, finish your subs. Tap me, dammit. I’m competing next week.” He replied, “I’m ALWAYS trying to tap you, Kitsune.” He was also doing a lot of inverted guard. I sprawled heavy on his face (sorry Ron) and used his gi tails to wrap up his shoulders and neck. I did not have a cohesive plan with that- my brain isn’t that geometrically clever- but I did manage to get him so tied up that he found himself unable to transition into any of the nasty little tricks that he likes to set up from inverted guard. As we panted there with our faces about two millimeters apart, and I watched him try to move one way and then the other while dismay began to creep into his eyes, I whispered, “Oh, the tangled webs we weave.”

So after two ten-minute rolls with Daniel and Ron that were tons of fun, Doug goes to put Mario with the visiting black belt, and Carlos stops him. “He’s been training hard all day. Geef heem a break. Let heem go weeth Keetsune.”

I couldn’t decide whether to be insulted or not. On the one hand: Sparring me is apparently considered a “break” or at least markedly less work than sparring Mario, who is the same rank (taller and heavier, but it’s not like he’s a grizzly or anything). On the other hand, since Carlos is the one who is ranking me, one would think he wouldn’t want me to roll with his buddy if he thinks said buddy will pull him aside after class and ask him, “Dude, what kind of bad acid trip were you on when you gave that chick a purple belt????”

So anyway, I fight the visiting black belt- who is a smaller-size guy and turned out to be great fun. He was letting me work some- even let me have a choke tap. I seemed to be rolling pretty well, and I got the sense that he didn’t think I sucked. He also gave me a split lip, but it was well worth it.

It was a fun night of training.

Public service message: Paul Thomas Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing MMA school (Katy, Texas) has indicated that Nick Schultz (the guy who raped a teammate at TLI and left her semiconscious on a cement parking lot in the middle of a winter night) is welcome to come back and train there (he has trained at Paul Thomas before). Please help spread the word that Paul Thomas Jiu Jitsu Kickboxing MMA welcomes dangerous and immoral asswipes onto its mats to troll for their next victims among its students and their families. Please also indulge me as I will be using this blog on an ongoing basis to publicize schools and sponsors who support rapists. We need to get this out into the light where everyone can see.

Attack, attack, attack

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“There’s a girl here who looks just like you- only she’s wearing more clothes.” -Willow, Herald Camp

In case anyone cares, I will *not* be dying of melanoma this week. Both of my biopsies- including the one that looked just like a pathology textbook photo of malignant melanoma- came back benign. HIPPA, in its infinite wisdom, forbids health care professionals from looking at our OWN records. Wouldn’t want to invade our own privacy now, would we??? So I got to sit at work all night wondering if I was dying of cancer or not, knowing that my biopsy results were about six keystrokes away and I was not allowed to look at them. I love my job.

Sat: 128
Sun: 129.5
Mon: 128.5
Tues: 128
Wed: 127. Three pounds to go, and two whole months to do it in.
Thurs: 127.5

Thursday evening “black belt” class in Bellevue.

Drills: you are standing, opponent on hir back in front of you, feet on your hips. You push ankle aside, push knee BACK, step near foot up to hir ribs, KOB. This is one of the ones where I start to get really flustered over left and right.

Same entry, but opponent sits up and hugs your right leg. You pull up hir left elbow, pull your leg out and place it beside hir hip, swing your other leg out, take side control.

Same entry, but this time opponent is hugging your leg too tightly for you to complete the previous maneuver. Instead, move your trapped foot right over hir lap and place it beside hir OTHER hip, then slide down into KOB on that side, then place both knees on hir belly and swing around to the opposite side and KOB over there.

Rotating spars. I got the prof first. “Eet ees not always attack, attack, attack- sometimes have to wait, sometimes have to defend…” I guess BJJ does not have Tigers in it.