Friday evening

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“I’ve had 56 students win gunfights in the past 5 years. I also had two students that died because they were unarmed when they were attacked. Carry your f***in gun.” – Tom Givens (Rangemaster)

OMG, Jen Jen Jen. This needs to stop. This ritual leadership team needs to break up due to irreconcilable differences. I had intended to perform my small part for next weekend’s event and then just stop answering her e-mails and fade away… which would leave the door open to at least show up and participate in a non-facilitating way once in a while. But it has become clear that she ONCE AGAIN did not like what I did at the last event, even though it worked just fine, and now she wants to vet my piece beforehand. She disguised this as a general message to everyone that “We don’t want to do (fill in the blank with what I did last time). Let’s all post our ideas so that we can be all goal-aligned.” So almost everyone posts except me…. since I’m still trying to figure out how the hell to deal with her shit without getting pulled into a dysfunctional drama scene, and I also still have about .02% doubt that this may be *my* problem because I apparently have no ability to function in ritual nor gauge accurately whether things worked or not nor take constructive criticism… and she posts another general message going, “Okay, the only one who hasn’t chimed in yet is Kitsune…..” then again this morning with, “I’m freaking out here, those who haven’t posted their ideas yet PLEASE DO SO”. Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ, this is the biggest event of the year and you’d think she’d have enough to do without having this much time and energy to ride my ass. Over a very tiny role, which is not going to make a difference in anything even if she hates it. I don’t want to be one of those people who causes a drama scene (or worse- bails) a week before a huge event, but I’ve about had it. This is nuts.

I mounted a pole in my basement gym to dry my gi’s on. When I first moved in here, I looked at the shower in the laundry room and thought, “Sweet, I can hang my gi’s right there on the shower rod to dry.” Well, turns out the air flow sucketh in there and they take about a week to dry…. which is not a huge deal, except the condensation is such that I’m worried it’s going to get all disgusting in that room if I keep doing that. I’m not sure the air flow and drying time are going to be much better in the basement proper, but I hope so. I’m going to mount a second pole on the porch so that I can dry them out there when the weather permits.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. I got there early and had a long, thorough stretching session, followed by a few reps of the Tai Chi short form. Then Five Animals. Then Leopard Fist. I have not done any forms of any kind for, like, a year. I don’t know how I feel about it. It stirred some things. Some good, some bad.

KOtH, sweep vs pass. There was an awkward moment right that the beginning when Prof Herbert tried to pair me up with Sauleh. There were only about 8 of us total in there, so having Sauleh in there with KoTH meant a lot of extra wall time for me. Irritating.

Brandon has his purple belt. He continues to get bigger- and better.

A few spars. Lance first, ha ha. He was nice, and let me simply run a sub clinic on him. I also got a turn with Herbert, which was awesome if exhausting. It was very flowy. I tried really hard to flow. I think I made a decent showing of myself.

Navel-gazing, re: attitude

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Someone who has agreed to fight you has agreed to serve as part of your test, your struggle for knowledge, your quest to make yourself better. –Sam Sheridan

As I’m sitting around thinking “What I wouldn’t do for a piece of pizza- or ten”, the inevitable “Why am I doing this?” questions start circling around in my head.

My recent batch of comps, I did specifically because I wanted to learn how to deal with the adrenaline dump. While I won’t say that comps no longer make me nervous, They are now making me much less nervous than before. So I’m not sure I’m still making decent progress on that goal.

I do not enjoy competing, my record is phenomenally lousy…. and while I do feel that I learn things every time, I find myself once again wondering if it’s a worthwhile pursuit.

I was well aware before even starting BJJ that the major limiting factor in my martial arts progress is my own defeatist mindset. I don’t really know how to fix this. Continuing to train, and continuing to compete, thinking that at some point all the work is going to result in enough increased skill to make me feel more competant… it’s not working.

I have made something of an effort in the last two years or so to be slightly less negative in my training blog- to mention more positives, and cut myself down less often. But it’s not enough. To truly tackle this hurdle, it’s going to take something else (probably multiple something else’s). I don’t know what. All I know is that it wouldn’t be easy, and I feel exhausted just contemplating the question.

Yet if I am truly serious about my training, and not just going through the motions, I can’t ignore this forever. It’s the elephant in the room, and it’s looming larger and larger. It’s not just going to go away, ad I’m going to be stuck behind it as long as I fail to deal with it.

I’m having a sense that picking up Kung Fu again might be part of the key. I have really dropped the ball on this. It’s hard for me to continue training without a teacher. Also, just the thought of Kung Fu is wrapped up with so much emotional trauma that I’m terrified that working forms again- tearing that scab off, so to speak- will result in being pulled further into the Black Hole of nightmares and depression. It’s the same fear that working on art is igniting- only more direct; closer to the belly of the Beast. Just the thought of doing forms makes my stomach roll over queasily.

While there is certainly a spiritual component in BJJ- and that’s mostly about what you put into it- so far I haven’t gotten it to trip my spiritual triggers in the way that Kung Fu did.

I do not know how to proceed. But “ignore” is becoming more and more unworkable.

“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”