Unicorns

bjj49

 

This is how a book or story has to start. Something rings in my head, like Great Tom. A knell.

Or sounds in my brain like a horn. A call to battle.

Sometimes two characters argue in my mind.

Sometimes it is a character tapping me on the shoulder.

Sometimes it is a vision, a picture in my head.

Only when I hear that ringing, that battle horn, that clear argument, or feel that tapping, or see that vision do I know there is a story I have to tell.

Then I must invoke the magic word. Oh, yes- there is one. All truly successful writers know it.

I shall whisper it in your ear: BIC.

It stands for Butt In Chair.

Really. Hard work is the only real magic there is… if the book in your head is going to get onto the page.

-Jane Yolen

 

 

Friday women’s class: I was too lazy to blog it and now I can’t remember what we did, except I remember doing double-leg setups and upas.

 

Thursday lunchtime class: Pulling guard and using one foot to strip one opponent’s grip, then scissor sweep.

 

Same, only use pendulum sweep.

 

I had some issues here, and at first I was irritated that we were doing both of these in one class because I kept sticking elements of the scissor sweep into the pendulum sweep. I tend to try to turn everything into the scissor sweep; the pendulum sweep feels like one of those “this will never work for me live” things (I think partially because of the emphasis on powering it with a lateral-to-medial shove of the thigh which feels like a very weak movement to me, and also I am always wanting to hip out). It turned out to be annoying-yet-educational because it forced me to focus on the differences.

 

Scissor sweep- I am decent at this; I just need to remember to keep my knee toward the ceiling. I want to put it too low across the opponent’s ribs, and a decent player is going to just flatten it (and me behind it) and squash me. I usually end up trapping the posting arm adequately, but I need to be more mindful and assertive about it.

 

Pendulum: Do not turn on my side. STRAIGHT leg, up to the ceiling, socketed assertively right into opponent’s armpit. Another mindful and assertive post-trapping. CUP the knee (you do not need to try to remove this grip). Also, Carlos adjusted my angle of launch from sideways to upper-diagonal (like the upa). The sweep comes from that thigh shove PLUS the lifting of the opponent’s knee with a flaring of the elbow. That elbow flare was the one thing I didn’t really get enough time to iron out to my satisfaction after ironing out the rest of my problems.

 

Both sweeps could also use a lot more more lower-leg shoving.

 

A little king of the hill, pass vs sweep. I got very excited because I was able to not only hold off John for quite a while, but eventually SWEEP him (gasp!). True he wasn’t going 100%, but he wasn’t babying me around, either. My expanding ego was swiftly returned to earth like a popped balloon by my next opponent, a while belt guy who shoved past my guard in about 4 seconds.

 

Carlos instructed the 4 large male white belts to not even engage the women. While I understand this, I was a little peeved  that it wasn’t “be careful”, it was “don’t go near them at all”. I don’t want to encourage the male white belts to refuse to work with women. There is no reason they can’t learn to be careful. (Carlos added, “Oh- except for Keetsune,” and I was like, “Yeah, bring it,”- but then he said he was kidding. I wasn’t.)

 

Friday women’s class: same techniques. Good. Was able to get my shit together better this time.

 

In addition: Failed double-leg to bear hug and lift; uke hooks foot around attacker’s shin to foil the lift, then bend down and grab opponent’s ankle and lift for takedown. KOB.

 

I am feeling hungry for more sparring; we don’t do any sparring or much KOTH in women’s class. I’m having some stress at work, and could really use the sparring. I stayed after class Thursday and did one spar with Camille, in which I was able to handle her well and mount her repeatedly to troubleshoot her sorry upa.

 

One of the fresh blues said to me in the locker room- in a tone that should be reserved for unicorns, Jesus, and Cindy Hales- “I want to be just like you.”  I don’t know how to react to this. I still don’t. I managed to not laugh.

 

 

 

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Compact pendulum sweeps

bjj101010

Danger arises when people think in only two mindsets, conversation or combat. When one side is trying to deny that they are in a dangerous situation and are trying to talk their way out of it, the other side has made a choice on some level to do violence and is merely looking for an opening. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Hot enough to fry an egg on the mat.

Grab-the-ankles sweep. Carlos scootched his hips right between his opponent’s feet and used his feet on the opponent’s hipbones. I tend to roll up almost onto my neck and use my knees, so it’s good to keep in mind that there are other options.

Pendulum sweep. Instead of pinning opponent’s arm across hir chest, we just pressed the elbow in with one palm. Tonight we were also hipping out much less than I tend to do, and using the bottom leg to shove much less than I tend to do. It looked very compact and effortless when Carlos did it. Didn’t seem like it should work. But of course it did.

Opponent is in your guard with tight hold on your belt, elbows tucked. Grab hir wrist (same side) and hip up violently to make a space to slide your other hand underneath to grab your own wrist. Now you can push up and beak the grip. Yank opponent’s arm across hir chest and hip out. Do not stick your far leg between hir knees- this time we kept that far leg on the outside while hipping out quite a lot, then pulling opponent into back mount. Don’t forget to trap the wrist once you have back mount.

I really wanted to spar, but it was just too hot.

Had a good online conversation with an artistic friend- music, books, writing. It’s always stimulating to talk to other creative people.