Ta da!!


Understand weapons ARE the big equalizer. Up until the introduction of very efficient weapons that did not rely on strength (think the revolver, first), might DID make right. Not morally, but any moral argument put forward could be beaten to the ground. –Rory Miller

2 afternoons training with Tylik.

Mostly stancework (using the long form, although said stancework translates to all the other forms as well as, uh, standing. My most eggregious sins continue to be 1)failure to have the pelvis tilted at the right angle (which in turn messes up everything else all up and down the body), and 2)allowing my knee(s) to collapse inward (which in turn messes up everything else all up and down the body). Erroneous foot position also looms large. Some arm position stuff- bad crossing of centerline, not having arms low enough to guard against groin kick, and spreading arms too wide as if in a “ta-da!!!!” dance pose (which is NOT Tai Chi). Going over one or two tiny snatches of the form and being utterly dazzled at how many things you have to pay attention to in order to make a seemingly simple 180 degree turn. As soon as I start focusing on pelvic alignment and arm position, I forget foot position and torso turning… and vice versa.

We also did some Chen dao (actually got through the whole form). Many of the stancework items we’d been working on came up again here. I was able to troubleshoot my least favorite movement in the form- keeping in mind that the things I don’t like are always the things I feel inept at. In this case, it was a motion that Tylik performs like an avenging sword goddess and I perform like a lame chimp on opiates. But I think we pinned down what I was doing wrong this time.

I felt really good about the progress we made both days. I have a very limited attention span, and my knees start hurting after only a modest amount of stancework. But we broke the time up into managable chunks, and switched to sword (“And now for something completely different!”) just as I was about to start tearing my hair out over stancework.

It also felt very good to work on forms. I have so neglected my formwork. I am so unhappy not having a regular Tai Chi teacher/class nor a regular Kung Fu teacher/class. I miss forms. I miss Tai Chi. I miss Kung Fu. I miss striking and kicking.

Also- having spent almost the entire month on the bench for injuries, I have been very unhappy at not being able to train. It was so nice to get some training in.

Another good thing: my plantar fasciitis- while not totally gone- has slacked off to an amazingly relieving degree. That PF sucked so bad, but it did serve to be a constant un-ignorable reminder to watch my posture and balance and foot position 24/7. I was bad about doing my exercises, but the things Tylik showed me on her last visit about how to stand and step made the difference, I think. I really hope that these adjustments are now automatic and permanent, and that it will both avoid future PF as well as improve the way I move around in general.

Holy cow, Rory Miller left a comment on one of my blog posts. He probably Googled himself and went to see who the heck has posted about five hundred of his quotes. Hope he doesn’t think I’m a stalker. I suspect that attempting to stalk Rory Miller would be a special kind of suicidal.

FYI, tattoos on the side of the ribs hurt like a mother. I have a small tat on my flank that has previously held the record for being the most painful… but the flank at least has a small layer of fat, and the side of the ribs is skin over bone. I’ve never had a tat still hurt nearly a week later, either. Additionally, I can’t put on a bra because the spandex would go right over the tat. It really is obscene and terrible for me to go around braless. It also made the Tai Chi interesting. Tai Chi is pretty much the only workout that is even on the table sans bra, and I had to wear layers of billowy clothes that completely concealed my body. Somehow, Tylik has no trouble seeing my knee turn in or my pelvis tip wrongly- I think she has X-ray vision. But seriously- these body parts were not visible by any stretch of the imagination, and it really makes a point for how those particular stance errors fuck up your posture in such an obvious way that she didn’t need to be able to see much to tell what was happening.

But as far as the tattoo- Lindsey did an awesome job. It is very meaningful to me to have tattoos- which are all martial-arts-related power glyphs to some degree, in my case- done by a fellow martial artist, and a back belt teacher of mine to boot. Makes me want to let him ink me up head to toe, ha ha. I’m working on a Sak Yant inspired design, contaminated with Chinese elements. It’s going to take a lot of time and research, though.

Overwrap, underwrap


Shootouts with handguns generally follow the “Rules Of Threes”. They take place at three yards (or less), are over in about three seconds (or less), and you will fire about three rounds. – Lovette and Spaulding

Fri: Dreamed about guns all night.

Today my right foot does not hurt. This is momentous. I woke up one day in April with random and severe plantar’s fasciitis, and every single day since then, putting my right foot on the ground has felt like stepping on razor blades. Today- just as randomly- it is gone. For good????? Please?????

Sat: 128.5

Saturday all-levels at Seattle. It was very nice to see (and hug) Rodrigo and Lindsey (black belt Lindsey, not blue belt Lindsay).

Standup: Touch foe’s right wrist with your left- don’t grab, just cup. Step in with left foot and seize bicep with right hand as you bring right foot INSIDE and wrap it around opponent’s right shin. Sink your level. Your belly should be right against opponent. At the last second, turn so that you are starting to go around the corner as you take down. This is gnarly- you could easily pop someone’s knee. Angus has really good balance/grounding, but I wonder how this would work against someone my size.

Top side control: As opponent turns into you and puts arm up, overwrap it with the arm closest to opponent’s feet. Go all the way around till hand is on opponent’s back. Pop up the knee closest to opponent’s head. Spin around to back and replace side control. This was a complex arm-braiding exercise, but once I got it, it was nice and smooth.

Then, just to throw us into total confusion, a slightly different version wherein you UNDER wrap the use your other hand to press the head to the mat.



People talk much about ecology and the need to slow down the crisis of the global ecosystem, but there can be no solution to the problems of nature unless we can find nature within. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Sat: 130
Sun: 130

I’m trying to find a snack substitute for me beloved yet carb-rich Sour Cream and Onion Baked Ritz crackers. The dried chunked coconut apparently is not going to be it. It does have added sugar- not a whole lot, but enough that my weight creeps up.

I found a tennis ball and tried rolling it under my painful heel as suggested by CK and Coach Dynamo. I’ve taken the ball to work for two days, and used it while sitting at the computer in the office. Jury’s still out on whether it is helping.

Rory Miller suggests some intriguing homework: carry something unusual on you (like a small stuffed animal) as you go about your normal day, and see if you can keep it hidden. This would be a good way to ease into carrying a gun on a regular basis.

Mon: 130.5

Found a plantar fasciitis shoe insert. It felt…. interesting to wear to work. I think any type of insert- including putting a rock in my sock- is going to relieve the PF to some degree just because it’s forcing me to put my weight down on my foot differently. But as to whether that is going to translate to actually *helping* the PF….. preferrably without messing up my feet (and knees, and back) in other ways… hmmm.

KYS Productions has a promo video up for the next Proving Grounds. It is full of clips from the last PG. There’s one of Joan looking like The Goddess Of Sweeps. A few of Hostility Boy beating the shinola out of some poor dude. Two clips of me- one of me being taken down and one of me being tapped out. Lovely. 😛

Tues: 128.5

I can always tell when Carlos has written the blurb on the GB Bellevue website because the English is so creative. “This Saturday we don’t gonna have kids class…” He writes exactly as he speaks.

The woman who stocks the about-to-expire 30%-to-50%-off bin at the Woodinville Safeway meat department gets very excited when she sees me. (Craning to see what’s in my earth bag) “What have we got today??!!? CHICKEN THIGHS!!!!!!!!!” She exclaimed with such glee that I had to crack up.

Thursday: I am trying to be mindful of the fact that the November Revolution is only a month away, which means we are entering crunch time if I truly mean to drop four more pounds before then. Nevertheless, I had three breakfasts today. I had one, and a few hours later I was hungy again, so I had a second. After that, I was *still* hungry, and I know from experience that going to class hungry does not work out well. So I had a third.

I think I worked it off, though, as the Prof nearly killed us with drills today. He was doing the warmups at double-pace, and I thought, “Hmmmm, he looks disturbingly over-caffeinated today,” This never bodes well.

1)Bullfight pass setup off spider guard.

2)Butt-scooting toward standing opponent to wrap body around the outside of hir leg, lie back, repeat on other side.

3)Kneel aside opponent, who in lying on hir side facing you. S/he puts topmost arm on your shoulder. You put up the knee closest to hir feet, then spin around hir head and armbar. DON’T FORGET TO GRAB THE PANTS!!!!

And again. And again. And again. And- just when we thought we were going to die- again.

Kitsune: “That was…. bracing.”
John: “Invigorating!” (as he’s squatting on the floor panting like a spaniel)

Then positional sparring from back mount. I was so tired. I tried, but was not feeling very effective.

When we were finally done, I was too tired to breathe or blink.


“Cats never regret anything.” –Tybalt, King Of the Cats

No-gi at Bellevue. Crisanne is sick, and I emailed Kelly but she was busy. I thought I was going to be the only one there- which could, depending on Carlos’ mood, turn into either a private or a cancelled class. As it was, Ben showed up. Ben is great to roll with, although it is an exercise in humility! So we just rolled for an hour.

With Ben, your number one goal is to stay out of his half guard. I knew this, but it’s difficult. I usually charge in on my opponent immediately after the fist bump- and when Ben is sitting there on his butt with his knees apart, there’s really no place else to go. With most people, beginning by stepping into their half guard is ducky…. because I’m good at passing top half guard, so we start the roll with me getting passing points and then side control. Ben, however, does not follow my script.

He did show me an option which involved hugging below his butt- which you have to do fairly snugly, gripping one wrist with the other hand. Sprawl hard, sink weight down, pry/kick leg out.

At another point, he was observing that having my butt posted a little ways out helped me defend the sweep or roll. One of the things I’m trying to pay more attention to lately is my habit of pasting myself as closely to the opponent as possible at all times. 95% of the time, this is exactly what you want- but there are a few positions where you really need to scoot your butt out a few inches. I am trying to be more aware of figuring out those specific situations.

Another learning moment: being in the head and arm choke. I had the free arm- the one on the side closest to Ben- wedged in there horizontally with the elbow against his head, and it seemed like it would let me hold out for a bit. He suggested that instead I cover my ear with my hand. That didn’t make practical sense to my brain, but I went ahead and tried it- and yeah, it was better. I was cooked either way, but the hand-over-the-ear bought me a little more time.

Straight ankle lock- he’s playing with a figure-4 grip here. I tried it and liked it. This might work better for me than the standard.

Coach Dynamo saw me standing on the mat doing toe-heel, toe-heel, and asked if I was doing ballet. I said no, I have plantar fasciitis. Turns out he has had it too. He poked at my foot a while. It was fairly painful after the afternoon standup class.

I’m sure CK- who often makes things in my back go “twang”- would be amused to hear that the coach actually made something in my HEEL go “twang”. We found a knot in the bottom of my heel. It felt like a marble deep in there. Something is really skewed in the world when you can have a KNOT in the bottom of your HEEL. That can actually be twanged. That is just wrong.

I saw Pam in the locker room getting ready for the next class, and that made me want to do the next class. I actually felt fairly okay at that point, but I was pretty sure that after the warmup I would crash hard. Reluctantly I decided to pass.

Pam told me that every time she makes eggs, she thinks of me.