Thursday X2


Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. You may get killed with your own gun, but he’ll have to beat you to death with it, cause it’s going to be empty. -Clint Smith

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Copious drills. Single-legs (Carlos reprimanded me for repeatedly flinging Chrisanne against the wall. I informed him that the wall is a weapon. He was not amused.). Kimuras from closed guard. Cross collar chokes from closed guard.

About a million rounds of closed guard pass vs sweep. Sweeps continue to be the weakest part of my game. Didn’t get a single one. Got some passes.

One roll with Chrisanne.

Evening BJJ in Kirkland. I am trying to make an appearance in Kirkland once in a while, even if I can’t make it on Cindy’s days. On Thurs evenings it’s “basics” in there, which is often a little easier for me to deal with that the “advanced” in Bellevue, when you’re talking two classes in one day. It also starts half an hour earlier, which lets me get home a little sooner.

Tonight I definitely coasted a bit. Dave is getting over some respiratory funk, so did not challenge me as he usually does (no coasting when you’re rolling with Dave). I was working with a brand new girl white belt who couldn’t even make it through the entire drill session.

Pummelling. Cross collar choke from closed guard (cranking the person to the side a bit to facilitate the choke… like this detail. Was not able to do it on stupid side, dammit.). Basic guard pull from standing. Guard pull to armbar from guard. Guard pull to failed armbar from guard, to triangle.

One roll with a tall white belt guy. Armbarred him and RNC’ed him.

It’s a purple belt world.


Standing up to a person only draws a line around your territory. Defending it is what keeps you safe. –Marc MacYoung

Sunday: 134.2

I know intellectually that pop bloats you, but it is truly astounding to what extent decreasing (not eliminating, just decreasing) the amount of pop for just two days has deflated the appearance of my protruding Buddha-belly. I swear, dieting would be so much easier if I was more vain about my appearance.

But here’s something that actually MIGHT inspire me: concealing my pistol in its belly-holster may be easier if my belly is flatter. Yeah, that’s it.

Also, when I lose weight, my boobs get smaller. Lord knows, life is better on the martial arts mat with every cup size lower.

Unfortunately, past history has proven that for me- unlike most people- eliminating pop altogether does not result in immediate weight loss.

Monday: 135.6
Tues: 135.6

Eggs- it’s what’s for dinner. And lunch. Tonight my assistant informed me that if I didn’t lay off the carrots, I was going to turn orange. I informed her that I was okay with that, as long as I am FIT and orange.

Thurs: 136

I’ve been really really good all week with food. Less food and wiser choices. Slightly less successful with pop, but I did cut down.

Leslie, Casey and Cindy are all injured and off the mat. I’m feeling grateful and privileged at the moment that I’m not on the bench, because I know well how that feels.

Thurs lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

(blue belt) Jay, looking up and down the line: “We’re the only two blue belts??!”
(blue belt) Nick: “Guess so.”

They look left at the three or four white belts, then they look right at the eight or ten purple belts. Jay mutters something about “………..purple belts…..”

Kitsune: “It’s a purple belt world, Jay.”
Jay: “So they tell me, Kitsune…. so they tell me.”

Standup drills- double legs, single legs, sprawl on opponent’s failed double-leg and then spin around to the side and take the back. Carlos suggested pulling the guy into your lap instead of jumping on hir back.

Opponent kneeling, you in butterfly guard. Cross-grip the arm and yank hir to all fours. Sink one leg into a deep half guard position, then take hir back either by climbing aboard or pulling hir into your lap. I do not feel comfortable with this technique on someone bigger than me (which means 99.9% of people). Once I have that leg sunk in there, all s/he has to do is sink down on it, and I am pinned on the bottom. If s/he’s going to be mean, s/he can just keel over and capsize on top of me and crush me like a cockroach. I am in a position with a very limited set of options, and have no mobility to get elsewhere. Even John was like, “I guess this isn’t really workable for your body,” after we messed with it for a while. I won’t say of a technique, “I _CAN’T_ do X with my body” because every time I try to go there, Cindy (who is as small as I) does it with no problem. So I won’t write it off…. but for my present level, this doesn’t seem like a good one.

Positional sparring from the above position. I sucked from heep half, but I am pretty good at escaping back mount- even after explaining to John exactly what he needed to do to stop me.

A couple of spars.

Thurs evening BJJ in Kirkland. I haven’t been to Kirkland in ages, and I miss Dave. I miss Cindy too, but Mondays and Wednesdays are not good for training, with my present work schedule- I haven’t seen her in a couple of months. 😦

Warmups at Kirkland are longer and more tiring than they usually are at Bellevue. It’s a good thing (pant, puff).

Pummeling. I suggested to white belt that he not bend at the waist, but bend his knees if he finds me too short to comfortably pummel with. He did not straighten up. Okay, fine, buddy, take it or leave it. I don’t care. I’m going to guillotine the snot out of you if you do that while we’re sparring.

Flow drill: You on your back, partner standing, your feet on hir hips. S/he grabs your legs and tosses them to one side, steps to your hip. You shrimp out, cross far leg over top and replace guard.

Guillotines from standing; operating from failed double-leg.

Keylocks from mount. Dave suggests that if we’re having trouble getting opponent’s arms off hir chest, to first press the elbow down and then lever the wrist to the side.

Same entry, then opponent tries to roll away from your keylock. Transition to S mount, do not change grips. Clasp hir arm to your chest and straighten your back. Transition to armbar. You still do not need to change grips. Found myself wanting to, but tried to resist urge.

Same entry, now try to bow and arrow hir instead of armbar. Variation: windshield-wipe your shin against hir back and sit, pulling hir into your lap. Kick that leg out and place it over hir arm.

Also note: it is helpful to take up any slack in that pantleg before securing the grip near the knee.

A few spars.

Really tired. This two-classes-per-day thing is not easy. I am going to try to do it again tomorrow.

Okay, that one was my fault.


Predators do not see their victims as people, but as resources. Who you are has no more emotional weight than the wrapper his hamburger came in. –Rory Miller

Saturday no-gi in Kirkland. I was late for the second day in a row, and Cindy had given us a lecture about the disrespect of lateness yesterday. 😦

Morning of moving heavy things across the yard and up a flight of stairs to garage storage. In fact I have been doing an hour or two of this most mornings for a while, and will be continuing to do so till I get all my stuff moved.

Pummeling, pummel games (ie, try to get double-unders and hoist your partner), downblocks. I am terrible at downblocks, and worse when we start doing downblock games- ie, snatch at your partner’s knees while s/he tries to downblock on the side you’re snatching. I just cannot cope with my left and right, especially when people start doing cross-reaches. Note that it is not necessary to touch the mat with the hand.

Meathooks behind the head, elbow on breastbone, controlling. Inside and outside ties. Note that you should be gripping the bicep, not the forearm. When I do an outside tie, my hand wants to go naturally to the forearm just below the elbow, and I need to remember to consciously correct this each time. The palm should be up in a cupping pose. Dragging opponent down a few times, then letting opponent pop up while you drop to knee and go for double-leg.

Same sequence we did yesterday. Note that on this double-leg, I continue to fail to penetrate far enough in (drop knee between opponent’s feet). I also (STILL!!) fail to get back to the feet after the grab- for some reason my monkey-brain is convinced that it’s a good idea to try to double-leg a standing opponent from my knees. I’m embarrassed and frustrated that Cindy has gone over this detail with me a Brazillion times and I still keep messing it up. Perhaps it would help to visualize the mat as hot when I drop my knee on it- impetus to pop back up instantly. Cindy also reminds me to use my head more as a lever- tip the person rather than trying to lift them up.

She said that I need to have some coffee or something…. Anything to get a damn move on (my words, not hers) and stop being so ponderous in no gi (well, stop being slow and ponderous period, but especially in no-gi). “Worry less about potential problems and focus on the problem you have right now.” Ie, I continue to be too conservative and want to cling and stall in bottom half guard. I was trapped on the bottom a lot again today, and I think she’s more tired of looking at that than I am of living it. I am so tired all the time. By the end of drills- especially if we’ve been doing something with a lot of get-up-get-down, like takedowns or standing passes- I feel like a dishrag. Is this going to get worse and worse with age?

We did some takedown-sparring involving changing levels and moving the hands around to try to confuse/pattern the opponent before going in for the double leg. They were chivvying me to be more mobile and more aggressive. This was when I palm-heeled poor Dave in the nose. I felt so bad. It wasn’t about the aggression- I was just exhausted, and as I learned a long time ago, when I get too exhausted I get sloppy and start hurting people.

Knees hurt today from the stairs and all the up-and-down in class. Lots of bruising on insides of knees and on lower legs- I had noticed this on Thursday as well. Bad enough to wake me up several times as I tossed and turned.