Front mount to S mount


Fighting is almost always ego driven. –Rory Miller

I’m doing Vic’s 30 day plank challenge. Starting today at Day 2 because I just now found out about it. I flatter myself that I have halfway decent ab muscles, but I do not plank, so it’s entirely possible that I may be in for a rude awakening.

My trick wrist- the one that Carlos wristlocked when he first came here- was troubling me yesterday and today. Mostly during the open guard butt scoot warmups yesterday. I was mostly fine during the sparring. I’m wary, though, as the wrist tends to give me problems for a few weeks at a time once it starts hurting. Hope it won’t affect the plank challenge.

Saturday no-gi at Kirkland.

There were some painful techniques on tap today, and Cindy told me to be grateful that Dave was there to be the demo dummy…. and I truly was, as they are things that Cindy has done to me before and the memory of agony is fresh. I feel terrible as I watch Dave’s face contort. The vein on his temple starts bulging out and turning purple, too.

I was drilling with Andrew, who is fairly large, but he was very nice to me and careful. Dave, though, didn’t hear me say “tap” during the positional sparring, and continued to pull something that torqued the sheet out of my ankle and knee until I yelled “TAP- TAP- TAPTAP!!!!!” I know he would never do that on purpose, but dang, that hurt.

First we did some pummelling, then triangle drills, then armbar from guard drills (lawd I hate those!)

Front mount to S mount with seatbelt grip. Then front mount to S mount to armbar. Then front mount to S mount to torquing opponent’s own arm around hir neck and bellying hir down to the mat.

I struggled with many things today. Several of them were very basic white belt errors that I should not be making. Others of them were failing to correctly follow all the steps even after multiple explanations and demos. Cindy was getting frustrated with me, to my dismay and chagrin.

Positional sparring from front mount. Then a roll with Wayne. I haven’t done no-gi in a long time, and found myself frustrated with the lack of grips.

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.

Ten seconds!! Ten seconds!!


If he or she has the right mindset, the killer will beat the fighter almost every time. –Rory Miller


Yes, even though it seems as if competition is not helping my jiu jitsu right now, it is true that those rigid dates with the tournament scale are good for diet discipline. As soon as I decided to take a break from competing, I promptly gained 5lb. So I decided on a new tactic: my tattoo artist (who, incidentally, just won second place for “best sleeve” at the Seattle Tattoo Expo) has been posting all sorts of rad pics of his work and making me salivate more and more for additional ink. I had told myself that I was going to get my back started the next time I had a benching-level injury, but now I’m thinking that I’m going to use the tat as a carrot (double meaning definitely intended) to get back down to weight. I’m feeling reasonably strong about it at the moment- for the last two days I have not only cut my soda intake by more than half (this is actually the hardest part for me!), I have stocked up on the eggs and carrots, as well as decreasing my portions of everything else and just generally trying to wait a little longer before bowing to hunger and eating something. Even yesterday when I went to the Chinese restaurant with CK (AGAIN!!!!), I ate all the carrots and broccoli on my plate (although I am not fond of cooked veggies) and took half the chicken teriyaki home (it made TWO subsequent diet-sized meals). Yes, rice happened, and I know rice is very bad for me, but I’m still satisfied about the way I handled that. I’m going to take a humongo bag of carrots to work during my next rotation. Work is a dangerous time for the munchies (and the pop).

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. There were only 4 of us there, besides the prof. The five of us were in full agreement that BJJ is MUCH MUCH more important than a Seahawks game. I don’t know what is wrong with those people.

At first it looked like I was going to get paired up with Lance, which is pretty funny… because even at my fattest, he makes about eight of me. I ended up with (white belt) Shawn.

You have closed guard. Yank opponent’s opposite-side sleeve cuff while pulling hir down with your legs. Hug around hir shoulder with your free arm. Now that you have hir arm pinned between your bodies, you can let go of the sleeve and use that arm to reach under hir thigh. Note that your arm should go OVER TOP of hirs. Twist your body into an X formation opposite your opponent’s. (Prof Herbert was using a foot on the hip to help it along; that didn’t seem to be working very well for me). Swing your far leg to help sweep your opponent. It is good to keep your near knee pasted to the back of hir shoulder blade as you swing up on top; as well as keeping that front heel pasted to hir chest- this keeps hir pinned on hir side and you find yourself in S mount (I love S mount). At this juncture you may appreciate why you wanted your arm to go over top of hirs- as you now have that arm pinned along your body and under your armpit. I elected to then step over Shawn’s face and finish the armbar. Herbert was delighted to see me go there, to the point of having me demo the sequence on HIM for the next drilling section (whee!!).

Next: same entry, only now you focus on the fact that as you place your arm over top of opponent’s while reaching for the thigh, you are actually in a rather pleasant position should you choose to bring your other leg over hir face and do an armbar right there. I am always thrilled to drill armbars from guard (or permutations thereof), as I keep thinking these are going to be ideal for my game, yet I continue to fail to integrate them into my live sparring. I have a feeling that if I can ever get that switch flipped and start remembering them under pressure, I’m going to be cracking elbows merrily left and right all day long.

As usual, my technical issue to work on (as pointed out by Herbert) is that I should really try to get my second leg higher up into the opponent’s armpit. With effort, I was able to improve this on one side, but not the other (it seems that my hip is more flexible on one side).

Finishing with a 10-min spar with Shawn. He’s a good partner; not too big, pretty careful, muscles a bit (hey, he’s a white belt) but not too much. I was inspired by the fact that the prof was circling around us watching the whole thing, and I was on top quite a bit, although I started to get really tired in the last few minutes and ended up getting tapped. As Shawn let me up, Herbert said, “Ten seconds left,” and I threw myself at Shawn, shrieking, “Ten seconds!! Ten seconds!!” as I jumped guard and started frantically hauling on his lapels trying to get a choke. Didn’t get one. But it was a fun spar.



The spiritual path is more than an event; it is a life’s walk. It is every step. -Tasara

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Chrisanne!!!

Drills: Armbar from mount, failed keylock to armbar from mount, uhhh… there were a couple more, but my mind blanks….

Lots of positional sparring from mount. Most people switched partners a few times, but I stayed with Chrisanne. She’s been really sick, and off for a month, and her weakness and lack of wind are painfully obvious. I grabbed Gordon a few minutes into class and asked him to make sure to be careful who he puts Chrisanne with, because she’s fragile. Ritchie was there today, and that’s about the LAST thing she needed.

We worked on pinching her legs together on the armbar, and getting her knee and heel in tighter on the S mount. She continues to not be assertive enough about jumping back on top hastily when she needs to. Also, she is setting up subs and then sort of backing off at the very last minute. I hope I am not being too annoying by coaching her constantly; but she’s got great technique with just a few glaring loose spots that need fixing, and it’s so satisfying to watch the way she tightens everything up and gets so much better in an hour. I worry so much because she is so damn tiny. I nagged her to not let herself get flattened out under side control.

This tutoring did, unfortunately, involve me letting her armbar and bow-and-arrow me many times. God, my left shoulder. Is it EVER going to get better? I still can’t roll over in bed without groaning. Also, I had been kind of smug that I felt relatively okay after Saturday’s wrestling takedown hour with Pedro, but when I got up for work on Sunday night, I was hurting. My neck/throat, especially. He did choke me some, and have a forearm wrapped around my throat with that shoulder-grip thing we do- but I think the pain was actually from whiplash due to that one particularly brutal takedown he did.

I wanted to get a few more rolls in at the end, but nobody stayed except Rodrigo and Gordon, who were rolling with each other.