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.




Guard pulls and more guard pulls


Archery is, therefore, not practiced solely for hitting the target; the swordsman does not wield the sword just for the sake of outdoing his opponent; the dancer does not dance just to perform certain rhythmical movements of the body. The mind has first to be attuned to the Unconscious. –D. T. Suzuki

“Pink Team” followed by “All levels” in Bellevue.

Pink Team: guard pulls from standup… light resistance, pull to a variety of open guards.

Then: scissor sweeps and situp sweeps. Drills, then try to sweep partner with light resistance.

Saeki’s guard passes are getting very good. She seems to get intimidated easily. I hooked behind her neck somewhat aggressively while we were doing the standup, and told her “I’m doing this repeatedly because I can tell it’s freaking you out. Don’t get intimidated.” I think she is mostly working in the Pink Team classes, and not getting roughandled much. I’m going to try to push her envelope there a bit, while being verbally encouraging.

All levels: a little more guard pulling, a little bullfight pass setup drilling, then rotating short spars with multiple people. I went hard on Crisanne, which continues to mean more and more work for me as she continues to get better and better. I tried the spider guard and lasso stuff again, and found that it is quite a bit more difficult on people with long arms. Some people have arms that are longer than my legs, sadly enough.

After class, Lindsey tried to get me to play on the balance ball. She and Casey are completely obsessed with this. I was able to kneel on it within a few minutes, although standing was possible for only a few seconds before losing my balance. It would be so funny to be able to stand on it before Casey is able to do so.

I am really sore all over tonight. Getting out of bed in the morning is going to be interesting.

Lunchtime omoplatas


“How you behave towards cats here below determines your status in Heaven.” – Robert Heinlein

My favorite green cargoes are falling off my hips. That’s good…. I guess….

Mon: 128
Weds: 127.5

Wednesday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland.

Scissor sweep. I focussed on the variation where you put your foot on the opponent’s kneecap and push hir thigh back. Note that is the opponent is basing hard, you can push at hir. Either s/he will push back (whereupon you complete the load for the scissor sweep) or s/he will resist (whereupon you do a technical lift instead).

Failed scissor sweep to technical lift. Hook one hand behind opponent’s neck and push head down as you do the technical lift. Then KEEP pushing the head down as you run around to take the back. If s/he tries to single-leg you, sprawl hard and kick the leg back and out. You can also loop your near hand in there so that you can circle to the OTHER side and force the person to roll onto hir back. Take side control.

As usual, Cindy complains that I am being way too nice and not being forceful enough with the head-pushing.

Same entry, foe tries to single-leg you. (You can even deliberately bait this by leaving your leg out there instead of tucking in to the side.) Reach between your knees and grab hir arm (ideally deep- at the elbow). Place your shoulder on the mat and roll. As you complete the roll, kick the leg nearest the opponent in an axe-kick so that you force opponent’s shoulder to the mat. Grab around hir torso to prevent the re-roll. Keep hir arm, shove hir hand “In the pocket”. finish omoplata.

Spars. I wasn’t doing very well today, but I was rather overmatched by Mike, Rocky and Cindy.