Almost broke my arm tonight.

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One we learn how to use adversity to our advantage, we can manufacture the helpful growth opportunity without actual danger or injury.  -Josh Waitzkin, The Art Of Learning
Today I turned my ankle on some rocks and fell flat on my back on the hiking trail- but it was a fabulous breakfall, and didn’t hurt a bit. I bounced right back up. Then I had to chase down my dog….. who, completely unperturbed, just kept going and left me lying there.   😦

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

You are lying under side control. Use left arm to hug around opponent’s shoulders and hook your fingers in hir armpit. Scootch your legs to your right, scootching opponent’s legs along with them, until you can thread your right arm over hir near leg and under the far one. Plant your left sole on the mat and sweep. Keep all your grips, and your own body will loft over the opponent’s and settle into a much better side control- one with YOU on top. Don’t let go of that leg.

Same thing, only when you go to do the sweep, opponent moves hir arms to get away from your hug, and is now sort of Supermanning on top of you. Thread that arm OVER hir arms and under hir chin, and roll hir over your face. Likewise, your body will naturally follow. Note that this time, you roll overtop the foe in the OPPOSITE direction that you did previously (ie, toward hir head).

Both of these techniques were fun, but very abs-intensive! I was feeling the burn right above my belly button after just a few reps.

My first several reps of this second technique went fine, aside from the fact that I was rolling Christy right over my face, which was mildly annoying. I almost let it go, but then Doug walked by- so I decided to go ahead and ask him what simple adjustment would prevent this issue, because I knew there would be one. He had me pause and tip my head closer to Christy’s just before I rolled her, like I was telling her a secret. Unfortunately, I was focusing so hard on that detail that I went the wrong direction when it came time to flip my body over her, and *****OF COURSE******* that would be the moment Carlos walks by.  (Why does that always happen????!????? Does that happen to everybody or just me?????!!!!! ARGH!)

Then he made me do it on the Stupid Side, and I looked like even more of a moron because I blanked and couldn’t remember the steps on that side.  I said, “I have to stop and think about it.” and he said that he wanted me to think, because I still had to be here for an hour.

Then we did King Of the Hill from side control, and Carlos yelled at me and Sean because we kept going when I got half guard, and we weren’t supposed to.

Next- just for a trifecta of looking like a wingnut in front of the prof tonight- I got in side control on top of him, and he reversed me in about .0000000002 of a millisecond. I knew it would be quick, but not THAT quick. I was so surprised that I exclaimed, “SHIT!!!” quite loudly. Carlos does not like cussing on his mat. I slapped both hands over my mouth, but it was too late!

I was KOTH’ing with another guy when he executed a *very* nice technique that I was not familiar with. It was one of those ones where you have to sweep your own self in order to avoid getting your arm broken. One of the ones where they are already in the middle of an unstoppable motion, so you can’t just yell TAP and freeze the action. Unfortunately, I didn’t parse what was happening until *almost* too late, and then it was like

OHJESUSGODIHAVEHALFAMILLISECONDTOGETFROMTHERETOHEREBEFOREMYELBOWGOESSNAP

….and I had to really utilize all my experience with analyzing and executing just how to change the angle, and exactly when to relax the arm and shift my weight. In a flash. Ironically- even though I was tapping a moment later- it made me feel masterful. I figured it out and I handled it, instinctively and instantaneously. If he would have done that to a white belt- or maybe even a blue- it would have broken the arm.

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The meanest one of all

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The only thing easier than the physical part (of self defense) is the intellectual understanding of the physical part. And that is sometimes a trap. Knowing the words is not the same as knowing the music. Knowing something with your head alone is almost useless when it comes time to apply those skills with your body under stress. But people often believe that knowing is the same as understanding, and that the ability to talk about things or answer questions is in some way correlated with the ability to do those things. It is not.
–Rory Miller

Thursday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Short warm-up roll with Casey.

Standup, judo grips. With your sleeve-grip hand, slide fingers down opponent’s sleeve to your own lapel and briskly snap lapel out of hir hand while you turn out slightly. Kneel between hir feet, turned slightly out toward your lapel-grip hand (which grip you have retained) and use that lapel grip hand to yank opponent into your fireman’s carry. Carlos stresses that you must not curl into a “c” shape when you kneel- body should remain upright. Don’t dump to the back or front- dump hir right on hir head.

Same, only opponent sprawls. Transition to single-leg. Peter was praising my single-leg effusively, which was weird since I’ve struggled so much with it and continue to do so.

You are under side control, opponent has both arms on hir own side. Buck up slightly and place hand nearest opponent on your ear. Now push and shrimp; shove your other arm under opponent’s armpit as far as you can. As soon as you have room to do so roll on your belly. (Note that if you fail to control opponent’s other arm, s/he will crossface you and force you back down.) I have always resisted rolling onto my belly in this technique. I feel very vulnerable. Carlos demo’ed how it is actually pretty impossible for the opponent to prevent you from moving from belly-down to turtle no matter how much s/he sprawls.

Next, tuck right up beside opponent, shove the knee nearest hir in there and force hir over into side control. As you slide on, switch to scarf.

KOTH starting from side control: escape vs mount. I was on top of (huge, brown belt) Jim- whom I rarely work with- at one point. He commented afterward (admiringly, not critically(!)) that I was “the meanest one of all” because as soon as I took side control, I shoved my forearm bone against his jaw and made him turn his head. Good thing Cindy was not there to hear that comment. YES, this is the same technique that I did to E-man some three years ago which causes her to STILL TODAY run around telling everyone that I “neck crank little kids”. It is not the least bit mean- and I have such a low bar for “mean”… it’s not painful at all, it’s just pushing the face away in order to make it more awkward to see what I’m setting up. When I came through the line and got Jim a second time, he looked up from the floor, saw me looming over him, and whimpered, “Oh my God!” It was pretty funny. He also had good things to say about my sprawl.

A long, pleasant roll with Chris.

I have been putting a lot of thought into the defeatism issue that I discussed after Proving Grounds. It has become impossible to avoid the reality check that I routinely surrender every single roll before it even starts. Anything I might get, I assume it’s because my opponent was being nice and gave it to me. If they praise me- as two people independently did tonight- I can’t accept that. I assume they are just saying it to be nice (probably because I suck so horribly that they feel sorry for me). I have mentioned this before… it’s not like I wasn’t aware of this all along… but I didn’t really see that I am doing it EVERY…..SINGLE…….TIME. Tournaments are disturbing because it somehow feels less acceptable to meekly resolve to lose every roll in a comp than it does to meekly resolve to lose every roll on the practice mat. I think that terror of “escalation” is a factor as well in comp- it feels like the situation is dangerously and intimidatingly “escalated” right from the get-go, so instead of rising to meet the challenge, I am simply “struggling” (as opposed to “fighting”), being defensive, and trying to “de-escalate”.

Also a factor, of course, is the fear of failure. If you don’t try, you can’t really fail- because you can still tell yourself, “Well, I *could* do it, if I was really trying.” How unthinkably awful it would be to REALLY try and find that you STILL couldn’t do it. That’s just the endpoint of it all. There ain’t noplace to go from there.

I have not yet come up with any constructive ideas for trying to work on this.

It does occur to me that blowing off positive feeback from my training partners is actually a form of disrespect to them. Feedback from your training partners is a gift. Presumably they are trying to help you, and not just coddling you and blowing smoke up your ass. If you respect that person as a martial artist, one should respect their viewpoint and advice, and assume that they know what they are talking about.

“Do you do yoga?”

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If you get injured- shot or otherwise- while running, keep running. Most people survive wounds. Most wounds are psychologically, not physically, incapacitating. You may be killed. You may bleed out. DO NOT give up. Not even if you are shot. –Rory Miller

Friday evening BJJ, Bellevue.

Side control to scarf, throw your leg over opponent’s head and grab your own lapel, trapping opponent’s arm. Place your other hand on the mat, then knee, then turn and armbar (the foot closest to opponent’s feet is under hir back). Little Prof Herbert stays amazingly tight throughout- he’s so close to the guy that he’s practically scootching underneath him.

Same, but opponent defends armbar by joining hands. Pull your feet out one at a time and cross them over top of hir arm. Bicep slicer(!)

Then switch to a grab-your-own-wrist grip and roll towards opponent’s head to break the grip. That one I learned from Carlos some time ago and have actually effectively used, along with a foot on the bicep to pry at the arm.

Next: I know there’s a name for the keylock when the opponent’s palm is on the mat by hir hip, but I don’t know the name (no one ever names techniques here). Anyhow, you’re in side control going for that, and the opponent grabs hir own belt or gi tail to defend. The arm closest to hir feet, place that elbow on the mat and your palm on your ear. thread your other hand through and grab the bicep of THAT arm (this took some wiggling, for me). Now move to NS and kick your trainling leg under in a sit-out. KEEP elbow on the mat (this is counterintuitive, but the prof corrected me on this specifically and it changed EVERYTHING). Once in position, you barely have to lift in order to finish a shoulder lock.

Positional sparring from side control. Then one roll with Kevin and one with a good blue belt guy I’ve worked with a couple times. As we slapped hands to start- him drenched in sweat and puffing like a locomotive- he commented wonderingly that I wasn’t even out of breath. Kevin and I had just had a long, lively, competitive, technical roll. I asked blue belt guy if he did yoga. He was that flexible, esp for a guy. He said no, but that he’d done lots of MA and always worked on his flexibility.

I seem to be moving more and setting up- or at least threatening- more subs lately. It seems like a slow, meandering improvement. I’ll take it.

I put on some music last night while making the cat food. Found out that my CD player has bought the farm. Tape player still works, although will not rewind. Sigh. Last week I organized most of my art supply boxes, and I have my tables set up now… so I can start working on projects any time. I also churned out three pages on my book today- which I haven’t worked on in a long time. Frustratingly, as I make a few tentative moves to break out of creative deep-freeze, my mind immediately starts hamster-wheeling on past trauma events (Autumn ’11). I really hope those thought processes are not mentally associated with the book (although I started serious concrete work on that right after the trauma, to try to divert myself- I’m going to be really vexed if that’s the case). The alternative theory, of course, is that *ANY* venture out of robotic day to day “enduring life” and into a creative “LIVING life” mode causes my subconscious to lunge up reflexively like Pavlov’s Demon Dog to sabotage me with toxic thought processes. I am my own worst enemy. It kinda makes me want to put the art away and just go back into zombie zone. Seriously, it’s like I can’t allow myself to feel pleasure and enjoyment (in art) without serving up a load of emotional garbage to make sure it’s tainted. Either feel nothing at all, or open the door that lets acute pain back into the space. I mean, just look at this paragraph. This happened because I sang along with 2 cassette tapes and wrote three pages of fiction. This is how I get. I don’t know if it’s worth it.

Problem is, my MA, my artistry, and my spirituality are all fused together. I can make some progress on MA while in endurance mode… you just have to keep going through the motions… but it is slow and crippled.

I am going to get all my hair cut off tomorrow. Looking forward to being able to get on the mat without that sweaty swim cap wrapped around my noggin for a while. I’m thinking about getting a Marine cut next month right before PSG. If I got a Marine cut and dropped ten pounds, I don’t think my Evil Twin and I would be able to tell OURSELVES apart.

Thank you for showing up.

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Absence is the most efficient survival strategy. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Taking nearly a month off class does not appear to have had any effect on my injured elbow. It was a bit worse after the tournament. I’m frustrated with it, but I guess it’s time to just suck it up and keep going, working around it as best as possible.

Drilled with a new woman- Christy. She’s already got some really good basics. She informed me that she had “HEARD of me”. Geez. Cindy was present today, and immediately proceeded to tell Christy all about how I like to neck-crank little kids.

Butterfly guard. You grab opponent’s ankles. Place left foot in hir rt hip. Turn on your right hip and pull hir left leg crossways across your lap. Your right knee should be under this leg. Curl up and scoot in terribly close, low, as if you are trying to crawl right up hir butt. Do not let go of the ankle. Once you are tucked right up in there, you can let go of the ankle and grab the back of hir belt. Technical lift to get your leg in position to take the back.

You standing, opponent on hir back with feet up. You swipe hir left foot to the side and step your right foot to hir left hip. Hike up on one leg and paste your bent left leg against hir left leg, right under the knee. Fall onto your right hip. Pinch knees together, opponent’s leg between them. Grab the pantleg. Tripod up, in a sort of KOB position, only you are KOT (knee on thigh). Keep the shin, and pressure down on the thigh to keep them there. Grab the near lapel. When s/he pushes back, pull the leg, turn your hip and go to side control.

I was at first grabbing the far lapel, as I generally like to do, and Prof. Carlos came over to correct me.

Kitsune: “Why don’t I want to hold the far lapel?”
Carlos: “You want to try eet on me?”
Kitsune: “NO.”

Christy was kind enough to rescue me at that point by setting up an armbar to demo why you don’t want to hold that lapel, and I’m sure she did it much gentler than Carlos would have. I thanked her humbly.

Christy had a brace on her ankle, so I was being extra careful, but Carlos still came over to warn me to fall on my HIP and not my back, so as not to injure her. He even started to suggest that I switch to the other side, but she demurred. Now, I’m very happy that he is diligent about looking out for everyone’s safety, especially the women. But it irritates me and hurts my feelings when he acts like he thinks I’m going to injure people by being careless. I know Cindy’s just giving me crap when she does this- she knows that I’m very careful and I am extremely safe for anyone to work with. I can’t help thinking that that *ONE* time that I accidentally extended Kelly’s elbow a bit too much and she yelped during drills has burned into his mind that I’m unsafe. That was a very, very, VERY isolated incident in a long history of safe martial arts partnering, and she was *FINE*. I wish we could put that in the past. I don’t like feeling that Carlos regards me as an unsafe partner.

Several rounds of positional sparring from butterfly guard. Then one round with Christy and one with Nelson. Nice to see him again. He has cracked his floating ribs. He actually went to the doctor, so you know it hurts pretty damn bad.

When we lined up to bow out, Carlos thanked a number of people for a number of different things, and then added, “Thank you Keetsune, for showing up.” Blush.

Chrisanne! And Will!

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If you are attacked, every second of hesitation is a second of damage. The longer the hesitation lasts, the more damage you take- the less able you become to do anything effective when and if you do act. –Rory Miller

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Chrisanne!!! 🙂 There were actually *FOUR* women on the mat. Wow.

I attacked Chrisanne and rolled a little with her to warm up.

I didn’t like the grin on Carlos’ face. Sure enough, he was in a really drilly mood.

100 takedown setups. Fast. Then guard passing- eight or ten different guard passes, twenty times each, fast.

Three five-minute spars. Chrisanne, Justin, Alex (the blue belt one, not the humongo almost-brown-belt one).

—————-

Evening BJJ in Kirkland. Will!!! I love working with Will.

Side control
. Basic replacement of closed guard.

Side control, top opponent is blocking your hip. Shrimp out, brace matward shin against opponent’s arm. Kick your other foot over hir head. Control the arm. (You may be able to armbar from here.) Square up, foot on hip. Other foot on bicep. (You may be able to triangle from here). This was kind of a complicated sequence… but as always, Will is a sublime partner, and we were able to kick out a bazillion reps, and I even found an omoplata opening.

Dave was a little too enthusiastic with his demo, and almost popped my elbow (the left, of course- the elbow and the shoulder on that side have been intermittantly troublesome for a long time). I managed to bite my tongue on the yelp. I am still finding it very restimulating when I get passed over for more junior students as demo dummy, so it makes me really reluctant to be a baby when I am in the role.

One five-minute spar with Dave. I was pretty tired (and a little headachy) by then, but he seemed impressed with my work- and did not appear to be handing me a bunch of stuff.

Saturday through Thursday

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Kaia appeared on tributary bank and swooped into the grouping of lanterns without a sound, like a grim spectre. –The Hole In the Clouds

Saturday comp class in Seattle. All spars. Meg, Coach Dynamo, Ian, John… I think there were one or two more in there but I can’t recall. I felt competant. Meg is very technical and eager. I hope she sticks around. It was great to roll with John. It’s been a really long time. He’s gotten so much better. It seemed like a really good competitive roll.

Turtle Drum went well. Not a huge crowd, but enthusiastic. Bryan did everything except call/dismiss quarters. I used the Spiral Rhythm chant again. They love that. I had been planning to cast the circle with my red light saber, but at the last minute I asked my housemate if I could borrow her smaller rainbow strobe shortsword. As it turned out, Thekla set up the altar with a branch growing out of a pot and strung with illuminated rainbow stars. It was perfectly coordinated. I walked up there and stuck the short sword in the pot as if I was lighting it from the branch.

Registered for Proving Grounds on (IIRC) March 1 or thereabouts. No-gi only. Weight will be okay as long as it doesn’t go up this month.
——————————-

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Begin in closed guard. Grip lapels, step left foot up by opponent’s hip, straighten right leg out behind you as you stand up and turn to break guard. (Brace your knee against the hip.)

Press opponent’s left knee to ground, slide your rt knee through, backsit, take side control.

Next technique: you are standing, opponent lying on hir back with feet on your hips. You grip pantlegs at insides of knees. Underhook one leg and press the other knee to the floor. Slide rt knee through, then left knee. Take side control.

Multiple repeats of these, to exhaustion. Both John (this is a different John) and I kept mixing up whether we were supposed to do the backsit or the double-slide. I had to ask him to be careful on my ribs- his weight on top is amazing. Because I had already asked for that, I refrained from asking him to go easier on my knees- although it hurt like hell every time he slid over one.

Kirkland

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’Feeling’ other people’s intentions when there is no time to comprehend is not a special talent reserved for enlightened masters. Only a bad relationship with our perceptions and a poor regard for our intuition can take this fundamental weapon away from us. Centuries of strict rationalism and skeptical philosophies have contributed to undermine our natural sensitivity. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Evening class in Kirkland, under Dave.

Opponent standing, you on your back with feet on hips. Opponent pushes your leg to the side and steps to the side, you cross far leg over top and replace the open guard. Over and over.

From closed guard: spider guard to triangle to armbar to omoplata to triangle.

From side control: near arm under opponent’s head, sit back on your hip, grab pantleg. Mount, grapevine, arm under head, dismount in “kickstand” position. Then side control. Rinse, repeat.

Basic back mount escape. Don’t forget to grab the pantleg and push it away. Also, noting that tilting the head to the side and then pressing it back against opponent before rolling onto the side makes a big difference.

Same, only this time opponent grabs half guard. Sit back on hip, clear the arm, CROSSFACE (very important), shoulder pressure. Now scoot butt back as you use free arm (and your other foot, if necessary) to clear the half guard.

You are in turtle, Opponent is sprawled on you N/S. Hug one thigh, pop head out on that side side and press it against opponent’s shoulder blade. Step the outside foot out. Pop your body out and lie back on opponent. Twirl around to hang off hir side, as s/he is now turtled. My biggest challenge here is remembering to circle the elbow back as I pop out.

Same beginning pose. This time grab both thighs and scoot in close. Pop head out, step out on that same side, use OUTSIDE hand to grab the near ankle. Push with shoulder (be very upright) and lift to spill opponent over. Take side control. There is a good opportunity here to also trap both legs on top of your thighs.

Sparring: Twice with a white belt I don’t know, once with Dave. With Dave, my amazing skills from this afternoon continued to reign. I did worse against the white belt, go figure- even though he wasn’t being smashy or ridiculously heavy. He had good basics, good guard passes and really good top pressure. In our first spar, I did loop choke him in about twenty seconds, which inspired much hilarity (him included).

Overwrap, underwrap

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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.

“Don’t give me any spazzes!”

bjj1011

When you play for those stakes, social violence is…well, stupid. You understand what the guy wants and if it makes him feel all big and bad, then so what? It’s no problem to you to give him that, because you know what high stakes are. Campfire Tales From Hell

I pinged Lindsay and Chrisanne and Kelly, but none of them could come in and work no-gi with me today. I went in anyway, and Tagir was lurking about, so we rolled no-gi for an hour and then did the combined beginner/advanced class. It was down to a pack of newbie whites, Lance, and us.

Jamie had us do some interesting new exercises. We had to stand on our hands with our feet on the wall (bellies to the wall) and “walk” sideways. The turn our backs to the wall and do it again. It was easy for me to keep my balance, but my biceps got tired quickly. Could also feel core engaging big time.

Del a Riva sweep. Ah, white belts. Mine was having so much trouble lifting his hips up high enough to scoot to the side, and I also had to explain how to avoid breaking one’s shoulder when one is being swept in this way. He still groaned pitifully every time he hit the mat. Poor guy had to be all of 22, if that. I remember how painful it used to be for me, too, before I’d had it done to me a fajillion times and got used to it.

Partner has DLR, you put hand in back of collar and drive into hir with knee, s/he pushes back, you flick trapped leg out and go to side control. You may need to sitback to clear the other leg.

Finally: Same as above, only when you get to side control, partner throws arm over your shoulder. Finish with spinning armbar.

A little positional sparring from DLR, then from side control.

One spar with Tagir, and one with a different white belt (I had said to Jamie, “Don’t give me any spazzes!”). This one was pretty good, although using too much strength (he was skinny enough that I could take it). He was huffing and puffing like an overweight badger. It made him gas quickly. I told him that that was his thing to work on.

A cancellation…. and some TMI

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I don’t think conflict is a physical problem most of the time, and even when it is a physical problem, there are minds and social rules and the world involved. The more of those elements you can manipulate skillfully, the better off you are. Sometimes you play the cards, sometimes you play the person and sometimes you play the table. –Rory Miller

Well shazbot- Amanda’s a no-show. There are no other female purple belts registered. My gi bracket is cancelled.

Evening BJJ in Kirkland. I’m giving myself points for effort, but it really just does not work to try to do MA classes the day after working a graveyard shift. I took a Nyquil and did get a few hours of sleep, but it was just not enough. I felt like something on the bottom of someone’s shoe.

Unfortunate timing of hormonal cycles means that this week- today in particular- I have felt as if I had two gigantic, swollen, painful pumpkins sitting on my chest. It seems as if they are taking up the entire room. It hurts just standing still, nevermind being squooshed beneath Izzy’s excellent top pressure. (Sorry for the TMI, men… but you should take this moment to thank the patriarchal deity of your choice that you don’t have this crap to deal with, because it’s terrible.) I really hope I make weight, because another unlovely aspect of this time interval is randomly gaining a few extra pounds of water retention overnight.

Same keylock/armbar/kimura sequence as Monday. For some reason I had the idea that the kimura wants a 90 degree elbow. When you’re doing it flat on the mat, the arm actually can/does go almost straight by the time you start pulling up on the elbow. Cindy notes that I am being sloppy about making sure the opponent’s wrist is pasted to the mat throughout. Also, she recommends “monkey grip” (ie, no thumb). I feel insecure with this grip, but I can’t get a decent grip on 99% of people with the normal grip (their wrists are too big around) so I guess I have nothing to lose.

Flow drill: side control, keylock, backsit with good “kickstand”, front mount, dismount with backsit (mind your kickstand again), side control, keylock, wash, rinse, repeat.

This was cool: From side control, isolate the near arm with your elbow and thigh. Sneak your own gi tail into the hand nearest opponent’s feet. Feed it over opponent’s chest and beside hir neck and grab it with the hand behind hir head. Palm down. Bonus points if you can keep the tail hidden under your cupped hand and/or dig into your opponent’s face to obscure the fact that you’re sneaking it in there.

Now: Give a little tug to snug it up. Mind that your arm around opponent’s head is snug enough that s/he can’t pop hir head out. Now lean away, toward hir feet, making an X shape. Don’t worry about that near arm now, it doesn’t matter. Place forehead to mat beside hir hip (if you even get that far).

A little positional sparring from side control. I was not doing well against Izzy, and feeling more and more exhausted. I had really, really wanted to ask her and Dave to roll with me afterward (no-gi), but I was just limp.