Improvisation consists of three things: situation, tools and location. –Marc MacYoung


hiking with CK and JB. We spent a good 4 hours. There was only one section that was downhill enough to pain my knees. The fronts of my thighs were pretty sore from all the double-leg takedowns I did on Thursday. I expected this to work itself out during 4 hours of hiking, but they were still sore at the end and continue to be sore today (Saturday). I don’t mind much, though. It’s that “you worked out hard” good sort of sore. Happily, my ankle held up and is not unduly sore.


Tai chi- and more hiking- planned, but CK came down with a migraine and we only got as far as Eagle Falls. Lovely, but heartbreaking due to the disrespect evidenced by litter and graffiti. I want to take a couple of trash bags down there and pick up, but I don’t have any resources for getting rid of it… I only have trash pickup once a month and I struggle to keep my own output down to that single can. Perhaps I will put out a call for a work party on the local group lists.


30 min on the stationary bike.

I now have an aerial silk rig in my home gym. Excuse me, I just have to say that again because it is so awesome… MY HOME GYM. I will rig one outdoors probably next summer (My budget requires that I space these projects out). The one I have now is of course only long enough to do very simple things a foot off the floor, but I was able to work out how to do a single-foot tie even though it’s been over 2 years (I think) since I’ve set foot in the circus school. I hope the muscle in my upper body comes back. Just hanging for a few seconds is exhausting. But aerial silk is so good for working the ENTIRE body, and is very core-intensive.

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. All spars. Very hot in the gym. Some people had to take breaks, but I did not.

Noticing that even now, the teachers tend to avoid pairing me up with any white belts. I guess that’s the safest call, but I can’t help wondering (again) if beating up some white belts might help me feel less inept. I wonder if I should go out of my way to try to play with white belts more often. Of course this plan will backfire if the white belts all end up cleaning my clock. It is also playing with fire as far as injury risk goes. Hmmm.

After that, I met CK and we tried to knock each other over. We didn’t do any actual striking- it was all balance/weight shift stuff- but it felt very weird to be doing standup when it’s been so long. At first I felt like my body was trying to do contact improv instead of sparring. Then it occurred to me that thinking of it in that way might help me to do less force-on-force (which is not productive for my body against 99% of normal people) and more moving around.

Let’s flow roll.


Get in shape. It makes you look less like a victim, plus it also makes life more fun. Your own body is the best toy you will ever have. It’s more fun tuned up. –Rory Miller

Fri: 134.6

Typical. Skip one class, gain over a pound and a half. Ankle’s better today, though, Still ugly, but I can walk down stairs without having to take them one at a time and pause on each one.

Thurs: 135.4

Dayum 😦

Thursday evening “advanced” class in Bellevue.

A few minutes of drills: you on your back, partner standing and holding your knees. Get up (correctly) and segue into a takedown. Note that getting up “correctly” usually involves lead foot penetrated deeply between opponent’s feet.

The rest of the class was a series of 8 minute spars with rotating partners.

I started with Peter, and we agreed to go light and easy because of my ankle. We flow rolled, and that was perfect to ease back in. Shrimping on the bad side was- bad, but I didn’t have any other major issues today. I was careful, and asked all my partners to be careful.

Nadine- found out that she is a judo practitioner, which explains a lot.

Chris was there, it was very nice to see him after a long time.

Grape Ape class


The threat isn’t going to pick someone he has any doubt of beating, so he will be bigger and stronger. There may be many of them. He or they get the first move, from surprise and from a position of choice. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

All spars. All purple belts (except Kelly, who is on the cusp of promotion and definitely has the skillz). I got no taps. I myself did not tap. All good, technical rolls with excellent technical partners.

As has been happening lately for some strange but pleasurable reason, I felt like I knew what I was doing. I was relaxed. I did not get trapped on the bottom. I played bottom game with confidence and competance. I played top game with much threatening of subs…. and *different* subs; chokes, armbars from both mount and guard, omoplatas. It was a good time.

Is she going to let me have a choke??!??!!


Often, the obsession for being fair and objective under all circumstances transforms our mind into a tribunal. We want tangible proofs and objective evidence to believe in what we already know. Unfortunately, intuition is not objective and offers no proofs. It travels on tracks that are much too fast to wait for the painfully slow speed at which logical analysis moves. Rational understanding arrives at the finish line hours later (if it arrives at all), only to confirm what intuition has already revealed to us. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

I skipped Saturday “basics” class in favor of coming in an hour later for “comp” class, since Carlos typically whips us into such a froth in the first hour that I run out of gas and can’t do the second, and lately Cindy has been coming in for the second…. so I miss her.

I was kind of wistful watching everyone busting a dire move for the last 10 min of Basics…. but it appears I’m not alone in feeling that the double dip is rough, as only about a dozen hardy souls stuck around for comp class.

All sparring. Some 4-stripe white belt guy that I don’t know, Ian, Pat, Prof Dave. Felt competent but not stellar. I’m happy with “competant”, considering the caliber of Ian/Pat/Dave.

Then I rolled no-gi with Cindy for a while, and worked the Livestock takedown (which I am ***STILL*** not doing right, Gods help me. I don’t know how she maintains her patience with me. It must be like trying to teach a pig to sing.)

One hilarious interlude….. at one point I found myself behind her shoulder and my forearm clamping across her throat. I had about six incredulous seconds of thinking, “What the FUCK??!!?? Is she going to let me have a choke??!?!!” I have never tapped Cindy, or gotten a dominant position that she didn’t gift to me, or held said dominant position for more than about three seconds. If you told me I needed to either tap Cindy Hales or fly to the moon, I’d be hopping around and flapping, because believe me my chances are better there. I was stupefied with shock. Then it suddenly came to light that Rodrigo was talking at her from the sidelines and she had paused to converse with him, only I didn’t notice we were pausing. She then accused me of cheating, and I responded that Rodrigo and I had plotted out that whole double-cross before she arrived.

Stubborn bitch



Sat: 127
Sun: 127.5

HOLY FREAKIN’ CRAP. Amanda Loewen did a sub-only comp today and went SIXTY FOUR MINUTES with TAMMY GRIEGO. Bow down.

Mon: 127.5
Tues: 127.5
Weds: 128.5 (I had a McDonald’s meal after work…. it was a long day).

Evening BJJ at Kirkland.

Back mount escapes. Defend against choking arm, lie back to the NON pillow side (follow opponent’s pointing fingers) on hir thigh, use matward hand to remove hook as you keep weight on hir chest, grap pants on the OTHER leg and remove that hook as well, take side control.

Same thing, only opponent is a little more of a barnacle this time- perhaps grabbing half guard- and you have to put your elbow back and grind on hir jaw. Cindy made a bit deal of emphasizing to Izzy that THIS IS NOT MEAN.

Now, opponent tries to mount as you escape. Grab the leg and shove it between your knees, replace full guard.

Positional sparring from back mount with Izzy and Chelsea. I am very obviously still slumping…. although I will say in my own defense that both of these ladies have very solid basics and are very strong, and at least a couple of weight classes above me. Must remember to not try to work standup with Izzy- JUDO ALERT. That did not end well for me. I did get a sorta-takedown on Chelsea, though. I couldn’t set her upfor the livestock takedown nor the backtake with sit, so I ended up doing some crazy thing that incorporated both. Got her down and got side control. It was exciting. (This victory turned out to be very short-lived, as you will soon see.)

Lamont and Terry had both come schlepping in during positional sparring, and would not let me leave. I was tired and slumpy and already frustrated, and not in the mood to get tromped by Terry and Lamont- but I almost never get to see them any more, so here we were.

I got put with Chelsea first… and almost an hour later, there we still were.

Trapped in bottom half guard a lot (surprise surprise). She doesn’t seem to have good command of many sub options, otherwise this would have been a rout. She does not like to tap, either…. she did a couple of hard crossfaces and other things that I might normally tap to, but after we had been fighting for about eight years, I didn’t want to tap to that. Nor did we want to quit, even though Terry offered to swap one of us out. Eventually we started good-naturedly calling one another “stubborn bitch”, etc. Then I was on top (holy cow) and trying to finish a gi choke, and she didn’t seem to be fighting too hard. Thank you God, I’m finally going to get this. I could hear her and Terry talking to each other in coversational tones, and although I couldn’t catch what they were saying, I assumed he was coaching her. Then she snarled abruptly, “Get **OFF** me!!!” and I popped off, startled. “Sorry! I didn’t feel a tap.” Turns out they had been discussing the looming end of class time (and the capoiera class that was wanting our mat), and had agreed something along the lines of “we’re stopping now.” only I was focussed on what I was doing and not hearing this. And of course the stubborn bitch would not signal this with a tap! Ha ha. I apologized again. I hope she’s not irritated with me. It was a really good fight.

Terry wanted to leglock me a couple times before we got kicked off the mat. I was ready to fall over- tired and stupid enough to hang off his turtle with one knee between his feet, even though I know better.

Kitsune: “Your girlfriend is tough.”
Terry: “This I know.”
K: “And stubborn.”
T: “Again…….”

I keep having these recurring nightmares about my cats getting either lost or killed, or me searching frantically for them, or me forgetting that they exist and then remembering too late in a panic. I’ve had them all my life. This is one of the dreams that I tend to have in response to too much stress. I have assumed that the cats were metaphors for all sorts of things. Earlier this week I had one wherein I “forgot” that I had a cat, then went searching frantically for it later, expecting it to be dead- only I did eventually find it and it was alive and in good shape. That’s the first time that ever happened. I didn’t know what to think when I woke up. Last night I had another one of the standard “forgot I had cats” dreams, only this time I actually asked someone to verify that I had had them…. I was trying to get some sort of explanation or at least confirmation of WTH was happening. I didn’t get any answers, but again- deviation from the script. I’m beginning to think that the cats are a metaphor for “soul loss”. I have an acquaintance in the clergy who has a speciality in this. If I keep having these nightmares, I think I am going to need to gear up to ask him about it. I feel like there’s nothing I can do about it because I cannot journey. But maybe he would have some suggestions.