Why yes… an ear-ectomy would indeed eliminate the need for headgear.

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Use of force is a “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” issue. “This one is too little. This one is too much. This one is just right.” Campfire Tales From Hell

Thursday:

2 mile walk.

I went to the optometrist and got a different contact lens prescription. I have gotten slightly blinder. I still hate contacts, and tend to put them in right before class and pop them out immediately after. It is a constant source of irritation to me that I have to wear glasses- I am painfully aware that if a real defense situation occurs, all the Bad Guy has to do is hit me in the glasses and break them, knock them off, or even just bend them- and I will be fairly hamstrung in both a practical sense and in the realm of self-confidence. I told the doctor that I would really like to find a type of contact that is actually comfortable enough to wear all day, and will not make my head hurt when I try to do tasks that involve intense focus. I have now been wearing the brand that I am currently test-driving for two days- all day. They are better than the old ones, but I can still feel them in there and am still experiencing some amount of drying, itching and irritation. I am going to try to make myself keep wearing them as much as possible until my recheck appointment (although I’m not sure if that’s going to be practical at work, with the microscope).

No-gi in Bellevue.

I think I mentioned in my last posting that I left my headgear at the school YET AGAIN. Tonight, I walked in and saw Carlos hanging around talking to some people. I didn’t want him to see me searching for the headgear, so I went away and did something else for a while. Then I came back to peek in, and he was on the mat busy with some kids. But as soon as I crept across the floor and stuck my head into the office to see if my headgear was in there, he’s yelling “KEEEEEEEEETSUNE!” across the mat. I turn around, and he’s glaring at me and pointing to the corner of the room by the water cooler. I had to do the Walk Of Shame across the room while he glared at me. I apologized for about the five hundredth time. Then he suggested that if he amputated my ears, I wouldn’t have to worry about it any more.

Pummelling, double-leg setups. Carlos is fixated on these two drills lately. Chrisanne’s double-leg setups look and feel so incredible. I wish mine were half that good. I asked her if she ever tries them live, and she said no. I told her that she should.

I was too lazy to blog this class last night, and now I can’t remember everything we did. 😛 I do remember doing more double-leg setups with the other person sprawling, and then with a guillotine. We also spent a decent amount of time doing timed flow rolling with rotating partners.

I do remember that at the end, I had a great roll with Chrisanne. It was very very hot, but we resolved to spar at least a bit. She did a double leg takedown on me, and it worked beautifully.

When we were both lying on the mat dying, she said, “Dude. We rolled for forty minutes.” It felt like fifteen. I could have kept going, but she was done.

I remembered to take my headgear home with me tonight. Nor did I forget my water bottle or my belt.
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Friday:

Another two mile walk.

I went to Lindsey’s studio and got my hair cut. It was so nice to see her. I really miss her on the mat. And while I looked like a real sex kitten with my shaggy curls tumbling over my eyes, it was driving me crazy. So nice tonight to not have hair in my face.

BJJ in Bellevue. Hotter than hell in the gi.

After the ubiquitous pummelling and double-leg setups…

Standing reverse DLR guard passes. Press against the thigh, then when opponent pushes back, donkey kick, pass, and go to KOB.

Same, but opponent turns in to you and pushes your knee. Add a spinning armbar.

Same, but you don’t sink all the way into a good KOB- and opponent tries to single-leg you. Spinning armbar the OPPOSITE way. Note that this version does not involve stepping one foot backwards over the opponent. Your butt is the only thing that goes over. I struggled a bit with that.

Lots of drill reps, lots of getting up and down (which always exhausts the hell out of us old ladies), very very hot. But we both held up pretty well. Much mutual cheerleading. I wish I could better communicate to Chrisanne about the Dragon-ish recycling of energy. I tried to explain how to swing your leg and use centrifugal force to get yourself back up off the floor easier. I have several times tried to explain the paddleball analogy of bouncing the energy back into the next movement- and the next rep- instead of letting it go “splat” and expended/wasted. I don’t feel like I’m getting through- but focusing on trying to be a good example of these at least helps me do more reps faster, and keep my mind (to some degree) off of how hot and exhausted I am.

Again, it was far too hot to roll after class.

I remembered to take my headgear home with me again. I also walked right past the barbeque for the second Friday in a row. I’ve been eating a lot of chicken and eggs, but am still struggling mightily with my soda addiction. I did two per day for about two weeks, then backslid a bit. I’m down to one can when I get up, one at work, and a third when I get home from work. I am much weaker on my days off. If I’m home for any length of time, it’s very difficult to stay away from the fridge pack. If I’m out doing classes and other things away from the house, I’m fine most of the day but then I tend to binge with a couple of cans when I get home. I substitute juice or water at work (I know juice is full of sugar, but it’s better than pop… and I can kick the juice easy once I have the pop thing under control). I’d really like to eliminate that third morning soda. By the time I get home from work, I am tired and grouchy and jonesing for it. I often struggle similarly with eating bad things in the morning when I get home from work, so this is a destructive pattern for me. I’ve been good for the last few weeks about just not having trigger foods in the house. Man, this Dr Pepper, though. What do they put in this stuff, heroin?? I’m so glad I stayed the hell away from alcohol and drugs. If I’m this weak with caffeine and sugar, I have no business messing with anything more addictive than that. So glad I was wise enough to know this from the beginning.

Speed Friday

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Most people are grass-eaters with their heads down on the ground. The jackals and lions know this and think of them as that. Hold your head up and walk like you are the biggest, baddest lion that walks. The jackals and lions will notice and leave you alone because they don’t want to get hurt. Don’t challenge them because they might feel they have to respond to it. All you want is their respect, not their dignity. -Greg Hamilton

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Earlier, I had walked 2 miles (I had a work meeting) and also made a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting visit to the Habitat For Humanity store- which I will elaborate upon later.

As usual, Kevin and I fought over who would defer to the other in line. I informed him that soon he would have another stripe and then he wouldn’t be able to argue about it.

Tonight was a “drill as fast as you can” night. “Speed Friday” Carlos called it.

Ankle pick from standing- drop to right knee between opponent’s knees, grab behind the top of hir calf with your right hand and behind hir ankle with your left. Stand up and pick up the ankle. Opponent’s job: put both palms to mat and attempt to handwalk/scuttle away until footing can be regained.

Same ankle pick, only this time as opponent attempts to scuttle, you clasp that ankle against your body and grab at hir other ankle with your right hand. Carlos had to point out to me that those of us with short arms may need to “turn the corner” around opponent’s body in order to reach that second ankle- don’t just stay where you are and strain after it. Lift the second ankle, opponent will be twisted in the air to be dumped on hir back. Step between hir knees and push hir ankles to the mat (or to hir butt) to defend any DLR or other reguard attempts.

KOB to spinning armbar, armbarred person turns to push on knee and deliberately brings top knee up to bait a pantleg grab. If you fail to bring the knee up, the armbar-er may be moved to apply better technique and underhook your knee instead, which will make it difficult to do the next move- which is to straighten your leg to break the grip. Hitch hiker escape to pop your head up UNDER/BEHIND their butt, get up and move around to KOB. I was happy to practice that hitch hiker escape, as it is a technique that for some reason I always seem to be absent on the day it is taught/practiced, and I haven’t worked it enough for it to be instinctual regarding which way to go. I have always (and still do) regard it as a bit of a hole in my game. I don’t use it much, as I favor a yank of the elbow down to the mat (works great with my short arms)… but it is one of those basic techniques that every jiu jitsu artist should be able to do well.

Carlos kept urging us to go faster and faster, and began to pit couples against each other in speed. Of course Kevin and I, being the ranking belts in the room, could not allow mere white and blue belts to beat us- so we really turned it on. This resulted in some exhaustion-induced clumsiness (esp with the ankle pick) as the night progressed. At one point he went to his knee and then went shooting right on past me while I stood there and watched him slide by.

By the time we were done, I was reeling with exhaustion. I was gratified to see that Kevin (half my age) was tired as well. I would have liked to have a roll with Kev- but it was a challenge to keep my LOC up enough to safely complete the drive home, so I’m glad I didn’t try to push it further.

Knees ache from all the up-down and from dropping onto the right knee a million times.

Oh yeah- osoto gari me again!

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The overwhelming majority of training and drilling focuses on technique and not on applying judgement to situations, which is completely bass-ackward. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Thursday lunchtime at Bellevue. So excited to see one of my very favorite partners: Nelson! We did a lot of standup today, and Nelson is probably the best person in the whole GBNW to do that with. He’s not much bigger than I, and he is an excellent judo practitioner, as well as a very helpful suggestion-giver.

Standing guard pull (Nelson suggests that I pay more attention to eliminating my telegraph- ie, yanking on the grips just before I execute the guard pull.)

Single-leg takedown to KOB

Same, add spinning armbar. This particular permutation had us grabbing the belt, which is something I do not do often. Of course on my first rep, I tried to grab for the pants (hell, at least I TRIED to grab SOMETHING, for which I give myself credit, for as we know, I suffer from persistant “forget-to-keep-hold-of-the-pants-osis”). I couldn’t reach, and Carlos was cracking up. “That ees why I tell you to grab thee BELT.” Yes sir.

Armbar from front mount- no, wait, it only LOOKS like you’re going for an armbar. Once you yank opponent up on hir side, Keep the knee that is behind the opponent lower than you otherwise would. Latch on a head-and arm (gable grip). Do not get sloppy and hasty here. It must be well-placed, tight and your hands must be fully locked. Strangely enough, it works ten times better on my stupid side. Now roll opponent to the opposite side and place the second hook. If you positioned your knee wrongly at the start, you end up trapping your own leg and not being able to get both hooks in.

A little positional sparring from front mount and from standup. Again- standup with Nelson is awesome. Of course you are not going to get anything that he doesn’t LET you get, but you won’t get brutalized and you experience a lot of interesting ways to fall on your ass (and your side, and your back, and your face).

Standup usually taking it out of me more than most things, I was unfortunately too tired to spar. If Nelson had stayed, I would have forced myself, but he didn’t.

Went from there to Lindsey’s studio to have a little green bamboo colored in. 2 hours of RIBS and a little back waistline… two of the absolute most painful areas, and color (which is more painful than linework, I don’t care what people say). This was the most painful tat session I have had to date, and it still hurts like a mother this morning. The green looks incredible on my paper-pale skin, though. Lindsey also kept making comments along the line of “Vic, come and look at this badass bamboo” and “Damn, this turned out nice” which is exactly what you want to hear from your tattoo artist (especially when s/he’s working on parts you can’t watch).

Guilt-cutting

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You can’t truly know your limits- physically or emotionally- until you’ve reached them. Go to your limits often enough, however, and they move. –Rory Miller

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: Cross-grab opponent’s elbow, same-side grab the wrist, PULL hir to you at the same time that you step forward. Step on hir foot to check, go to the clinch on the back (one arm trapped). I couldn’t make myself step on John’s foot (and I sure as hell didn’t want him stepping on mine), so I checked the ankle with the arch.

You are sitting, opponent is standing and grabbing your pants at the knees. Same technique as above, only this time you are standing up, with your inward foot between hir feet and bowing your outward leg…well, outward. Do not place hand on the mat. You can grab the shin just below the knee and use it to help hoist yourself up.

You standing, opponent on hir back with knees up. Go to the side, KOB. Opponent turns on hir side, places hand on your knee, and shrimps. Grab hir wrist, twirl and kimura. Try to keep the person pinched firmly between your shins. John was cheating the turn and shrimp, so I was having to yank him upward by the arm with each rep in order to get him on his side. Which I can do, but that gets exhausting after a while…. and it also requires changing levels again (when Carlos was exhorting us to get and stay low). I was debating asking him to turn more, or just sucking it up… then he complimented me on how I was moving him where I wanted him. So I kept my mouth shut.

Same entry as above, only this time you sink your arm under opponent’s arm, hook, twirl and armbar. DON’T FORGET TO GRAB THE PANTS!!!!! Actually, I didn’t forget that ONCE this time, to my delight. John was intrigued and impressed by the way I seized him high on the arm (just above the elbow) and (again) yanked him up to make sure he was on his side. I explained that you can always slide back down the arm once you’re in position, and grabbing way up there works for no-gi as well as making it less likely that you’ll lose the arm (or find yourself holding only empty sleeve) in gi.

Repetitive drills to exhaustion. There was lots of getting up and getting down again today, which is always hard on John and me as the oldsters.

Found out that Hadley and Amy are both absent from the rolls of the Proving Grounds this weekend. Kind of a bummer. I was asked if I would be willing to do gi as well- there is a blue belt coming from Oregon who has no match. I said okay. She is smaller than me, too. That made me feel guilty. I was 132.5 this morning naked. Every time I went to eact something today, I thought about that blue belt coming all this way and having to fight fat, purple belted me- and I reconsidered. Turns out that guilt is a better motivator to cut than the fear of not making weight.

That felt so good.

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One must understand that slaughter cannot be spelt without laughter.

Was supposed to have another session with Tylik yesterday, but *her* teacher sent her away for being too sick to work out. So I ended up just taking her through the Starbucks drive-through and then back to where she was staying. 😦 But at least it appears that she refrained from sharing her plague with me.

Friday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle. Got there early and did a good stretch, then worked Chen Dao several times using the bar portion of a small barbell. The balance and length were interesting. Heavy enough to make me work. I was mostly focusing on balance and footwork, though.

Short warmup roll with Chrisanne (although I was already sweating from the dao).

Standup: single leg. Drills: pass guard to KOB, then to 1)kimura, or 2)spinning armbar. I felt pretty good with all of these, as soon as I figured out what Carlos wanted (he got a little impatient with me on the single leg…. sorry…)

I gave lots of feedback to Chrisanne… she always takes my advice to heart, and it’s so nice to watch her work hard and get better and better.

One roll with a whitebelt guy, one with Cindy, one with (black belt) Lindsey. I was excited to show Lindsey how the tat had healed up. He’s happy with how the color looks on my corpse-pale skin.

It was great to work with Chrisanne again, it’s been a long time. I wish I had had enough gas left to ask Cindy to drill takedowns, but after Lindsey I was wiped right the heck out. He gave me good feedback and compliments, which was cool. It’s been a while since I’ve rolled with him, too- he seemed impressed with my progress.

It was so nice to get back on the mats. Chrisanne’s been off for a bit as well (altho not as long as I have), and we were both raring to go and ready to work our butts off, which we did, with one another’s encouragement.