Almost broke my arm tonight.



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


….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.

Get off the wall.


The applications change, but the core remains. Being able to use those core principles requires thorough knowledge of the subject and not just a shallow look. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Yard work in the morning.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup: judo grips. Grab your own lapel and turn your torso to break opponent’s lapel grip (do NOT step back as you do this). Pull hir toward you with your own lapel grip, stepping BACK with the same-side foot as you do so. This forces opponent to step forward. Drop to your knee (same side) and stick your other leg back behind you so that your own knee will not be in the way as you grab opponent’s heel (NOT HIR PANTS CUFF) and lift the foot. Pull on the lapel to assist opponent’s fall. Side control.

Same entry, but before you can get side control, opponent swings far leg over to try to replace guard. Lunge forward and hug the thigh with the arm closest to opponent. Your head should be on the back of hir thigh. If you were smart, you did not let go of the ankle. Keep pressing that down to the mat so that you can scoot around to the opposite side. Side control. (Don’t forget to go over the arm and under the head- I caught this error again and corrected it just as Carlos was coming over to correct me).

You have spider guard with feet on hips. Bring right foot over-and-in-and-around to “lasso”. Opponent drops that knee to the mat. Bring that SAME FOOT underneath your other foot and hook the toe under hir other knee. Pause to pinch the arm between your knees and yank it in a bit. Now take the other foot off the hip and place it on the floor. sweep. Side control. Note that if you keep control of that arm and bend your leg, you can trap the arm with your leg as you sit up, which is a lovely detail.

Same entry, adding the same replace-guard attempt and pass as on the earlier technique.

Chrisanne did not show up tonight, and there was an odd number on the mat, so as usual I was the last kid picked for the kickball team. Carlos was waving simultaneously at the two white belt girls and at Casey & Allison. Good for me, for once I did not do the self-deprecating thing and automatically go with the white belt girls- I picked Casey & Allison. Bad for me, as soon as I got over there, I tried to self-deprecate anyway and huddle against the wall. Carlos is like, “GET OFF THE WALL.” When there is a triad drilling, he wants to see quick and lively switching out; he does not want to see someone parked against the wall for minutes at a time. I had never seen this sweep before and I was anxious about messing it up in front of the brown belt and almost-brown-belt, but the only time I really faltered was when Casey distracted me by asking me unrelated-to-jiu-jitsu questions while I was trying to do the drill. I had to tell him to shut up and quit distracting me.

Didn’t stay for sparring because I have been feeling a little weird all day. A little nausea, and off-and-on slight swimmy-head feeling. I hydrated some more but it didn’t seem to help. Not sure what’s up.

I’m going to get a dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be doing a lot more walking once I have a hiking buddy.

no-gi butterfly sweeps


If we can switch the odds in our favor by changing our appearance or demeanor instead of fighting, it increases our survival. And this is all about survival. Campfire Tales From Hell

Thursday evening no-gi in Bellevue. Chrisanne was not there, and there were enough big white belts that I took the cautionary step of asking Sean to drill with me.

Pummelling, double-leg setups, failed double-leg to backtake, mutual neck-and-bicep grips to backtake (Sean suggests that I pull down on the neck, which I had not been doing, and yeah- that works better).

Same kimura from guard that we did last week. I was very very glad that I had asked Sean to work with me. I need a big white belt yanking on my rotator cuff like I need…. well, a torn rotator cuff.

Butterfly sweep.

Then, butterfly sweep that fails due to opponent sticking hir leg out. Underhook the thigh, hook your toe around hir far ankle, and sweep the opposite way. This was working fine for me, but for some reason Sean was struggling with it. I was sure that the issue was that he wasn’t getting deep enough underneath- I could feel my center of gravity lower than his, and when I was doing the technique, I didn’t even try to push him over until I had wiggled UNDER his COG. Then Carlos came over to troubleshoot and had us do something COMPLETELY different- which involved pincering the opponent’s leg between yours, stretching hir out, then rolling. I didn’t think that was going to work with my short legs, but surprisingly it did (of course, Sean’s legs aren’t the longest in the room…)

Several short rounds of positional sparring, mostly from butterfly guard, rotating partners: sweep vs defend, sweep vs pass, pass vs open guard only, a few others. There was **NO** dry area anywhere on the mat, and it was like a greased pig contest. I was not doing too great…. but I was very impressed with how good Amy is getting.

Was happy that I had both the balance and the upper-body strength to hoist myself up on top of the highest section of the retaining wall so that I could cut some blackberry brambles. I’m figuring that someday I will no longer be able to do stuff like this. Today is not that day.



A brewing situation is one that takes time to build, is longer-lasting, and involves many chances for observation before the tactical considerations take over and you must act.

A flash situation is an immediate action taking place with little or no warning and requiring immediate counteraction. Campfire Tales From Hell

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

You have spider guard, standing foe, your feet on hir hips. Place left sole on floor and right sole on foe’s bicep. Pull hir forward just enough to get hir to take a step. (You want hir standing by your hips, with your own sole pointed at the ceiling- don’t try to yank hir over your head). Now let go of the sleeve with your left hand and overwrap hir ankle, Grab your own lapel to secure. Now: number 3 drill from yesterday. I was happy to see this, as I had already asked Chrisanne to review this technique with me tonight. We have done it a lot now. I really like it, but it has an awful lot of steps- which tends to leave me flustered trying to execute it live. When I try to go too fast, I usually end up forgetting to overwrap the ankle. Another recurrent problem: you must remember to let go of the remaining sleeve before you take the person down, lest s/he use it to pull hirself back up on top before you are able to do so. We finished this with either the ankle lock from yesterday, or a technical lift to get on top in side control. In this latter case: GRAB THE PANTLEG BEFORE YOU DO THE TECHNICAL LIFT, and DO NOT LET GO OF THE PANTLEG! You can shove the leg away from you as you get into position…. but Carlos likes to “stuff it in his pocket” and trap the foot on his hip. If you can pull this off, it makes it much more difficult for the enemy to escape.

You are in closed guard. Baseball bat grip on foe’s lapels at hir belly. Place right sole on the floor (remember to use toes) and turn torso in so that your knee frame breaks the guard. overwrap the ankle and put it in your left armpit. Pinch opponent’s leg between your knees and fall to your hip (not on your back). Ankle lock, tucking your matward shoulder back (“hide the shoulder”) for better effect. Don’t forget to use the blade of the arm bone on that ankle lock.

Carlos demo-‘ing the ankle lock on Doug was HILARIOUS. Doug squeaked like a mouse (totally involuntary) and we all fell about laughing, and a little later he did it again.

Two spars with Chrisanne. I made her start in standup, even though we were both tired. She got a tap (bow and arrow)- she was very happy about, as it is a technique that she has struggled to master. I defended it so that she had to make several small adjustments to finish it, and praised her for being able to come up with and execute those plans B, C, D and E effectively. Then I got a tap with a really wierd mutated kimura that was upside down or backward or something… I’m not sure. I was unsure of whether it was working, so I continued to adjust it as an experiment, and she finally tapped.

I sent Lindsay a PM: “I miss choking you and knocking you down.” I wonder what her non-MA FB friends thought of that, especially after she “like”d it.