“If I shrimp, my uterus will fall out”

bjj3004

 

Fear of legitimate danger is a good thing. It is your ally. It’s your inspiration. Your muse, if you will. Strength increases, reflexes are faster, pain sensitivity drops and you can run faster. In these circumstances, adrenaline becomes the get-it-done drug. –Marc MacYoung

 

 

Thursday and Friday BJJ,

Thursday and Friday and Saturday BJJ,

and Friday BJJ (Thursday I was tired and lazy and did nothing).

One of the Thursdays was at Kirkland. Remember when I said it was nice to go there once in a while and tool up on their white and blue belts? That was Hammer Day, and this was Nail day! All those same people tooled on me… including a female white belt who tapped me twice right away. Then I thought, “Hmm, I’m going to have to take this one seriously,” and then she tapped me again!  She was very tight, and shrink-wrapped everything up methodically the way Luis does, leaving *no* room to do anything. My happiness at seeing skilled women coming up in our school far outweighs my momentary peevishness at getting tapped.

Note that Carlos does not want to hear me say that I got pwn’ed. He made his usual “I no see you” comment the week I spent Thurs at Kirkland. I like that he misses me, but I was a little hesitant to tell him I’d been at Kirkland because I wasn’t sure if that would be weird. He seemed (outwardly) okay that I’d gone elsewhere that day, but gave me a serious talk about the way I refer to getting my butt kicked. Much of this monologue was sort of lost in translation (and also he was following me down the mat while I was doing shrimp drills during it), but I think the gist was that he doesn’t want me to get too hung up on being smashed- or doesn’t want me to talk too much about it- which I guess is related. And both good advice.

The Saturday was at Seattle. Seth showed me a cool sweep. I want him to drill that with me every time I see him.

The other Thursday was the first day at the womens’ class that I was not allowed to work with Chrisanne. I found myself with a teenager who looked like I could sneeze and blow her though the plate glass lobby window. I thought Carlos would switch up the pairings when he saw us (I’m too dangerous to work with Chrisanne, and he’s going to let me work with this little wisp of a thing?) but he didn’t. (I didn’t injure her, BTW…. and she is really good at single-legs)

That most recent Friday, I finally succeeded in talking Lindsay back onto the mat. She said that her body still didn’t feel quite like her own, and that she was afraid that when she shrimped, her “uterus would fall out”. I am not sure what that means, yet I found it was a rather disquieting prospect- but I just told her that I was happy to see her back, and we could deal with whatever limitations presented themselves. I think she ended up tapping me more than I tapped her, so it was good. She seemed really happy to be rolling again. Going to try to get her in again this coming Thurs.

Chrisanne got a stripe! PSG is coming up and I will likely have only one BJJ class this week (if that), so I ought to be able to escape promotions yet again (muah ha ha ha). Mini posted a promotion/ranking rant on her training blog this week- glad to see I am not the only one who feels this way.

One of the techniques we worked on was a sweep from guard in which I struggled, in a way that really pointed up several persistent failings of mine which show up across multiple techniques; I fail to break down the opponent’s posture and/or control hir arms adequately, I try to sweep to the side instead of tipping hir head toward my shoulder, and I fail to be forceful enough with the sweeping thigh (I have it stuck in my head that this is a strength move- which of course will never work- I need to fix the technicality and then COMMIT).  Once again, a thing that will have all sorts of sweeping improvement-type effects as soon as I can cement it.

Another interesting technique: choke from top side control. Inspired by Pat, I sometimes pull out someone’s gi tail and pass it behind hir head when I have top half guard, as I know there are several intriguing things to do from there…. but I can never remember anything to finish it with. Carlos showed us how to pass the gi tail back to your far hand after passing it under the neck, then yank the person in toward your knee and cross-collar choke hir. If s/he puts out a hand to try to block your second grip, you grab the wrist and yank the arm forward, then lay your chest on hir shoulder and s/he chokes herself with hir own bicep. I had Lindsay coughing several times on this one. I like it.

I asked a few trusted people to try to put me on the bottom and to let me have a legit sweep if I made a halfway reasonable attempt at one, but to *NOT* let me escape. This was totally frustrating, which tells me I am on the right path. I am going to need to keep doing it.

I tried to get my new favorite choke from bottom half guard on a few people, but did not succeed. Being banned from working with Chrisanne flummoxed my plan to drill that with her at every class. I need to find a new drill dummy.

Finding myself questioning my performance aloud too much- ie, asking my partner “is that right?” even when I have no reason to think it’s not right. Obviously I *DO* need to ask this when I think I have a problem. But it feels like I am often saying it just because I am being too self-critical. I also find myself saying it as a social lubricant (ie, “Even though I outrank you and we don’t know each other well, I’m humble and we’re peers, go ahead and correct me (which- again- has its place, but should not be overused))”. It backfired badly on me that week, as I found myself working with a no-stripe purple woman that I’ve never seen before, who was messing up worse than I was but still became more and more didactic (including several blatantly WRONG instructions) over the two days we worked together.

Holding at a reasonable walking-around weight of 133, although I would like to drop another few. The local wild salmonberries are dying, but the thimbleberries are in their prime and the blackberries are starting to appear. The slugs are actually leaving a few of my strawberries for ME this year. Thus whenever I go out to walk the dogs, I have a fruit snack. I’ve been doing really well on meal portions (I’m still working on the freezer full of half a dozen different meals that I cooked, divvied up and froze several weeks ago), but junk food at work (left by colleagues) continues to be a major pitfall. Tonight there was an unfortunate Doritos incident… thanks a lot, evening shift. Please take your bad food with you when you clock out.

I bought a whole bunch of tuna packets to use as meals at PSG. I’m going to let myself eat at the food vendors’ stands a bit, but that is problematic for portion control when I have no fridge or microwave. The tuna packets I bought have condiments in them (I tried the plain- as well as the plain chicken- and just couldn’t get jazzed about eating that all week long), but they are portion controlled in 120-cal and 100-cal envelopes. And no cooking, no cleanup, portable, with low perishability. (The tuna packets unfortunately are not going to be a very good option for regular life due to their unreasonable prices.) I also got almonds, granola (caloric, but not as bad as candy/crackers/cookies/doughnuts/breakfast cereal/other poor options), and will get some fruit and Slim Fasts before getting onsite.  I’m looking at myself in the mirror morning and night and wondering how much of the abdominal bloating I’m seeing is my bad soda habit. I should go cold turkey one day and see if there is a visible difference. But that would involve going cold turkey all day.  😦

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It’s hard to troubleshoot your partner’s technique while you’re faceplanted on the mat.

bjj1010

“What do the faeries do with the people they steal?” demanded Rimo.

“They eat them.” Taffi’s voice came out muffled, since he had both knees up and his head buried in them. –The Hole In the Clouds

127.0

These last three pounds are going to be a ripe bitch to lose. It doesn’t help to know that it isn’t going to matter by way of brackets. I’m going to have to fight Amanda, maybe Stevie, possibly one more; we will have to fight each other regardless of what we weigh…. although fortunately we are all usually within a bracket of one another. No-gi intermediate (where I’m going to stay as long as possible, although at some point I’m going to get forced up to advanced, which will be a tragic hoot) should have one or two other women- maybe as many as 4 or 5- in each of my possible weight classes, so it will matter… but I don’t know those women well enough to try to pick and choose where I want my weight to be in order to fight specific people. I know that I’m in my best possible condition at 124, though- so for my own purposes I’d like to be there.

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle. Feeling a little sore from yesterday’s drills- especially my glutes (those bullfight passes!). I told Carlos that I was sore from his class, because he loves to hear that.

Shannon was there today, and we were both looking forward to working together because it’s been a while- but Carlos split us up and put me with a new white belt girl (Laura).

We did a number of complex techniques today. My brain had to scramble to keep up. If I’d had a day like this as a new white belt, I would have been in tears. Laura actually did really well, although needing considerable guidance. I did the techniques first, talking my way through it with one succinct word per step and pointing out any critical details. I think we mostly did okay together, although Carlos had to come over and help a few times. In particular, it is very difficult to talk your partner through troubleshooting her omoplata while you are faceplanted on the mat with your arm twisted behind your back so that you can’t see what she’s doing.

Rodrigo often tells his classes (with varying degrees of patience) to not presume to “help” fix each other’s technique, because- as he says- half the time, you’re telling them wrong. Yet he once chewed me out (when I was a young blue belt) for *failing* to correct mistakes on the white belt I was drilling with. So I get a little frustrated sometimes with the mixed messages. Today, Carlos reprimanded the class to not “fix” each other’s techniques. Then less then 20 min later he was asking me what was wrong with me for not having Laura’s techniques all perfect. Mind you, I *was* walking/talking her through everything, but these were a bunch of complex techniques with 8 or so steps apiece, and I am not yet so perfect that I have every single detail down pat myself.

1)Opponent attempts a double-leg, you sprawl. Place right arm stiffly beside the left side of hir head and spin around so that you are hanging off hir hip on that same side. Double underhooks, high lapel grips. Little hop to bring your FAR leg in and place the knee beside opponent’s knee. Other leg stretched out straight behind you (don’t mount the person). Pull hir into your back mount. Note that you need to have a little distance between the bodies- if your crotch is pasted to hir butt, it’s very difficult to prevent yourself from rolling on your back (an issue that I used to have tons of trouble with in the past, but I’m starting to get the hang now). Hooks in nice, lapel grips high and tight.

2) Begin in butterfly guard. Break opponent’s grip on your right pantleg and swing leg COUNTERCLOCKWISE to hook foot under hir armpit (“lasso”). YOU MUST KEEP HIR HAND TRAPPED- ON YOUR BELT!!! Place left knee horizontally across opponent’s trunk with knee toward your lasso side.

Grab opponent’s pants at ankle (no fingers in pantleg!!!) with your left hand and pull hir to load hir onto you. As you do this, stretch that leg out so that you are “talking on your phone” with opponent’s knee.

Use folded leg to gently lever opponent off you onto hir back. Hir wrist that you still hold- press that to the mat. (I found that you really need to take a moment here to make sure hir fingers aren’t going to break when you do the next move).

Which is- technical lift, to KOB.

3)Begin in butterfly guard. Go to lasso again, but this time you square up with your free knee pointed at the ceiling.

Now take that leg and straighten it, propping it on opponent’s left shoulder with the outside of your shin on hir ear.

Fold that straight leg forcefully over opponent’s neck.

Switch your right hand grip to opponent’s elbow. Then let go with left hand and swing your body so that you are nose-to-tail with opponent. Fold legs with opponent’s arm trapped in your crotch. Don’t let hir front-roll.

Finish omoplata.

4)Begin in back mount, double underhooks. Let go with rt hand and reach over shoulder to get choking grip. Let go with left hand and grab pants.

Bringing opponent with you, roll on your back and then on your rt side, and pull/kick your rt leg under you so that you come up in S-mount. (If necessary, adjust the front foot so that it is snug against foe’s belly).

Turn your rt shin/foot out. Come up to a squat. Sit back on butt while bringing right foot over opponent’s shoulder.

Choke-a-rama.

See? How’d ya like to take a brand new person through all that, at a rate of speed so as to finish in about 40 min?

Then we did a little KOTH from back mount. High belts down (being back mounted)- including me. I was slow to escape most people today, but I did escape all but one- a big cop who was totally muscling the crap out of me. He was tall enough to stretch me out and then bow my back so that there was no way for me to reach his feet even if I tried to use my thigh to lift a foot up to grabbing height (an invaluable trick!) He was almost able to tap me just with the back-bowing, but he wanted the choke, and I defended that (with difficulty… this was painful and I was scared for my spine, but he was pissing me off and I hate to tap to muscling). He tried to get my pantleg for a bow and arrow, but I scuttled that plan as well. He finally muscled me with a sloppy choke and I had to tap.

I did about 4 rounds with Shannon, and she was doing well enough that on the final round, I was forced to resort to some chest pressure and face-grinding. I hate doing that sort of thing, and I whispered, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” while I was doing it. Then after I finished the escape, I apologized again and told her that she was doing so well that I had to resort to that- it was the only thing I had left.

SUB me.

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bjj1201
Perhaps even more than the dogma of scientific philosophies, the gloomy ghost of many different religious doctrines planted the seeds for the rejection of the body. Doctrines of renunciation according to which life is a sin to be amended. Doctrines born out of the fear to be truly alive. In their eyes, the Earth is nothing but a vale of tears, a place of suffering, nothing more than an obligatory stop on the way to reach better destinations. The body is a heavy burden pinning us to the ground, an obstacle on the way to Heaven. Not only are body and soul not in harmony, they are antithetical principles at war with each other.
-Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Tues: 129
Wed: 130

With the all the shift-flipping, overtime, and subsequent reduced mat time, I am having a particularly difficult task lately resisting the caffeinated soda and Ritz Oven Baked Sour Cream and Onion crackers. I actually had those damnable crackers for BREAKFAST the other day. I also had two rice-centric oinkfests while CK was here. I love rice, but it’s interesting to observe how my body reacts to it after having been on a much less grainy/carbby diet for a while. I get tired and want to nap… and yet I get hungry again sooner than I probably would have if I’d eaten something meatier… and of course there’s an immediate notable jump in the numbers on the scale.

Thurs: 127.5
Fri: 128
Sat: 126.5

One of my very favorite authors has rewarded me for being a stalkerfan by using one of my characters in a little tangent on her current online novel. I must cop to a slight wince at seeing her write my character better than I do, but that is almost wholly overcome by the squeeeeee of it all. As for myself, I am still stuck on the same plot point that I’ve been stuck on for several months. However, my other MC got two new posts this weekend (it’s funny that I was working on it the same day that the REAL author was working on it).

Sun: 126.5

One of the things CK worked on with me while she was here was walking/standing with one’s weight on three ideal points of the foot. I have found in the ensuing week that it’s actually easy to remind myself to work on this- CONSTANTLY- because my PF pain is simply too severe to ignore. Thus I have been extremely well-disciplined about observing this practice pretty much every time I take a step. CK points out (paraphrasing here) that it behooves us to remember that our feet are not just lumps of meat to stuff into binding cases of canvas and ignore.

Mon: 126
Tues: 126.5

Store clerks look at you funny when you buy five cartons of eggs.

Weds: 128
Thurs: 128

Fri: Finally, some JIU JITSU!!!!

Sweeps from guard. Then rolls with Doug, Ross and Allison.

I asked Allison to deep-half-guard me… he is one of the best at it. He still got it a few times, but even when he did, I at least made an effort to stay on top and try a few things before giving up and rolling back on my ass. After the roll, he told me that I was getting batter at defending it.

Ross: Wow, just Wow.

I informed him that I was noticing that when he gets on top, he is REALLY tight and heavy and controlling, and I can’t do anything- then he starts messing around, and lets me replace guard or half guard. I said, “Once you’re on top and you have me really controlled, I want you to SUB me.” So he did, several times in a row, even though I was defending hard. Besides that masterful top game, something he does that I like is that he works outside of the box. He said, “I experiment, and it makes me lose more often, but….” But yeah, he’s going to be be incredible in the long run. Ross is one of those people that if he quits at blue belt, I’ll have to hunt him down and drag him back by his ear. He has a real gift.

Somebody clocked me in the jaw and gave me a real pretty bruise.