This is how a book or story has to start. Something rings in my head, like Great Tom. A knell.

Or sounds in my brain like a horn. A call to battle.

Sometimes two characters argue in my mind.

Sometimes it is a character tapping me on the shoulder.

Sometimes it is a vision, a picture in my head.

Only when I hear that ringing, that battle horn, that clear argument, or feel that tapping, or see that vision do I know there is a story I have to tell.

Then I must invoke the magic word. Oh, yes- there is one. All truly successful writers know it.

I shall whisper it in your ear: BIC.

It stands for Butt In Chair.

Really. Hard work is the only real magic there is… if the book in your head is going to get onto the page.

-Jane Yolen



Friday women’s class: I was too lazy to blog it and now I can’t remember what we did, except I remember doing double-leg setups and upas.


Thursday lunchtime class: Pulling guard and using one foot to strip one opponent’s grip, then scissor sweep.


Same, only use pendulum sweep.


I had some issues here, and at first I was irritated that we were doing both of these in one class because I kept sticking elements of the scissor sweep into the pendulum sweep. I tend to try to turn everything into the scissor sweep; the pendulum sweep feels like one of those “this will never work for me live” things (I think partially because of the emphasis on powering it with a lateral-to-medial shove of the thigh which feels like a very weak movement to me, and also I am always wanting to hip out). It turned out to be annoying-yet-educational because it forced me to focus on the differences.


Scissor sweep- I am decent at this; I just need to remember to keep my knee toward the ceiling. I want to put it too low across the opponent’s ribs, and a decent player is going to just flatten it (and me behind it) and squash me. I usually end up trapping the posting arm adequately, but I need to be more mindful and assertive about it.


Pendulum: Do not turn on my side. STRAIGHT leg, up to the ceiling, socketed assertively right into opponent’s armpit. Another mindful and assertive post-trapping. CUP the knee (you do not need to try to remove this grip). Also, Carlos adjusted my angle of launch from sideways to upper-diagonal (like the upa). The sweep comes from that thigh shove PLUS the lifting of the opponent’s knee with a flaring of the elbow. That elbow flare was the one thing I didn’t really get enough time to iron out to my satisfaction after ironing out the rest of my problems.


Both sweeps could also use a lot more more lower-leg shoving.


A little king of the hill, pass vs sweep. I got very excited because I was able to not only hold off John for quite a while, but eventually SWEEP him (gasp!). True he wasn’t going 100%, but he wasn’t babying me around, either. My expanding ego was swiftly returned to earth like a popped balloon by my next opponent, a while belt guy who shoved past my guard in about 4 seconds.


Carlos instructed the 4 large male white belts to not even engage the women. While I understand this, I was a little peeved  that it wasn’t “be careful”, it was “don’t go near them at all”. I don’t want to encourage the male white belts to refuse to work with women. There is no reason they can’t learn to be careful. (Carlos added, “Oh- except for Keetsune,” and I was like, “Yeah, bring it,”- but then he said he was kidding. I wasn’t.)


Friday women’s class: same techniques. Good. Was able to get my shit together better this time.


In addition: Failed double-leg to bear hug and lift; uke hooks foot around attacker’s shin to foil the lift, then bend down and grab opponent’s ankle and lift for takedown. KOB.


I am feeling hungry for more sparring; we don’t do any sparring or much KOTH in women’s class. I’m having some stress at work, and could really use the sparring. I stayed after class Thursday and did one spar with Camille, in which I was able to handle her well and mount her repeatedly to troubleshoot her sorry upa.


One of the fresh blues said to me in the locker room- in a tone that should be reserved for unicorns, Jesus, and Cindy Hales- “I want to be just like you.”  I don’t know how to react to this. I still don’t. I managed to not laugh.




The line



The short answer to handling active shooters is shoot back.  –Marc MacYoung

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Same techniques we did Thursday, along with a variation on the sweep where the opponent stands up in your guard. This one involved using a butt-bump to break down one leg, and I struggled with it.

One roll with Doug and one with Cindy. Holy cow! Where else do you get to finish your class with super-fun rolls with two black belts- one who shows you old-man tricks and one who shows you small-woman tricks.  It was fun, exhausting and educational.

Took a decently long walk at Reiter Foothills with the dogs on Saturday, and then went up the Index wall on Sunday. There was still quite a bit of snow once we got into the forest, which made for some struggles with footing as well as struggles trying to stay on the correct path. It was a challenge, but we got to the top. Then coming down…. mama mia. As usual, coming down is LOTS worse for me than going up, and this was the worst it’s ever been. I hope it was just the snow and all, and not my new normal. My knees felt like Ziplock baggies filled with broken glass and thumbtacks. When I got up for work that night, they felt like Ziplock baggies full of broken glass and thumbtacks encased in water balloons that were filled just shy of bursting. The degree of visible swelling at and just above my knees was disturbing. I’ve never seen them like that.

It scared me. I was picturing being older and having them feel like that all the time.

I draw a strong line of distinction between pain versus incapacity.  My knees were bad enough last night that if I had found myself in a situation where I needed to throw down, I fear one or both of them may have mechanically given out. That is two VERY different places…. the place where you say, “this hurts, maybe hurts BAD, but if I need to do X, I can,” versus “I mechanically can NOT make my body do X”.

On the good side, the slight (unrelated) knee injury that was bugging me earlier in the week made it through 2 BJJ classes and 3 hikes without problems.

The hardest part is getting back up.


“This is a beautiful moment we’re having. Can we please fight?” -Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

I missed a lot of training the last few weeks…. several holiday closures at the school combined with several extra shifts I picked up at work because I need the money. Also, it has been cold and rainy, which makes me less eager to go out and hike with the dogs. I get out a few times a week using the incentive of scheduling walks with other dog parents- then it’s not as easy to flake out.

Although the prescription sleeping meds have dialed my insomnia back from a severity of 10 on a 1-10 scale to about a 3… sometimes a 2….. I have been having a lot of nightmares. I am going to try scaling back the dosage and see if I can still get to sleep- but with fewer nightmares- on a lower dose. Additionally, the meds have made me gain 10lb. I had been afraid of that- I even told the doc when I first went in, “Please don’t put me on anything that’s going to make me gain a lot of weight,” Well, I NEEDED to get help because the insomnia was bad enough to threaten my ability to function at all, so I guess I’m better off…. but I’m not liking being this heavy.   😦

Another thing- I Britney’ed all my hair off. It’s definitely not my best look, but it’s not going to be in my face while I’m rolling, nor will anyone be putting their elbows or knees down on it. On a practical self-defense front: no hair grabs. On a practical grooming front- washing and drying time is now nil, and my head isn’t cold for hours after a shower.

Opponent stands up in your closed guard. Keep your back on the ground. You grab hir heels, put your feet on hir hipbones, and pull/push. This is one of my favorite things to do on the mat, but now comes the hard part- getting up (LOL).  Keep ahold of the far leg as you swing both of your own legs to one side and move belly down to side control. I found myself, as the uke at this juncture, turning slightly toward the opponent and bending my matward knee, laying the outside of my thigh on the mat, to protect my knee. As the attacker, I note that moving to side control gave you a lovely opportunity to crunch your weight down on that knee as you go by, just in case you are in the type of situation where that would be warrented. Hint- as you move into side control, try to get that far underhook.

Opponent stands up in your closed guard. Keep your back on the ground. You have hir sleeve cuffs. Place your left foot on hir right hip, do an outside hook with your right leg and grab hir heel on that same side. Now move your left foor down to hir knee. You still have one sleeve grip- now yank partner forward with that as you shove the knee back with your foot. That forward yank is key- it won’t work otherwise. As usual, I find myself cheating- or neglecting altogether- pulling motions because I am always so oriented to pushing. Once I get past this block, it’s going to elevate my game dramatically…… right now I’m only doing half the job. There’s almost always a pull *WITH* a push.

Anyway, the uke goes down, and now you put your knee to the floor and yank that sleeve up so you can slide into scarf. Again, do not neglect that underhook.

King Of the Hill: closed guard, pass vs sweep. My work was meh today. I have a leg injury that I’m not sure how I got. It’s worse tonight after BJJ and a dog hike.  I have two longer hikes and one more BJJ class scheduled for this weekend, so I am really hoping it will not get any worse.

One roll with Camille. She’s doing great. Great passes. Sublime pressure in top side control. Needs to work on subs from the top. She could keep me there, but not sub me.

Thursday: break-in. Friday: pit bull attack. How was your week?


Many people receive the answer to their prayers, but ignore them- or deny them, because the answers didn’t come in the expected form. –Sophy Burnham

Thursday lunchtime gi in Bellevue. We got Rodrigo today! Carlos and Doug both had surgery at the beginning of the week, so they will be on the bench a while.

Opponent in turtle, you sprawled on hir left hip. Grab hir left sleeve cuff and right lapel. Move to the side and pull hir onto her side, switching to a “sash” grip. Stay heavy and keep public bone to the mat. As s/he places hir top foot on the mat to try to recover turtle, you stick your bottom leg into the space that s/he has just made between the mat and hir hip, and wrap hir bottom leg. Pull hir back into you, and place the second hook. Do not forget to trap the arm. (Note: do not- as I wanted to do- try to jump/climb on top of hir to get the back mount. PULL hir into you.)

Same entry, only now as you pull the foe onto hir side, you use your lapel grip to open the lapel and slide your other hand in. I always want to snug everything REALLY REALLY TIGHT, and Rodrigo instructed me to loosen up and slide down a bit on this lapel grip- because you want the person to try to recover turtle instead of realizing that they’re about to get choked. As they go into turtle, you clock choke. Do not straighten your arm and pull at this. Keep the elbow bent and lean your chest over the opponent’s head. Rodrigo puts his forehead on the mat.

My stupid side, which I only tried a few times at the very end and only because we had done about a bajillion reps, was much tighter because that side had me doing the clock choke with my dominant arm.

A little positional training from the point where you pull the opponent onto hir side and try to keep hir down, while opponent gives some (but not crazy) resistance.

So some crazy and/or drugged homeless guy broke into my garage this morning. It scared the poop out of me, but I was very happy that I had a gun, so that I knew I could defend myself if he tried to get into the house. I was even happier to see the sheriff pull in. I could have set off the audible alarm and probably scared him off, but I wanted the cops to get him, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about him coming back (for a little while, at least). He broke a window in my rear garage door, but luckily did not damage my car. The nice deputies caught him red-handed in there, carted him off in cuffs, and booked him for Burglary in the second degree.

I think the only thing I could have done better was to be more proactive about checking out odd noises. I heard some thumping, but assumed it was the cat messing around upstairs. It was only when the thumping continued that I went up to check, and found her asleep. I figured then that I had a bear in my garbage can. But when I looked out the window, I saw an unfamilar dude lurching up my driveway while holding an animated conversation with himself. Next time I will check out weird noises more promptly. If he had gone to the front door instead of the garage after rifling the garbage, things could have turned out much worse than they did.

So, the day after some crazy homeless guy broke into my garage, my dogs and I got attacked by a loose pit bull. It tore up Teal pretty badly. I was well weaponed up, yet could not adequately defend.

Because I am so paranoid, my head is always on a swivel and thus I glanced behind me and saw the pit come out of the driveway. As soon as I laid eyes on that dog, I knew we were going to get attacked. I yelled “NO!” powerfully, as that has been recommended by some dog-savvy friends. I was then able to get off a couple yells for help and get my pepper spray out of my pocket before it was on us.

The dog attacked Teal, and I emptied half the can of pepper spray right into its eyes to no effect at all. I could not shoot it because we were in the middle of a populated subdivision. My knives would have been a poor weapon- this dog was not responding to pain compliance techniques, and I would have had to get under its throat and get a few really good deep slashes to put it out of commission. At that point, my bag of tricks was empty.

All I could do was yell for help. I tried to pull the pit off my dog, but it just kept hold and I was dragging both dogs. I really needed a second person- one to grab each dog and pull them apart. But although ten or twelve people came out to see what all the screaming was about, no one helped. 😦 Now I know what Kitty Genovese felt like.

Eventually the dog owner’s dad came out, and stood there to stare for a moment before wading in. He grabbed the pit’s harness and gave it a couple of ineffectual tugs, then he started whipping the dog over the back with a little nylon strap. Of course that didn’t do jack. Finally I gathered my wits enough to yell at him, “grab the harness and pull him off! Grab the harness and pull him off!” Which he finally did. As I fled for our lives, the guy was lying in the middle of the street bear-hugging the dog.

So, several lessons learned.

1)Don’t expect help. Even if there are lot of people around. They will just stare, or maybe take out their iphones to video your attack. You are on your own.

2)Please don’t be that person. If someone is yelling for help, fucking HELP.

3)I thought I was well weaponed-up, but two of my weapons were inappropriate for the situation and the third one failed me. I have thought a lot about what would have helped in that situation, and I decided that a hammer would have gotten the job done. I went to Lowe’s and bought a really nice heavy mallet with a comfy grip and good balance. I am now carrying that whenever I walk the dogs. The next loose dog that puts its teeth in my dog is going to get its fucking skull bashed in.

4)It was astonishing to what extent my brain switched off in the presence of that much adrenaline. I had to leave the scene, because Teal needed to go to the ER, and that guy still did not have his dog under control, so we fled. Later I had a hard time finding the attack site, I wouldn’t have been able to pick that guy out of a lineup, and I was even unsure what color the dog was- which is funny seeing as how I was wrestling with it for three minutes. Your brain really shuts down all the extraneous details. Next time, remind self to stop and take note of details, especially if you have to flee the scene.

5)Even if you have decided that your pepper spray is useless, don’t put the can back into your pocket. Just the small amount of dried liquid left on the outside of the can ate right through my pants and gave me a miserable chemical burn. My entire thigh looks like it’s been roasted over a slow fire. (Again- how did that monster dog just ignore this? I knew it wasn’t going to respond to pain compliance techniques, but I was hoping that the pepper spray directly into the eyes would blind it and make it difficult to breathe. Nope.)

6)January is tactically useless. All he did was run circles around us in scared confusion. I always hoped my dog(s) would try to do something if I was screaming for help, but it did not trigger him. Note: do not expect his help in the instance of a break-in.

I went to BJJ class on Friday night, but I had too much going on to blog it, and now I can’t remember what we did. I also missed ALL classes the following week.

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. I got to drill with Nelson, which is always wonderful.

Triangles from guard.

From guard: fake a scissor sweep, then hook your toe under the thigh instead. Sweep hir AWAY from you. Note that you have to be really close to make this work- if you shrimped out too much getting set up for the scissor, it’s really hard to lift the guy using just leg strength.

Same basic thing from standup.

My favorite choke: the one where you get a deep cross grip and then grab a handful of gi at the back of the shoulder to finish. We turned our bodies to use the thigh to force the opponent’s head down as if we were going to armbar, then swung back to finish the choke straight on. Weirdly, it’s a chicken-wing pulling motion- yes, the very thing we are always told NOT to do. But it was beautiful. I found, while being the uke, that when the opponent swings that leg up, it makes you think he’s going for a triangle or armbar, so you want to yank back- which will just make you choke yourself even harder.

Three spars with three white belt ladies. They are all game and trying hard. Gave them all some (I hope useful) pointers.

Compact pendulum sweeps


Danger arises when people think in only two mindsets, conversation or combat. When one side is trying to deny that they are in a dangerous situation and are trying to talk their way out of it, the other side has made a choice on some level to do violence and is merely looking for an opening. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Hot enough to fry an egg on the mat.

Grab-the-ankles sweep. Carlos scootched his hips right between his opponent’s feet and used his feet on the opponent’s hipbones. I tend to roll up almost onto my neck and use my knees, so it’s good to keep in mind that there are other options.

Pendulum sweep. Instead of pinning opponent’s arm across hir chest, we just pressed the elbow in with one palm. Tonight we were also hipping out much less than I tend to do, and using the bottom leg to shove much less than I tend to do. It looked very compact and effortless when Carlos did it. Didn’t seem like it should work. But of course it did.

Opponent is in your guard with tight hold on your belt, elbows tucked. Grab hir wrist (same side) and hip up violently to make a space to slide your other hand underneath to grab your own wrist. Now you can push up and beak the grip. Yank opponent’s arm across hir chest and hip out. Do not stick your far leg between hir knees- this time we kept that far leg on the outside while hipping out quite a lot, then pulling opponent into back mount. Don’t forget to trap the wrist once you have back mount.

I really wanted to spar, but it was just too hot.

Had a good online conversation with an artistic friend- music, books, writing. It’s always stimulating to talk to other creative people.

Ees THAT how eet’s done?


During the rapid improvement period in skill learning, students are motivated by their rate of improvement. Their desire to learn is created by the success that they achieve. Concentration and commitment are facilitated by the rapid rate of technical development. However, once the rate of learning begins to slow down, it requires much more effort on the part of both the student and coach to maintain the attention and work rate. Eventually the leveling off of improvement begins to have a negative effect on the learning environment, which can bring about a reduction in performance. Tony Gummerson, “Teaching Martial Arts”

Two mile walk.

Thurs afternoon gi in Bellevue.

Double-leg setups.

Standup, with judo grips: let go of lapel grip and fake a grab at the leg to make opponent step back. Then you pull guard.

Same entry, only now opponent tosses elbow when you try to place your rt foot on hir bicep. Drop that foot to hir hip (heel OUT!) Move right hand to (cross) grip opponent’s right sleeve cuff. catch hir rt heel with your other hand. Drop your left leg on the mat to hook behind hir other leg. If s/he fails to let go of your lapel, s/he will do most of the work of pulling you up so that you can jump on top.

This is a sweet sweep, but the number of steps is daunting. If I try to go too fast, I start skipping pieces (usually the hooking foot behind the second leg).

As you roll up out of this, keep opponent’s foot trapped with your feet. Don’t let hir bend the leg, unless you want to end up in half guard. This leg trap can turn into a nice kneebar. Of course Carlos walked over and looked at me just as I discovered this. “Ees THAT how eet’s done, Keetsune? Like THAT?” “Uh, no, no sir, that is NOT how it’s done! No sir, no!”

Positional sparring, spider guard, pass vs prevent pass… then King Of the Hill, same exercise. I was fortunate enough to avoid the two big spazzy white belt guys who were flinging purple belts around trying to dislodge spider guard positions with the Captain Caveman Technique. Note that the pass where you change direction and move in backwards like you’re going to sit on their face doesn’t work on Mischa. Tried it twice and failed miserably both times. What DID work on him was a fine strategy of body-surfing versus hanging heavy while he was elevating me and trying to maneuver me into a bad position. I couldn’t stop him from picking me up, but by a couple of strategic postings and by playing sandbag at the right moments, I ended up causing him to inadvertantly maneuver me right into side control, ha ha.

Carlos let me touch his katana.


It’s all about the visualization. -Savage Kitsune

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Same setup as that wacky sweep that Chrisanne and I worked on all last week, only this time instead of sweeping hir backward, you sweep hir forward. This means that after you swing your leg to the outside and place it on the Bad Guy’s hip, you place the other one on hir knee and stretch hir out. Pull hir arm across hir own centerline ( remember well from various other techniques that this makes it HUGELY difficult to defend the sweep). Note that you still have to remember to underhook the ankle, which once again was the step I left out as soon as I tried to speed up.

One short spar with John. I was happily surprised to find myself on top the whole time. John has become a fearsome opponent, and it’s very challenging to not be completely dominated every time.

Thursday evening I hiked…. as I wanted to see the Cirque Du Soleil, and avoiding the $15 parking fee meant a pre- and post- performance hike. Which was fine, although I had to circumambulate half of Marymoor Park on the way in. I kept running into dead end streets, and businesses backed up to the park with fences all around them.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Prof. Carlos won a katana in a comp last weekend, and was playing with it before class. He let me play with it too, to my humble gratitude. It led to an interesting conversation about handling other people’s weapons, and whether or not it was disrespectful to grab the sword by the blade or drop it on the floor. He knows I had a lot of TCMA etiquette pounded into me before coming to BJJ. He actually apologized to *me* for dropping his own sword on the floor, when I winced.

Standup: front choke defense.

Pull guard to loop choke

Top half guard to gi tail choke. A second permutation in case foe defends by pressing your forearm down.

King Of The Hill, side control, mount vs escape. I was on the bottom the entire time and did very well- although granted I was almost always escaping to my Home Away From Home, bottom half guard.

One roll with Frasier, who tapped me with a keylock.

He’s asking for a roll in the hay.


Violence works. It is something that bad guys use to get what they want. When people look for the sources of violence or seek peace, this is the elephant in the room that everyone ignores. As long as violence works, some people will use it. -Rory Miller

Evening BJJ in Bellevue. Almost everybody was watching Amy win her MMA fight, so it was a very small class. It’s been a long time since I’ve worked with anyone other than Chrisanne. I was hoping Peter would be there, but he was not.

One of the warmups that Doug had us do tonight was a logroll all the way down the mat with hands and feet both up off the mat. I looked at that and thought, “What’s hard about that?” I did it really fast, twice (one direction and then the other). All was well until almost to the end of the 2nd run, and then quite abruptly I stared to feel nauseous. It was very odd. I have always done a ton of MA and dance and acrobatics and all sorts of stuff, and I have never had that issue. I guess I will limit the logrolls to once across the floor (half one way, half the other). Nausea persisted through class- mild but distracting. I had to skip the sparring, which sucked because I love to get a chance to spar with Doug.

From bottom half guard: Get the underhook, then go deep (get your face waaaaaaaaay down there to avoid being crossfaced out). Grab opponent’s far foot and pass it to your other hand, behind hir butt. Underhook hir other knee. Rearrange your feet- CAREFULLY- you have to make sure you keep that foot trapped- so that you can roll onto your stomach and scissor your legs for the sweep. Go to side control around either side, you can keep the foot if you are able.

From bottom half guard: go for the kimura. (If opponent is sitting up, yank hir forward with your legs so that s/he has to post.) When s/he sticks hir hand in hir groin to defend the kimura, keep ahold of the wrist but use that over-the-shoulder hand to grab the back of hir belt or pants instead. Now loosen your legs just enough to make the opponent think s/he can pass. As s/he does, hoist hir overhead and to the side (like an upa). S/he ends on hir back, you can keep the arm and finish the kimura from the top. Or take top control, or armbar, or whatever (I was ending up in N/S, which was fine with me). Note that this takes about as much effort as wafting a feather. The opponent’s own effort to pass lofts hir over. You are not using arm strength to heave hir, and you are also not dragging hir over your face. Doug does this to me ALL THE TIME, so it was nice to learn it. I will have to ask him for a defense. I hate finding myself being swept when I know exacly what’s coming and can’t stop it, but the alternative seems to be park there and allow yourself to be kimura’ed. There must be another option.

Doug likes to end his classes with a choke. This one was from closed guard. Pull opponent forward with your legs and do a double circular parry in front of your face so that as s/he posts, you whizzer one bicep. Clamp it nice and tight and grab hir opposite gi lapel with the same hand. Stick the thumb of your OTHER hand into the lapel just above your first grip. Slide it up to the back of hir collar, then whip the forearm over hir head and choke. This is a sublime choke. The guy was tapping almost immediately, and there was still miles of room left to add more pressure. When he did it to me, I noticed that because both hands are on the same side, I didn’t immediately register it as an imminent threat. Also, once he started applying it, I held out for a bit thinking “It’s fine… it’s fine…” and then ALLOFASUDDEN there were the black roses blooming in front of my eyes. Once it was truly in position, it was damn quick.

All three of tonight’s techniques begin with positions that I find myself in frequently but then get stalled in because I can’t quite remember what to do. If at least one of them sticks and I can remember to try it live, I’ll be very happy. In particular, my brain seems to have an extraodinarily difficult time retaining the mechanics of gi chokes- an area in which I would really like to expand my practical toolbox. I can’t wait to try this one on Chrisanne.

Doug (as Hozier comes on the sound system): “This music has got to go.”
Kitsune: “You don’t like this one?”
Doug: “No… it sounds depressing. And I’m not sure what it’s about.”
Kitsune: “It’s about sex. He’s asking for a roll in the hay.”
Doug: “Really?!?”

Friday evening


(Defensive display) is almost always a stupid choice and a sign of a pure amateur. –Rory Miller

Friday evening at Bellevue.

Unfortunately Linday was ill and could not join us tonight.

Also unfortunately, someone brought in a bucket of Halloween candy.

You have opponent in your guard, grips on hir sleeve cuffs, feet on hir hips, knees in. S/he puts one knee up on the inside.

You take the leg on the OPPOSITE side as the one s/he put up, and swing it over the arms and hook the toe under hir thigh.

Use your grounded foot to scootch body out sideways, yank hir arm across your body. Now you can dump hir and get on top.

If s/he tries to stand up and post with the other foot- go to armbar. Note that this is why you needed to take care to pull that arm across your body in the previous step. If you got sloppy with that, you will not have this option. Note also that finishing this armbar involves bracing the bent knee firmly against opponent’s torso.

If s/he pulls the elbow down far enough to kill the armbar, underhook hir leg and straighten your legs to Dump hir. Get on top.

Sparring with Chrisanne, starting from the position described at the beginning of technique 1.

More sparring- a white belt and a blue belt that I don’t know, then Christy and Casey. I was able to handle the two lower belts fine. Being aware that life underneath Christy is unpleasant, I stayed on top. I was able to hang out on top and threaten various chokes for the entire roll. Got two of them (including a head-and-arm, which I was delighted with, as I enjoy these and am not yet as proficient with them as I would like).

Casey of course is more of a challenge- although when we began, he claimed to be too exhausted to tie his belt, which boded well for me.

Ten seconds!! Ten seconds!!


If he or she has the right mindset, the killer will beat the fighter almost every time. –Rory Miller


Yes, even though it seems as if competition is not helping my jiu jitsu right now, it is true that those rigid dates with the tournament scale are good for diet discipline. As soon as I decided to take a break from competing, I promptly gained 5lb. So I decided on a new tactic: my tattoo artist (who, incidentally, just won second place for “best sleeve” at the Seattle Tattoo Expo) has been posting all sorts of rad pics of his work and making me salivate more and more for additional ink. I had told myself that I was going to get my back started the next time I had a benching-level injury, but now I’m thinking that I’m going to use the tat as a carrot (double meaning definitely intended) to get back down to weight. I’m feeling reasonably strong about it at the moment- for the last two days I have not only cut my soda intake by more than half (this is actually the hardest part for me!), I have stocked up on the eggs and carrots, as well as decreasing my portions of everything else and just generally trying to wait a little longer before bowing to hunger and eating something. Even yesterday when I went to the Chinese restaurant with CK (AGAIN!!!!), I ate all the carrots and broccoli on my plate (although I am not fond of cooked veggies) and took half the chicken teriyaki home (it made TWO subsequent diet-sized meals). Yes, rice happened, and I know rice is very bad for me, but I’m still satisfied about the way I handled that. I’m going to take a humongo bag of carrots to work during my next rotation. Work is a dangerous time for the munchies (and the pop).

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. There were only 4 of us there, besides the prof. The five of us were in full agreement that BJJ is MUCH MUCH more important than a Seahawks game. I don’t know what is wrong with those people.

At first it looked like I was going to get paired up with Lance, which is pretty funny… because even at my fattest, he makes about eight of me. I ended up with (white belt) Shawn.

You have closed guard. Yank opponent’s opposite-side sleeve cuff while pulling hir down with your legs. Hug around hir shoulder with your free arm. Now that you have hir arm pinned between your bodies, you can let go of the sleeve and use that arm to reach under hir thigh. Note that your arm should go OVER TOP of hirs. Twist your body into an X formation opposite your opponent’s. (Prof Herbert was using a foot on the hip to help it along; that didn’t seem to be working very well for me). Swing your far leg to help sweep your opponent. It is good to keep your near knee pasted to the back of hir shoulder blade as you swing up on top; as well as keeping that front heel pasted to hir chest- this keeps hir pinned on hir side and you find yourself in S mount (I love S mount). At this juncture you may appreciate why you wanted your arm to go over top of hirs- as you now have that arm pinned along your body and under your armpit. I elected to then step over Shawn’s face and finish the armbar. Herbert was delighted to see me go there, to the point of having me demo the sequence on HIM for the next drilling section (whee!!).

Next: same entry, only now you focus on the fact that as you place your arm over top of opponent’s while reaching for the thigh, you are actually in a rather pleasant position should you choose to bring your other leg over hir face and do an armbar right there. I am always thrilled to drill armbars from guard (or permutations thereof), as I keep thinking these are going to be ideal for my game, yet I continue to fail to integrate them into my live sparring. I have a feeling that if I can ever get that switch flipped and start remembering them under pressure, I’m going to be cracking elbows merrily left and right all day long.

As usual, my technical issue to work on (as pointed out by Herbert) is that I should really try to get my second leg higher up into the opponent’s armpit. With effort, I was able to improve this on one side, but not the other (it seems that my hip is more flexible on one side).

Finishing with a 10-min spar with Shawn. He’s a good partner; not too big, pretty careful, muscles a bit (hey, he’s a white belt) but not too much. I was inspired by the fact that the prof was circling around us watching the whole thing, and I was on top quite a bit, although I started to get really tired in the last few minutes and ended up getting tapped. As Shawn let me up, Herbert said, “Ten seconds left,” and I threw myself at Shawn, shrieking, “Ten seconds!! Ten seconds!!” as I jumped guard and started frantically hauling on his lapels trying to get a choke. Didn’t get one. But it was a fun spar.