I take out another one.

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As we write, each of us has to believe our books are worth a tree. Or worthy of that tree.  -Jane Yolen
Friday evening “women’s class” in Bellevue. Rolled with Doug a bit to warm up- always an honor.

Self defense- you on your back, attacker standing at your feet. Use right foot to kick hir left thigh to make hir step back with that foot. Then another kick, higher, followed by a technical life. I can’t specify which foot does the second kick, nor which butt cheek you have to be on when you begin the technical lift, nor which sole is planted on the floor for that, because I just could not compute. I had one of those left-vs-right brain spasms… which I can often correct after a few reps via a verbal script of “Right foot kick, left sole floor, hips right, right foot kick…” or whatever. Sometimes it just will not come- and the longer it will not come, the more frustrated I get, and frustration introduces enough white noise into my brain to ensure that I will *NEVER* get it.

I am convinced that I have some kind of bona fide proprioception disability- which fortunately appears to be isolated to a fairly narrow problem area- yet I wish I could tell Carlos (and my former kung fu teacher) that I have a BRAIN TUMOR or something; I really am not this STUPID, truly. But trying to explain proprioception to someone who could barely speak English four years ago is futile when most native English speakers can’t define the term. It makes me crazy when he hovers over me and tries to correct my errors while I’m having one of these fugues, but even worse is when he gets frustrated and walks off. Few things make me feel as lowly as feeling that I have disappointed my teachers.

Closed guard pass- stand up and grip pantleg down to shuck the leg- I have done this enough by now that the correct sleeve cuff control and the grip change upon standing feel mostly natural.

A little positional training, hold closed guard vs pass, rotating partners.

My final opponent was a teenager in whose closed guard I stood up and proceeded to do the Move Of The Day. As I pushed her leg down, her face contorted into a rictus of pain. “Are you all right????!!!? Are you all right???!!” She didn’t answer, just kept writhing and grimacing. I was freaking out- I hadn’t been rough or anything, but after concussing Crisanne last week (yes, I did actually give her a concussion *and* whiplash, she had to go to the doctor!), I immediately assumed that somehow I had broken the girl’s knee. And here comes Carlos….. is he going to toss me out of this school for injuring everyone????!?

Finally she started rolling up her pantleg. I waited to see the bloody broken shafts of bone poking through the mangled shin of her knee. And saw…. a big scab. Which apparently I had grabbed when I grabbed her pantleg.

I was relieved, but I also kind of wanted to smack her for 1)not telling me that she had a giant scab on her left knee so that I could avoid it, 2)failing to verbally reassure me quicker that she was not in fact dying, and 3)scaring the shit out of me.

Half guard passing game

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The Tueller Drill:
Sergeant Dennis Tueller, of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department wondered how quickly an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet (6.4 m), so he timed volunteers as they raced to stab the target. He determined that it could be done in 1.5 seconds.

Saturday in Seattle.

You sitting, opponent standing. S/he moves to your side. You turn so that the knee nearest opponent is on the mat and your far knee up. Near palm on the mat and far arm in high warding position. Brace against opponent’s collarbone and technical lift to get to feet.

Opponent sitting, you standing. You go to hir side and wrap your FAR arm under hir legs as if to pass. S/he pushed your head to the mat. You hop your feet over hir to the other side.

From closed guard: Do a basic guard break and underhook a thigh as if to stack and pass. Then hop to the other side instead. Opponent starts to roll away from you. Get a sash grip (make sure you are UNDER hir ceilingward arm) and stick your hook in under hir hip as she tries to gain hir knees. Take the back. At this point, get a choking lapel grip.

After we had drilled this for a while, we had the backmounted person free a hook and try to crabwalk out. Attacker keeps the sash grip and rolls belly down sprawling. A choke can often be accomplished from here. if it is not happening, loosen up enough to bail opponent to trying to escape, and retake the back.

Rolls with a handful of people I had never met before. Taught an upa to a white belt. Got two straight elbow locks on a blue belt- the same elbow lock I got on Sean yesterday. That is awesome. But I need to work on remembering to stay out of top half guard on people who are good at retaining half guard and/or doing useful things from bottom half guard. That blue belt had a gnarly half guard retention, and I actually commented on it, yet still found myself sliding right back into it repeatedly. I feel so good about my top half guard passing that I tend to just go into it and proceed to pass as a routine part of my game. It usually works, but I need to take note when I draw someone who is not letting me get away with that, and try OTHER things.

Squeak!

bjj85

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.

Lunchtime omoplatas

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“How you behave towards cats here below determines your status in Heaven.” – Robert Heinlein

My favorite green cargoes are falling off my hips. That’s good…. I guess….

Mon: 128
Weds: 127.5

Wednesday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland.

Scissor sweep. I focussed on the variation where you put your foot on the opponent’s kneecap and push hir thigh back. Note that is the opponent is basing hard, you can push at hir. Either s/he will push back (whereupon you complete the load for the scissor sweep) or s/he will resist (whereupon you do a technical lift instead).

Failed scissor sweep to technical lift. Hook one hand behind opponent’s neck and push head down as you do the technical lift. Then KEEP pushing the head down as you run around to take the back. If s/he tries to single-leg you, sprawl hard and kick the leg back and out. You can also loop your near hand in there so that you can circle to the OTHER side and force the person to roll onto hir back. Take side control.

As usual, Cindy complains that I am being way too nice and not being forceful enough with the head-pushing.

Same entry, foe tries to single-leg you. (You can even deliberately bait this by leaving your leg out there instead of tucking in to the side.) Reach between your knees and grab hir arm (ideally deep- at the elbow). Place your shoulder on the mat and roll. As you complete the roll, kick the leg nearest the opponent in an axe-kick so that you force opponent’s shoulder to the mat. Grab around hir torso to prevent the re-roll. Keep hir arm, shove hir hand “In the pocket”. finish omoplata.

Spars. I wasn’t doing very well today, but I was rather overmatched by Mike, Rocky and Cindy.

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.