I’ve got all the answers. Well, THIS one, at least.

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”We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same.”
– Carlos Castaneda

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Man, I wish I could get to class more often. I was so happy to be in class. Carlos even remarked on the fact that I was laughing a lot today.

We did a bunch of spider guard sweeps that had about 862 steps with 5 critical little details in each step, and I have just tried and failed to transcribe any of them… although with Camille’s help, I did okay performing them. She is better than I am at regurgitating long sequences of choreography, which is a persistent struggle for me.

I had one delicious moment of triumph today. Carlos demo’ed to the middle of one of these sequences, and said, “Now what if your opponent does THEES right now?” The front half of the line shouted several suggestions, all of which Carlos tried and demonstrated the wrongness of. Then he told us to experiment with our partners and see if we could figure out something that would work. I immediately hipped out and transitioned to an armbar- AND I WAS RIGHT(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I was the only one who figured it out!!!!!!!!! To be fair, this was partly because we had been doing sweeps all day and everyone else was searching for a way to salvage the failed sweep. Whereas I- either because I still retain a ridiculous amount of always-attacking Tiger attitude, or just because my sweeps suck- went for a sub instead.

Related and funny: at one point, the prof noted that during the sequence of one of these sweeps, we must pause and remove our opponent’s arm from the place where it naturally ends up, because if we fail to do so, it turns into a bicep slicer and we will get DQ’ed. He demo’ed the bicep slicer, and obviously noted my eyes lighting up (as they do whenever a choice bit of “bonus violence” presents itself). He looked at me sternly and said, “Keetsune. You do thees in competition?” “No sir.”

One spar with Camille, one with the tattooed purple belt whose name I can never remember, one with Jason. All fun rolls. Tattoed purple belt keeps pulling guard on me, and I tried to tell him that I’d like to work standup and that it’s okay for him to take me down, as long as he doesn’t slam me. He’s one of those people who insists on being a little *too* careful with me.

Had to skip the structured dog walk tonight…. even January would have been disenchanted with the freezing rain. We have been hearing all week about this monster storm that’s supposed to be coming in, and apparently the world is supposed to end and everything, but it has yet to materialize (except for some freezing rain). Rilla and I took dogs out in the rain yesterday (on her urging… we decided even 20 min was better than nothing…. if it had just been me I would have bailed, which is why I want walking partners to push me… I thanked her), and the sun ended up coming out and we walked for 2 hours. Particularly glad to get that in, in case we are stuck inside for the next week.

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Uphill, then downhill.

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The stakes aren’t just pride and emotion. They can get real serious, real quick- even if you thought you were playing for such penny-ante shit as your pride. –Campfire Tales From Hell

I am missing some classes because my insomnia rages unchecked. There are many times when I just do not feel safe to get behind the wheel. The doc has informed me that I may work my way up to four of these prescription sleeping pills (and presumably not die). I took two yesterday (I skipped the one-and-a-half step) and it did nada.

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Standup, judo grips: Turn almost side-by-side with opponent and stick your near leg between hir feet really far back. When s/he shifts balance to the other foot to try to move away or seek a steadier stance, quickly yank your foot out and trip hir OTHER foot. Speed, correct timing, and getting the person offbalance are key…. as well as being a convincing actor and making the foe think that you really are fixated on that near leg.

Standup, you put an arm up to guard and the opponent grabs your wrist/forearm. Extricate arm (keeping opponent’s arm) and scoot almost side-by-side again- only this time you grab the belt. Don’t go to the back. This was just a setup, but it was almost irresistible to do a straight armbar from here. Unfortunately, the straight armbar involves stepping back, and carlos wanted us to step forward.

Triangles from open guard, baiting opponent to yank hir sleeve cuff away from you so that s/he pulls one arm back.

One spar with Christy. I am always expecting her to smash me; she’s technical, very strong, has MUCH better cardio, and some weight on me. I haven’t rolled with her much in a while, but the last few times I have, I was able to control her. I even got a sub today (head and arm choke). I also had several pointers for her in regards to her upcoming competition.

One spar with a four stripe white belt girl. I was able to handle her pretty easily.

These two elderly dogs are still walking/hiking me into the ground, and it’s embarrassing. The upside is that we are getting lots of exercise. Nor do they like to allow me to stroll along. Unless I work really hard- with constant attention- to rein them in, we are power-walking the entire time (regardless of terrain). One problem I’m running into is that many of the trails here go UP a mountain and then back DOWN. Coming down is a bitch on my bad knees, even when I’m not being yanked along by an impatient dog who never gets tired. If I have to walk downhill, I’d much rather do it FIRST, when I’m fresh.

Brain Surgery

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There’s a difference between inflicting lethal damage and stopping power. Someone can be fatally wounded and still functional enough to take you with them. Mostly it depends on how dedicated they are to taking you out. Pain alone won’t stop someone hellbent on killing you. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Missed a day of hiking due to rain (still did the multiple mini-walks). Otherwise, still hiking/walking every morning.

I am on drugs! I have an antianxiety med and a sleeping pill. I insisted that the doc not give me anything potentially addictive, and no refills on the sleeping pills (if I want a refill, I will go back to the clinic and we will have a discussion about my level of reliance). It’s only day 2, and I’m still on half-dosages of each. The only thing that has happened so far (aside from a mild headache) is that while dozing about 12 hours after taking the first half-tab of the antianxiety med, I had a bizarre mental picture of a bunch of bats and rats and pigs with sharp edges, flickering like newspaper on fire. Since I do not do substances (well, until now… sigh), I have never before had the experience of finding a thought in my brain that was obviously a foreign insertion. It was very odd.

Thursday evening no-gi in Bellevue.

Various basic drills… with RUNNING LAPS between each. We even had to watch the demo of each drill WHILE we were running.

Short spars with rotating partners, no subs allowed. Lots of them- like 12 or 14. Fortunately the room was jam packed with purple and brown belts. There was one lonely white belt in the room (he looked up the line and stage-whispered, “Hey- is this an advanced-only class???”).
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Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Rodrigo was there to teach tonight!

Great warmup roll with Casey. He let me slap on a number of subs, and get within a hair of finishing them, and then slithered out with ease.

Double leg setups shifting to single-leg. Scoop your arm (the one in front of the opponent) under hir thigh so that you are almost grabbing hir ass, and step backward while you pull hir to the floor. Place your hand on hir hip, “Slide into home” over hir thigh, side control.

Stand up in closed guard (don’t forget to grab the sleeve cuff first!). As opponent opens guard and slides to floor, frame up your elbows on your knees and wedge yourself between hir knees. Press one knee to the mat and slide the *FAR* knee through, placing it in hir armpit (it is important to get this high). Make sure to keep your toe down until you backsit to move to side control. This move- which is not exactly brain surgery, and I use it all the time- was AWFUL on the Stupid Side for some reason. As usual, the first time I tried it on the stupid side, that’s when the prof chooses to come by. He of course questioned why I can’t do this very simple thing, and I said, “It’s the Stupid Side,” whereupon he instructed, “Do the Stupid Side again.” (Argh!)

This last technique actually *WAS* brain surgery……

Same entry, only when you press the knee to the floor, instead of hugging the head to pass, you take the arm closest to opponent’s head and wrap it over hir thigh. This presents your shoulder the the mat near hir ribs (your back patch in hir face). Roll, and as you go over, catch hir leg and hook your knees together. If you do this right, as you roll upright again, you force hir into a roll. As s/he rolls, maneuver hir into your back mount. (You must hip escape a bit to make this work). Get hooks. Choke.

I have never done this before (although it has been done to me many times), and it hurt my brain- but Rodrigo demo’ed it about a billion times, so I was surprised when I succeeded. Even more surprised when my white belt partner marveled “You make it seem so smooth!” Still, this is way too complex for attempting live at this point. It normally takes three times of a given technique coming around in the teaching rotation before it really starts to gel for me.

Lots of reps of all of these.

Found out that said white belt partner has NEVER sparred, so it was a good excuse to stay for one roll. She was assertive and heavy on top, but I was able to handle her, and give her some pointers that she seemed very appreciative of.

Walking and weeping

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Freeing the body inevitably leads to freeing the heart. –Gabrielle Roth

My cat died yesterday. He has been on borrowed time for several years now, so I thought I was prepared (as prepared as one can be for such a thing), but it is really hitting me hard. Could not do Thursday class. Cried a lot, which I do very rarely, and I hate it- partly because it plays hell with my already-awful sinuses. Now I am going to be congested as hell and headachey for days, even if I wasn’t STILL crying off and on, which I am.

I have been walking every day with the dogs. Several shortie trips up and down the neighbors’ road over the course of a day, to pee, plus one long walk/hike every morning, lasting an hour or two. We have been hitting many of the trails and parks along the Highway 2 corridor from Monroe to Stevens’ Pass. Today we did the Heybrook Lookout trail.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Warmed up by rolling a little with Peter. His grips are getting scary good, along with everything else. I was able to keep him off me for a while with good spider guard, though.

We drilled several leg drag passes. They were interesting ones, too, that I have not done before, but forgive me- I am just too fucking tired and weepy to notate them tonight. I think I did well by just going to class tonight and not crying on the mat.

Once again I have gotten out of the habit of staying after class to roll. Just so damn tired. I need to use a wet paper towel to cool off my face and then just sit for five min, and then I will almost certainly be good to go for at least one.

I have finally made a doctor’s appointment regarding the fact that I can’t fall asleep and can’t stay asleep for more than 40 min at a time. I haven’t slept more than two hours and change per night for a couple of months now, and that broken into 3 or 4 pieces. I am going to ask for a non-addictive, temporary course of sleeping pills. I am also going to ask to try an anti-anxiety medication. I do not want to be on drugs. I do not want to be officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I have resisted this for so long, and I am really unhappy about it, but I am convinced that I have a brain chemistry imbalance. The fact that my mind won’t ever stop spinning like a mouse on a wheel is certainly contributing to- if not causing- my sleep issues. This cannot continue- sooner or later I am going to make a serious error at work or behind the wheel, and someone else is going to suffer because of my resistance to getting help. I need to get it together before that happens. The appointment is on Tuesday morning.

The Dog Workout

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Giving in to the urge to tell someone to fuck off can have lifetime results. Odds are good this guy will be out of your face and life in a few moments. But if you give in to the impulse, well, remember every time you “play”, you’re taking a chance. –Campfire Tales From Hell

Well, it was not the caffeine. Nor the sugar.

I stayed on one soda per day (first thing in the morning) for a week.. Hardly any sugar, either. There was not one iota of change in my sleep patterns, my anxiety level, my energy level, or my weight. I am going to have to go to the doctor. Upside: now I can have my Dr Pepper, since I have proven that it doesn’t do a damn thing to me.

Went hiking with CK last week- Twin Falls and Deception Creek. We were both tired, and not pushing hard physically. On her last day, we did a little stance work. Once again, just STANDING with CK is more exhausting than sparring with anyone else.

I got the dog on Wednesday. Well, dogS…. because I have White Knight Complex, I was unable to say no to the elderly dog’s elderly buddy… and I consider myself damn lucky to have not ended the week with all three of them. The second dog is a foster- meaning I do not have to pay his vet bills. I have too many pets right now. It is a stressor. But they are all elderly or special-needs or both, and let’s be real- chances are that one or another of them will kick off soon and I will be back to four, which is a number I feel I can cope with.

We are doing a ton of walking (which was part of the point of obtaining a dog). Up and down the neighbor’s driveway, mostly, a ten-minute dirt-road stroll through the woods. Yesterday we walked for two hours around Al Borlin Nature trail and downtown Monroe (where we were attacked by a purse dog). Today we went to Big Eddy, which is only about 1.5 miles from my place.

The dog I picked is exactly what I wanted. She basically walks when I want to walk, and otherwise she is napping and completely unobtrusive and undemanding. It’s like having a hiking buddy that you take out of a drawer when you want to walk, and then put away when you are done. The foster is proving to be more high-maintenence (no good deed goes unpunished). He’s a dear, but he has a dismaying amount of energy for an elderly dog, and is constantly in my face. Tonight he was dragging me along on the leash (he wanted to RUN!!!), and when I tried to wear him out afterward with rowdy playing in the dog run, he wore ME out instead. Well, he is certainly going to be forcing me to get plenty of extra walking. It’s going to be challenging for me to try to keep up with him, and even more challenging for my poor dog (who is game, but arthritic, and her legs are about half the length of his).

Thursday evening no-gi in Bellevue. It was fun to drill with Peter.

Pummelling, double-leg setups, Standing guard passes. Standing guard pass to KOB. Standing guard pass to KOB to back take. Two or three variations of the bottom person trying to defend, and the top person switching gears and completing the pass in a different way. I would have liked to get down the details of these, but I didn’t blog it last night like I should have, and now the details are escaping my mind.

King of the hill: pass vs sweep, pass vs resist/submit. I got spanked; I drew exclusively very talented people. I did achieve one guard pass on a guy which surprised me. I hope he didn’t hand it to me.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Drill-Till-Ya-Puke night. All from standing guard passes, which is a real bitch on my knees (and my thighs). Standing guard pass to KOB. Standing guard pass to KOB to armbar. Standing guard pass to KOB to kimura. After working with each of these for a few minutes, we drilled each 100 times. I had to hustle to keep up with Chrisanne, whose Monkey Bar Gym work and clean eating have me eating her dust. My thighs are on fire. I did well with remembering to grab the pants on the armbar. Also worked on pinching my knees together, a persistant failing of mine. I did less well with the kimura. I get lazy with the grips, especially when I am tired and trying to go fast. The many, many, fast standing guard pass reps put me in a dangerous place- when I get really tired, I am prone to rolling my ankle out and twisting it badly. I did that tonight, but fortunately it was not too severe- I was able to continue, and it’s not swelling or aching much at all later (thank you gods).

Chrisanne and I had wanted to spar after, but we were both too wiped out.

My thighs are going to be twin pillars of pain in the morning. Not looking forward to being hauled along that dirt road, but it will be the best thing for them. (A little hair of the dog, har har.)

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.

I am an out-of-control kneebar ninja. (not)

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The next phase of my martial growth would involve turning the large into the small. My understanding of this process is to touch the essence (for example, highly refined and deeply internalized body mechanics or FEELING) of a technique, and then to incrementally condense the external manifestation of the technique while keeping true to its essence. Over time, expansiveness decreases while potency increases. I call this method “Making smaller circles”. – Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

Wednesday- an hour of walking.

Thursday BJJ in Bellevue. 5 minute flow rolls, rotating partners- then 5 minute spars, rotating partners.

I started off with Nelson and got so excited that I forgot we were supposed to be flow rolling, so I bow-and-arrow choked the poor guy instantly.

I got reprimanded for setting up kneebars. This frustrates me. I do not know how to do any attacks below the waist. I am certainly not going to finish them… much less slam them…. and especially not during flow rolling. But it’s a huge hole in my game and I feel better about myself if I at least try to set one up once in a while. Carlos gets way too excited when he sees me doing this. It offends me that he seems to think he actually has to worry about me injuring someone with a kneebar. I am very careful and controlled, and very conscientious about the safety of my partners. Seriously, I could roll with raw eggs duct taped all over my gi *and* my partner’s gi, and not break any. It distresses me that he thinks I’m an unsafe partner. Meanwhile everybody else is telling me that I’m way too gentle and passive. I remembered too late that Carlos is scheduled for surgery because his knee is all messed up. He was actually on crutches last week. So this is probably not the best time to be pushing my luck in his presence with kneebars.

I had to roll with him next, and I was expecting him to kneebar-slam me all over the place to teach me a lesson…. but he just commented that I should try sweeps more, especially while flow rolling. I was being really careful to stay off his bad knee. It’s so hard to remember when certain people are injured, because they WON’T STAY OFF THE MAT. But I guess I’m enough of a pot that I probably shouldn’t be calling out kettles on that score.

Carlos let me touch his katana.

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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.

Farewell to Georgette. :(

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Examine your agenda occasionally. What you want to believe will always get in the way of what you know. _Rory Miller

I drove to Edmonds today to get one last roll with Georgette before she leaves town. Always a joy to roll with her, Griff, Dandelion and Craig- and the former two always have helpful advice for me.

After class, I walked/sprinted two miles to an appointment in downtown Bellevue (I was a little late, hence the sprinting) and walked the two miles back. I was already feeling slight shin splints from the sprints (there’s a tongue twister for ya).

Diet has been appalling lately. I have purposefully stayed out of the stores and away from the post V-Day candy sales, but the holiday aftermath at work has not been pretty: cookies, chocolate, some evil thing called “brownie bark” that I had never heard of and now wish it had remained so. I don’t know how much damage has been done because I am afraid to weigh myself, but I do seem to observe some extra tiredness with may be at least partially attributable to sugar OD. I need to get back on track. Also: rain for the last several days, which has meant no yard work. The yard work, disappointingly, does not seem to be a good weight loss tool… yet it is still satisfying on several levels to put in several hours of hard labor and be able to look at (at least a piece of) a job well done.

I’ll ditch him.

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Almost everyone I have met who has been in the situation reflexively checks weapons when they get tense. It’s a tell, and a great way to pick out who is armed. –Rory Miller

Thurs: Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.

Allergies have been suicide-inducing these past few days. I have been taking buckets of drugs, which has accomplished exactly nothing, except that now I am congested, headachy and exhausted ALONG WITH antihistimine/decongestant daze.

None of my usual favorite drill partners was there, but there were a lot of big guys and some visiting blue belts. Especially in my sinus-skewed state, I was in no mood to deal with visiting blue belt men, which tend to be a real crapshoot. A lot of the time, they either try to kill you because you’re a purple belt and they figure that means they can go as hard as they want even though you’re half their weight and old enough to be their mom, or they try to kill you because you’re a purple belt and they want to prove they can kick your ass.

I just didn’t feel like taking that on, so I sidled up to Justin before class.

Me: “Will you please drill with me today, so I don’t get stuck with any of these big guys?”
Justin: “Uh, I already told Alex I’d drill with him.”
Me: (dismayed expression)
Justin: “I’ll ditch him.”
Me: “It’s tough being Mr. Popular, huh?”

I felt a little bad, but it was a matter of survival.

Standup: double leg setups, failed double-leg to rear clinch.

Tripod sweep. I was happy to see this, as it’s one of those techniques that involves doing something different with each of your four limbs, and thus I always struggle with it- but I would like to get proficient at it, since that would possible allow me to set it up from spider guard (which I use a lot but can’t sweep very well from).

Opponent stands up in your guard, you place feet on hir hips, grab hir ankles, and dump. I use this a lot, but have a vast amount of trouble recovering from the subsequent scramble and capitalizing before s/he gets up and capitalizes on me first. Carlos had us KEEP ONE PANTLEG, swing both legs to that same side. Slam your other elbow on the mat outside of hir far thigh. Hopefully you are not so slow that you fail to get hir hips controlled so that you can get in side control. As usual, retaining that pant grip was a challenge for me.

Note that if you try the double-ankle drop and they grab your lapels to defend it, you can lift hir in the air with your feet on hir hips and try to dump hir over your head or to the side. if that fails, next go to the tripod sweep.

These techniques were more get-up-get-down-get-up-get-down work, as I was grousing about the other day…. and with the sinus crap, I got tired very quickly.

Me: (beginning the technique standing hunched over in Justin’s open guard)
Justin: (after long expectant pause) “Get in my closed guard.”
Me: “Urrrrrrrghh… I didn’t want to have to get back up again.” The only thing more exhausting that get-up-get-down-get-up-get-down is get-up-get-down with someone hanging around your waist.

Many drills, after which I was too wiped to spar.

Friday: Can’t go to class because I got tattooed last night, but I took a 2 mile walk.