“If I shrimp, my uterus will fall out”

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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.  😦

No pressure

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The problems of today cannot be resolved by dwelling on the past. If you are doing that, the past isn’t the problem, it’s you. As much as the past may serve to preserve your identity, you hanging on to it isn’t helping.

First it ignores your actions now. Second it keeps you from objectively viewing the situation — including your part in it. Third, when you approach others with the attitude of blame and condemnation, you give them no reason to work with you. Fourth, by playing the victim, you give them no reason to trust you.

 The last is more important than you think. Because without trust, there is no possibility of resolution or change.
  -Marc MacYoung
————-

A friend of mine recently got promoted to brown (congratulations again!). I realized that I haven’t even thought about belts in a really long time. It’s been great. I haven’t gotten a promotion in forever, and it’s been great. I’d still like to backtrack to, oh, one- or two- stripe blue if I had the choice.  But at least as long as I’m just parked here, I don’t feel like I’m in the backseat of a driverless racecar careening down the highway. It’s been great. I hope I never get promoted again.
Thursday lunchtime gi in Bellevue. I feel particularly tired this week for some reason. I felt exhausted waiting for class to start.

Standup: judo grips, stick right foot behind opponent’s left foot. (Note, keep toe on the mat and not hooking the shin like I wanted to do. Also, Carlos corrected me on my positioning- I was ending up with my feet a long ways away from the opponent; I need to step in closer and pay attention to not sliding/dancing outward while executing this.)  Opponent steps out. You drop to your knee and pick up hir OTHER heel. Takedown. (Must also pay attention to where you try to put that foot when I pick it up- if I just fling it upward because I’m hyperfocused on the fall, I end up yanking it between my own legs and tangling us up.) Note that although an exaggerated upward elbow-fling before the knee-drop is discouraged, clearing that arm is important- and you also want to try to get the person off balance. Also note that there is a danger of getting caught in half guard after you dump hir and as you move to side control.

I am still working on my grips/hand positioning while doing things like this. I like the firm behind-the-heel grab, but for some reason in the heat of the moment I always seize the pants cuff further up. I think I’m subconsciously anxious about getting kicked in the face. But that higher grip makes it much harder/more unlikely to get the takedown, *MORE* likely to get kicked in the face because the opponent has more mobility and room to use leg strength, and also my ideal is to be less dependant on clothing grips so that my techniques will work in both gi and no-gi. My excellent aim should make it easier for me than for most people to whip in there and snag that heel. I should use my best weapons to their fullest extent.

Standing guard pass using underhook. One thing Carlos touched on that got my attention- because it is a persistant sloppy habit of mine- is where to put your arms as you are passing, so that they are less attackable. In this case, he put his arm across the opponent’s belly with the hand on the opposite hip. People at GB (black belts excepted) do not attack my arms consistantly enough while I am passing to keep me honest. If I rolled more with Cindy- who NEVER misses the smallest opening for an arm attack while I am trying to pass- I might be able to break this habit.

Same guard pass, only opponent thwarts your pass to the side by hanging that leg heavy on your uderhooking shoulder. Counter this by going around the opposite side. (I was actually a little bummed to have Chrisanne drilling this, as it is a pass defense I use a LOT, and now she has a good counter and is going to be jamming me, LOL….)

King Of the Hill, starting from any guard, pass vs sweep. I was not doing too great here today. I fought one white belt guy for a long time as he tried to “sweep” me with muscle, and finally had to give it to him….. sigh. Slightly frustrating. But this is one of the things that honestly bothers me a lot less when I’m not worrying about belts. I feel less like shit when I get manhandled by a white belt. Not that getting manhandled by white belts is a good thing…. but the self-loathing mental/emotional spirals are a lot more problematic than the butt-kicking.

Still parked at about 10lb over my normal walking-around weight. I *really* want to jettison at least those 10lb before my June trip. Starting to think that a series of short fasts might be the only way to budge it. Just kick a pound or two each time, then try to maintain for a bit.

Still raining consistantly, so little dog-walking/hiking.   😦

The training partner you don’t really want

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Never double down on stupid. Don’t reinforce failure. When you catch yourself doing the wrong thing, don’t let your monkey brain con you into doing the wrong thing harder. Always be humble enough to admit when you’ve screwed it up and change. And adapt. And win.  -Rory Miller

Three classes in three days, Thurs/Fri/Sat.  Good rolls with skilled people before and after class, including Doug and Casey on Friday, and Lindsey on Saturday.

Ghost escape from under side control (hey, I know the name of a technique!)  I Youtubed this very early in my BJJ career and tried it out on my kung fu teacher to see if it would work.

Another escape from side control- in which you block the crossface, grab opponent’s arm, and roll AWAY from hir, pushing hir arm toward your feet as you sit up and turn back in. Fortunately we did this both Friday and Saturday, as I struggled mightily with it on Friday. We are so hardwired to not turn away from the opponent like that. The two keys- have a firm hold on that arm and push it very aggressively toward your feet; and make sure your elbow ends up above the opponent’s arm (otherwise you can get elbow locked, as Carlos demonstrated on me).

Both of these escapes involved technical lifts, so a lot of getting up and down… always a slog for us old folks.

Takedown drills- opponent locks hands behind your neck, you lace hands over hir elbow and drag down. Then abruptly fling your elbow up underneath hir OTHER arm. Take the back (easy for me) or place your head on hir chest, arm behind hir waist, and kick leg out from under as if you’re dipping hir (hard for me). I should have drilled more of the latter, since it was harder (especially remembering where to put the head), but I am really oriented to that backtake.

Peter: “This is going to be The Year Of Back Mount for me.”
Me: (back mounting him) “THE YEAR OF BACK MOUNT!!!!!!!!!”
Peter: “Wait… it’s supposed to be the other way.”
Me: “You did not specify that.”

On Friday, I was anxious because for a while it was looking like I was going to have to drill with Carlos’ girlfriend, who just started training. Normally I like training new people, but sorry…… this is pressure I do not need. I trained with Henrique’s white-belt wife before- but they were fighting at the time, so he ignored us utterly, so that was fine.  😉   I would be really uncomfortable working with Carlos’ girlfriend in a class that he was teaching.

Saturday, I went to put in my contacts and found that one was torn…. so I had to do class blind.  When Rodrigo was matching us up to roll, I couldn’t see that he was calling me out to pair me up with Amy, so I just stood there in the line for way too long. At the break, I apologized and told him that I didn’t have my contacts, so I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. The next time he went to pair me up, he waved both arms above his head at me like he was flagging down a train.

At the end of class, he INSISTED that I be in the class picture. I always avoid the pictures, and they all know about that, so they usually leave me alone. Today he was so insistant, I reluctantly caved.

Weight has been dead steady for a week now. Frustrating. At least it’s not going up.

Thursday Brazilian Buffet

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They say there’s peace if you can relinquish desire. For me desire’s absence has only left a dull persistent ache. An insistant humming insectile silence. A lonely house in the woods. But perhaps the lesson is that I never relinquished desire, and that’s why there has been no peace. –Leah Stewart

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Brazilian Buffet- all spars. I was all about the keylocks today, got them repeatedly on multiple people.

It took some fast talking, but I finally got Lindsay back in. She was so worried that she’d get breast milk or pee on me.  I had to reassure her repeatedly that I didn’t care. I brought extra clothes, and both of those things wash off.  It was so nice to work with her again. We did the first spar together and then we did another few at the end. I really hope she gets in more. I miss her.

I was a total weight bully with Amy. I felt bad about it, but I knew that if I tried to go easier on her, she’d tap me every 3 seconds, and that would not please either of us.

Still largely on point with the diet. One Dr Pepper today. I might let myself have one more. I was happy that I was able to perform adequately at class with such a tiny breakfast. The only thing that happened was that I started getting a headache on the way home from class. I thought I had had enough water, but it still might have been dehydration rather than low glucose.

Viewpoints on hunger

 

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In _The Hair Of Harold Roux_, probably the best novel about writing ever published, Thomas Williams offers a striking metaphor, maybe even a parable, for how a story is born. He envisions a dark plain with a small fire burning on it. One by one, people come out of the dark to warm themselves. Each one brings a little fuel, and eventually the small fire becomes a blaze with the characters standing around it, their faces brightly lit and each beautiful in their own way.   -Stephen King
In the wake of gaining 15lb on my antianxiety/insomnia meds (I’ve never been this fat in my life),  I’ve shifted my attitude about hunger.

Hunger is very like pain. A physical sensation that- like pain- can be acknowledged, then ignored, and moved past. I’m really good at pushing through physical pain.

In past dieting attempts, I would eat when the hunger got bad enough- not because I was really giving in to the hunger, but because I was afraid that I would get too tired, muzzy-headed (especially at work or in the car), or nauseous to function. (If I get hungry enough, I get nauseous, and I hate that…) I was particularly anxious that if I didn’t eat decently before BJJ class, I would not be able to perform.

I’m big on the line between pain vs incapacity in MA….. the same line can be applied here. As I acknowledge and dismiss the hunger, I can say to myself,  “I’m going to be really alert now for signs of actual incapacity- ie, muzzy-headedness, nausea, or inability to focus on what needs to be focused on- at which point, I *will* eat.” And that incapacity will be very rapidly reversed with a little food.

I’m also back to those mouse-portions. I’ve noted in the past that it really only takes a disconcertingly tiny amount of food- like 1/3 of a cup- to satisfy my hunger.  My freezer is now stuffed with individual mouse-portions of several different ready-to-go meals.

In the past I’ve tried to do a lot of substitutions- diet pop for regular, fruit and butterless popcorn for candy snacks, that sort of thing. I still feel that substitutions are a great tactic and will continue to use them, but really I have developed a bad habit of just constantly putting things in my mouth, and I need to simply stop putting things in my mouth. Unless it’s the rim of a water glass.

I had 3 Dr Peppers yesterday, but only one the day before, and one the day before that. Very minimal snacking. My assistant brought in banana bread- it was sitting there yesterday and the day before, and I didn’t have a single bite. Snacking on bad things at work has been a particular trouble spot for me, and I need to face that head-on and be strong enough to resist that break-room table.

I’ve lost 6lb so far. I am really determined to get back down to my normal walking-around weight, at least (130-132).  If I can’t get down there, I will consult the doc about changing my meds. But I’m going to try this first.  I have decreased the dosage of my insomnia med because of the persistant nightmares, and now can usually get tolerable sleep on only 1 pill instead of the 3 it was taking before. That may help. I don’t know which of the 2 meds is causing the weight gain, but both of them have that listed among their side effects. At first I was really pissed off and resentful, blaming the meds- and I still am, to some degree- but I quickly saw that that attitude was just facilitating a “screw it” sort of attitude that none of this was my fault and could not be helped, and that is another of my pitfalls- failure to take personal responsibility. Instead I am trying to view the meds as bestowing the vauable superpower of being able to survive on next-to-no food. Embrace that instead of fighting it. It is a good zombie-apocalypse tool.

If I get to 130 and decide to go down to my tournament weight, which is my ideal weight (124), so be it.

Down five

bjj999BJJ

No man, however civilized, can listen for very long to African drumming, or Indian chanting, or Welsh hymn singing, and retain intact his critical and self-conscious personality. –Aldous Huxley

I’ve lost 5lb from walking my dogs. I think the meds are also affecting my appetite (in a good way). I was worried about the typical weight gain that goes along with anxiety/depression drugs. Yet I didn’t really want lunch yesterday, and had to make myself eat it (because I was going to class and knew I needed the fuel), and I didn’t really want dinner either, but made myself eat it (because I knew I just had not eaten enough that day). I am snacking less at home, as it is disconcerting to have two dogs staring at me. I have been binging on a lot of junk food at work, partially because my insomnia is just making it really hard to get through the day. If I can get this insomnia solved, I think that will be less of a problem. Unfortunately, the insomnia rages unchecked in the face of prescription drugs.

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Standing guard pass to KOB. When opponent pushes at your knee, turn to hir feet and take a modified side control, propped on your elbow. Pick up hir top pants cuff and place hir shin between your shins. Grab hir other pants cuff and the belt or back waistband. Dive over and pull the person into your back mount. This was similar to what we did last week, so I was able to translate (and even figure out- and explain adequately- to Peter why his technique wasn’t working). It’s all about getting that knee hooked nice and snug with the opponent’s knee. If it’s too low, or too lose, you don’t have adequate control of the opponent’s body.

Several rounds of sparring, the first round with Cindy, whom I have not worked with in forever. So that was great (albeit exhausting!)

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.

Jiu Jitsu On Ice

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The best targets for a swing with a (n impact weapon)- unlike a blade- are bones. You can bruise muscle with a club or staff and even get a “charley horse”, but for the most part an adrenalized threat won’t feel the pain, won’t notice immediately and it won’t swell up until long after the fight is over. Smash his finger bones, however, and he loses the ability to hold his (weapon) immediately. –Rory Miller

Thursday no-gi, Bellevue.

Several drills, most of them new to me. Missing the first part of the week is proving to be problematic lately, as Carlos has been teaching new drills and then building variations off those same drills for the remainder of the week.

Half guard sweep: From standing, one meathook behind neck and one outside bicep grip. Shove the bicep across opponent’s body and drop to your butt, putting hir leg in half guard (on the side OPPOSITE the way you shoved hir arm). Underhook hir remaining leg and scissor your own legs as you roll, sweeping hir forward. My main problem here is that I tended to be in too much of a hurry and didn’t want to take the time and effort to underhook the leg properly. I also didn’t seem to want to let go of that meathook. On Chrisanne, it was possible to retain the meathook all the way through the technique, but I was pulling her down with main strength. On a bigger/stronger opponent who is going to posture up and fight the meathook, I am going to need to be more aggressive about attacking the legs. Note also that you end up in top half guard. Best to anticipate this and make passing a fluid and uninterrupted part of the total package before the opponent can do anything about it.

You standing, opponent on hir back before you with feet on your hips. Shove the legs over hir right shoulder and place your hand on the small of hir back. Stack mercilessly until s/he wants to roll into turtle. Hug hir shoulders from behind (over/under) and place your head on the mat on the opposite side of hirs- ABOVE it a bit. Roll. The head placement is critical because otherwise, you will finish with a backtake (which is fine, but not our objective ATM). Getting a good grip and THEN doing the roll is critical. You need not fret as much as usual about being pasted tight to hir back first. As long as your hug is technically correct, the recieving end of this is painful and chokey enough that you find yourself needing to go along for the ride whether you like it or not. You end in a T formation, and usually the opponent’s far arm is just waiting for you to trap it with your legs. Now you can do a shoulder lock or a choke (or if you are having That Sort Of Day, both!)

Rolls with Chrisanne, JP, and Casey. I asked all of them to get me in side control or/and front mount, and then just be heavy and try to hold me there, because that has been my experience with Chelsea (whom I will be battling tomorrow in both gi and no-gi). Not that Chelsea just holds me there- but she DOES tend to get in one of those positions ASAP, efficiently zip up every molecule of space, and then rest her superior weight, significant musculature and excellent grounding skills on me while she leisurely selects a sub and finishes me off. I need to stay the hell out from under her (which also means I can’t pull guard at the beginning…. fighting for the takedown with her is not going to be any picnic, but I should try), and do my damndest to get out from under before she gets me bagged and tagged, if she does get on top. She’s so heavy and tight that in the past, once she lands there, I have felt an immediate futile leaking away of all strength and energy, and could just lie there gasping helplessly while she finishes. I wish I knew how to counteract the feeling of weakness and exhaustion that grips me in this scenario. It takes all the fight out of me.

Anyway, I was able (with specific focus) to stay mostly out from under Chrisanne, but the boys very efficiently put me in side control and pinned me. I continue to want to put an arm up beside my head. I need to frame and stop giving away my arms. Another thing I did a couple of times with JP was to move both arms to one side of my midline, as Georgette has advised against. Also, as Georgette pointed out and JP pointed out AGAIN last night, I want to try to get my BOTTOM leg in first to try to replace guard. I end to instinctually try to get my top leg in. I feel vulnerable lying on my back, and always feel a driving instinct to get belly-down. This results in backtake, which I am currently making a greater effort to avoid.

I need to keep in mind that tomorrow’s comp is sub only, no time limits, and I don’t need to get my panties in a knot if I have to lie under side control for a while…. as long as the time is not being used by Chelsea to vacuum up all the extra space (in which case I *do* need to light a fire under it, because “it’s not gonna get any better”).

Apparently we may have a few additional opponents in no-gi, but I don’t know who. I don’t think it’s anyone I know. It’s just Chelsea in gi.

Amusingly, JP apologized for sweating on me. I told him that he had BETTER be sorry, because I do not like sweat and I do not want to get all sweaty in here. Casey was wallowing in a lake of sweat and it was like Jiu Jitsu On Ice. Chrisanne also gave me a fat lip- but since that doesn’t affect function, I don’t really give a darn.

It’s been raining for three straight days… and I cannot pull blackberries, nor work on my yard terracing, nor work on my fence, which is driving me crazy. Also, being stuck inside, I am fighting the munchies. I registered at 131- and it’s probably not going to matter (Chelsea’s quite a bit bigger, don’t know about any others), but I did get down to 129 and it’s frustrating to backslide.

Six Thousand Details

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There are thousands of things that can be used as weapons, and there are lots of ways to use them. –Rory Miller

3.5 Minute Plank. OMG. That hurts so bad. But thrilled that I can do it.

Fri evening BJJ in Bellevue.

The longer I do BJJ, the more complicated it gets. What used to look like a very simple basic guard pass now has about six thousand little details that you have to remember all at once.

Pulling guard, then basic (ha!) pass from 1)knees or 2)standing. Most persistantly troublesome details for me tonight:

1)Don’t try to use brute strength to haul opponent’s sleeve cuff up while you’re trying to posture standing in hir guard, brace your elbow against your body and straighten your back.

2)Then move your knees closer together.

3)Don’t grab the pants at the knee to push it down, grab the knee itself. Christy was having the same problem, so eventually we both started whispering “No pants! No pants!” to one another every time we began the pass.

4)Control the near arm using the sleeve as you take side control. I already have a good instinct to get that shoulder off he ground and keep it all nice and tight, but the process sure is a lot easier and works better if I remember to deliberately address that arm first and do the right things with it.

I was infuriated, frustrated, mindboggled and despairing to find that I was a pound up this morning despite having eaten tragically little *and* done BJJ **AND** went for a walk. I honestly do not understand how this is possible. I ate even less today. Spent much of both days feeling hungry, distracted and resentful.

I can do a 3 minute plank. Booyah!

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You don’t stop fighting until the fight is over. You don’t need to go down just because you have taken a few hits. As long as you believe you can keep going you will. If you do go down, you are still going to win because you are going to gnaw through his Achilles’ tendon and bring him down to where you can rip his head off. -Greg Hamilton

I had to take a little break from the 30 Day Plank Challenge because I caught a cold. It was too painful to tip my head forward because it made all sorts of bad things happen in my sinuses. I got back to the planks yesterday. The goal for that day was a 3 min plank; I would have been happy matching my previous 2.5 min. To my surprise, I was able to do the entire 3 min!

Between the 4lb I dropped when I had food poisoning, and the 4lb I dropped on CK’s Cauldron-O-Vegetables Diet, I am down to 128. (I weigh the same as Chrisanne- hee hee). 4 more to 124, which is my ideal tournament weight. Probably won’t get there before Proving Grounds, but that’s okay- it probably won’t matter for Proving Grounds.

I will almost certainly have to resort to Slim Fasts to get/stay at 124… As in, probably a tiny breakfast, a Slim Fast for lunch, and a miniscule dinner- permanently. I am still resentful that I have to stay below 1000 cal per day, but I think I am moving to a place of accepting that this is my reality. There are plenty of things about my reality that are not fair. This one- I can either keep denying it and be chunky, or I can just buckle down and deal with it. It’s largely mental, anyway. It’s difficult to resist snacking at work. If I am really good at work, then I feel all hungry and deprived when I get home in the morning, and I eat bad things before bed. So the trick is going to be eating enough at work that I don’t want to binge in the morning, but not so much that it goes way over my calorie load.

I controlled myself in the grocery store the other day. That’s another key. I’m usually pretty good about not buying crap on impulse, and I usually keep the fast food under control, so if I just don’t have junk food in the house then there is less temptation. I have been buying one small treat when I get groceries…. this week it was a chocolate covered cinnamon roll- instead of buying a box of cookies or bag of candy or something evil from the bakery.

I’ve also managed to trim a couple of sodas from my daily routine- not enough to win me any trophies, but one or two… which is more progress than nothing. This part is more about my sleep than about my weight.

One more factor- I’ve been going down to the River almost every morning, which has the double bonus of getting me away from the refrigerator, and killing a few more calories scrambling over rocks and dragging driftwood home.

Thursday BJJ at Bellevue. All spars again. Griff was there, but I didn’t get to roll with him today. I asked everybody to take my back, stay really tight on there, and sub me. That they could choose to let me go if I did an actual technique to escape, but to not let me just twist and squirm out of there. Again, a few of them tried to be a LITTLE tighter, but they are still going too easy. It is possible that the only thing that is going to make them ratchet it up is if I start going harder, being more aggressive and actually trying to sub them.

For the final spar, I tried to get Luiz, but someone else snatched him from under my nose. By that time, the only guy left was a very big, muscular white belt. I stalled at the water cooler briefly, glancing at Carlos… he will often switch people around when he sees that it’s just me and a humongo white belt…. but Carlos was not in a mind to bail me out today, he just stood there with his stopwatch in his hand, looking at me with his eyebrows up, like “What are you waiting for, an engraved invitation?” (Only he would have said “eengraved eenvitation”). So into the breach I marched, resolutely.

I guillotined the big guy and tapped him right away, then he got serious. I kept him off me with spider guard most of the rest of the time. He got into top side control once, and then just backed off and wanted to restart, because he doesn’t know any subs from there yet. I told him to just try to flatten me out on my back (I was on my hip with my knees curled under), and that kept him busy for the rest of the match.