Saturday, August 27, 2016

Adolescent boys- that critical window

 

Generally, women are more reluctant to fight than men. And when they do, men tend to focus on the abstract, bullshit social construct of “winning” and women are just there to hurt you.  -Rory Miller


Thursday 8-18: walk 2 miles.

 BJJ in Bellevue. All spars. Got worked over by a few higher belts, and coached a few white belts.

Dave has his black belt!!!!!!! So exciting. He was walking in as I pulled into the parking lot, so I leaned out the window and shrieked, "LOOK AT THAT BLACK BELT!!!!!"  Then I called him "Professor" at every possible opportunity.  As we rolled, he said that he didn't feel like a black belt. He said this *as* he was tapping me out.

Amber and Jacquelin got their blues (yay, more colored belt women), Kara got a stripe, Jim got his black. (I managed to escape yet another promotion cycle unstriped.)  I'm happy for them, but I am conscious of how much less stressful the whole process is for me when I'm not getting promoted any more.


Thursday 8-25: walk 2 miles.

 BJJ in Kirkland. Some guard passes. Having a little trouble distinguishing left from right, as usual... my partner did too.... and then we did another pass that involved the same entry only changing sides for the part we were both having trouble with. Good thing this wasn't a Carlos class, where we would have had to do a bunch of rounds of both at the end..... I think our  heads would have exploded. We ended with head-and-arm chokes. I continue to struggle to remember which side to jump to (it's the side where you have their arm).  Next, swinging around and armbarring the opposite side. It is worth trying to keep in mind that you don't always have to focus on the near arm.

A few spars. I felt like a purple belt today (which is rare). I dominated two FRAMO's who usually dominate me- even tapping each of them once. Then Amber brought me back down to earth by pwn'ing me all over the mat. My goal for the day was to not get caught in her triangle. There were a couple of near misses, but I succeeded in that. She had to tap me with other stuff.   :)  I rolled with her son, which was great fun. He reminds me of Will when he was little. Will got visibly bigger every class. There was a tiny window of about four days when we were the same size, and I could still tap him sometimes.  Then it was all over, ha ha.  Ten is just hitting the point where his legs are starting to sprout, and I told him that in another couple of years when they are twice as long as they are now, he is going to be a monster.  I hope I get to roll with him during the window.

On the whole, I left feeling really good.

Master Worlds, and GB Northwest kicked ass and took names. Carlos, Cindy, Christy, John, Anica.

Having some trouble with motivation these past 2 weeks.... skipped both Fridays. Once because it was really hot; the other Friday I was already on the eastside with the gear, and I just decided I was too fucking tired.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Unsanctioned pants


 
 
Good art is a form of prayer. It’s a way to say what is not sayable. –Frederich Busch
 
 
 
 
Thursday and Friday BJJ in Bellevue.

Thursday: Drills and king-of-the-hill from various positions. I did really poorly at KOTH today.

Someone posted a new pic of Christiano Oliviera (GB NW's child-rapist ex-professor) out of jail, on the mats, smiling, with smiling students (including females and a presumably underage green belt), wearing gi pants with the GB logo. I was.... well, less than thrilled.   The buzz is that he's going to open (or buy) a school in Yakima. How he has the nerve to go right back to Yakima, and right back into the BJJ community, I cannot imagine. Guy has no shame and has obviously learned nothing from his experience with the justice system. Despite what he may want us to infer from his togs, however, he is *NOT* worming his way back into GB- which has denounced him. I am really angry that he's running around wearing our logo, but apparently we can't legally stop him from doing that. Nor can we stop him from opening a jiu jitsu school- although he should not legally be able to have underage students. We (including his victim) would be seeing him at comps, though. Lovely.

So because I had said- er, a few things- on Facebook regarding the matter, Rodrigo pulled me into his office on Friday and we had a really, really long talk. I have mixed feelings about this. He didn't tell me or even ask me to shut up- which I appreciate, since he obviously wishes I would. He did reassure me that this asshole is not coming back to GB NW- that in fact if GB (in a worldly sense) accepts him back into the fold in any capacity, Rodrigo will be out the door. There was much discussion about keeping our mats safe and our communication lines open and so on. We disagree on a few points, but I was left feeling that we were on the same side. There was much hugging and possibly a few teary eyed moments. I appreciated that he took the time and effort to do that- especially as it became apparent that he had spent the entire day hashing this over with multiple parties (including the survivor and legal counsel). I was quite surprised, frankly, that I merited being on his short list of people to pow wow with about this. I'm not sure whether to be flattered or dismayed.

Anyhow, I was in Rodrigo's office for almost the entire class time on Friday, and got out just in time to do a few guard pass drills and a couple of rolls- one with Casey (who showed me a fascinating new choke and some refinements to my armbar from mount) and one with one of the white belt ladies (who seems happy for my hints).

Friday, August 5, 2016

Achievement unlocked- crucifix.


 
A raw reality here, folks, if you have to act in self-defense, life as you know it is over!  But here’s the counterpoint: if you don’t act, life- as you know it- is still over. Finding yourself in a self-defense situation is simple: All your options suck. You need to embrace the suck.  If you act, you’re going to do horrible, hurtful things to another person. If you don’t those horrible, hurtful things are going to be done to you. You’re damned if you do, You’re damned if you don’t. -Marc MacYoung



Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.  My broken toe is doing really well, but I am still having trouble with my thumb (of course the one on my smart hand). In light of these, I figured careful drilling would be my best bet, but I was dying to spar. So it was with mixed feelings that I found the class was 100% spars.

Note that the friendly blonde white belt with the English accent is a nice partner right up until you start winning, at which point he Hulks out (and he is stronger than he looks).

I was very excited to get a crucifix (something I rarely try) on a FRAMO (fully-resisting adult male opponent).

I felt pretty good about these spars, and did not seem to aggravate my injuries.



Friday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland. I usually do Friday evenings in Bellevue,  but I had another appointment on the eastside in the afternoon, so I did this instead. It was a Cindy class!  She has an ugly new warmup which consists of RUNNING a lap around the gym, then doing ten or twenty reps of a warmup exercise, then running another lap, etc.

Double leg takedowns. I knew that I needed to work on stepping close enough… but having resolved to do so, I got a correction from Cindy to step in even CLOSER. Step between opponent’s feet well *past* hir feet, while ramming the shoulder into hir gut. Another two corrections she’s made on me about a zillion times which haven’t stuck yet: placement of the other foot, and failure to stand up again while turning the corner (ouchie, knees….)  I do, however, fully grasp the concept of using my upper body to push the person over instead of actually trying to pick up their legs (and advised my white belt partner on that, after which her double-leg takedown got about a megaton better; better than mine!).

From this takedown, we went to side control, then wrapped the opponent’s arms over hir chest, moved to the other side, and did a kimura. Setting up a kimura from this position was new to me, and there were a lot of steps, so I was distraught when my partner kept asking for instruction. I hate trying to teach things that I don’t fully grasp yet myself! I did the best I could.

One spar with the same girl. She has excellent potential- I hope she sticks. She was thrilled with the few pieces of advice I tossed out. After we were done, she confessed that she had been terrified when she saw that we were the only female students on the mat, because she was afraid I was going to bludgeon her.


I got a few mornings of yard work (practical exercise!) done this week- mostly blackberry-pulling and mowing (with my manual Flintstone mower on waist-high grass…. So it was mostly just flattening the vegetation rather than actually mowing it, but that works for me as long as it stays mostly flat.)  I finally bought a post hole digger so that I can start working on my fence (among other things needing holes). That is going to be some killer exercise, especially considering that my land is mostly composed of rocks with a little bit of dirt scattered among them.

I have been struggling with snacking and extra weight since PSG; but if I get accepted into the volunteer EMS responder program, that will be good incentive to discipline up. Most if not all of the others are late-teens/early-twenties kids, and I am going to have to bust a move to keep up physically.

--------------
Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.   All spars again. Not so happy with this set as I was with the ones last week. I can't seem to pass anyone's guard.
Lots of walking and more yard work.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Broken toes and gender roles



If your nose is held to the grindstone rough
And you hold it down there long enough
Soon you’ll say there’s no such thing
As brooks that babble and birds that sing.
Three things will all your world compose-
Just you, the grindstone, and your darned old nose.

-Julia Cameron


Thursday BJJ in Kirkland. Several basic guard passes, all of which I have done enough at this point to be able to focus on detail, speed and the Stupid Side.

Several spars, all of which I took the rough side of (with the exception of a new white belt woman)

Friday BJJ in Bellevue. Several guard passes, including a couple of the ones from yesterday.

One spar, in which I let a new white belt woman work upas on me, and ended up breaking my big
right toe. She felt *really* bad, even though I assured her it wasn't anything she did (and it wasn't; it was just one of those things). After I rolled around whimpering for a few minutes, I got back up and said, "Let's go again," Partly to reassure both myself and her that this too would pass; and partly because I knew from experience how this would go. I would be able to do a little more (painful) sparring, before the injury swelled/stiffened/became more mechanically debilitating. This is useful triaging skill. I know that if I am on the path to Mordor and I break a toe, I should just press on those last fifteen miles instead of saying, "Let's make camp and let it rest up a bit, and continue in the morning,"  In this case, it's more of "Okay, I'm going to be on the bench for a while, so  I better get one or two more rolls in first,"  White belt looked at me very doubtfully (probably because I was kneeling with my right foot held up off the mat), but it was fine. Then I had to try to walk to the locker room and then out to the car without looking like I was limping too badly, because I didn't want her to feel worse than she already did.

PSG- despite arranging for walking buddies ahead of time, *no* exercise happened outside of required work and two concerts with Eric (one of which I only lasted through half of). It was over 100 degrees every day, and the nights did not cool off much. I just do not do very well in those conditions. I spent way too much time parked on my arse at Herald Camp, hugging frozen gel neck wraps. Unfortunately, when you are at Herald Camp, you get fed (too much). We also happened to land right beside the Happy Hippies Food Truck. All in all, it was not a good setup for fitness and self improvement. The tuna packets worked out well, though. I have found a new appreciation for tuna and the things you can mix it up with. I will be incorporating more of this healthy item into my routine diet.

I did get those two concerts (Extreme Contact Improv For Martial Artists), which is one more than we usually get, so that was good. I did not get any face time with the guy who has been circling me for the last four years in a row with rather impressive doggedness.... which is just as well, as I have still not decided what to do about him.

The U-haul trailer as camper worked very well. Of course, having gone to all that expense and hassle, this was the second year out of twenty-something that resulted in *NO* rain, so I didn't get to see how it performed. There was a notice on the inside warning that the trailer is "rain-resistant" and not "rain-proof"- bummer- but I still think that with the addition of a tarp on top, it should do better than a tent. I shall try this again next year. The 5x8 was the perfect size (I had asked for a smaller one, which they didn't have). Next time I would like to try clothespinning some foil thermal blankets on top of my shade shelter. As it was, my camp was unbearable during the day. I was relieved to see that the trailer did not RETAIN heat- it wasn't any hotter in there than it was anywhere else, with the exception of a layer of superheated air right at the top that would bake your brain if you stood upright. Sitting down- or lying on the metal floor- was not any hotter than anywhere else. Going to have to sacrifice some privacy for some trees next year, though. This site is like Wisteria in that there are precious few trees placed where you can put your camp- and I am limited in where I am allowed to park a trailer- but I'm going to have to try to get some shade next year so that I don't die.

Ticks- my first shower resulted in removal of fourteen ticks. After that, I checked every few hours. I removed dozens. I also spent a great deal of time picking ticks out of other people's hair and ass cracks. I actually went to the med tent (which I never do!) several times to get my itchy tick bites re-sprayed, re-bandaided, and also my poison ivy re-creamed. The Hunt space in particular was lousy with both ticks and poison ivy. I knew there was no help for it; I was just resigned to bathing in both, and so I did. I actually went to the doctor when I got home, though (again! I never do this!). That was just a hell of a lot of tick bites, and I was skeeved about it. She found one last hitch hiker hiding in my back tat. It was too late to get shots. I just have to watch for symptoms.

The new Hunt space is actually outside the camp gate- which did not thrill me, but Dru was even less happy. I've never been that stuck on the physical space as a strong factor in how the Hunt's going to go, but it is definitely a minus in my eyes to be far enough away that the community can't hear the Hunt. Other than that, no problem. I left Finn out there till the bitter end, and I would have left him out there another forty minutes if I could have. I also howled and barked in the woods to try to get the Hunters vocalizing.... it seems like once someone starts, the others feel freer to do it as well.

Michael (who did very well as Dru's drum backup this year) brought up a point that I'm paying attention to, because I respect him. He said that it's important for the community- especially the young women of the community- to see me as a role model in this venue. Honestly I had not looked at it that way, as my perspective was that Bo needed a backup to help with the work as well as to be able to step in and lead if he became unable. I'm perfectly content being a lieutenant. I don't enjoy standing up in meetings and making announcements. What usually happens is that the Hunt coordinating team stands up there with Bo and he does the talking. I feel uncomfortable standing up there unless I have something pertinent to say (and sometimes I do.... if Dru's not at the meeting, I make any needed announcements for the drum aspect of things). But usually I just stay in the crowd and Bo makes a point of waving at me at the beginning of the week and announcing that I'm part of the team. But Michael's opinion- along with the fact that more than one person mentioned in the post mortem that they had noticed that the coordinating team was perfectly gender balanced this year, and how important that was- makes me feel as if I need to purposefully make myself more visible and audible in this role. As a female, specifically. Not very happy about this idea. It seems like egoist posturing, and all I truly care about is making sure the rit runs well. Also, as I become more and more sensitive to society's outdated and restrictive gender-role pigeonholing and how much it annoys me, I become ever more resistant to being defined by my urinary plumbing before being defined as more important things. But hearing that message from multiple people....

When the Hunt began, the coordinating team was very Y-chromosome-heavy. This led to (among other issues) persistant rumors in the community that women were relegated to certain roles in the rit or not present/welcome in the rit at all. Those types of rumors have dispelled over the years but I think there's still a bit of that lurking. Secondly, there's a wealth of "fluffy-bunny-white-light" ritual. There's nothing wrong with FBWL, but that's not all there is.... and it's important that *women* feel like they can move out of the Fluffy Bunny arena should they choose. Also, though it's less of a problem in this community than in others, I do feel that women have still not reclaimed quite enough of their power/equality yet to feel comfortable moving beyond that into a place where it honestly doesn't matter what urinary plumbing the ritual coordinators have. (It makes me sad and frustrated to think that we won't get to this place in my lifetime.) I think I have been trying to occupy that place in my leadership roles without accepting that everyone else is not really ready for that stage yet. Feels like a slide backwards for me personally, but leadership in the Hunt is about serving the community- if they need me to do the "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar" thing, I should at least consider doing that service.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

"If I shrimp, my uterus will fall out"

 
 
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.  :( 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Breaking up is hard to do




You can use a strong wrestler's strength against him, but it is almost impossible to defend against a mental edge. Every time you execute a move, the smarter wrestler will counter, attack and counter. The smarter wrestler,  the wrestler with the better technique, with the better inventory of moves, with the agility and mental toughness to keep coming at you, is the wrestler who will win.-Kyle Maynard


Thursday BJJ at Bellevue: all spars.

Friday I missed. I spent the first half of the day in bed with a headache and extreme exhaustion. I felt somewhat better in the afternoon, but decided to not push my luck with getting repeatedly hurled o the ground and throttled.  This turned out to be a fortunate thing, as my house nearly burned down that evening- and that is an that you don't really want to miss. The animals and I were evacuated and spent 2 days sleeping on Cindy's floor. ("The house is really dirty," she says when I call her to inform her that all five of us are inviting ourselves over for an indefinite length of time. "Cindy, my standards right now are very low. If it's not ON FIRE, it will look great to me.") Luckily the area fire department was on point and they did not let my house burn down. Tense weekend, though.

Thursday- all spars again. I got an armbar on Amy that I was very pleased with- it was from a weird position and I am still not great at sussing those out. Amy beats me now 7 times out of every 8, so it was that much more the sweeter. (Note that I need to remember she is VERY GOOD at grabbing kimuras as I pass her guard. She got me *TWICE* with the same routine.) I managed to mess up my shoulder.... I had a few moments of "I should really tap now, but I DON'T WANNA tap...." Thought I was over that crap, but the ego still rears its ugly head once in a while. And now I pay.

Thought I might have to sit out Friday due to shoulder, but Chrisanne said she'd come in, so I went (feeling safe in her hands).

Standing guard pass to KOB

Standing guard pass to KOB to kimura

Standing guard pass to KOB to armbar

I was happy that I am finally remembering consistantly to grab the pants with that armbar. I am also now able to usually remember to pin the opponent between my shin and knee. Still need to get a bit better about clasping the forearm to my chest (grab my own lapel if need be). Carlos also wants me to clasp the forearm more closely to my chest in the kimura.

A little positional sparring from spider guard- pass vs defend.

So there's where it happened.... I stacked Chrisanne- not much, but apparently too much- and hurt her neck.  I was horrified to have hurt her YET AGAIN, and Carlos walked over and told us we had to stop seeing each other for a while.

I feel terrible. I have always prided myself on my control, and on being able to be careful while working with smaller and less experienced opponents. Right now I am feeling insecure about something that I have always felt was one of my biggest strengths in BJJ.  It is making me feel tentative, and I hate that- I have been fighting "tentative" in myself all along and this is feeding my dragon.

 Chrisanne is difficult because I know she does not want me to go easy on her.... and she's good enough that if I *do* go easy on her, she's just going to dominate me to the point that it's not going to be useful for either of us. I'm pretty sure she would be pissed off at me if I started doing that.

Also- she had had a shitty day. She felt allergy-ill and didn't plan to come in, and then she had some bad crap happen to her and decided to come and and blow off some frustration. I feel really awful that instead of helping her do that, I ended up making her feel worse.

In better news: I have managed to drop 14 of the 15lb that I gained from being on sleeping pills. I am relieved. I didn't like being that weight- it felt like I was wearing a fat suit. going to have to be very careful from now on.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I have a new favorite choke.




When fighters fight, their souls touch. –Jacob Duran



Previous Thursday and Friday classes, Bellevue: all spars. Didn't have much to say about them.

Thursday lunchtime gi, Bellevue:

You have butterfly guard. Get right-hand cross lapel grip and place left foot on opponent's right bicep to stretch hir out and pull hir forward. She will have to put up hir right knee, where you have stuck in a butterfly hook (your right foot).

Push that butterfly hook through deeper. PULL THE ARM DOWN and under your ankle, yank it up onto your belly. (This was the bugaboo for me, for some reason- had trouble braiding all the limbs in the correct order in that particular little knot). Triangle-lock your other leg so that opponent's right leg and arm are both trapped here. You need to sweep to the side that hir post is NOT (I had a little trouble with that too...). The trick (assuming you have managed to trap the arm effectively) is pinching your knees together and tipping them to the outside to spill the opponent. Pinching the knees together is a persistant failing for me over several techniques, so I really need to pay attention to the techniques that use that.

Another thing that stymied me was that you have to be square with the opponent, flat on your back, and disturbingly far away from hir to make that last bit work. I am used to having to curl up like a pill bug, quirk to the side, and tuck myself as far under an opponent as possible for most sweeps. And NEVER NEVER flat on your back. This one was the opposite, and it always freaks me out when I have to try to do those rule-breaking outlier techniques.

John was having trouble as well, and Carlos was getting frustrated with both of us. He got so frustrated with me at one point that he walked off (I hate that worse than anything), but he was a lot harder on John. I whispered to John, "He's being rough on you because he's getting ready to promote you to brown," and John thanked me.

One great roll after class with John. I also found his pulse.

I am going to take a CPR/first aid recertification class, and finding the pulse quickly and consistantly was one of the things that I had problems with last time I tool this class back in college (when dinosaurs walked the earth). I want to find pulses on everybody I meet until I feel really comfortable with it. So far I have quickly and easily found five out of six; that sixth person I had to grope a little, but I did find it.

There is a fire station only 2 miles away from my house. I had always intended to get am EMT certification, just to have the skills, but with the station that close it would be nice to volunteer there or pick up a little extra money now and then. They will even pay for your EMT classes, if you commit to a certain workload. It's in Everett and the scheduling is going to be very difficult with my work schedule. I think I can power through it, but I will have to wait until my two elderly dogs pass..... I just can't be away from the house that much while I am taking care of them. That's okay. I can use the interim time (years, maybe!) to study so that I know all the Book Learnin' backwards and forwards by the time I do the class.

In the meantime, I am going to check pulses obsessively on all of my BJJ bretheren. I have promised to not try to transition to a choke if they let me.

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Friday evening:

Women's class- same techniques as yesterday. Good, I needed more work on them. Happy to see that I was not the only person struggling with the same aspects.

2nd class (ooof)- I almost died doing the second class, but it was worth it because I learned my NEW FAVORITE CHOKE.

Pulling half guard from standing (why am I so clumsy at this? I have done it before and was not this clumsy.... I need to practice this more).

Opponent drapes over you as you have half guard (lying on your right side). You grab a handful of gi at hir knee with your right hand, and stick your thumb into the back of hir collar. With a twist of your body, you can now roll the person over yourself and dump hir on the opposite side (You are now lying side by side, feet to head, on your backs). Do not let go of grips as you roll up and take side control.

THIS CHOKE- oh my. You are in bottom half guard and the opponent is squashing you. (I like it already, because how much time do I spend here? YEARS!!!! What am I able to do from here? VERY LITTLE!!!!)

You are on your right side, frame up and use your right elbow to shove opponent's top half toward your left. (Note that in no-gi, you can also do this, cupping opponent's shoulder.) Snake your left hand under opponent's arm as if you are trying to reach under your own armpit- then grab your own bicep instead. This can be a choke or (with a body twist) a shoulder lock- and it comes on FAST, so be careful and don't slam it.

Simple. Effective. From the position that I spend the most time paralyzed in. I am in love.

Found Chrisanne's pulse and Doug's pulse. They are both alive.