Friday, September 30, 2011

Freaky dream interlude

(Being in a) Hard Zone demands a cooperative world for you to function. - Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

I forgot this sweep from Thursday night, and I don't want to forget it, because I liked it:

Start on your back, with feet on kneeling opponent's hips (butterfly style), grip on both sleeve cuffs.

Hook top of rt foot around opponent's ribs just above your left foot.

With rt arm, underhook opponent's left knee. You are pulling yourself to hir, not hir to you. You want to be 90 degrees to hir now.

Rt hand keep grip on sleeve cuff and presses opponent's hand to your own left ribs. Don't open the knee too far out.

Pull sleeve and lift knee to get underneath opponent.

Another thing from last night I forgot to blog about- one of the guys was moaning about how rough Lindsey's warmups are. (hee hee). He said, "I'm coming in late next time!" The conversation was too far across the room for me to speak up and inform him that if he arrives late to Lindsey's class, he'll have to do pushups for so long that he'll be sorry he missed the warmup!

The FOD is the Northern Mantis Bo form.

As often occurs during very difficult periods in my life, last night I had an entire series of vivid, violent and bizarre dreams- after each one, waking up bug-eyed and disturbed.

In one of them, I was one of several escapees breaking out and fleeing some kind of military prison. As the sharpshooters picked off escapees, said gunned-down escapees turned into zombies who immediately attacked their fellow escapees (eyeroll). I and one other escapee made it to the front gate along with one of the zombies. I slipped between them and left my fellow escapee to deal with the zombie while I continued to rabbit for the horizon. When I woke up, I was disturbed because that is atypical behavior for me, even in a dream. True that both the fellow escapee and the zombie were adult men, and that guy probably had much better odds against the zombie than I did (especially since I was unarmed)I didn't know that guy or have any particular loyalty toward him, hanging around to try to help would probably result in getting shot and zombified myself even if we managed to take the zombie.... but still. Not characteristic for me, even in a dream. When I'm upset and depressed, I tend more toward an extra bit of the kamikazee- not running away like a bunny.

In another one, I was an office clerk in a prison (quite the prison theme going here; at least I was on the correct side of the bars this time), and an inmate was telling me and a fellow clerk that he'd had a premonition that my fellow clerk was going to be attacked and murdered in a spectacularly bloody fashion in one of the offices. (Complete with transferred visions; yeah, it was brutal- it was a tiny office, and it looked like the corpse had been stuffed in a blender with the lid off) For some inexplicable reason, I trusted this inmate enough to stand alone with him in a hallway (him unrestrained and me unarmed- I was just a clerk, not a guard), and thank him for doing this to protect my colleague. He didn't attack me, which I half expected him to. When I woke up, that one disturbed me because I had just been berating myself for trusting foolishly- why did I trust *that* guy? I guess I only have to worry about my close friends betraying me and stabbing me through the heart, not delusional prison inmates that I'm dumb enough to meet with unarmed in deserted hallways.

And no, before you ask, I wasn't on any intoxicants or pharmaceuticals at all last night, not even a Unisom- although I wished I'd taken one- hell, a handful- by the fifth or so espisode of this whacko dream series. The 5am wakeup was the limit of what I could bear; I just gave up and got out of bed then. Can hardly wait to see what's going to be playing on the mental big screen tonight. Going to bed these days feels like walking the Green Mile. I've been sleeping on the wood floor for a month, just to try to jog myself out of what feels like a sort of hostile territory- the mere thought of putting the mattress down makes me feel nauseous. I should be getting my camping equipment back in the next day or two... I'm going to set up the pup tent in the living room and try sleeping in there for a while to see if that's enough change of scenery to jog me out of this negative pattern. I will also be able to drape the tent with a blanket and try to get a little more darkness; the eyemask isn't getting the job done.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Wishbone

When we have worked hard and succeed at something, we should be allowed to smell the roses. They key is to recognize that the beauty of those roses lies in their transience. It is drifting away even as we inhale. We enjoy the win fully while taking a deep breath, then we exhale, note the lesson learned, and move onto the next adventure. –Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

Saturday FOD: Chen Dao.
Sunday FOD: Hurricane Hands.
Monday FOD: Frolic Of the Five Animals.
Tuesday FOD: Little Red Dragon. 123.5 pounds this morning... eep.
Wednesday did not exist due to shifting work/sleep patterns.
Thursday FOD: Leopard Fist. 122.5

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Bellevue. Double-leg drills, ankle pick drills (arrgh, more confusion as to which lapel to grab/which knee to kneel on/which ankle to pick. I wish I could tell my left from my right.) Failed armbar from guard transitioning into omoplata. (Note to "choke up" as far up on the arm as possible, as well as keeping a death grip on the wrist or sleeve cuff) Some positional training from closed guard, then one spar with Sonia and one with John. I got one tap on Sonia (armbar), but she made me sweat for it.

Evening BJJ at Gracie Bellevue. Pat told me to "leave all my problems at the door" (Or "leave them on the mat" or some such thing, I can't recall exactly how he phrased it, but he was trying to be supportive. Another nice hug from Rodrigo.

Armbar-from mount drills (note, make sure to get that knee up far enough- right behind their head- make 'em use it for a pillow), then the same setup only going for a collar choke. I got to drill with Angela, which was nice since she gave me some good feedback and pointers. Those collar chokes where you haul on the pantleg are killer... one of the things I hate about them is that you really have no free limb to tap with- and since you're being choked, it's not easy to verbally tap either!

I drew some vicious competition for sparring tonight- black belt Doug and purple belt Alisson. Doug showed me a handy way of tightening a choke, and also tweaked my (minimal) leglock ability. When you roll with Alisson, you tend to spend a goodly amount of time suspended in the air in hip-cracking Chinese splits. He loves X guard, as well as any sweep that involves making a wishbone out of your pelvis. Even knowing this going in, he still got me several times. Neither of them ever hurt me,'s so nice to have a chance to work with good training partners at that level.

Spurred by my re-reads of Julia Cameron- and my desire to keep my brain as busy as possible so as to stay distracted from less pleasant topics- I have started writing weblit. Well, it's not exactly weblit yet because I haven't posted it. But if I can keep at it (Mood is what the cow did; I read that somewhere in the last day or so and it cracked me up... but so true), once I get a big enough chunk, I'll create a blog for it. Still haven't decided if I'm going to connect it to my training blog, or invent yet another persona. There's already some BJJ in it, though. And staff fighting. ;-)

JoE e-mailed me to ask why I haven't been in class. Turns out he might be willing to get together with me and do some sparring and/or formwork from time to time, so that would be really good. God, I miss my Kung Fu class. So much. SK has not even SPOKEN to me for three weeks. Guess I shouldn't hold my breath waiting for him to ever do so again. That's really hurtful. That's COLD, after we've been friends for some five years and trained together 2-5 times every single week; I was his "senior student" (his words, not mine), and by *all* accounts I never did ANYTHING WRONG- aside from my mere EXISTANCE (well, sorry for that, guys)- in the mess that precipitated this situation. He really treated me like garbage here. I thought he was one of those people that one could trust to have one's back- Gods know *I'd* take a bullet for *him*- part of my anger is at myself for trusting him, and frustration that after being this close for this long, I still misjudged him to this degree. I mean, do we EVER learn? By this age I've been fucked over by enough people that I would have thought I could trust my instincts better to spot that sort of lack of integrity- the people who seem to be an integral part of each other's lives and yet are capable of quickly and easily discarding you for no good reason like a used styrofoam cup (You can't even recycle those), and never glancing back or losing a smidge of sleep over it.

It's plain now that he picked that argument- when he texted me and chewed me a new one for letting interpersonal crap interfere with class- in order to provide himself a platform to stomp off in a huff and just never speak to me again- thus relieving him of responsibility to hang in there and try to fix anything. Way to go. Real mature, dude. (Note to self, however... don't ever again get sucked into an argument via texting on a damn Tracfone. I kinda doubt it would have gone much better in person, but I'll always wonder.)

My stew of grief, confusion and anger is starting to congeal with a layer of pissed-offedness rising to the top like that oily layer of fat you get when you refrigerate your leftover stroganoff.

Friday, September 23, 2011


An attorney who in specializes in self-defense told me that of the 300 clients who said something to the police before talking to him, only two managed to NOT hurt their case. Those two didn't help their case, they just didn't hurt it any. If you are involved in a shooting, call the police, physically cooperate with them, but don't say anything except you want to call your attorney. --Greg Hamilton

Today's FOD is Bung Bo Kuen.

Besides the colleague who just got canned, one other is on jury duty for the next five weeks and an additional one is going on an extended medical leave. Getting to class is going to be an ever-increasing challenge for the rest of the year, especially with the weird hours and how crappy I've been sleeping. On the plus side- I'll be able to get my mondo car-repair bill paid off.

Friday no-gi at Sleeper. Side control escapes to take the back. Positional training from side control. I have to duck out before 8 on work nights, so I only got one free spar with Cindy and one with George (was so exhausted after Cindy that I could barely move with George).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This week

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

Tuesday: FOD is Tiger Versus Crane.

Today I played with Frolic In the Mirror up to the "skipping Mantis" part.

When I began this "Mirror forms" project, I was viewing it as something that would keep me occupied in periods of not-getting-any-new-material for years to come. It is sobering to look at my forms list and realize that I can actually see the ceiling. After Frolic, Wood Monkey is really the only form that it makes decent sense to work off the opposite side.

I guess I could work the two two-person Snake forms- Kiu Two and Snake Versus Five- off the opposite side, but no one will ever be able to do them with me! All the other forms- including the Tai Chi forms- are encyclopedic enough that they are already doing all the techniques off both sides within the original form.

Wednesday: FOD is the White Crane Walking the Path fragment.

Thursday: The FOD is the Tai Chi short form.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Bellevue. The thought of food was disgusting, but- remembering how exhausted I got and how poorly I performed after not eating before class- I made myself eat protein and carbs.

Armbar from mount drills (Miriam had us folding up the leg closest to the head to remount; this was new and sort of awkward for me), double-leg drills, some back-and-forth "pick your own takedown", positional training from front mount and from closed guard.

Still too tired to want to do open mat; but it didn't matter today since everyone scattered anyway.

Having a lot of trouble gearing up enough to make a decent effort. I just can't make myself give a crap about much of anything right now.

Kung fu over at CC's with CC and D. Mostly one- and two-step sparring. D is definitely assuming an assistant instructor role instead of fellow student.

Like CC, he complains if I hit even medium-soft.... it's so difficult for me to remember to go that light after five years of going medium-hard in SK's class. Even when I start out being really light and careful, as soon as we speed up a bit, I forget. I got reprimanded numerous times. Sigh.

They want me to try to go for a more varied range of targets; as I tend to stick mostly to head and neck. Again, old habits die hard. Especially when the opponents are a lot bigger and have thick torsos, I just have a hard time feeling confident with rib attacks and such. (Without thinking, I protested, "But *that's* the soft part!" indicating D's head. Oops.)

Also caught myself referring to SK as "my teacher" and that group as "we" a few times, even though I have a terrible dread that neither of those will ever be true again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chen sword form

You've just dumped a scumbag. Don't put your gun away. You scan the area. Jackals and lions travel in packs. You probably will never be involved in another shooting in your entire life. This is it! Make the most of it. This is a target rich environment. See if there is someone else that needs to be shot. -Greg Hamilton

The FOD is Hurricane Hands. (The bowl is now empty- starting a new rotation).

+Chen Jian Form

Begin standing straight, facing north. Both hands at sides. Sword is in left hand, held backhand with blade up and lying along left arm with tip extending up beside left ear.

Slowly step left foot out to west (toe first) in horse. Slowly equalize weight. Pause.

Bring arms up slowly to horizontal in front ("zombie" pose). Shoulders are relaxed. Rt palm facing floor. Sword is still held along the forearm, so that when arms are horizontal, tip is pointing straight behind you.

Return arms to thighs.

Shift weight to rt foot. left heel comes off floor. Hands move to a "holding the energy ball" pose in front of stomach (rt hand on bottom). Sword is still held along left forearm. Now the tip is pointing to your left (west).

Lift rt hand (palm out) to your rt shoulder, with first two fingers up, as though signalling for the waiter to bring your bill.

Turn left to west and step out with left foot in a front stance. Left hand (with sword still lying along forearm- now it is again point-up) drops to groin and sweeps around left thigh to clear. End with hand just behind your left thigh and sword lying along the back of your arm as at the beginning. Rt two-finger hand presses to west past face and strikes (fingers up, thumb toward you) to west chin height, almost at arm extension.

Cross rt foot in front of left to west in a scissor. Rt two-finger hand stretches behind you (to east), diagonally down toward the floor. Left hand (with sword still lying along the back of forearm) stretches in front of you (to west) at an upward diagonal. Torso is facing north. Look behind you at the two-finger hand.

Bring left foot up to right, and lift rt toe in a narrow cat. Transfer the sword to the rt hand. Twirl the blade up-over-down in a circular motion behind you and to your left. End holding hilt in front of chest with with tip toward the floor, wrist bent in a gooseneck, left two-finger hand resting on the back of your rt wrist.

Step out to east in as deep a lunge as possible, left leg straight. Slice sword ankle-height from left to rt in a wide crescent. Torso turns with sword to keep it on your centerline.

Lift left knee to stand on rt leg. bring sword to ward horiz above brow (tip to your left, to west). Your torso is now facing north. As soon as you are in this pose, remove your two-finger left hand from right wrist and track it slowly (palm fwd, fingers up) across your face from rt to left till it is almost at arm extension off to your left.

Turn torso northeast and drop into as deep a lunge as possible. Left leg is straight. Chop sword down to northeast. Left palm goes to back of rt wrist.

Slice sword ankle-height from rt to left in a wide crescent. Torso turns with sword. Your lunge switches legs as you pass center, to end in a west-facing lunge with rt leg straight. Left two-finger hand (palm out) is above left temple to ward. Sword is horiz at chest level with palm up and blade tip angled to northwest.

Drop left two-finger hand to the back of your rt wrist and bring rt foot up to left foot.

Turn rt wrist down (this will turn the sword over).

Step out with rt foot to northwest in a forward stance. Push sword horiz at waist level to northwest. Tip is pointing southwest.

Pull left foot in to right. Turn rt wrist over so that inside of the wrist is up (this will turn the sword over)

Turn west and step out west with left foot for a fwd stance. Left two-finger hand (palm out) above left temple to ward. Push sword horiz at waist level to southwest.

Pull rt foot in to left foot.

Lift left knee to stand on rt foot. Bring left two-finger hand to cross chest and sit at rt shoulder. Rt hand circles clockwise to groin, left shoulder, rt shoulder, then chop sword in a point-down diagonal at your rt. Left two-finger hand continues its circle down-out-and-around to end warding (palm out) at left temple.

Drop left foot to floor behind you and transfer weight to that foot, lifting rt toe for a cat stance. Place two-finger left hand on rt wrist. Draw sword hilt to your chest, tip diagonally up to west. Inside of wrist is upward.

Lift left knee to stand on rt foot as you stab sword on an upward diagonal to west.

Drop left foot to ground in a narrow front stance to west (left foot in front). Level the sword horizontally over your brow (point pointing north, inside of wrist inward).

Pull left two-finger hand to your left hip. Draw hilt to your left, then drop it down to left hip, then level sword horizontally at waist (tip pointing to south). Settle weight back on left foot in a cat with body turned to northwest. Pull sword hilt back to rt hip. sword is now horiz at waist with tip pointing to southwest. Left two-finger hand returns to left temple to ward (palm out).

PUll left foot in to rt. Left two-finger hand goes to rt wrist.

Turn rt wrist up (this will turn the sword over).

Step left foot out to west in a front stance. Left two-finger hand goes above left temple (palm out) to ward. Push sword horiz waist level to north, tip pointing west. (inside of wrist is upward).

Rock weight back on rt foot. Place left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Turn left toe to north.

Put weight on left foot again and pull rt foot in to left. Turn wrist down (this will turn the sword over).

Turn 180 degrees to your rt to end in a front stance (rt foot in front) facing east. Push sword horiz at waist level to east. Tip is pointing northwest and inside of wrist is downward.

Turn rt wrist inside-up (this will turn the sword over). Transfer weight to left foot and pull rt foot back to left in a narrow cat. Pull rt hand with sword hilt in to chest. Sword is now held horiz at chest level with tip pointing southeast.

Step rt foot behind you and transfer weight to it, lift left heel to make an east-facing cat. Both hands pull to hips. Left is in a two-finger position (palm to ground), rt is holding sword hilt horiz at rt hip with tip pointing east.

Bring both hands to breastbone, left two-finger hand on rt wrist. hilt is against breastbone, sword horiz with tip pointing east. Step rt foot up to left. The feet are side by side, rt is up on toe.

Step east with rt foot and stab sword to east at breast level almost at extension of arms. left foot comes up on toe. Do not pause here; this should be a quick step with weight overbalanced forward that looks almost like a stumble.

Step forward to east with left foot and bring both arms down to hips as in previous technique. This is another quick, "stumbling forward" step.

Step forward to east with rt foot to make a forward stance. Left two-finger hand goes to rt wrist. Sword stabs to east at chest level.

(Note that the next set of techniques makes a double figure-8 motion withthe hilt leading, this should be one smooth continuous motion)

Turn torso to north, turning toes to north to make a high horse. Pull sword to horiz warding over brow (tip pointing east).

Drop hilt to left hip, then pull to rt hip.

Turn toe of rt foot to south. Turn body rt to south and make a south-facing high horse. Weight is on rt foot. As you turn, pull hilt up to rt temple. Sword is now horiz above brow with tip pointing east.

Drop hilt to rt hip.

Step rt foot to east and turn torso north in high horse. Lift hilt from rt hip to horiz waist level, tip pointing east. Inside of wrist is upward. Left two-finger hand leaves wrist and goes to ward above left temple (palm out).

Turn to west in cat (left toe in front). Sword hacks overhead (make sure it slices over and down, not floating over with the tip pointing up) to end horiz pointing west chest level. Rt elbow is braced on chest. Left hand braces rt wrist.

Pull sword back and down to rt hip. Tip remains pointed west. Left hand presses forward at chest level with two fingers up (palm out).

Rt foot steps up to stand beside left. Bring sword hilt back to breastbone, left hand supporting rt wrist. Inside of wrist is upward.

Turn rt toe to north. Torso turns northwest.

Lift sword to rt temple. Inside of wrist is outward (to north). Blade is now horiz at brow level with tip pointing west. Left two-finger hand is on right wrist.

Step forward left foot to southwest to make a front stance. Torso is now facing west. Swing sword in a powerful U-shaped arc down to groin and then up to above left temple. Tip remains pointing west at all times. Left two-finger hand remains on rt wrist.

Step rt foot up beside left. Torso turns southwest.

Step rt foot out northwest to make a front stance. Torso is now facing west. Swing sword in a powerful U-shaped arc down to groin and then up to above rt temple. Tip remains pointing west at all times.

Step left foot up beside rt. Torso turns northwest.

Step forward left foot to southwest to make a front stance. Torso is now facing west. Swing sword in a powerful U-shaped arc down to groin and then up to above left temple. Tip remains pointing west at all times. Left two-finger hand leave wrist to ward (palm out) at left temple.

Step rt foot up beside left. Torso turns southwest.

Look behind you to east. Step and cross rt foot in front of left to west. Thrust left two-finger hand to west on an upward diagonal. Turn blade point to east and thrust sword east on a downward diagonal.

Step left foot west to make a forward stance. Bring sword overhead (again, slice down- don't let the tip float to the ceiling) to poke diagonal at the ground to west. Rt arm is held over head, elbow bent and against rt ear. Left two-finger hand braces rt wrist.

Rock weight back on rt foot and turn left toe to north.

Turn to your left to end east in a front stance (rt foot in front). Hack sword down to end horiz chest level, pointing east. Left two-finger hand circles down-out-and-up opposite the sword cut and ends at left temple (palm out) warding.

Bring left foot up beside rt. Torso is facing northeast. Left two-finger hand returns to rt wrist. Drop blade so that it is almost vertical to ground along your rt thigh.

Turn north and take a small step north with left foot, followed by right foot. End in a narrow cat with rt toe fwd. Bring blade up-and-over to hack north in a downward diagonal. Left two-finger hand drops down to groin, circles to left thigh, then up to left shoulder, completing the circle by ending pressed to rt wrist.

Describe a small counterclockwise circle on the ground with the point of the blade, moving only your wrist.

Step rt toe behind left heel, following with your torso, to end facing south. Pull up left knee to stand on rt leg. Pull hilt to rt hip and then sweep blade up to horiz at brow (tip pointing east) as you complete the turn. Pause. Remove your two-finger left hand from right wrist and track it slowly (palm fwd, fingers up) across your face from rt to left till it is almost at arm extension off to your left.

Step left foot east, toe turned north. Bring both hands to your left hip, placing left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Sword tip stabs to your rt (to north) hip level. Step out east rt foot to make a front stance, and continue the curving motion of the sword up to left shoulder and then around and down to end horiz pointing east chest level.

Without moving your feet, turn torso as far to your rt as possible and look over rt shoulder. Keeping arm straight, swing sword to point diagonally downward to west behind your rt hip.

Turn to east again and step fwd with left foot, then bring rt toe forward, to make a cat stance with rt foot in front. Bring sword up-and-around in a hack to east, ending with tip pointing down diagonally. Left two-finger hand circles clockwise to groin, left hip, then up-and-around to end on rt wrist.

Turn to south and step rt foot west in a deep lunge, rt leg straight. Bring sword around in a sweeping arc from your left to your right, ending pointed west at an upward diagonal. Inside of wrist is upward. Torso ends facing southwest. Make sure that the body turns *WITH* the sword, keeping the blade on your centerline. Left arm remains at a 45 degree angle off your left hip.

Turn east and shift stance into an east-facing forward stance with left foot fwd. Left two-finger hand goes to rt wrist. Sword is held horiz at waist level with wrist bent and tip pointing southeast.

Pull left foot *back* to rt foot to make a cat with left toe up. Turn inside of wrist downward (this will turn the sword over) and pull it toward body so that forearm is pressed against stomach. Sword tip is pointing northeast.

Step out east with left foot, then with rt foot to east to make a fwd stance with rt foot in front. Turn wrist up (this will turn the sword over). Push sword horiz at waist level to east. Tip is pointing southeast. Left two-finger hand goes above left temple to ward.

Place left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Turn wrist downward (this will turn the sword over).

Turn rt toe out as far as you can, and turn to your rt till you are facing north. You are now in a cat with left toe fwd. As you complete the turn, pull both hands down to hips. Sword is horiz at rt hip, tip pointing north.

Bring sword hilt up to chest level, place left two-finger hand on rt wrist. Blade is still horiz, tip to north.

Shift weight forward into a front stance. Stab to north, chest level.

Turn body to face east, shift weight onto rear (rt) foot. Pull sword hilt back to rt shoulder. Switch it to your left hand.

Turn body to face north and step forward with rt foot to stand straight. Bring left hand in an arc across brow, hilt up. End at left thigh, sword held hilt-down along the back of left arm and tip extending up beside left ear. Rt arm comes around mirroring the motion of the left, to end at the rt thigh.



Most people are grass-eaters with their heads down on the ground. The jackals and lions know this and think of them as that. Hold your head up and walk like you are the biggest, baddest lion that walks. The jackals and lions will notice and leave you alone because they don't want to get hurt. Don't challenge them because they might feel they have to respond to it. All you want is their respect, not their dignity. -Greg Hamilton

The FOD is Black Crane 1.

Lindsey's competition class at Gracie Seattle.

I ate a salad before I went to class, and that was a mistake I will not repeat. I felt like I barely had enough energy to blink my eyelids, let alone do BJJ. Next time I will make sure to eat something more substantial.

Between that and the fact that I can't turn my mind away from the Chernobyl that is my personal life, I didn't have a very good class. I did get a triangle on a white belt, which is a big deal- that is one of my worst techniques. But I spent a lot of time lying there not being able to do much, getting frustrated and despairing.

It's really hard on Kung Fu class nights. I really miss Kung Fu. SK is still not speaking to me, and I really miss him, too.

Last time I was a having a really bad time in my personal life, I applied myself with desperate abandon to my MA training and used it as a drug to help get through that time. This time, it's harder, because I've lost my Kung Fu group/class at the same time. The double whammy is very difficult to take. BJJ helps some, but it also reminds me that I'm missing Kung Fu.... and BJJ doesn't have quite the same depth of spiritual involvement (yet, anyway) that Kung Fu has for me. It is not quite as effective of a drug.

A few run-throughs of all the Mirror forms and their regular-side equivalents. I also worked a bit on the opening moves of Frolic In the Mirror.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Ninety times out of a hundred it will work. If not, then you may have to give them the universal hand signal for LIE DOWN! (Holds handgun in firing position and repeatedly pulls trigger.) -Greg Hamilton

The FOD is Angry Snake Defends Its Lair.

Saturday BJJ at Gracie Seattle. "Intro" class followed by competition class.

It is spider guard day. We did 3 different spider guard sweeps. Got to drill with Jonh, which is always good. Fingers are all sore and gi-burned now, will have to tape tomorrow.

King Of the Hill starting in Spider guard. I was reasonably competitive passing spider guard, although I didn't get a turn on the bottom- from which I would have done much more poorly!

Rolls with John, Sonia, and Prof Miriam (finally!) She is even smaller than me, and I was a brute- being heavy on top of her. That was fascinating and fun, though. Sonia mentioned that I was much "tighter". Cool.

I was going to go to Sleeper's no-gi after that, but the place was locked up when I got there. Probably a tournament going on that I wasn't aware of.

A few reps od Angry Snake, a few resp os the ending of the Chen sword form, a little double short sticks practice, a few mirror forms. I can do Hurricane Hands In the Mirror all the way to the end now, but I still need more practice on which Snake hand is on top after each of the turns.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


This is the universal hand signal for GO AWAY! (Holds handgun in firing position.)


The FOD is Kiu Two.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle.

It was hard to drag myself out- but I'm hoping that since I did, I will not have a huge battle to try to get to sleep tonight.

It's supposed to be "advanced" (which sometimes tips the balance of me deciding to not go, when I'm wavering due to feeling tired or brain-dead), but the last few times I've gone, it has turned out to be something like "competition class" instead- lots of warmups and calisthenics, several sessions of timed positional training, then timed matches with various people. I spent most of the time working with Sonia. I started to try to keylock her once, then said aloud, "Oh, yeah, I forgot- I can't keylock you!" She of the double-jointed arms. She then insisted that I *could*, as long as I had really good technique. Okay, so maybe it's not fruitless to try.

I also rolled with Angus and Z. I got trapped in bottom halfguard with Angus. With Z, I'm used to getting tossed around like a catnip ball gets tossed around by a kitten- so this time I got on top and made myself as drapey and heavy as possible. He still swept me a couple of times, but that worked better than any of my previous efforts against him.

Note than Rodrigo commented that I need to "use my hands" more.

Ran through some Kiu Two, and Hurricane Hands In the Mirror.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday & Thursday

Sheep can be controlled by the sheepdog for the same reason they fear the wolf -- they are both predators. The same relationships hold with the general population, the police, and the criminals. Most people are sheep, but you don't have to be. If you have the skills and attitude of a predator the criminals will leave you alone -- because they will recognize you as a predator and there is easier game available. -Greg Hamilton


The FOD is Box Form.

A few reps of Box Form, a few reps of CC's version of Box Form (note: remember to transfer weight to front stance at the end… left leg in front, RIGHT spear hand). A few reps of the Leopard At Dawn frag. All the Mirror forms in a string. Several extra reps of Black Crane 1 In the Mirror and Tiger Versus Crane In the Mirror (note: Tiger kick sequence- put rt foot in front and KEEP in there). Many reps of the first bit of Hurricane Hands In the Mirror (note that on the stab-at-the-ground, right Snake (the one closest to thigh) needs to be on top), some work on the next few techniques. Up to the slap-and-block (note: the LEFT hand is on top for that block).

Ow. Muscle in the distal part of the back of my left thigh is sore. I think it's from repping that reap in BC1. Either that or the snap kick.



The FOD is the Three Step Arrow frag.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Bellevue.

Shoulder throw setups, armbars from front mount (Note: Mira likes to post on the opponent's chest instead of the mat... if it works better for her, it will probably work better for me), armbars from guard.

Positional training from mount and closed guard. I spent a full 5 min trying to finish a clock choke on a white belt, but he defended well, with his chin down.

One roll with John. Every time I got stuck in bottom half guard, I turtled and tried to sit out. It didn't always work, but it was better than just lying under there.

Feeling a bit of ache from the right side ribs under the arm- where I had that bad "rib out" several months ago. It's just a small ache, but I'm anxious about it, given how bad it got last time.....

Run-through of all the mirror forms, plus the Three Step Arrow bit.

Session with CC. He has another student visiting from out of town, so we worked together. We did apps out of a piece of Hurricane Hands, then apps out of a piece of some Green Dragon form that he knows and I don't. That last didn't go too well; I am very slow to learn new form material, and trying to learn a piece and then immediately do apps.... well.

Begin facing north, left arm horiz at shoulder pointing west, rt hand pak-sau'ing at chest.

Hopping stance change, to a deep scissor with rt leg in back.

Unwind, Turning to your rt and go down on left knee. You are now facing west. Rising block over temple with rt arm, palm strike horiz with left hand (fingers south).

There were two rotating strikes after this, but I'm STILL not sure how they go.

We did some sticky hands, then D asked me to teach him the opening of Hurricane Hands, which I did.

He's going to be in town for a few weeks, so maybe all three of us can work together some more. He immediately established a habit of giving me corrections and "good job"'s, which was mildly annoying. I don't know what level he is, but he did start out by admitting that he hasn't trained in almost a decade.

CC also mentioned that RS is moving to Connecticut. Lovely. Not that I was seeing him much as it is- but now he's going to be twenty times further away. He may visit once more before he goes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



The FOD is Kiu Two.

A few reps of Kiu Two, a few reps of Angry Snake (again, with a pen instead of a dao), all the mirror forms in a string. Touch Bridge seems as good as the others now. I was able to do that tricky arm spin in Five Points, by cueing myself to remember the start position a couple of moves beforehand.

Many reps of the Mirror forms in progress, Tiger Versus Crane and Black Crane 1. TvC: That spinning flying kick, starting to come along a bit. I added a couple of the next techniques…. If I wait till I can do the kick to move on, I'll never get this one done. Black Crane: I went ahead and worked my way all the way through it, since it is a very short form. The hairy part is the reap at the end- another spot where all four limbs are doing different things at once. It's coming, though.


The FOD is Little Red Dragon.

Once again I am drafted to work a stretch of midnight shifts to cover for so-and-so who continually calls in sick. The boss has confirmed (confidentially to me) today that she is fixin' to let this person go. If I took this position, it would mean mostly midnight shifts (my favored shift) from now on, much less bouncing from shift to shift at all hours, a more regular/predictable/plannable schedule, and- whoee- health insurance. It also starts at 9:30pm. If I return to SK's class, I can't possibly get to work on Thursdays and Sundays till 11pm. I told the boss that I would only apply for the position if there was a way that I could get cleared to come in late on those two days. The logical part of my brain is asking me, "What are you smoking, woman???!?? You're a shoo-in for this job, but you could get passed over because of this clause. And you don't know if you will ever be able to return to that class anyway." Yet I just can't seem to burn that bridge. (If SK ever speaks to me again, maybe he'll be reassured to hear that I'm compromising my career on the hope/assumption that I'm going to be back in class at some point.)

Stretches of midnight shifts do make it very challenging to get to any BJJ. Yet on my days off, I ought to be able to do two classes per day- as long as I'm not too wiped out. Things are going to be hard for a few months- till someone gets hired and trained to fill whichever schedule hole remains. In the meantime, I will be doing the lion's share of both jobs. It looks like this entire year (beginning with my busted finger, and finishing with burning the work candle at both ends)is just panning out to be a poor year for training, on all fronts.

Today I worked on Little Red Dragon, all the Mirror forms in a string again (including Touch Bridge, which is as good as any of the others, and Black Crane 1, which just needs a few more reps to be equally as good. Several reps of the tricky reap at the end of BC1, which is really the only challenging part. More Tiger Versus Crane: mostly the spinning flying kick, and starting to work into the two final kick sequences after that. The Tiger sequence- on the mirror side- goes Left kick first, then right, and left back kick at the end. The footwork is a little tricky- if you don't have correct foot in front, your legs are essentially braiding when you try to do the kicks. The other kick sequence is going to be fairly easy to memorize, I just need a little practice doing the flying kicks on the less familiar side.

Played with the opening to Hurricane Hands In the Mirror. It was either going to be that one or Frolic Of the Five Animals.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Nothing says, "Please don't rape me." like multiple jacketed hollowpoints. -John Fogh

The FOD is Leopard Fist.

I will not be going to Kung fu today. I guess I should stop writing that, since it is now the norm instead of the exception. Despite my initial resolve to keep my mouth shut and my head down for a while, I lasted a whole two days before I e-mailed SK Saturday morning and apologized for distressing him with my absence- explaining that I'd truly thought it was not impacting anyone besides me. Haven't heard back from him. Sigh. He's really pissed at me. I am really unhappy.

I e-mailed CC and asked for a lesson. We're supposed to meet on Thursday evening (when I will yet again *not* be going to SK's class). Sigh. It's good to be able to work with CC- who will be, if I do not return to SK's class- my only option for continuing to study Kung Fu. But every time I work with him, it hits home how much better SK's teaching style melds with my learning style. Not to mention CC is much less accessible. That will burn more acutely now.

Today, besides Leopard Fist as the FOD, I did all the mirror forms in a string. It is *finally* starting to stick in my head which way I need to open up Leopard Three in order to go which direction. I need to keep my brain focussed on the BOTTOM hand, because that is the one I'm going to strike to the inside with next. As long as I focus on that, it is obvious which way I'll be turning after that. The mind is so funny sometimes, the things it will remember and the things it won't.

Need to rep the arm-spin thing from Five Points, just that, about a million times. Everything else in the mirror version of 5 Points is going pretty well, but that one thing always stymies me. The left hand needs to fly up to about 11 o'clock and circle COUNTERCLOCKWISE from there.

A couple reps of Angry Snake, with a pen in place of a sword. Many reps of the opening moves of Tiger Versus Crane In the Mirror. I worked with some of the next techniques for that one. That centrifugal jumping spinning kick that always gives me so much trouble- not the kick, but the way the arms go- is even worse on the opposite side! Maybe I will gain some clarity working with it from the other side.

I also practiced the opening moves of Black Crane 1 In the Mirror- up to "Crane Serves Drinks" (no, that's not the real name of the technique, but that's what it looks like).

My injured knee doesn't seem too bad; it's probably a good thing I couldn't get to any BJJ this weekend, giving it a chance to heal up.

I read on SIDE CONTROL's blog that Lindsey got his black belt. I can't wait to see him and congratulate him.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday and Friday

An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.


Today's FOD is Frolic Of the Five Animals.

I didn't go to Kung Fu today.

Despite having seemed understanding at first, SK was apparently more upset with me about that than he let on. This morning he text-bombed me and just ripped me up one side and down the other. Like, to the extent that I don't know if he'll ever speak to me again in any context. He accused me of not considering my training important- which feels like a blade in the gut. That's just deliberately trying to be hurtful- he knows that's bull. He also suggested that he may ask CN to take over teaching due to his guilty feelings over his role in my hiatus.

I had never intended this to be a permanent hiatus, I just needed a break- a few weeks maybe, until a couple of interpersonal issues got cleared up and some raw emotions got decently scabbed over- but he was steamed up enough to sock me with several additional bits of heretofore unknown (to me) information that- unless he was exaggerating for effect- means the situation is even worse than I thought, and may well be unfixable.

What a clusterfuck this has become. I wonder if he was just having a really bad morning, and he'll be more rational after a few days..... or if this was a peep behind the filters, into what's truly going on in his mind. I wonder if I'm never going to hear from him again. I did say, "Take some time to think" before his textual version of stomping out and slamming the door. It would be my preference for none of us to burn any bridges here.

I was distraught enough about this that I could not go to BJJ today. It might have been a good distraction, but I think the first time someone swept me, I would have burst into hysterical tears- which behavior isn't really fair of me to inflict on my teammates.

Crap. :(

Friday: 123.5.... getting too thin. I recently went on a salad kick, but I was also putting some dressing on it (many salad dressings have more calories than hot fudge sauce, didja know that?!), and some breaded chicken bits, and too much cheese, so I wasn't expecting a weight dip.

Today's FOD is Sil Lum Tao.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle. Lots of warmups, a hip throw (I got to drill with Vince, who obviously knew what he was doing, so he helped me out), then King of the Hill from various start positions. I actually won two of these, which almost never happens. Tweaked my right knee somehow, though. I thought I might have to sit out after that, but I walked it off. I could see the throbbing, jumping muscle right through the thick gi pants, though. We'll see what that feels like in the morning.

The final round found me in bottom half guard with a mammoth white belt crushing me. We must have thrashed there for four minutes. Yes, Kintanon, I remembered my homework about ceasing just lying under there, but I squirmed and wiggled and he was just lying on me with all his weight- I could *NOT* get out. He couldn't get out of the half-guard either, though. Finally the timer sounded.

Got in line to bow out- my heart was pounding so hard, and my stomach was rolling- I had to duck out of the line and run to the bathroom because I thought I was going to throw up. I didn't, but I had to lie there face-down on the tile beside the toilet for a time.

That small-size purple belt invited me to roll, and gave me some advice about tightening up subs before starting to move the main part of the body to finish them.
Went to the (non-MA) gym and did formwork. All the mirror forms with their regular-side counterparts (except for Leopard 3- I forgot that one). Couple of bobbles, but mostly looking good. I'm happy with how Five Points In the Mirror is coming along. Touch Bridge In the Mirror as well. Many reps of the opening of Tiger Versus Crane In the Mirror- I'm up to the first set of double Tiger claws, but the second technique of the form (which involves a turn as well as doing something radically different with each limb at once) is a bugger. Sil Lum Tao (the FOD). Snake Versus Five Animals, Kiu Two.

I do so much "micro-fu" formwork in my tiny living room, and at my tiny workspace in the middle of the night, that it was novel to have enough room to do everything (including the jumps and rolls and kicks) and not have to pause and back up several times during each form. It was also really nice to have the mirror wall to work with.


Evening no-gi at Sleeper. I was a little late (stuck in traffic) and missed half the warmups.

A few guard passes from various starting positions utilizing a cradle over the neck and thigh. I was drilling with Alecia, and noticing my ever-shrinking weight against her solid twenty-ish pounds heavier and the fact that every once of it is muscle. She made a couple of comments over the course of the night about me putting up more of a fight than before.

Some positional training from various guard positions, then a few free rolls. I got to work with Alecia, Eric, George, and Cindy.

I asked Cindy for some options for when I'm on my back and she's standing. No matter what I try to do, she spins to the outside and sits on me. She does this to me multiple times every time I work with her. She showed me that I need to close up, and/or hook the leg that she's trying to bring around. I have no doubt she'll just come up with another way to sit one me, but at least it'll be a DIFFERENT one.

Yes, I tried to get out from bottom half-guard again, but this time I was severely handicapped my my sore knee- which is now swollen and painful. I sat out the last roll or two because it was getting worse.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday night

When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.

Today's FOD is Touch Bridge.

Besides Touch Bridge, I worked on all the Mirror forms. No problems with the ones that I feel are pretty much in "ongoing maintenence" phase. As for the "working" ones: Five Points is feeling much better. I worked quite a bit on Touch Bridge In the Mirror, since it is also the FOD, coincidentally. I need to commit to a starting and ending point for the opening and closing techniques- each is a three-repeat which I have been beginning with either hand since it really doesn't matter. So, beginning: Right Dragon claw in front for the regular form, left Dragon claw in front for the Mirror version. It seems to make slightly more sense, since it leaves you with the hand that you're pulling back to the far hip closer to your endpoint. End: start with the left hand on top for the regular version, rt hand on top for the mirror version.

I tried the opening moves to Tiger Versus Crane In the Mirror. Crane is the only Animal style that I don't have a Mirror form for yet. I should have picked Black Crane 1 (it's short), but I just *like* Tiger Versus Crane better.

While dealing with some troublesome life issues lately, I'm finding that I am spending a lot of time and energy in obsessive, negative hamster-wheel-type mental ruts. When I get frustrated and exhausted with these, I find myself trying to shut everything off and just zombie my way through the hour/day/week/month, enduring "killing time" in the hope that things will look up later. My always-poor sleep patterns also become more and more reliant on pharmaceutical help. Increasingly regular pharmaceutical help with increasing dosages. With an eye toward not wasting my life this way, I'm picking through the Julia Cameron books again. This is one of those resources that I usually find helps me get into a more mindful state. I want to stay mindful- and living, not just enduring- but try to keep more focus on things that are not causing me distress.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. You may get killed with your own gun, but he'll have to beat you to death with it, cause it's going to be empty. -Clint Smith

Today's FOD is Leopard 3.

I didn't go to Kung Fu tonight.

All of the Mirror forms: the normal side first, followed by the Mirror side. They went better than Thursday's run, although I notice that the fine detail in Leopard Fist wants to get sloppy in the Mirror side for some reason. I think part of me feels like I need to do the Mirror forms even faster and smoother than the normal forms in order to PROVE that I am truly proficient. If I'm doing the mirror side slower and more carefully, it feels like it's substandard. Resolve: "slower" is better than "sloppy".

Note that in Leopard Fist, the second double Leopard Fist strikes begin with the vertical forearm to the FRONT. I checked the vid yet again to make sure. I also wanted to see which arm was on top for the actual strikes, but after watching it several times, it is plain that SK is doing a different (more advanced) version of the technique. His arms are crossed and both palms are toward the ground. In the version I've been doing, the arms are one-on-top-of-the-other and the palms are facing each other. Since I haven't been taught the advanced version yet, I'm going to just stop fretting about which arm is *supposed* to be on top and do it with the rearmost arm on top- because that makes more sense to me kinetically in order to get to the endpoint faster.

Five Points Of the Star, both ways. Again, Mirror form is better today, but still needs more work- especially the last 1/3.

After the first Dragon-Rides-The-Wind, note that I keep wanting to orient myself toward the back corner for some reason- need to make sure I travel toward the front corner.

The big arm circles before the fireman's kick have to go counterclockwise in the mirror form. This is surely going to be the last bastion of getting the Mirror form correct. I have to stop and think about it every time.

Also, after the duck-behind-the-knee, I need to fall BACK instead of diving FORWARD... it took me this long to figure out that that is why I keep ending the form facing south instead of north where I started.

After the roll, both the first step and the first knee-up into the jump are RIGHT. Left fist down, then turn AWAY from the fist side. After the second roll, the OUTSIDE leg needs to be the straight one. It's all obvious from there on.

Beginning of Touch Bridge In the Mirror.

Short sticks. I haven't practiced with those in a while. Low four-count sequence, high four-count sequence, low-to-high-to-low. It came back fairly quickly, but gets sloppy when I try to go too fast. I remembered that the rapping last stroke on the high ones ended BENEATH- at the ribs.... but when I tried to do the low ones the same, it didn't work. After some fiddling, I figured out that the rapping last stroke on the low ones ends ABOVE. Sheesh. No wonder the low-to-high-to-low is so tricky. I do like it, though, when I am able to figure out how something goes by figuring out how it makes SENSE to go, instead of just relying on memorization.

I ordered a ten-pack of reeds for my bass clarinet today. I know that's not really training, but I'm counting anything spiritual as training. Besides, it's good BREATHING training- no BJJ artist could argue with that.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


The key to pursuing excellence is to embrace an organic, long-term learning process, and not to live in a shell of static, safe mediocrity. The hermit crab is a colorful example of a creature that lives by this aspect of the growth process (albeit without our psychological baggage). As the crab gets bigger, it needs to find a more spacious shell. So the slow, lumbering creature goes on a quest for a new home. If an appropriate new shell is not found quickly, a terribly delicate moment of truth arises. A soft creature that is used to the protection of built-in armor must now go out into the world, exposed to predators in all its mushy vulnerability. That learning phase in between shells is where our growth can spring from. Someone stuck with an entity theory of intelligence is like an anorexic hermit crab, starving itself so that it doesn’t grow to have to find a new shell. Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

Friday's FOD was the long Tai Chi open-hands form. I actually groaned when I pulled the stone out of the bowl. I am officially sick of this form for the time being. Saturday's FOD: the Chen Jian form.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle. Prof. Carlos seemed to be bent on keeping our pulses up; lots of running, fast double and single leg drills, shoulder throws. JB had to stop a few times because she was on the verge of either passing out or puking.
Rolls with JB and Marc.

Friday evening BJJ at Sleeper. Same whizzer and back-of-the-neck grip we've been doing for 2 weeks; this time to a triangle. If they don't tap to the triangle, you can underhook the thigh to create more of an angle (note that you have to "follow the fingers"…. I was wanting to go to the wrong side a few times). One you have that thigh, you can also flip the person over to get one of a few different types of armbars.

Although triangles remain something that I just don't feel very comfortable with, I was appreciating how much easier it was to set one up and adjust it on someone of Cindy's size than on most people I work with. Maybe if I had a chance to drill these enough on a small person, I could try for them in comps (against other small people) even if they don't seem very realistic on a day to day basis (on huge men).

We also did that same initial setup and had the opponent pull the arm out- whereupon we switched to an arm drag and take-the-back. I always seem to have a little trouble getting out from under with acceptable speed and dexterity. Once out, though, I can get on the back and gets hooks in very quickly ("skipping about 8 steps").

Spars with Cindy and George. Cindy let me get an armbar on her, and she hardly ever lets me tap her out, so I must have been doing okay on that one. I really need to figure out what do do when I'm sitting and she's standing, though- I can grab an ankle and put a foot on her hip, but I can't seem to get an x-guard, and she won't let me get the other ankle or hip- I can't seem to do anything useful before she spins and then just sits on me. George *almost* let me get an RNC, too… I was sure I had him (I even had to check once to make sure he wasn't out), I still don't know how he escaped.

We talked a little about my tournament "energy drain" phenomenon, and she agrees with Lindsey that it's probably a mental thing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This is the weird side, right?

To achieve an elite standard of personal performance usually requires a fair amount of natural ability, motivation and commitment. It does not follow that an elite martial artist also has the ability to pass those skills on to others at all levels. IN fact, the opposite is usually true. To become an elite performer usually means that the student has natural ability and therefore learns skills quickly and easily. A great degree of self-motivation and commitment is also required and such performers generally find little difficulty in applying themselves to the rigors of training, grading and competition. Since very few students achieve such high levels of performance, too often a coach does not understand the needs of these "lesser mortals" who are in fact the majority. When one looks at specific groups such as junior, female, male, elderly, competitive, aggressive, shy, introverted, or combinations of these, many martial arts coaches in the past have been- to say the least- underprepared. Tony Gummerson, "Teaching Martial Arts"

Today's FOD is the Chen Dao form. I went back and corrected an additional small error that I knew was in the transcription.

I did get a walk today, albeit not a particularly strenuous one. I skipped BJJ this morning, partly just because I was being lazy and partly because I assumed I'd be going to BJJ tonight. Then I found out that the reason I have been skipping Kung Fu was not going to apply to tonight's class, so I could go. Happy I was. I appreciate it even more now that access is limited.

Starting with some hand strike drills, specifying that we start with a defensive move followed up by an offensive one.

Then we were asked to come up with a short opening sequence that we might use for a first attack. We spend a lot of time practicing things that are defensive (first) and assuming the other guy is making the first attack, so this was a little different mindset.

I chose a Wing Chun guard with the left hand on top. My idea was that I'd hope the guy would be watching my top hand. My right (dominant) hand Mantis-gripped his right wrist while I stepped in, turned his corner, Yanked him forward and downward with the Mantis grip, and my left hand circled UNDER our joined arms to palm-heel him the side ribs. I liked it. If I was trying to surprise a random person, I would use Mantis- because it's just WEIRD. Few people are going to expect you to grab them and pull them into your strike. Once I tunred the corner, he couldn't get me with his other hand. The palm-heel was also quite hidden from view, and I liked the way it felt circling down and under- very natural, and I got good power on the strike.

It was amusing/interesting to see that- working independantly and in pairs- everyone in the class had chosen slightly different variations of the same thing: Bridge one arm, turn the corner on the same side, and strike.

Individual forms. I ran through all my mirror forms (with the exception of Five Points, which is still too rough). Then I did each form normally, followed immediately by its mirror counterpart. I bobbled a few things, just because my brain was a bit confused by having to switch gears like that.

Then I worked on Five Points In the Mirror. I haven't worked on it in a long time, and it was very rough at the beginning. Once I got back in the groove, though, it came a bit easier.

I'm not sure why this one snarls my mind so badly- maybe just all the directional changes. I keep having to go back and verify and reverify that I'm turning in the correct directions. Then I have to verify and reverify that I am truly doing the mirror version, and not simply the same techniques on the same side just facing a different direction.

If it's not just all the directional changes that are mixing me up, it may be the fact that- ironically- the material is *TOO* intimately familiar. The other forms, I just have to keep in mind that I'm doing a given technique on "the weird side"... the Tiger stuff, it feels right on both sides, so I keep thinking, "Wait... is this *really* the "weird side?""

I got about three quarters through and thought, "Crap, this is giving me a migraine!" So I just went back and repped the first bit several times over.

After that, I did a couple reps each of Kiu Two and Snake Versus Five Animals. Those two are full of strike sequences that are complex enough that they just really need a lot of frequent reps to stay solid. I think I should probably put an extra stone or two in the FOD bowl for each of those.

A few additional reps of the three trickiest spots in Bung Bo Mirror. Then I was out of time.

I told SK that I am almost finished with all my transcriptions, and he wanted to know what I am going to work on NEXT. I still haven't told him about the Mirror Forms, and I don't want to yet- so I just told him I have a top-secret project!