Saturday, March 31, 2012


I know people who are healthy, strong and agile, but they are not aware of it. Their bodies possess a wisdom that they can’t
access. They are like little gnomes who direct the body from the control room; prisoners within their heads. -Daniele
Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Poor Angela- I just looked at the PanAms brackets again, and she is in Sijara Eubanks' bracket! Ack!

Later- Holy hannah, Allie kicked ass and took names- gold in her bracket and gold in absolute! (And she's only a Feather!)

Katie got bronze, Angela got silver (lost to Sijara). Looks like Sonia and Kelly both failed to place, but so did Amanda- so

the competition must have been cutthroat in that division.

I did go to class last night and today, but last night I was too darn tired to write it up, and today I am just not in the mood- I'd rather play with my creative writing project. I will try to get them written up later, or possibly tomorrow.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fighting your double

Work is sometimes a little more fun than it ought to be.

Lab assistant: "Can you add a pregnancy test to ____?"

Kitsune: "I just did a preg test on that patient about half an hour ago."

LA: "Well, the nurse just called and asked me to do one."

K: "Well, she wasn't pregnant thirty minutes ago. Heeeeey, what's going on in the Urgent Care? What are you guys doin' down there tonight??"


Friday FOD: Plum Blossom Fist

Saturday FOD: Frolic Of the Five Animals

Sunday FOD: Sil Lum Dao

I'll admit I was not feeling much inspiration for my creative writing challenge assignment, since I had been assigned to write my own fighter's defeat. Last night I sat down to it with a "let's get this chore done," air- but I managed to turn it around. I replaced one character with a shapeshifter assassin. I had him kill somebody else's character, and frame yet another writer's character for the murder. I took someone else's tertiary loan-shark/crooked fight promoter character and had him fixing a bunch of the fights- including bribing my own character to throw his match. I had someone else's character murder him before he could deliver the payouts. Then I offed a whole swath of other people, including my own losing round-one character as well as the host of the tournament. The rules of the project said "no killing" but I interpreted that loosely to mean "no killing the opponent you are fighting in the match". I was fiendishly pleased with the end result. We'll see what the other writers make of it. I hope they run with it!

Monday FOD: Five Animals (standard version only)

Tues FOD: Southern Mantis

Have been researching ancient China, and Nepal folklore, for my WIP. I had to make a few changes (I can't have bobcats in my environment, nor should my characters be eating corn and potato products). It's way more than coincidence, though, how many things I got right- when I was just tossing in random things I wanted and not even *trying* to get the history/geography/culture/etc "right". Your multicultural educational trivia moment of the day: Nepal is the only country whose flag is not rectangular. They also have their new year holiday on my birthday. Hmmmm.

Another thing- Karen Wehrstein is playing with some new graphics on her weblit page, and one of her main characters is brandishing a pair of khukri! Almost fell out of my chair when I saw it.

Saw on the Gracie Barra Seattle site that Vanessa got her blue belt (Whoo-hoo, another female colored belt!) and Jamie got his brown belt!

Thursday: Heigh ho, it's 4am. My unhappy corporeal form usually wakes me up early around FIVE. I hope this isn't a new pattern. I feel like that guy in "Insomnia" by Stephen King. Maybe I'll start to see some interesting ghosts and stuff soon.

Friday: 132.5

Friday lunchtime BJJ GB Seattle. Jimmy Lee was wearing a plain white belt. I asked him if he had been demoted or was just sandbagging; he said he was sandbagging. Later in the class, he was yelling during a break for all of us slackers to get back on the mat- at which point I yelled back that he was pretty mouthy for a white belt!

Spider guard pass: Keep knees bent and weight back. Grab inside of pantlegs at shins. Go to the side (keep your knee in to block opponent from messing with your legs), LET GO OF PANTLEG as you do Wing Chun swirly-hand motion to the outside of the pantleg. (It was amazing how many of us didn't want to let go of that pantleg.) Now the hook is dislodged, so you can press the leg to the mat. Go to the other side and repeat (do not release the first leg). Now get the heck out of this position before he sticks his spider-legs right back in there.

Opponent has spider guard, and sticks hir left leg behind your knee for DLR. Keep your pantleg grips. Step forward with your right leg (to the outside of opponent's leg and body) and posture up violently so that opponent's spider guard leg is now sticking straight up. This causes the power of your entire body to shed the DLR hook, and you are now totally invading your opponent's personal space, and are already pretty much all passed except for the shoutin'. The arms were a little tricky, though. Rodrigo had to come over and re-demo it for my partner and me a couple of times. Your RIGHT arm- the one not involved with the opponent's straight leg- crosses across your chest and you use that elbow to press down the opponent into a little crushed package as you descend. DO NOT LET GO OF THE PANTLEG ON THAT RIGHT SIDE!! (Why do I do this? I always let go of the pantleg when I'm *NOT* supposed to, and fail to do so when I *AM* supposed to.) Now grab the lapel with that same hand. Your left knee drops right behind the opponent's back, all nice and tight.

Exhaustive rounds of positional training from spider guard. I was working with a little blue belt (125lb). We seemed fairly evenly matched.

I skipped round one of sparring, round two was with that same guy. We kept going long after everyone else had left, musta been close to an hour. We were indeed quite evenly matched, and it was fun. I was on top a lot, but part of that was the extra eight pounds (of FAT, mind you) I had on him. I noticed that many of the less effective things he was doing are some of the same ineffective things I do. Someone on Jiu Jitsu Forums brought up the topic of being able to fight your exact double, and how educational that would be. This was educational in that way. I hope I get to work with him more.

His sub defense was good; I managed to get one choke in all that time, and it was from such a weird position that both of us were sure it wasn't going to work. By about 30 min in, we were both literally stumbling with exhaustion, but that was good because it forced us to be technical. I think we kept going so long partly because we wanted SOMEBODY to get subbed, but he finally had to bail due to time constraints.

Friday, March 23, 2012


The type of physical awareness we have and the kind of relationship we maintain with our bodies influence our personality at least as much as the kind of books we read.
-Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Pic- that is Kelly (bottom) and Amanda (top).

Thursday evening: circus school (arial silk). I think I made the right decision to limit circus school to twice a month (one acrobalance, 1 silk), as that freed up both the time and the energy to get to Cindy's a few times- which is the more important priority. I'am already feeling kind of sore from the dreel-o-rama at lunchtime today. Probably will be worse in the morning. Carlos had told us that we were all going to be sore from today until PanAms. He does not keed. I can't wait till the PanAms are over!

Single footlock in the air- clumsy clumsy. I sat on the foor and repped the leg motions with the tail end of the silks a few times, and only then was I able to manage it in the air.

Hip hang- managed it from a stand, although my efforts to do the lovely flying entry to this technique were an utter fail. On the list to work on next time.

The slide down the silks where you look like you're crucified- I can't remember what this is really called- I was able to do this for the first time tonight. It took me four or five tries, and now I have silk burn in my armpits and on the tops of my feet. But I did it. Feet need to be right under you, with both butt and chest stuck out. The hardest part it keeping the descent smooth- mine was hitching quite a bit the first few tries. You can't adjust your foot placement once you've started. If the foot placement is not perfect, you go plunging to the floor and die, because you are not holding on with anything else.

Russian climb: silk goes inside the knee and outside the foot. I can never retain that for some reason.

Flying Dutchman- a bit better than last time; I might have even better luck with this if we didn't always do it at the end of class- when I'm really tired, and brain-fried, and my arms feel like overcooked spaghetti.

My poor posture is a decided hindrance in this class. The teacher poked and prodded my torso for a good while as I hung on the silks, and I tried to tuck my tailbone under and tilt my hips where she wanted them. When she finally pronounced it correct, it felt so unnatural- and seemed to be using several muscles that I did not realize existed. These brand-new muscles are dismayingly weak.

Friday lunchtime BJJ at GB Seattle. Dreels only, since I had to work Friday evening.

Worked with Kristen- single leg setups, double leg setups, shoulder throw setups. Armbar from guard, then armbar from guard transitioning to omoplata. I had to spend most of the drilling time explaining both of these to Kristen, and then she was still doing something not quite right with the omoplata- which I couldn't figure out exactly where the problem was. I had to grab SIDE CONTROL after class and ask him to walk us through it, which he was kind enough to do.

One short roll with Kristen, who has little technique yet but is strong and squirmy. One with Angus, who showed me a cool escape from a failed triangle/armbar wherein you are being stacked. Swim the arm closest to the opponent back behind hir leg and move your own hips to follow it. he dumped me with it three times in a row. At first it seemed like he was moving *me*, because I had to take a dive every time. But when he demo'ed it, he was just moving himself. Note that I need to ask him to drill that with me a few times next time we meet. We didn't have time today because Kristen and I were working on that omoplata thing.

Kristen is the one who took the photos of Carlos that I have posted for the last 2 days. I complimented her on her photography. I saved a lot of her photos from last weekend's tourney, and will be using some of them on my blog. She's going to try to get a press pass for PanAms.

Sore! Knees, neck, back, thighs, rt shoulder. That darn right shoulder, AGAIN.

Unfortunately, I lost the dice roll in the Mythic Scribes battle challenge, so my Monkey stylist character is going to lose round 2. Bummer. Now I have to write the second half of the fight, and write my own defeat!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday morning

An individual who is truly alive should not settle for anything less than the totality of experience. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

This morning's photo was "the ecstasy"- this one is "the agony"- hee hee hee. That's Carlos on the floor, to the rt of the pic is Kevin, to the left is John George, the guy in the white t shirt standing behind Carlos is Lamont (whom I haven't seen in almost a year).

Lunchtime BJJ at GB Bellevue.

Carlos is training for PanAms, and so are we all (pant, gasp, rrrk). Today it was dreels, dreels, dreel-till-ya-puke. Double leg setup, single-leg setup, shoulder throw setup, Pass guard, replace guard, armbar from mount, hitchhiker escape. Fast reps, no rest, make sure ya do both sides, go-go-go.

One roll with that same blue belt who steamrollered me two Thursdays ago and got me kind of discouraged... he steamrollered me again, which I was expecting this time- never got off the bottom, although he had to work a little longer to get the actual tap. After that I was done, taking off my coat, but Carlos had an odd number on the mat and was pushing me to do one more. Sigh, ok. To my pleased surprise, I tapped the guy four times in a row (and with three different things). Usually the second time, I'll go for the same sub I just finished- and if the guy doesn't seem to be defending it well, I'll say, "don't let me get THIS again!" As much for my benefit as his, since this forces me to get out of my comfort zone and try something else. (Besides, I hate it when people sub me with the same thing four times in a row! I don't want to be a jerk and do it to someone else!)

Yesterday I watched a video of Cindy's, and one of the subs I used was a new one (to me) from that vid- so that was great. It was an experiment which I assumed probably would not work, so I was surprised when he tapped. The other two were old standbys for me.

He asked me if I had any advice, which was cool as well (and I managed to stop myself from looking behind me to see who he was talking to). :D I told him he was doing really well, which was true- he just didn't have much technique yet, and also I'm a big proponent of positive validation- esp for a white belt who just got tooled by a girl. He was committing that number one white belt mistake, though- HUFF.. PUFF...HUFF....PUFF... He kept going limp with exhaustion periodically, then rallying for another burst of gasping effort, then limp again. So I suggested that he should work on controlling his breathing so that he could last longer without getting tired.

I showed Nelson my Khukri. He demo'ed a drill- head, knees, head again, three or four more strokes that I forget already. I said, "Isn't the head already GONE after that first pass??!?" LOL. He is holding his elbows close to his torso and using controlled strokes, not flailing at arm's length (which leaves you open).

Sonia is in Amanda's bracket for PanAm's. I hope either Kelly or I get a chance to talk to her about our experiences, in case Sonia hasn't fought her before. At least we know what her game is. Luckily, it looks like Angela and Katie (the Classy Broad) will not be fighting each other.

Pix are up

Hey, the pics are up on the Revoltuion page. Just had to share this one- that is Professor Carlos; he could have his own calender, huh? Hee hee hee. (I'm not going to tell him that, it would swell his head too much!) There are also a few pics of him lying on the floor on the sidelines spread-eagled like a dead body. I'll post some more in the next few days.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More Wednesday

There are things that cannot be caged within the limits of geographic or racial boundaries. They are paths open to anyone whose heart beats for something more than simple inertia. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

I went out and hacked at the bamboo-like water reeds with my new khukri. True that these were dead, and not as thick and hard as actual bamboo, but still- the khukri went through them like a hot knife though butter. Then I went after some of the invasive English ivy that is constantly threatening to engulf our trees to death. This is a job not as well suited to that tool; however, the khukri was really good for hacking the very thick, woody, prickly stalks of mature ivy- stuff that normally you have to labor at with a handsaw.

I am not so stupid as to ever cut toward myself (something I learned at that restaurant, where I spent a vast amount of time over a cutting board with a huge knife in my hand)- but with this weapon, one must also pay attention to where the arc of your swing is going to end up- even if there are a lot of things in the way that you don't think will all get cut through. Getting sloppy with this is a good way to chop your own leg off.

I don't like to cut living plants (English ivy that is strangling trees is an exception), so I didn't hack anything else. Once the blackberries (also invasive and ubiquitous here) get well underway, I may have to see how the khukri does with those.

Evening BJJ at Sleeper.

Closed guard to butterfly guard, put one foot on bicep, pull both sleeves while hipping up, triangle.

Closed guard, grab both sleeve cuffs. Turn onto left hip and place rt shin over opponent's left forearm. Now you can let go of that cuff and grab the other cuff with both hands. Yank with hands and push with leg. Triangle.

A little king of the hill, closed guard (sweep or submit) vs pass.

One roll with Cindy and one with Jim.

I had worn the baby-blanket pink gi because this is now the only one I have which is not covered with Gracie Barra patches. I don't think Cindy is insulted by people wearing GB stuff on her mat, but still.... I thought as long as I still have one clean gi, that's what I'll wear. I really notice, though, especially during free rolling- the fact that this gi is so big on me really is a handicap.

Mondo gi burn on the chin, neck and jaw from all that triangling. I put some aloe vera gel on it. I *really* hope we're not doing chokes tomorrow lunchtime. That is gonna hurt.

The last thing you smell before you go out

Spiritual are those who are not satisfied with surviving, but want to turn daily experiences into sources of ecstasy. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

I totally stole that photo from either Allie or Stephanie. I just really like the intense looks on both their faces.

Monday FOD: Lon Qi
Tuesday FOD: Leopard At Dawn

Gracie Barra WA won the Revolution overall team trophy. The points for gi were TIED with another school- that school got 9 golds and GB WA got 7 golds, so the other school got to take home the gi trophy.

GB WA got kids' gi gold and kids' overall gold.

Carlos- gold in black belt
Brock- silver in brown belt and bronze in advanced no-gi (Steve's BJJ Log has a vid of one of his gi matches)
Jamie- bronze in purple belt
Angela- gold in purple belt
Kelly- silver in blue belt
Ron- silver in blue belt

There's more, of course, but those are the people I write about…...

Amanda, the woman who crushed me at the last tourney, got gold in gi and also gold in no-gi COMBINED advanced/intermed. Hopefully that gal will get promoted soon so that Kelly and I won't have to worry about her for a while!

It looks like Cindy's kids had a good showing as well.

Wednesday: 133.0

I have a gastrocnemus injury. The frustrating part is that I didn't *DO* anything to it. It cramped up on me during the warmup stretches in Luiz's class on Saturday. I pounded it out with the heel of my hand, and it went away. It didn't make a peep even during Lindsey's run-heavy warmups on Sunday. It was fine till Monday, when I was walking out of my boss' office (after a singularly glowing review, I must add), and it abruptly siezed up so bad that I almost face-planted in the hallway. Now it's cramping up off and on.

The khukri is here! I am **SO** ready for the Zombie Apocolypse now! Apparently this weapon is still carried by Nepali solders and police. Man, if someone unsheathes this thing on you, they are **NOT** fooling around- they are going to chop you into bite-sized chunks.

I really miss SK. Whenever I got a cool new weapon, the first thing I would do is show it to him, because he was the only one I knew who would be as excited about that as I was. (First I wrote "he's the only one I know who..." then I had to go back and change it. Sigh. )

Lunchtime BJJ at GB Seattle. I couldn't find the vid of Carlos' match- apparently you have to be Facebooked, and I continue to resist Facebook (I waste too much time at the keyboard as it is).

I sneaked up behind Vince and started to choke him. He said, "You smell like coconut." "Yeah, that's the last thing you're gonna smell before you go out!" "Oh good, I can pretend I passed out from pina coladas, and dream of being in a tropical paradise!"

Standup- opponent bear hugs under your arms. You grab your own wrist, frame up and sprawl a bit to get room. Wrap your arm around opponent's shoulder on the side opposite the side your head's on. Go to the side. Step back in front. Hip throw. Keep the arm. Use your other hand to press the shoulder while you KOB. Figure 4 armbar. First with Sonia, who planted her butt right in my sternum to hip throw me. Then with Nic, who actually squatted low enough to put his butt in my pelvis (the first time, no less)! I said, "Awesome, nobody ever does that right!" He had been working with Angela before, so maybe he got the 101 from her first- she's fairly short too!

Escape from side control to replace guard. First while they're hugging you, second while they're blocking your hip. Bridge (or "breech" if Portugese is your first language), frame up, Get the far arm under opponent's armpit. Roll immediately to belly. If you end up side by side, you can try to take hir back. Otherwise, get to your knees so that you can sit out and grab closed guard again. If they're blocking the hip, it's actually easier, because you can usually cheat or even skip the belly-to-knees step. Although I tend to get my feet tangled in the opponent's gi while I'm trying to replace guard.

Note that if you can keep ahold of a sleeve or arm as you're doing this, it can often set up nicely for an armbar or triangle just as you replace guard.

One roll with Bryan, who smoked me.

Mike, that nice white belt that I worked with last week in Brock's class, got his blue today (very deserving).

Sunday, March 18, 2012


From school playgrounds to abusive marriages, from dark streets at night to our very private nightmares, the theaters in which the prospect of physical conflict divides humanity into fearful prey or fighters are more than can be numbered. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Sunday: 133.0. Last night I was still hungry after dinner, but I just didn't want to deal with the chopsticks any more. Tried to hold out, but I was *so* hungry that I didn't think I would be able to sleep, so I stole a peanut bar from my housemate (170 cal). Better than the 290 cal that I would have otherwise had, but I need to make sure there's not crappy food available during these weak moments.

Sunday lunchtime BJJ at GB Seattle- drills only, since I had to rush home and take drugs to knock me out for a five-hour nap before going to work.

Kristen was there, John was there. Kelly was there, she got silver at the Revolution. Yay! She lost to the woman that I had to fight the last time I went- Lindsey asked what happened, and Kelly reported that the woman had mounted and she just never got out. I laughed and said, "Wow, that sounds familiar somehow!" That was exactly what that gal had done to me, while Lindsey watched!

Carlos reportedly had a really good fight, which I am supposed to watch on Youtube. Angela won, I'm told. I haven't heard anything else yet.

Rolled a little with Lindsey before class. He was back mounted or front mounted on me almost the whole time, trying to choke. I was saying "No choke for you! No choke for you!" while he tried to choke me, till we were both giggling… he could have gone for something else, but he had to have the choke. Finally he triangled me.

I drilled with John- Yay, again- he and Marc stand out as the two partners that we are always able to give each other a lot of really good feedback and just tighten everything up. We were doing escape from back mount. Note- try to keep ahold of the pantleg as long as possible, but do NOT put the fingers inside the cuff (pistol grip seems wisest), and turn toward the opponent's feet when you are trying to get belly-down. The key for John and me seemed to be getting the weight (such as it is- we are both small- this might not work at all on a bigger guy) on the opponent's chest and trying to keep it there. Also, controlling the far arm of the person trying to escape really threw a monkey wrench in it- much more so than trying to keep a choke. Even when I had a really good choke grip in, as soon as John turned, the wrist was bent in a way that made it hard to hold onto and impossible to finish. Thus it seems more productive to go for that far sleeve instead.

King of the hill- start in turtle, get back mount vs escape. Mixed success for me.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What not to do against inverted guard

It is time for an athletic philosophy; a philosophy forged through muscles and heart, a philosophy born out of the union of body and mind, of pragmatism and utopia, of sweet sensitivity and a warrior's determination. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Now that we don't have Henrique any more, there aren't many people I work with regularly who use a lot of inverted guard. Ron uses it some, and I see Rodrigo use it a fair bit. Not having had much experience against it, my go-to plan tends to be: try to lie on hir face. This sometimes works, but note that this involves diving right into the inverted guard- which seems to be a poor idea if the person is flexible enough to catch you with hir legs. Hint: if the person is using inverted guard, s/he is probably flexible!

10am BJJ at Gracie Bellevue, taught by Luiz. Almost everyone was at the tournament, so there were only six of us.

Very, very low-energy. Part of that is surely my sleep issues, but I think next time I hit the Safeway, I will get some more eggs and chicken breasts and see if I feel markedly better for class with a small protein-bomb breakfast.

From standup- same entry to the "fireman's carry" takedown that we did a couple weeks ago. Note that the lapel grip is on the same side, not crossgrip, and you kneel on the inside knee. Also: on the stupid side particularly, I tend to want to bend over a bit too much, which puts me off balance (almost dropped my partner once).

Instead of a throw, we grabbed the ankle, pulled the leg toward us and punched the lapel forward to knock the opponent over on hir back. I like this- I liked the fireman's carry throw, and it's cool to have another option depending on how the balance is. It's one of those things that I don't like how close my face is to the knee, however. Note: do not get so fixated on the leg business that you forget to be committed about that lapel.

Pounce on the opponent's near leg and lie on it while you underhook the far thigh. Get side control, making sure to defend the half guard with your foot. If you forget to underhook the far thigh, you REALLY will get half-guarded for sure.

Another option: After you lie on the near leg and underhook the far thigh, you can figure-4 your legs around the opponent's leg (outside leg straight) and drive your hips to the mat for a sub. This was cool, but I'm not sure if would be practical for me live. I had to slide a fair ways down the leg to find the sweet spot, while Daniel had to slide a fair ways *up* mine. I was down far enough that I'm not sure I could keep control of the body at the same time, if he was fighting me. Maybe it would be easier on a shorter guy (although Daniel is already fairly short).

Sweep from bottom side control: Both of you are hugging chest to chest, gable gripped over one shoulder and the other arm. As your opponent on top tries to slide hir knee onto your belly, you grab the belt with the hand that is on the opposite side, bridge and roll. This is not going to work if s/he's posting, nor is it going to work if s/he's not pressed right up against you. When you're hugging, though, it was surprising how little effort this took. Like the upa, you want to roll diagonally toward the head rather than the side.

Some positional sparring from side control. Then one roll with John and one with Daniel. Daniel was the one who was hoisting me around with inverted guard. He flipped me right into a headstand once. John got me off of top side control three times with an underhook of the thigh. The third time, I managed to flatten out enough that he couldn't finish, but I must watch out for that next time I spar him.

It would have been nice to work with John and Daniel some more (some of my favorite partners), but I was feeling so low-energy that I quit.

Wonder how the tournament's going.

Chopsticks are getting slightly easier, although I'll bet scrambled egg and chicken breast is going to be much easier to chopstick than chicken a la king. If all else fails, I can simply impale the food on the end of the stick.

Friday, March 16, 2012

More Friday

Restricting our horizons is encouraged in order to seek perfect efficiency in only one activity, avoid dispersing our energies, and dedicate ourselves to a well-defined career. This is how experts are born and life dies. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday evening no-gi at Sleeper. I was tired, but nothing on Heaven or Earth was going to stop me from getting to this class tonight.

I haven't done no-gi in so long- it felt so strange. The familiar: getting thoroughly plowed by Cindy in the sparring portion of class. I still feel about as effectual with her as I did my very first day, and the kicker is that she's going probably 25% on me (if that). It was nice to see that she's healing up from her car crash injuries, though. She said her back is still stiff, but she seemed to perform really well on the mat.

With opponent in your guard: Cup behind neck with one arm and bicep with the other. "crawl" your legs up hir back without opening your guard (this was the hardest part for me), and end up wrapped around hir neck with one shoulder trapped. Clasp hir forearm against your chest with hir elbow slightly bent. Curl your body to the side like a Cheeto to armbar. Note that curling only the top half of the body does not work nearly as well.

From there, Push the head to the side and flip the leg around to place knee on back of neck, armbar again. My form is nice on this, my crotch is pressed right into the armpit, but I continue to have to think a moment about which side I need to go to. It's worse under pressure.

Opponent wraps arm around your neck and stacks you. You cling to hir other wrist as s/he tries to pull it out, then let it go and use the momentum to triangle hir. Tuck the protruding arm under your armpit and armbar again. From there, my partner had a kimura and an additional armbar to add; I decided that I had enough material to challenge me for the time being.

Cindy has a thousand and one armbar variations; I wish I felt more confident about trying them in gi- but I just have a sense of not really knowing where the elbow is and how the arm is twisted, while it's hiding in that baggy sleeve.

Next: opponent is in your guard, you pull one arm crossways across your chest (this works especially well if s/he's trying to press a forearm into your neck). Hug the head to your chest. If you can wrap hir own arm around her neck and hold it on the other side, that's a bonus. Underhook the knee with your other arm, bring the ankle right to your ear. (If you can't underhook the leg because s/hes sinking the base down, yank hir torso forward with your legs. Another detail- it is possible to finish this step with your hands gable-gripped and the opponent in a painful curled ball. Apparently a little squeeze at this point is fairly evil.) Flail the far leg to work yourself into a 90 degree angle to the opponent. Scissor your legs as you sweep. Land in mount.

I worked with Jalen, who is my size and great to work with- he's about 12 but very focussed, and his BJJ is fantastic. We got about a jillion reps. I repped everything on both sides.

Poor Jalen got to be the demo dummy tonight- she made him yelp a few times. Then she would demo on me so that he could see, and I said, "You better not squeeze me that hard!"


What’s your objective? -Raven

Friday: It's five am. Since last fall, whenever I sleep at night, I wake up like a shot at 5am. Occasionally I can get back to sleep, but usually I can't. It doesn't seem to matter if I went to bed at midnight or 1, it doesn't seem to matter that I'm still exhausted. It's like the world is forcing me to watch the sunrise every morning as some kind of psychological torture. I've read that this is a common grief symptom. I wonder if it's ever going to go away. It's been seven months, it seems like it should be going away. The grief too. This waking-up-at-5-am thing makes it really hard to do classes, especially 2-a-day classes- so tired- and if I have to work the 3pm to midnight shift, that's really hard too. (The number of typos I had to correct in this paragraph is amazing.... it looked like it had been written by someone three sheets to the wind.... bet I missed some, too) If I had taken a Unisom or two the night before, that seems to head it off sometimes, but I'm already taking way too many of those things.

It took me so long to eat my chicken a la king with chopsticks last night, I had to stick it back in the microwave to reheat. Afterward, I was still a bit hungry- but I just didn't want to spend that much time picking at the food again. My characteristic impatience with time-consuming detail work may make this an even better diet aid than I'd thought. I'm not getting any more adept yet with practice. Now I know why the Chinese as a culture tend to not be as overweight as Americans. It's the chopsticks!!!!!

Last night I told Carlos that he was looking skinny today. Then he had to go weigh himself. He's all anxious about his weight because he's getting ready for PanAms (and also the Revolution this Saturday). The scale showed him 4lb over what he thought he was, and then he had to show us all a photo on his phone of his bare feet on the scale at home that morning to prove he wasn't really that heavy. I got on the scale and said, "Oh, this is weighing four pounds heavy!" I told them what I'd weighed that morning, and that the gym scale said I was 4 lb heavier. Carlos felt better then, because he said I could not have gained 4lb that day when I did two classes! Then Dave put the 25lb barbell on the scale,and it said 27lb. I pointed out that the amount of error could increase with a heavier weight on the scale, though.

Lunchtime BJJ at GB Seattle. I walked in and there was Fred! I said, "Look! It's a new guy! What's your name, new guy?!" He has a new job within reasonable distance of the school, so depending on his schedule, hopefully he will be able to start coming regularly again. Unfortunately I didn't get to play with him today. kai was theer too- another person I haven't seen in about a year.

Since it's the day before the Revolution, Carlos will either be 1)really hard on us, or 2)really easy on us. No in-between. It turned out to be option 2 today! By the time warmups were done, I was about done too!

Standing guard pass, the reaching-in-your-jeans-pocket one. Note that to begin (in guard on the floor), you want to get your elbow tucked right in close to your ribs- and if you can get the sleeve-grip hand tucked under your elbow so that the opponent's hand is pinned in there, so much the better. Also do not forget the change of hands when you stand up- you have to change that sleeve grip to the cross-hand. I had to be corrected on that. (Angela was forgetting that too, but this time I elected to keep my yap shut, and I'm glad I did because of what ensued later...)

Once we broke the guard, we were doing the "seatbelt" with gable grip and sprawl. This was the part I was having the most trouble with. Angela suggests that I need to grip further up on the thighs and a lot harder, stack more aggressively, and also not get sloppy with my gable grip.

After the stack, you crossgrip the collar, grab the back of the pants, plant shoulder in ribs and work around to side control.

Next we did the same entry from guard on the floor, only when the opponent stands up in your guard, you go to spider guard. Opponent grips pants (inside or outside is ok- carlos prefers inside), elbows snap sharply in, backs up and slams feet to floor (bullfight). Then plant shouler in ribs and work around to side control.

I have always had trouble shedding people's spider-guard feet, and both Angela and I had trouble with it today. She actually instructed me after the first couple reps to fight harder to hold my spider guard on her. I resisted a bit more, and then she asked again, more insistantly. She's prepping for the Revolution tomorrow and the PanAms as well, so she doesn't want to waste any time with people who are not fighting her hard. Okay, whatever you want, dude. So I started hanging on like a superglued monkey. Since she is a purple belt, she was still shedding me and passing just fine- but not with the Bullfight, and Carlos came over and told her to do the drill he had told us to be working on. She informed him that it wasn't working. So he made her demo it, and it worked. She said, "It only works if Kitsune's not fighting me." "Keetsune's not supposed to be fighting you, thees ees DREELs, not poseetional sparring." So they started arguing about it. I could tell that Angela was really frustrated with that elbows-in maneuver that was supposed to shed the spider guard feet and wasn't working for either of us. After Carlos left, I said to her, "I think part of the problem is that our boobs are in the way." Which made her laugh, but it's true. The technique is similar to certain Wing Chun techniques where my teacher was always harping at me, "Drop the elbows more, get them closer to your ribs." and I would answer "That is not going to happen without surgical intervention."

So Carlos came back after a while and again asked her why she couldn't do the technique, and she responded, "Because I have breasts." If I hadn't been mortified, the expression on Carlos' face probably would have been pretty funny. Then I had to explain to him what she meant.

I left after drills because I was tried, and I wanted to save enough energy to go to Sleeper tonight.

Hey, this month is my three-year BJJ anniversary.

I got Crazy Bread after class. Worth every single calorie.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Thursday

“I have many skills.” –Xena, the Warrior Princess

I'm in trouble. A Little Ceasar's has opened in Woodinville. I'd be in worse trouble if it had opened in Redmond or Bellevue- Woodinville is not exactly on my way to anything- but trouble nonetheless. My college town had a Little Ceaser's. I used to go in there all the time and get a stromboli and crazy bread. I don't think they do strombolis any more, but I checked the online menu for the new Woodinville LC's, and there it is. Crazy Bread. Mercy. I haven't had crazy bread in about fifteen years. I am in so much trouble. There are 800 calories in it- and it's only a side dish.

Evening BJJ at Gracie Bellevue.

I forgot to print out the newest schedule, so I showed up for class a half hour early. I used 15 min of that to do all of the tai chi open-hands forms, Touch Bridge, and Little Red Dragon. By then, there were too many people around, andI didn't want an audience.

Note that the Prof wants your attendance card even if it's your second class of the day. He sent me back out to the lobby for it while everyone waited. Embarrassing.

Same techniques as this morning. More embarrassing- I was still getting details wrong. Prof was a little annoyed with me, but not half as annoyed as I was with myself. He gave me kind of a hard time. Kelly was having trouble with the technique too, although she had more of an excuse because she hadn't already spent an hour today repping it. All the same, the bumbling of the two of us drew enough criticism from Carlos that Kelly was in tears again. I felt terrible. I should just stay away from that poor girl. If I'd partnered with somebody else, I would have lured at least half the criticism away elsewhere and she could have worked it out in peace.

I was hipped out and turned on my side, but not enough so in Carlos' opinion. Note that in the next step, your hand has to be posted when you go for the hip-up into your "bait" technical lift, and you have to be literally sitting in the opponent's lap. When you flip hir over, finish with that leg sticking straight up. I had to do a distinct pause there to make the prof happy. Both Kelly and I were apparently jumping the gun to get to side control quickly enough to be cheating the tail end of the technique. Oh, and you do get to SIDE CONTROL, not mount. If you mount, you'll get rolled over.

Two rolls, one with Dave, one with a four stripe white- I wasn't doing too well tonight. But tomorrow is another day.


The moment they ask us to choose between two different paths, the implicit message is that we can only follow one. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Saturday FOD: Dance Of Life

Sunday FOD: Plum Blossom Fist. Note that when standing up after the kneeling Leopard fist portion, I seem to want to take a step with the right foot. Don't do it. Stand squared-up while doing the left-hip swirl, then take a LEFT step at the downward chop. This is the only way you can set up for a rt step on the horizontal chop, then the scissor step.

Winning search term of the week on my blog: "nude tai chi men only".

Monday FOD: Touch Bridge. Standard version only. Same error as last time- I wanted to do the fist overtop of the flat hand near the end, instead of the other way around. I don't know why I'm doing that. It makes no practical sense at all. FIST ON BOTTOM! FIST ON BOTTOM!

Tuesday FOD: Tai Chi short form.

Got a lot of research done on my WIP in the last 2 days. Mostly about food, plants, textiles. I started out visualizing a modified Louisiana bayou environment, but it seems like nearly everything I want to incorporate turns out to be Chinese in origin. I know some of that is coming from my MA and spiritual training..... but last night I was Wiki'ing all sorts of random foods and things that I wanted to incorporate, and everything kept coming back to China- including a whole lot of stuff that I had no idea originated in China or had connections to China. It's taking on that "this is not just coincidence" ooga-booga air. I guess I should just reconcile myself to the fact that the setting is in a modified ancient China. One of the pluses of this is that I can use CK as a resource, since she knows everything. She knows everything about everything- but *especially* everything about ancient China.

The weaponry (yeah, this is a big focus for me- heh-) was originally intended to be mostly staffs and knives, with the occasional sword. However, my characters are going to be spending a lot of time hacking bamboo (or a bamboo-like clone that I will invent some weird name for, just to cover up any errors in my research- gotta love fantasy fiction- don't know jack about your topic, or just too lazy to study it? MAKE IT ALL UP!). So I began watching all these Youtubes of survivalist hillbillies and grizzled old natives making everything short of a nuclear bomb out of bamboo... and they were all using these:
(These are Nepalese, not Chinese, just for your edification).

Now I think I'm going to forget sword altogether and have everyone use these as both weapon and tool. Of course, this means it will be necessary for me to purchase one... or two.... purely for research purposes, of course. Not just because I want another cool martial arts weapon.

The Mythic Scribes Forum rocks, by the way. The other writers are very helpful with suggestions and encouragement.

Thursday: Horrible nightmares all day today.

136.0. I have an excuse for this, sort of. The dishwasher was broken for about a month. I despise washing dishes (that was one of the jobs I did at that restaurant). After a couple of loads, I was like, I don't want to do this any more. So I bought pizza. I was good about portions (I never heated up more than one piece at a time), but the frequency may have been a little more frequent than was optimal. Well, the dishwasher is fixed now and the pizza is gone. I have also decided to start eating most of my meals with chopsticks for the next little while. I am clumsy with chopsticks, so it takes me more time to eat less food.

Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Bellevue. Got to drill with Nelson (yay!)

Same guard pull from standing that we did last time, continuing to scissor sweep. Note that the leg across opponent's chest should be sharply angled with your knee near their shoulder and your foot at their hip. Fight the urge to place the leg horizontally at their beltline. Also: The shin that is going to be on the floor, do not put it there until RIGHT before you sweep. If you put it there too early, the opponent can hop over it or kneel on it.

One more thing- keep ahold of that elbow, and yank it to prevent them from posting as you're sweeping. I was particularly lax about remembering/executing this while scissor-sweping on my stupid side.

Oops, still one more: As you mount, get that hand off the cross collar and square up. If you leave that hand there, the opponent can just continue the roll.

Next, one person attempts scissor sweep and the other sinks down their base to counter. Do not continue to attempt the scissor sweep when this happens. Replace closed guard.

Next, we did one of the coolest sweeps EVER. You attempt scissor sweep, opponent sinks base to counter. You sit up and hug over opponent's shoulder, grab belt in back. Hip up. Opponent tries to shove you back down on your back. (Note that you can pretend you are going into tactical lift, just to bait them into doing this). As the opponent pushes forward, you drop your bent leg so that the foot is hooked behind their knee. Then kick straight up. The opponent's own momentum rolls him to the side on his back (on the same side that you kicked). You get on top (side control or mount). This was kind of tricky, but done right it involved almost no effort and worked great. I almost launched Nelson onto his head once.

I skipped out after drills. Still feeling a bit headachey. I always wake up on Thursdays with a headache. I assume it's caffeine withdrawl, plus a bit of dehydration and hypoglycemia. This morning I drank some pop, ate, and even took an aspirin (which I rarely do), but it lingers.... maybe something else going on.

Yahtzee... I asked Nelson if he has done any MA training with machete-like weapons, and he has. I am going to try to meet up with him after I buy my kukri, and have him show me a little.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


We are stuck within a system that gives all the power to the mind, and just the leftovers to the body. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Didn't get any training done on Thursday, spent the entire day writing.

I suspect I have some degree of undiagnosed bipolar disorder, but I have learned over time how to harness aspects of it for the powers of good. When I'm in a groove (writing, working forms, housecleaning, whatever) and being really productive, it pays to just ride that train out and squeeze it for all it's worth. I can go twice around the clock on a task like gangbusters, and get a lot done. If I stop or divert, I tend to lose the momentum and never get back to the job. I got a lot done on my Work In Progress (to be henceforth referred to as WIP) yesterday. This run began with reading over some random scraps from different parts of the story that I had already written, and thinking- instead of "This is crap" and shitcanning it all (as often happens)- thinking, "Wow, this is great. Me write good." ;)

The flip side of this, of course, is that once the wave peters out, I'm done. Hope I don't lose all motivation for the WIP.

Friday: 134.5
FOD: Kiu 2.

Felt so guilty about my Thursday laziness that I went in on Friday lunchtime even though it is a workday. Brock was teaching.

From standup- armdrag setup. Slap opponent's left hand inward with your right hand and immediately step in (your foot between hir feet) to grab inside of hir left bicep with your left hand. You are side by side and hip to hip. Yank on bicep and make sure your leg is befouling hir stance as you jerk hir forward.

Note that of one of the opponent's feet is in front of the other when you being, you want to attack the arm on the same side as the forward foot.

This felt good. I felt like I was truly grokking on both a physical and mental level the way the arm and leg attacks were cooperating. It was easy to get the opponent off balance. Almost accidently took him down a couple times. :)

From standup: grab 1 lapel and 1 elbow. Step on hip on the side that you have the elbow. Drop onto back, swing out sideways with your leg out. Pull back in so that you are sideways to opponent. drop elbow, grab opponent's ankle. Hip up and place your butt on opponent's foot. Remove far foot from hip and place on opponent's far knee. remove near foot from hip and hook leg around opponent's near leg with your leg to the outside and your foot on the inside of hir knee. Push with the foot that you have on opponent's knee, to spread hir stance out. Sit up and hug opponent's leg. DO NOT REMOVE THE FOOT FROM THE KNEE!!!! Use the hand holding the lapel to feed the lapel to your opposite hand, which is behind opponent's knee. (Your arm goes ABOVE your own leg, not below.... for some reason I keep wanting to stick my arm under my own leg). Grab opponent's arm on the side that you are pushing the knee, so s/he can't post. Pull lapel, push knee, yank arm and cause opponent to face-plant. Let hir weight pull you upright and on top.

I was working with a really great white belt partner who had done the same technique yesterday, so was good at it. He was also very encouraging near the end, as we drilled this same technique for the ENTIRE class, and after about the 70 millionth time, I began to get very tired (which translated to sloppy and stupid). We repped it so often that I began to try it on the stupid side, even though it was a pretty complex multi-step technique. After a bazillion reps, the stupid side got better than the standard side- which happens sometimes. Figured out that the reason this time was that on the stupid side, my right arm was manipulating the lapel-feeding step, and my right arm is much less clumsy than my left. Same arm was the dominant during the dumping step, so made it less clumsy and more strong.]

Had to leave right after the drills, since I was WIPED- and also wanted to catch a nap before work.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Physical education is the fundamental discipline of life, but it is actually despised, neglected, and taught intellectually, because the true intent of our schools is to inculcate the virtues of cunning and calculation which will make money...... The establishment is a class of physical barbarians.... they do not know how to transform money into physical enjoyment. They were never taught how to husband plants and animals for food, how to cook, how to make clothes and build houses, how to dance and breathe, how to do yoga for finding one's true center, or how to make love. -Alan Watts


The universe is conspiring so that I will never see Cindy again. Today I was going to go to Sleeper Athletics, and most likely lunchtime at Gracie Seattle as well- but I was prepared to skip the latter if I didn't feel 100%, so as to make SURE nothing stopped me from going to Sleeper. Instead, I fed and medicated the cats, crawled back into bed, and stayed there all day. My head felt like one of those tomatoes that when you slice it open, it's all dry and moldy inside. When I got up to feed the cats dinner and medicate them again, I wanted to go out and get the mail- but my coat wasn't by the door where I thought I'd left it. I searched everywhere, and began to wonder if I'd left it someplace. Then I noticed that it was sitting right by the door- exactly where I'd thought it should be. In that state, I guess it's for the best that I did not try to go to class- or get behind the wheel of an automobile.

Side Control mentions on his blog that he had "fever and fatigue" as well (bad enough that he bailed out of the school tournament this weekend), *and* Rodrigo, and others have had it as well... so apparently some bug I picked up at the gym.

Nauseating search term of the week: "naked bjj girl vs boy". Good grief. I'm pretty sure these twisted puppies are not finding what they're looking for on *my* blog.

Saturday: 132.5 Head still feels a bit weird. I think I'm functional, but maybe BJJ would not be such a good idea today.

Drum circle- smallish crowd, had to start and carry the beats a lot. Started 3 chants. Got a lot of join-in on the 2nd one, including some people who don't normally chant. Note that that one was just a sort of two- or three-tone moan. It ended up sounding like a bunch of coyotes baying at the moon; pretty cool. Perhaps even the four-syllable easy chants I tend to start are too intimidating for some people. Folks are even more inhibited and self-conscious about singing than they are about drumming. Next time: more two-tone moan. See if I can bring in a few more voices. I just know some of them are salivating to chant, and are too scared.... if I can just get them to open their mouths a couple of times (and see that people are not going to laugh, or throw tomatoes), we could build up a serious chorus after a few months.

The 3rd chant was sheer desperation. A very chaotic mash-up had jangled to a discordant halt at 8:58, and you really can't end on something like that. I waited for somebody to start something, anything... of course there was dead silence.... so I just sang. Pure I-have-no-idea-where-I'm-going-after-this-note-right-here. It came out all minor-chord-y- I actually thought it sounded fantastic (hee hee hee), but probably nobody else was going to dare tackle it. Thank you God, some of the drums started accompanying. I just did about 5 minutes, enough to tack a halfway lyrical and feel-good cap on the evening.

I so wish I could chant and drum at the same time, it would make things so much easier. Sometimes in a big group with other strong players I can pull that off, but without much support it's just too much pressure to try to focus on doing more than one thing well at once.

Sunday FOD: Black Crane 1. Both versions. Actually did mirror version first- not really meaning to, just started working and that's what popped out. I like that for some of these forms, the mirror version is already almost as natural as the standard version. Had trouble with the reap at the end of the mirror version, though. That still feels strange.

Looking at photos of Cranes on the internet counts as training for me. Kung Fu is cool.

Monday FOD: Iron Needle. I made a correction, based on how *I* thought the physics should work. Since I am now my own teacher, I need to make my own corrections.

Wednesday: 134

Lunchtime BJJ Gracie Seattle. Got to drill ith Angela, which was great.

Two cross jabs, thrust kick to belly, clinch, reap, end in closed guard. Posture up. Opponent yanks your elbows and hugs your head to hir chest. You stick your hands in hir armpits with the thumbs up, push and duck your head out. Grab hir rt sleeve with your left hand, grab the lapels (low) with your other hand. Stand up (step up with the knee that is on the side you have captured the sleeve first). Let go lapels, switch grip on sleeve to cross grip. Pretend you are reaching into the back pocket of your jeans, break closed guard. Hike the leg up onto your shoulder. Go around the side that you have the sleeve captured, pressure, fold hir in half. Grab the collar on the opposite side. End in side control.

We have done this before, often enough that I felt fairly ok with it- the only thing I kept doing wrong was letting go of the sleeve too soon. You pretty much don't let go of the sleeve till you're done with the entire sequence.

1 Roll with a 4 stripe white belt. I was on top for about the first 3 min, then it was trapped in back mount for the rest of the roll. He was clumsy with his choke technique, so didn't finish any.

Repetitive restarts with Angela, who is training for PanAms. I was just trying to pass her guard and she was trying to sweep me. I came at her a whole bunch of different ways, so she had to do all different techniques, but she got me every time.

Circus School (acrobalance). I got caught in some really intense traffic and got there 40 min late, missing the entire warmup *and* the conditioning.

Lots of high-flying, tricky stuff today. Willis is out of town for a couple of months, so we only had 2 bases. We did a 360-degree plank. A star where you balance upside down on your shoulders, braced on the base's upraised feet (I did okay at that one, but it was a muthuh to jump into... I needed a spotter to hoist my ass up). A 3 person stack with a base, a front plank, then a third person standing on the plank's butt as if riding a surfboard. I got up to a crouch, but couldn't stand- my feet were wobbling from side to side on the plank's butt too violently. (It doesn't help that this sort of thing tends to start all of you giggling.... balance is worse while you're giggling...)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Thursday

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that most human problems have their origin in a bad relationship with the body. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Thursday evening BJJ at Gracie Bellevue.

Being my 2nd BJJ class of the day, I was a little torn between having to drive all the way into Seattle vs going to Bellevue and having to be in ADVANCED class whether I felt like it or not. Decided to go to Bellevue this time.

It really is very different doing 2 BJJ classes in 1 day versus doing a BJJ class and a Kung Fu class in 1 day. It is much less exhausting with 2 different arts, as you're using very different muscles and movements. Plus it's different enough that it is also less mentally exhausting to learn (and probably retain). Sigh.

Anyway- we were doing a lot of fun stuff in Advanced class tonight. I got to work with Kelly, whom I haven't seen in a long time and haven't worked with in forever, so that was cool.

Standup: reaps, using a lapel grip and an elbow grip (slide the lapel grip behind the opponent's neck as you step in, and use it to yank hir backward).

Then a fireman's carry: lapel and elbow grip both people; you take your hand off the elbow, place your hand on your own lapel BENEATH opponent's hand and turn torso to that same side. At the same time, sharply yank your lapel out of hir hand and also stiff-arm hir with your other hand to make it easier. (note to self to try this same grip break in other situations...)

Now slide that same-side foot between opponent's feet, kneel on that knee. Stick your arm between hir legs as you yank down on the lapel, to place hir sideways over your shoulders. Two ways to dump hir: bow your head fwd and roll hir off to the front, or cartwheel hir off to the diagonal. Carlos said the first way is easier, especially if they are heavy (and made a point of telling Kelly and me to do it the first way). I tried it that way, and it was awkward. Kelly's leg was almost posted, and in my way. The diagonal was actually a lot easier for me. It might have been a height difference thing. It really needed the momentum to work well, though, so I was awkward for the first few reps- till I was sure about which arm was doing what, and that I had all the steps.

Kelly asked me if I had done judo. "No- why, does it seem like I actually know what I'm doing a little bit?" She said- I can't remember the exact words she used, but something about seeming more assertive and confident with takedowns. Like many BJJ schools, we do not really work takedowns enough, and a lot of people are awkward and hesitant. It was great to work some takedowns. I wonder if that is done more often in the advanced class. Even with the increased mat space we have now, there are often too many couples on the mat to safely work takedowns, even if we wanted to.

Then two reversals from turtle, opponent paralleling you and setting up a collar choke.

1) you pin opponent's arm on the side AWAY from hir, and roll over your shoulder. This was exactly what I had been doing this morning, and calling it a "shoulder throw from the knees".

2) You grab the pants at the knee- of the opponent's far leg. Place your ankle over hir other ankle, then roll AWAY from opponent. KEEP HOLD OF THE PANTS till you finish up on top.

Kelly kept pulling me right onto her belly- which was fine, with me, but if she'd tried that with a heavy guy, it would have sucked. I tried to tweak her form. Then she pulled me over lower on her body so that I was rolling over her pelvis. Well, marginally better... but I said that she was still going to rupture something important if she tried that with Rene. I demo'ed it- when I did it, all her weight was on my hip, and that felt great- so I was pretty sure I was right that that was the way we wanted to be doing it. We struggled, though- she kept saying that she thought that was the way she *WAS* doing it, whereupon I would have her do it to me again, and then I'd pause halfway through and bounce a little so that she could see that all my weight was right on top of her soft belly- REALLY, feel that? *bounce* *bounce* *poke* I think she might have been getting a little frustrated with me, and after a while I kind of wished I had just kept my mouth shut. Especially as I haven't worked with her in a long time, I didn't really want to be an annoying pain in her butt. That was one technique where I think it may have actually been helpful for her to work with someone heavier- it would have been a lot more apparent exactly where she needed to put the weight.

We did the first spar together, and DAMN, the woman tooled me. She has gotten really good. I couldn't get the heck out of her closed guard, I just couldn't. She front mounted me, back mounted me. My usually-efficient back mount escapes failed on her because her hips were so much more flexible than the hips of most people I work with. She didn't get a sub, but I was definitely tooled in a positional sense. Yeah, it was my 2nd class of the day and I was a little tired, but I wasn't feeling tired enough to have an excuse for this... She deserves the cred. She has just gotten really good, and she is really strong, and she tooled me righteously. Embarrassing (especially after I had acted like such a know-it-all during the drills), but I'm proud of her. She was crying on the mat her first month. I'm sure Carlos never thought she'd make it. Not only has she made it to blue, and is GOOD, and doing well at comps, but she is usually training at Bellevue- where there usually are *NO* other women to work with. Intimidating and difficult, especially if you're new. Good for her. Even Ron commented that she is getting good, and really strong. I made a point of telling her that in the locker room after (as well as congratulating her sincerely for tooling me!)

Then Ron, who *ALWAYS* tools me- so at least that time I knew what I was in for. He subbed me six ways to Sunday. Armbars seemed to be the technique of the day for him- he was going for them again and again from all positions. He only got two- I defended a lot, and they are a little harder to finish on me because my arms are so stubby. But he subbed me about a bazillion other times with all sorts of other stuff. Then I was too tired to do any more.


The world would never have been the same had any of the Western prophets been struck by the same intuition that myth attributes to Bodhidharma. Probably, the entire Western culture would be drastically different. No rivalry between spirit and body. No tug-of-war between the soul yearning for Heaven and the body restraining it on Earth. Rather than wasting our energies quarreling with our bodies and with the natural world, we could let spirituality and sensuality dance cheek to cheek. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday FOD: Plum Blossom Fist. Note that the Leopard Fist section begins kneeling on the RIGHT knee.

Sat FOD: Box Form. Both versions. Did a micro-fu version in the break room while waiting for popcorn to pop- felt very powerful. Couldn't quite recapture the energy later while doing it with more focus, LOL. There's just something about this form, though. Little Red Dragon has cooler technique, Touch Bridge is more advanced. CC dismisses Box Form as beginner-level dross. I think I'd be hard pressed to even ID it as a Dragon form, if I saw it performed for the first time by someone who wasn't a Dragon stylist. It's got some kind of elusive spark in it, though.

Sun FOD: Hurricane Hands. Standard version a few times, a bit of the mirror version. Had to check a few things, but it was mostly still there.
This is the last stone in the bowl, time to start over.

Somnalist Trauma Theater offered up two "oldies but goodies" on Sunday as well as something a little different. The same: dreams about the principle villians in last fall's Trauma-rama (the more I try to just not think about those people, the more I think about them- and when I sleep, I DREAM about them). Also a rerun: a dream wherein my teeth are falling out. My mother read some dream-interpretation rag and insists that this always indicates a fear of growing old. I have some experience in dream interpretation myself, though- and things symbolize different meanings to different people. I'm fairly sure that this one, in my case, is a fear of being/feeling ineffectual/impotent/helpless. Which could go along with aging, but the two are not glued together by any means.

The different: Another violent attack/persecution adventure, but this time I had another person with me, and the attackers were firing at that person- not me. That distressed me, even though I have no idea who that person was.

Also worth noting: the restaurant nightmares are back.
When I was in high school and college, I worked for five years at a restaurant. It wasn't a pleasant job, nor was it a pleasant period of my life. For the following decade or so, I had recurring nightmares about working there. They showed up whenever I was feeling stressed, and were a reliable barometer of a point where I really needed to address the amount of tension in my life. I was so ready to forget that resturant, though. Eventually I started to wonder if I was doomed to dream about that damn place for the rest of my life.

A few years after moving to Seattle, I ceased to dream about the restaurant. It has been something like seven years since I last had one of those, and that was a relief. Well, now they are back. I've had at least a dozen of them in the last six months. The most recent was a few days ago, when I woke up with the certainly that I was employed both at my present job *AND* the restaurant- and I half-lunged out of bed in a panic that I was late for a shift at the latter- where the hell were my apron and nylons, and were they clean?!? Ugh.

Monday FOD: Kiu Two. Again.

One of the fantasy/sci fi creative writing forums I sometimes hang around in is doing a challenge project. You create two fighters, have them battle it out, and then the winner advances in brackets wherein you fight other writers. I had been discussing Praying Mantis and Monkey styles of Kung Fu in the "research" section of the same forum, so I decided to create characters from each style and have them duke it out on the page. I haven't gotten to writing the actual fighting yet, because my characters are still busy making snarky comments about the all other contestants and about each other. I'm hoping that I can get done soon and post my piece first- because that gives me carte blanche to make up whatever the hell I want about other people's characters- I'm creating backstories, sick rumors, giving them physical handicaps, all sorts of things that the other writers are just going to be stuck with if I post first. {evil chuckle}

Tuesday- 133.5. FOD: Northern Mantis Bo form. Done 3x with broom handle at work.

My lovely boss has denied two of my time-off-request dates for PSG (two from the middle of the week, of course). Now that I don't have my Kung Fu classes and events, PSG is normally the *only* time off I tend to ask for during the entire year. I registerd anyway- if you wait to get registration and plane tix till later, it costs hundreds of dollars more. She'd better figure something out. This is a stress I don't need, though.

Creative writing challenge is fun so far. I had my Mantis guy win the battle, but the Monkey guy walked off with the title because he bribed the ref. :D I also Tuckerized JB *and* Triin briefly, and thew in mention of the Bullshido forum, a put-down of Tae Kwon Do, and disparaging commentary about ring girls (recent hot topic on Jiu Jitsu Forums). Several of the other writers are incorporating the tidbits of backstory that I threw out into their own stories, so that's merry fun to see. Next I "fight" one of the other writers. I'll have at least one more fight to write and possibly as many as half a dozen. Winners are being chosen by dice roll, and each writer writes 1/2 of the scene.

I picked up my Gracified gi's from the tailor today. Yes, I have been assimilated. I'm not very happy about it, but it is a rule now.... and patching my gi's instead of buying new GB gi's is pushing it. Although after paying for the (really expensive!) patch kits and paying the tailor, I probably didn't save a whole lot. I really do not enjoy looking like a car in the Indy 500. At least the guy in the car is *getting* paid to look like a crazy quilt, instead of having to *PAY* to do it!

Thursday: 133.0

Somnalist Trauma Theater: spent most of the night trying to talk down a drugged out, morose guy who had a gun and knife and was threatening to use them on himself and on others around us. I hardly even mind these nightmares any more (well, the restaurant ones, I mind some) as long as they don't have people from last fall in them. Unfortunately, a few of those people showed up in this nightmare. Wonder if they would have gone away if I'd let the druggie shoot them.

Thuursday Lunchtime BJJ at Gracie Seattle. I am often not feeling very peppy to go to this class, but this is the second time I've gotten to roll with the Prof, so I should try to keep coming if just for that!

All spars, all the time today. All blue belts for me, except for Carlos. Glenn, Nelson (twice), some middle-eastern blue belt guy whose name I don't know, John (twice). Felt like I was doing medium-well... not too great, not too bad. A couple of people told me I was doing well, though, including the Prof- so I'll take it. He and I were doing a little stand-up again. Me trying to take him down is laughable, but I hope he at least appreciates my persistance. He says I should go for chokes more. I had let go of one that hadn't seemed to be working, and he asked "Why you let go?" He had thought it was on okay and I should have kept working at it.

Nelson already has 3 stripes on his blue belt. I said, "You must have been busting your ass in here the last year." He said, "They're giving them out like candy!" Then he said something about bribes.

John socked me in the jaw, and I ragged him a whole bunch about it... then he did it AGAIN, and he felt really bad. Then he klonked me in the jaw with his knee, and was ready to walk off the mat. By then I was cracking up- and I said, just keep going, I know you're not doing it on purpose. Told him that he needed to join the Muay Thai or boxing classes if he wanted to clobber people. Your control starts to do that when you're tired, and we had all been rolling hard for an hour and a half.

I had told him that I was going to call him on it if he started using strength on me. "Be technical." He has told me that he's working on that. He still used some strength on me, but less than he usually does- I could tell he was trying, and it was never eggregious enough to mention.

Glenn kept peeling and ripping my grips persistantly off his collar. Once he squeezed my fingers, and I ragged on *him*... told him that he was a big bully throwing his strength around and that's what everyone always says about him. That's funny because he's awesome to work with (and he knows I think that), and *very* technical- he never seems to be using any strength at all. He said that he knows I'm always going for chokes and that's why he doesn't want me to have that collar grip.

Two different people said that they were impressed with my back mount escapes today, and that they couldn't get/keep hooks in. I also shoulder-threw two people in slo-mo while we were on our knees, taking us from me in turtle and them on top to me in top side control. One of them was Nelson, which was gratifying, since he's a judo guy.

Carlos was eyeing my unbleached cotton Atama that had been Gracified at the tailor, but he didn't say anything. I hope they are not going to say anything about the colored ones. I didn't even do the bare minimum of patches, either- I went whole-hog with the LARGE size patch on the back, the EQUIPE patch under it, the big white GB strip on the front lapel, and the small round red patch on the shoulder. A couple of the other guys have slapped a medium round patch on the back of their unsanctioned gi's and called it good.