Thursday, October 31, 2013

An hour of Lindsey

Systems talk about chi, intent, fa-jing, or some other “magical” effect, and the desperate seeker  (who if he had just picked something, stuck with it, and put in the required  hours of focused practice would be a master) runs from one to another, looking for the magic key to power. He never finds it because he never stays long enough to realize that the secret doesn’t really exist. -Campfire Tales From Hell


Lunchtime BJJ at Bellevue.

Winter training is in one sense worse than summer training.... Carlos comes in in the morning and turns the heater on full blast, and you can feel it roaring and baking on you as you do the "warm-ups", and halfway through the first round of whatever you're drilling, you're ready to sell your soul to anyone who will turn that fucking heater off. I have learned to not grouse about it, though.... if you bitch, Carlos leaves it on even longer.

More side control today.

You are under side control. Place the knee nearest the opponent's feet against hir ribs (You must remember to do this FIRST). Frame, push, stick that knee in there. Bring your other leg over opponent's head and armbar.

Positional sparring from side control. Person on top is supposed to skate around, side to side, N/S. I was feeling very low-energy... in part because I was being cooked to death. I was spectacularly inept on the bottom. Some of the guys are very good at catching arms, and I was getting caught with arms over my head and crossed over my chest- moreso as I got more tired and frustrated. I get sloppy when I get frustrated.  I did a little better on top.

No-gi open mat. I spent a full hour rolling with Lindsey. I very much enjoy rolling with Lindsey. She is also a really valuable person for me to train with leading up to the tourney. She is at 138 right now (although she feels so light!), and is very cool about my doing just a TEENY bit of shoulder pressure and crossfacing, etc.  She did catch me in a couple of bad positions twice, although none three times.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"This is how people, like, take down LIVESTOCK."

I differentiate strangles (cutting off blood to the brain) from chokes (cutting off air). Both have similar effects, but chokes take longer and are more likely to trigger a panic response. These are the only techniques that work on everyone despite insanity, drugs or rage. –Rory Miller

Thurs: 128
Fri: 130
Sat: 128
Sun: 130
Mon: 128
Tues: 130

Come on.... is this supposed to be funny? I'm not finding this very funny.

I registered for the Revolution. 1 weight class up from my ideal in no-gi. I just don't feel like spending the next two weeks starving myself.

Weds: 130 

I dreamed about competing. At least, the lead-up to competing. I had that same acid feeling in my gut that I get when I'm waiting to go on the tourney mat. Does this count as time served toward my goal of learning to cope with the adrenaline dump?

Weds lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland. Escapes from side control.

Bree was here. I barely recognized her. She looks great. She's lost quite a bit of weight. It was very nice to work with her again.

Frame up, push, shrimp, get LOWER knee in, use feet to push opponent's knees as necessary, replace full guard.

Then: frame up, push, keep upper elbow planted while you windshield-wiper forearm to opponent's armpit. Jerk that elbow up- and shrug- at the same time you jerk downward elbow down. Turn belly-down and either take the back or deal with the turtle.

Next: same entry, only when you get to the side of your turtled opponent, turn 90 degrees to hir. Reach under hir and grab the knee. Pull knee while driving into opponent (use head and straight arm "punchthrough") to take top side control.

Then: same entry, only opponent grabs whizzer as you escape side control. Now you must hook hir near shin and pull it outward as you move your body behind opponent and between hir feet. Whip the arm free with a powerful circular slinging motion. Note that you must be careful to get BOTH of your knees behind the opponent- if you straddle hir shin, s/he can roll and kneebar you.

Drills with the "punchthrough" technique... Cindy likes this drill because when you get done doing the technique, you are already in position for your partner to do the technique. Then: positional sparring from side control.

I went straight home after that without rolling, showered and immediately set to work making cat food. That took me all freakin' day and I was late to evening class.

From under side control: Frame, push, shrimp, bring top leg over opponent's head and set it on hir shoulder. As opponent tries to figure out WTF you're setting up, you pop the leg back over the head and triangle. This was weird, but I liked the sneakiness of it.

"Punchthrough" technique again, and drills of same again. Switch partners and repeat.

Positional sparring from side control. God do I ever hate being under side control. I flail uselessly, I get pancaked, I waste a lot of energy, I get really frustrated. The only things that seem to meet with a small amount of success are 1)Black Crane elbow down to my own hip on the floor, turn on belly, let them back mount me. That sucks, but frankly I'd rather fight off being back mounted than fight off bottom side control. 2) wait till they try to change position or sub me, and attempt an escape while they are doing so. #2 is not going to fly on Cindy's mat because she harries me if I just lie there.

I gave Mike my KOB lesson, and also talked him through defending a bunch of chokes and other things I was throwing at him in rapid succession. Note that he is having a lot of trouble with breating. He is either doing the huff-and-puff or holding his breath altogether- not sure which- and then having to pause the roll and gasp on hands and knees. From now on, will make a point of continually reminding him to breathe during the roll.

A roll with Cindy. We took our gi tops off. She was squashing my face with her forearm, pretending to kneedrop on my belly, she tickle-pinched me once in the side and made me shriek, then insisted that it never happened. I kept arguing that this and that thing she was doing to me was illegal, and she argued that they was not. The whole time, she giggled. "I know what you're doing," I gasped out. "You 're trying to make me hate you enough to get rougher. I'm not going to be manipulated like that."  I got smeared, but the plus side was that I was moving continually at a high rate of speed... you have no choice when someone is constantly bouncing all over you grinding on your face and doing all sorts of other painful crap to you.

Next- because there's never enough pain to be had- we did some standup involving one meathook and one head- get to the side of the person and drive your head into the opponent (just above the eyebrow into opponent's jaw hinge or into the flat spot distal from the eye) and push hir around like that or use it to set up a takedown. Then, both hands behind our own backs and fighting just with the pushy heads. Depending on position, one head is totally in control of the whole scene. Note that I need to pay attention to my neck position, posure, shoulder position, etc or else I am not well set-up to try this. But it is very effective, and holy Christ does it ever hurt. Both Dave and I were tapping like crazy almost as soon as she got position and started pushing- never mind any takedowns. Very quickly I was reduced to geniuine PLEADING: "Oh Jesus, no, please don't demo that on me again, please...."

Then we did a supremely evil takedown. I mean, this is just sadistic. As a defense-oriented martial artist, I would love to have this in my toolbox.... but I don't think I am going to be able to bring myself to do it on some poor girl in a comp, much less one of my buddies. This is the kind of thing you'd do to someone evil who deserves pain. Like...hmm....yeah..... maybe someone who would screw a semiconscious teammate and then leave her lying alone on the concrete in a parking lot in the middle of a winter night. Yeah, that's the type of person I'd be able to practice this on. Repeatedly. Gleefully. With full commitment.

"Meathook" behind the neck with the left hand. I tend to want to try to hang weight off that hook, but Cindy notes that the elbow is supposed to be planted against the chest so that you're pulling with the hook and pushing with the elbow at the same time. Right hand behind-the-bicep grip.
Now: choke up on that meathook side abruptly, pulling your armpit right to the neck. Clamp.

The first time Cindy did this to me, she simultaneously pulled her bicep grip so that my arm was clasped across her belly with my palm TOWARD her- yes, this twisted my spine and put my shoulder blade toward the ground and made it impossible to defend wherever she chose to put me.  I really liked that aspect- but when it was my turn, she said that I was getting too fixated on that arm and that I didn't actually even NEED the arm at all- she had me let go of the arm and gable grip my hands together.

Now, take the foot on the SAME SIDE as your armpit clamp, kick it through hard and let yourself drop to the mat on your ass. Yeah.

You know, there is really no way to describe this so that you can appreciate the true level of terror and torment. I mean, you could twist someone's head off and watch it shoot across the room. That certainly is what it feels like when it is done to you. At the same time that your head is being twisted and popped off like a grape off the stem, your attention wars between that and the fact that your spine is contorting as you are being borne inexorably toward the floor. Backwards. Hitting the floor (backwards, with your opponent's full weight on you) is the LEAST of your worries at this juncture. It becomes immediately apparent that if you fail to spin your own body and throw YOURSELF onto your back with lightning speed, your spine is going to crack. Oh, and while you're doing that, try to get your neck aligned because your head is about to pop off. Hurry. You have about two seconds to parse this and then figure out how to physically make it happen. If you survive the takedown and find that you are not a quadriplegic, congratulations- now enjoy trying to get your breath back and get out of bottom scarf... unless you just want to tap right now and give your opponent the win before she kills you, since she's obviously a fucking homicidal maniac.  (I love you, Cindy!)

Kaungren (watching in horrified fascination): "This is how people, like, take down LIVESTOCK."

Cindy then did it to me again, and Mike dashed in to mime branding me on the ass.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Faster, faster, faster!

When the senses wake up, people talk about altered states, but actually nothing about them is altered. The only real alteration is the sleep into which we often let them fall. Bringing them back to life is the only natural thing we can do. It is as if we defined the starting of an engine as an “altered state” only because we consider normal leaving it turned off. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Weds: 127

I'm not losing any more weight, yet my jeans won't stay up. The SMALLEST on my spectrum of jeans, mind you- not the "fat day" jeans.

Forearms still very weak and sore. Grips are poor enough that I decided it wasn't worth going to class. Frustrating. The rest of my body- and brain- wants to be on the mat.

Thurs: 130  (Geez)

Grips feel recovered enough to try class today.

Carlos: "I donno why you always go with the two hunnert feefty pound guy..."  He took that guy away from me and gave me Daniel instead.

Whew.... Day Of the Dreaded Drills.  Spinning armbars; bullfight pass setups; Step into sitting opponent's half guard and push hir down with a hook hand over the opposite shoulder while "sliding into home" with the near knee, then all the way around to N/S.

We started out with a nice mellow U2 soundtrack which Carlos threw out and replaced with pounding, driving electronica. He ran around getting in our faces and yelling at us to go faster, faster, faster!!!!

Next time I think I'm dying in jiu jitsu, I'm going to picture Daniel's face doing those bullfight passes.... I **KNOW** how tired and hurting he was- because I was too- and he was just a machine. We both kept up a cheerleading patter which I hope helped him half as much as it helped me.

I would have tossed my cookies when we were done, but that would have required a core muscle effort that I just could not manage.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Slide into home

 A melodic tinkling sound suddenly drew her attention downstream. If she'd been in fox shape, her ears would have pricked up.  –The Hole In the Clouds

Evening advanced class in Bellevue. I almost didn't go in... my forearms felt very achey and weak. Achey I can ignore, but the functional grip impairment was more problematic. Then it occurred to me that this was the same thing I had been dealing with in the no-gi portion of the last comp, and I could do worse than to just run with it and try to cope.

I was also pretty drugged up on allergy meds.

So of course we began with RUNNING and SPRAWLS and BURPEES, and within three minutes I was heartily regretting my folly.

Standup: single-leg setups (using judo grips, pull down on collar and yank up on elbow, grab leg on the elbow side).

Then, break lapel grip and shoulder throw.

Next: you are standing, opponent lying on hir back before you. Underhook one thigh and hike it onto your shoulder while pushing other knee to mat. "Slide into home" with NEAR knee cutting across opponent's thigh. Move to side control. Make sure you do not leave your trailing arm between hir legs (I did this once, and Ross helpfully slammed me into a backward triangle to show me my mistake).

Rotating spars. I know there are plenty of subs you can do without hand grips, but I just was not in the game tonight. The only positive thing I can really say about tonight's spars is that they burned calories.

Hopefully arms will be better in the morning, or I may need to give the bod a break.

Right before class, I watched Carlos devour an enormous submarine sandwich and make a huge shake disappear. Then- to my envious horror- he produced a stuffed pita sandwich every bit as large and wolfed that as well. I don't know how he can eat like that five minutes before getting on the mat. We razzed him. I said, "You're not going to puke on us, right?" We concluded that the food is being transformed directly into muscle even before it reaches the stomach. 

"What martial art you are doing?"

 The usual winner in a ground fight is NOT the best grappler, but whoever has friends who show up first and start kicking. –Rory Miller

Tues: 127.5

Tuesday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. We had a visiting black belt today- which always means a lot more work! I'm not sure if the prof is trying to show us UP or show us OFF in those cases.

Same standing thrust kick defense that we did yesterday.

Carlos: What martial art you are doing?
Kitsune: (hands over face in shame)
Carlos: I don't know what you doing, but ees not zchoo-zchitsu.

Okay, so it's NOT functionally identical to Black Crane. We are supposed to stand with one foot well forward. I honestly want to know how we can plan to have the correct foot forward when we are not dealing with a compliant uke who can be relied upon to kick with the "correct" foot. But I can't think of a way to ask the question without having it sound like the dreaded "my MA is better than your MA" challenge, which place I DO NOT want to go with Carlos. It's an honest question. I wonder who else I might be able to approach to straighten out that bit of confusion for me.

In addition, the copious errors of my ways included elbow striking with the "wrong" elbow. It appears to me that the technique will work with either elbow, but it seems to be better supported by the full weight of my body (as well as utilizing more of the torque from the turn) to use the "wrong" elbow. Oh well.

Despite my show of contrition and lack of argument, I wonder if he thinks I'm copping attitude when I inadvertantly bleed Kung Fu into my Zchoo-zchitsu; as it then turned into Pick On Kitsune Day- even though the room was packed, he was all up in my grill the whole hour pointing out errors in all of my techniques. Of course, many instances of POKD have no discernable trigger at all.... so who knows.

Foe is in your closed guard. Use right hand to pin hir left hand to hir belt. Secure left hand cross grip on hir left lapel OVER TOP of that trapped forearm. Knee up on the trapped side. Shin turn out on the OTHER side, toe posted. Stand. Switch sleeve cuff grip to opposite hand and grab pants. Break guard and squat, quickly moving to double inside-the-knee grips as you make sure your legs are out of DLR guard range.

Now: Step left foot out to the left as you yank opponent's near leg straight and far knee to the mat on the other side. Sprawl and lay your face on hir belt, shoulder on the side of hir ribs. Dance to the side on toetips to pass.

If s/he pushes your face toward hir legs, go with the spin and do a breakdancing 3/4 turn on top of hir using your shoulder as the pivot. Now you are in side control, ideally with opponent's arms trapped as well.

Today's "Fun with English as a second language" moment:  "Poo foot".... Gordon was just as confused as I was by this instruction, and it was no clearer to either of us on the second or third repetition. Turns out "Poo foot" = "Pull foot" 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday evening

The first step to unlock the doors of perception and sniff the scent of the secret is to awaken the five senses from the numbness that normally surrounds them. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Monday evening BJJ in Kirkland.

Standup: foe presents you with a thrust kick. The defense was functionally identical to the Black Crane one- turn and deflect with the NEAR arm, and comtinue the swing back and up and around to an elbow/forearm strike. I continue to have the same problem I have always had with this one, of course: it's difficult for me to remember under pressure which arm to deflect with.

 You are in closed guard. Basic guard break, then underhook one thigh with a forceful throw of the shoulder and pass on the side. Press opponent's knee to hir nose and grab the back of the pants to stack hir while you pressure down in an evil fashion. (Cindy urges me to get up on my toes to be even more evil.)  Don't forget that forearm in the throat. Pass to side control. I like this pass, if only I can adequately accomplish the shoulder shrug.

From here we applied a keylock. It made a dramatic difference to do what Cindy calls the "reverse motorcyle" and crank the opponent's wrist toward the outside before pulling the elbow down. I did, however, finally identify at least one of the reasons I find that detail so tricky: although I had a female partner tonight, I still found myself dealing with the familiar problem of not being able to grip all the way around her wrist.

Positional sparring from closed guard: pass vs sweep or submit. After the white belt girl (who is pretty good already), I got to work with Will, whom I haven't seen in a while. He handed my ass to me. It didn't even bother me as much to get my ass handed to me by a teenage orange belt as it did to get pounded by the newbie whites this morning- because Will is damn good, and I adore him. The only thing I feel bad about is that it's gotten to the point that I can't really give him a challenge.

I was tired and a little headachey, so I pleaded off sparring. Cindy convinced me to do a few minutes of light standup gripfighting with the gi tops off, so that I could prove that I remembered the things she showed me yesterday.

Ego games

Most people are not beaten. They give up. –Rory Miller

Mon: 128.5

I know I *could* get down to 124 before the Revolution, but I'm starting to think I just don't currently feel like dealing with the level of deprivation it's going to take.

Casey, on Facebook: Ben, you think life is only 1/2 guard!!!!!
Kitsune: When you roll with Ben, your life is 1/2 guard whether you like it or not.
Aussie Dave: At least it can be deep.

Today I got my ass kicked by some brand new white belts.... and I am currently feeling fairly mentally/emotionally healthy about it.

As a blue belt, this occurance tended to invoke one of two reactions: steam-shooting-out-of-ears frustration or black-hole despair; both accompanied by a running mental commentary about how epically I suck and how that will never change no matter what I do. I didn't feel worthy to step on the mat or breathe the air in the school.

Today- at one-stripe purple when I might be expected to feel *more* pressure to avoid getting ass-kicked by new white belts- I am feeling "Okay, so I got ass-kicked by white belts. It happens sometimes. We all cool."

I suspect part of my newfound maturity has to do with the fact that the white belts in question were polite and respectful, and didn't act like dicks either during or after the ass-kickings.

Interestingly, what bothered me more was when Casey performed demos with- not me as the senior student in the room- but some of the more junior guys. I'm fairly sanguine about that when Carlos does it, because he's about eight times as tall as I am and it's just clownish for him to do demos with me. When other teachers pass me over for less senior students, it still presses restimulating buttons- although I am able to clearly recognize the reaction as such.

Standup: foes throws haymaker. You step in and use both open hands to block bicep. Overwrap same-side arm over foe's attacking shoulder. Shuffle quickly to stand against hir ribs on OPPOSITE side as you hug that arm around hir waist. Step near foot in front of hir, squat, load, hip throw. Keep the arm. KOB. Figure 4 armbar.

Cross-collar chokes from closed guard.

Gi choke from guard: right cross-collar deep grip, open guard, foot on foe's hip on the same side that you have the grip. Turn body. Get handful of gi on back of opponent's shoulder. Square up and choke. This is one of my favorite subs, and very successful on white belts, although anyone I've ever rolled with more than once knows better than to stick their head up for it. I don't do the body turn, though. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It seems like opening my guard gives the opponent more chance to escape- although doing it this way might make hir less likely to recognize what I'm doing so readily.

Ezekiel from closed guard: Hug opponent to your chest, right arm right around hir neck. Use right hand to grab inside left sleeve cuff, FINGERS IN. Slip left blade hand under foe's chin with little finger side against throat. Pull choke and straighten legs to help it along. This choke is one that I haven't quite solidified enough to include in my game yet, but I love it, so I hope it will gel this time. I think it might be good for my small hands.

A little positional sparring from closed guard- sweep vs keep from being swept- and a couple of short spars. This is where I got my ass kicked by brand new white belts. Still doing relatively okay with it.

I wanted to ask Casey to roll a little no-gi with me after class, but he was busy answering questions from one of the new guys and it looked like he would be a while, so I took my leave.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

No-gi intimidation factors... the head as a weapon

Our bodies are the kingdoms of lost continents and unknown lands. Columbus, Livingstone, Stanley, Marco Polo, and Neil Armstrong are just Boy Scouts compared to the explorers of the inner space. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Sat: 128
Sun: 128

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

Started with a no-gi roll with Peter- we were the only ones on time- then Kelly and Cindy and a white belt guy trickled in, so we moved on to KOTH (in gi). Pass vs sweep; butterfly guard, half guard, closed guard.

I was mindful to defend that seatbelt pass of Kelly's today- she still got it on me once, but I headed it off several other times. Her excellent passing game has an element that I need to continue to work on myself- she switches abruptly from trying to pass on one side to trying to pass on the other. This often catches me, as I get too fixated and too committed to defending one motion.

Ended with Cindy (no-gi). Just the other day, I was talking about sticking that right arm in there on the left side of her neck and getting armbarred- today she did it to me in standup. Will I ever learn?

We worked on gripping the back of the head, two-handed, squeezing forearms together. It sucks for many reasons, not the least of which is that the forearms in your sightline prevent you from seeing what the feet are doing if you are in standup (this can also happen on the knees). Do not try to duck out of this to the side. Do not crowd up side-by-side with her (this is my default move; I guess I'm looking for a hip throw, but that is not going to happen on Cindy. She wants me to square up and shuck off the grip by wedging my shoulder in there.) For a single "meathook" behind the neck, slough it off with a forceful shoulder and turn the body to the side.

I find the squaring up very intimidating, as I am expecting a rough wrestling-style yankdown, and I suck at defending those and suck even worse at trying to do them myself.  There's a big mental/emotional componant to tackle here.

Forehead/temple in the neck. Pressing, shoving. It is amazing how much she uses her head as an extra limb.

I completely forgot to focus on the "He can still hit you" mentality... yet as sometimes happens, it seems I may have still had it running through my subconscious. Cindy said that I was "moving well" today. I didn't see it myself, but she is particularly annoyed with my "possum jitsu", so if she made a point of remarking that I was moving better, that's gold.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sucking sweeps

Martial arts training tends to be a very visually interesting way to lose. –Rory Miller

Friday: 127.5

Friday lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

I got to drill with Vanessa today. More guard pull drills, with some passing and some sweeping. God, my sweeps suck. I wonder if I will ever get to a place of my sweeps not sucking.

I am happy with how much training I got done this week!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lessons from no-gi

Most people live at a comfortable distance from their bodies. As humans, we spend so much time inside our heads that we often forget the way out. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

It was gratifying to learn that Ben and even Carlos are sore today as well. I had to tape all eight fingers tonight. I am so sore, and so tired... but I can't blow off lunchtime class tomorrow, because I've been cyberstalking Angela all week bugging her to come in. I need to not only show up, but make it worth her while. Ahhh- I'm exhausted just thinking about it!!!

Lessons learned in no-gi tonight:

1)If you think you might have to fight everyone in the room, DON'T leave all the biggest, scariest guys for last.

1b)Don't leave the professor for DEAD last, when you're wrung out and can't make a decent account of yourself.

2)My standard spar opening of pouncing on the opponent, applying top half guard, and then passing works great on most people, but NOT on black belts. I have learned to not stick my right arm between Cindy's neck and left shoulder, because she promptly armbars it every single time. Tonight Carlos did the exact same thing. I usually stick that arm in there and then work for position. I wonder if it would work if only I operated faster and more forcefully. IE, give them something more immediately pressing to deal with before they can slap the armbar on, and/or get my shoulder socketed in there posthaste. A "meathook" behind the neck instead of placing my forearm there might be a better option as well.

3)Kelly passes my guard repeatedly with that same "seatbelt" pass that JB likes. I need to stop letting her set that up, because once she has it set up, I can't seem to stop her from completing it.

4)I tend to be hesitant about putting hooks in while perched on the backs of huge turtling guys. They simply use an elbow to pin one of my feet to their ribs and then capsize sideways, trapping me underneath. If I do choose to commit to hooks, I need to commit to a fast, hard, technically perfect chokehold at the same time. No applying hooks and then working for position.

5)I think I am spending too much time working for position- full stop. I should try less futzing around and more FINISHING. Even when I think I'm getting a head start by pouncing and applying a position, I am *still* kinda waiting around to see how they respond, and then I'm on the reactive end of the equation yet again.

6)You can't grit your teeth and wait out one of Carlos' subs. He won't give up, because he *KNOWS* he has it on right.

My belt was sopping by the end of class tonight. People who don't launder their belts..... eeeeww.

He can punch you

In most cases, aggression beats skill.  –Rory Miller

Thurs: 127

I've been undisciplined lately with the Dr Pepper, and I have also been having some pasta (I've stayed away from pasta and rice for months). I am doing well with portion control and snacking (lack thereof, or substituting healthier items).

So.... sore........

Lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue.  Silken Needle, Five Animals, and Leopard Fist to warm up. I haven't done any Kung Fu forms in a long time.

Guard pull drills. All.... hour......

More work than sparring, more work than pretty much anything except constant takedown work.

My performance started to flag in the final 1/3, as I was weary unto death.

I have been reading a lot of Rory Miller lately. One of the things I sometimes worry about now that I'm not actively training Kung Fu is that I don't want to become a "sport" martial artist. I still feel that the training I do at Gracie Barra is largely usable for defense... but it occurs to me more strongly lately that when I get trapped on the bottom, and/or when I'm doing "Clench-N-Cling", those would be times for an assailant to 1)punch me, or 2)try to pull out a knife or other weapon. It would probably be good if I made an effort to focus- at least part of the time- on imagining that my grapping opponent can punch me or pull a weapon. This might spur me to be more actively mobile, and also not get stuck in a "sport" mentality where I forget that theoretically, people can punch me.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Guard pulls and more guard pulls

Archery is, therefore, not practiced solely for hitting the target; the swordsman does not wield the sword just for the sake of outdoing his opponent; the dancer does not dance just to perform certain rhythmical movements of the body. The mind has first to be attuned to the Unconscious. –D. T. Suzuki

"Pink Team" followed by "All levels" in Bellevue.

Pink Team: guard pulls from standup... light resistance, pull to a variety of open guards.

Then: scissor sweeps and situp sweeps. Drills, then try to sweep partner with light resistance.

Saeki's guard passes are getting very good. She seems to get intimidated easily. I hooked behind her neck somewhat aggressively while we were doing the standup, and told her "I'm doing this repeatedly because I can tell it's freaking you out. Don't get intimidated." I think she is mostly working in the Pink Team classes, and not getting roughandled much. I'm going to try to push her envelope there a bit, while being verbally encouraging.

All levels: a little more guard pulling, a little bullfight pass setup drilling, then rotating short spars with multiple people. I went hard on Crisanne, which continues to mean more and more work for me as she continues to get better and better. I tried the spider guard and lasso stuff again, and found that it is quite a bit more difficult on people with long arms. Some people have arms that are longer than my legs, sadly enough.

After class, Lindsey tried to get me to play on the balance ball. She and Casey are completely obsessed with this. I was able to kneel on it within a few minutes, although standing was possible for only a few seconds before losing my balance. It would be so funny to be able to stand on it before Casey is able to do so.

I am really sore all over tonight. Getting out of bed in the morning is going to be interesting.

Lunchtime omoplatas

"How you behave towards cats here below determines your status in Heaven." - Robert Heinlein

My favorite green cargoes are falling off my hips. That's good.... I guess....

Mon: 128
Weds: 127.5

Wednesday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland.

Scissor sweep. I focussed on the variation where you put your foot on the opponent's kneecap and push hir thigh back. Note that is the opponent is basing hard, you can push at hir. Either s/he will push back (whereupon you complete the load for the scissor sweep) or s/he will resist (whereupon you do a technical lift instead).

Failed scissor sweep to technical lift. Hook one hand behind opponent's neck and push head down as you do the technical lift. Then KEEP pushing the head down as you run around to take the back. If s/he tries to single-leg you, sprawl hard and kick the leg back and out. You can also loop your near hand in there so that you can circle to the OTHER side and force the person to roll onto hir back. Take side control.

As usual, Cindy complains that I am being way too nice and not being forceful enough with the head-pushing.

Same entry, foe tries to single-leg you. (You can even deliberately bait this by leaving your leg out there instead of tucking in to the side.) Reach between your knees and grab hir arm (ideally deep- at the elbow). Place your shoulder on the mat and roll. As you complete the roll, kick the leg nearest the opponent in an axe-kick so that you force opponent's shoulder to the mat. Grab around hir torso to prevent the re-roll. Keep hir arm, shove hir hand "In the pocket". finish omoplata.

Spars. I wasn't doing very well today, but I was rather overmatched by Mike, Rocky and Cindy.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Two Hours Of Kelly

A man who knows that body and spirit are part of each other doesn’t need anyone to remind him that he is alive, nor does he have any reason to upset the ecological balance. Only the sky above his head and the earth under his feet. His body is the only home. It is the only thing that never abandons him, the only one that truly belongs to him. Such an individual is a threat to every form of established authority. A wolf that can’t be tamed. He is not under anyone’s orders and doesn’t accept dogmas because he already has within himself everything he needs to face life. When streams of power flow in the veins of your body, dependency on external factors is reduced to a minimum. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Friday evening: aborted class. The guy with the key was a no-show. We stood around and debated the merits of practicing takedowns in the parking lot. Then we talked about BJJ. Then we talked about peeing on electric fences. (This is what you have to put up with when you hang around with groups of guys.)
Sat: 127.5

Open mat in Bellevue. I spent just over 2 hours rolling with Kelly, first no-gi and then gi, with about a 5-min break in between the two.

Pic- that's my left bicep- seventeen separate finger/thumb marks! Cool, huh?!

Kelly's doing phenomenal- she's a beast! She was on top the *entire* afternoon- which, while frustrating, was good in that it forced me to work off my back a lot (where I'm weak). I feel like I got a lot of good practice/experience today.

She is one of the few people upon which I have difficulty executing the comb-over escape from front mount to half guard; her tiny little feet tuck up under my thighs and she's so tight that I'm stuck. 

She also executed the Move Of the Day from Thursday on me, three times... only finished it once, but it's a sweet move, hard to see coming.

With her long legs, the "lockdown" is devastating... even when she just gets one of my legs, it HURTS (she's bony, too), and I can't do a whole lot while she's got me transfixed there.

I made a point of telling her all the things she was doing that sucked the most for me, and encouraging her to do them even more.

Kitsune: Oooh. That really hurts when you do that, and the angle that it creates with my neck makes it really difficult to defend.
Kelly: Oh! Sorry!
Kitsune: No, keep doing it! Do it more! It's great for you!

I worked a lot of open guard. I set up the lasso sweep that we learned on Friday, and was astonished when it actually worked!
Then I played with that lasso foot on one side and spider guard on the other, and managed to sweep her a couple more times in different ways. That's really exciting, as sweeps are by far the WORST part of my game.

Another thing I was excited about- I managed to get a couple of armbar subs that weren't really "techniques", but improvised. Improvising is something else I don't have a gift for, so it's a thrill when I get something like that.

To work on: I am still letting myself get caught with one arm up by my head. I did it three times, and was cursing myself, although she was not taking advantage of it. After the third time, I asked her to clamp on a head-and-arm every time she saw me do that. She doesn't feel solid with head-and-arm chokes, but I told her that as long as she had me well pinned, she had the leisure to adjust and play around till she got it. So that happened another four or so times. I really need to quit doing that. It is a terrible habit. I should start asking everyone to make a point of being ruthless about persuing me with that.

Tried for omoplatas several times, but only succeeded once. Chokes remain my most reliable tool... although I really am tickled about those  creative armbars.

At one point we had stood up, and she jumped guard, catching me completely by surprise. I not only dropped us both like a rock, I had my fist wedged against her neck and thumped her a good one as she landed. She seemed to have hurt the back of head more, though. I felt terrible.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's hard to troubleshoot your partner's technique while you're faceplanted on the mat.

"What do the faeries do with the people they steal?" demanded Rimo.

"They eat them." Taffi's voice came out muffled, since he had both knees up and his head buried in them.   –The Hole In the Clouds


These last three pounds are going to be a ripe bitch to lose. It doesn't help to know that it isn't going to matter by way of brackets. I'm going to have to fight Amanda, maybe Stevie, possibly one more; we will have to fight each other regardless of what we weigh.... although fortunately we are all usually within a bracket of one another. No-gi intermediate (where I'm going to stay as long as possible, although at some point I'm going to get forced up to advanced, which will be a tragic hoot) should have one or two other women- maybe as many as 4 or 5- in each of my possible weight classes, so it will matter... but I don't know those women well enough to try to pick and choose where I want my weight to be in order to fight specific people.  I know that I'm in my best possible condition at 124, though- so for my own purposes I'd like to be there.

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.  Feeling a little sore from yesterday's drills- especially my glutes (those bullfight passes!). I told Carlos that I was sore from his class, because he loves to hear that.

Shannon was there today, and we were both looking forward to working together because it's been a while- but Carlos split us up and put me with a new white belt girl (Laura).

We did a number of complex techniques today. My brain had to scramble to keep up. If I'd had a day like this as a new white belt, I would have been in tears. Laura actually did really well, although needing considerable guidance. I did the techniques first, talking my way through it with one succinct word per step and pointing out any critical details. I think we mostly did okay together, although
Carlos had to come over and help a few times. In particular, it is very difficult to talk your partner through troubleshooting her omoplata while you are faceplanted on the mat with your arm twisted behind your back so that you can't see what she's doing.

Rodrigo often tells his classes (with varying degrees of patience) to not presume to "help" fix each other's technique, because- as he says- half the time, you're telling them wrong.  Yet he once chewed me out (when I was a young blue belt) for *failing* to correct mistakes on the white belt I was drilling with. So I get a little frustrated sometimes with the mixed messages. Today, Carlos reprimanded the class to not "fix" each other's techniques. Then less then 20 min later he was asking me what was wrong with me for not having Laura's techniques all perfect. Mind you, I *was* walking/talking her through everything, but these were a bunch of complex techniques with 8 or so steps apiece, and I am not yet so perfect that I have every single detail down pat myself.

1)Opponent attempts a double-leg, you sprawl. Place right arm stiffly beside the left side of hir head and spin around so that you are hanging off hir hip on that same side. Double underhooks, high lapel grips. Little hop to bring your FAR leg in and place the knee beside opponent's knee.  Other leg stretched out straight behind you (don't mount the person). Pull hir into your back mount. Note that you need to have a little distance between the bodies- if your crotch is pasted to hir butt, it's very difficult to prevent yourself from rolling on your back (an issue that I used to have tons of trouble with in the past, but I'm starting to get the hang now). Hooks in nice, lapel grips high and tight.

2) Begin in butterfly guard. Break opponent's grip on your right pantleg and swing leg COUNTERCLOCKWISE to hook foot under hir armpit ("lasso"). YOU MUST KEEP HIR HAND TRAPPED- ON YOUR BELT!!! Place left knee horizontally across opponent's trunk with knee toward your lasso side.

Grab opponent's pants at ankle (no fingers in pantleg!!!) with your left hand and pull hir to load hir onto you. As you do this, stretch that leg out so that you are "talking on your phone" with opponent's knee.

Use folded leg to gently lever opponent off you onto hir back. Hir wrist that you still hold- press that to the mat. (I found that you really need to take a moment here to make sure hir fingers aren't going to break when you do the next move).

Which is- technical lift, to KOB.

3)Begin in butterfly guard. Go to lasso again, but this time you square up with your free knee pointed at the ceiling.

Now take that leg and straighten it, propping it on opponent's left shoulder with the outside of your shin on hir ear. 

Fold that straight leg forcefully over opponent's neck.

Switch your right hand grip to opponent's elbow. Then let go with left hand and swing your body so that you are nose-to-tail with opponent. Fold legs with opponent's arm trapped in your crotch. Don't let hir front-roll.

Finish omoplata.

4)Begin in back mount, double underhooks. Let go with rt hand and reach over shoulder to get choking grip. Let go with left hand and grab pants.

Bringing opponent with you, roll on your back and then on your rt side, and pull/kick your rt leg under you so that you come up in S-mount. (If necessary, adjust the front foot so that it is snug against foe's belly).

Turn your rt shin/foot out. Come up to a squat. Sit back on butt while bringing right foot over opponent's shoulder.


See? How'd ya like to take a brand new person through all that, at a rate of speed so as to finish in about 40 min? 

Then we did a little KOTH from back mount. High belts down (being back mounted)- including me. I was slow to escape most people today, but I did escape all but one- a big cop who was totally muscling the crap out of me. He was tall enough to stretch me out and then bow my back so that there was no way for me to reach his feet even if I tried to use my thigh to lift a foot up to grabbing height (an invaluable trick!)  He was almost able to tap me just with the back-bowing, but he wanted the choke, and I defended that (with difficulty... this was painful and I was scared for my spine, but he was pissing me off and I hate to tap to muscling). He tried to get my pantleg for a bow and arrow, but I scuttled that plan as well. He finally muscled me with a sloppy choke and I had to tap.

I did about 4 rounds with Shannon, and she was doing well enough that on the final round, I was forced to resort to some chest pressure and face-grinding. I hate doing that sort of thing, and I whispered, "Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!" while I was doing it. Then after I finished the escape, I apologized again and told her that she was doing so well that I had to resort to that- it was the only thing I had left.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

No-gi evening

Despair is an indulgence.   –Karani

No-gi in Bellevue. Fortunately Kelly and I had coordinated to both be there. Apparently she has gotten stuck with some rough partners in the no-gi class to the point where she is going less often. It was good that she was there for me to work with, because the only other people there were Luis and Tagir. Both are on my "safe partner" list, but the size/strength disparity is considerable.

Pummeling. Then Single-leg setup drills.

You have side control. Foe turns into you and sticks lower knee in. You move the arm closest to hir head OVER, then turn your hips toward hir feet and use your hip to move the knee. Grab hir far knee/thigh and pull it toward you as you mount.

Same entry, but when you turn toward the feet, your opponent brings hir elbow to the mat. Turn BACK toward hir head, grab the bicep and yank that puppy outta there. Close your arm over it so that you are in a modified scarf. Take a moment to make sure 1) the inside of opponent's elbow is toward the ceiling, and 2)shove hir head so that it is lying on your thigh. Now step your other leg over hir head and armbar.

A roll with Tagir and one with Kelly.

Spent quite a bit of time on my butt while Tagir tried to come in on me. Normally I'd get up and work standup as soon as we detangled enough; but I wasn't feeling up to getting thrown by Tagir tonight. As we handfought, oddly enough I found myself falling into Snake hand guard positions. That hasn't happened in a long time.

Note that Tagir is working on guillotines. He tried one on me and I managed to squirt out, but he got one on Kelly and kept it clamped on her for a few minutes before she finally had to tap.

I seem to be doing better against Kelly than I have done in the past. A year ago, she dominated me every roll and tapped me sometimes. Then there was a several-months-long period where I didn't work with her, and now- while I'm not tapping her very often, she's not tapping me hardly at all and she's not on top of me the entire time. I'm starting to wonder if she's coming up against that wall- the one that people tend to hit when they are gifted and start out doing very very well in their first couple of years.


People talk much about ecology and the need to slow down the crisis of the global ecosystem, but there can be no solution to the problems of nature unless we can find nature within. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Sat: 130
Sun: 130

 I’m trying to find a snack substitute for me beloved yet carb-rich Sour Cream and Onion Baked Ritz crackers. The dried chunked coconut apparently is not going to be it. It does have added sugar- not a whole lot, but enough that my weight creeps up.

 I found a tennis ball and tried rolling it under my painful heel as suggested by CK and Coach Dynamo. I’ve taken the ball to work for two days, and used it while sitting at the computer in the office.  Jury’s still out on whether it is helping.

 Rory Miller suggests some intriguing homework: carry something unusual on you (like a small stuffed animal) as you go about your normal day, and see if you can keep it hidden. This would be a good way to ease into carrying a gun on a regular basis.

 Mon: 130.5

Found a plantar fasciitis shoe insert. It felt.... interesting to wear to work. I think any type of insert- including putting a rock in my sock- is going to relieve the PF to some degree just because it's forcing me to put my weight down on my foot differently. But as to whether that is going to translate to actually *helping* the PF..... preferrably without messing up my feet (and knees, and back) in other ways... hmmm.

KYS Productions has a promo video up for the next Proving Grounds. It is full of clips from the last PG. There's one of Joan looking like The Goddess Of Sweeps. A few of Hostility Boy beating the shinola out of some poor dude. Two clips of me- one of me being taken down and one of me being tapped out.  Lovely.  :P

Tues: 128.5

I can always tell when Carlos has written the blurb on the GB Bellevue website because the English is so creative. "This Saturday we don't gonna have kids class..." He writes exactly as he speaks.

The woman who stocks the about-to-expire 30%-to-50%-off bin at the Woodinville Safeway meat department gets very excited when she sees me.  (Craning to see what's in my earth bag) "What have we got today??!!?  CHICKEN THIGHS!!!!!!!!!" She exclaimed with such glee that I had to crack up.

Thursday: I am trying to be mindful of the fact that the November Revolution is only a month away, which means we are entering crunch time if I truly mean to drop four more pounds before then. Nevertheless, I had three breakfasts today. I had one, and a few hours later I was hungy again, so I had a second. After that, I was *still* hungry, and I know from experience that going to class hungry does not work out well. So I had a third.

I think I worked it off, though, as the Prof nearly killed us with drills today. He was doing the warmups at double-pace, and I thought, "Hmmmm, he looks disturbingly over-caffeinated today," This never bodes well.

1)Bullfight pass setup off spider guard.

2)Butt-scooting toward standing opponent to wrap body around the outside of hir leg, lie back, repeat on other side.

3)Kneel aside opponent, who in lying on hir side facing you. S/he puts topmost arm on your shoulder. You put up the knee closest to hir feet, then spin around hir head and armbar. DON'T FORGET TO GRAB THE PANTS!!!!

And again. And again. And again. And- just when we thought we were going to die- again.

Kitsune: "That was.... bracing."
John: "Invigorating!" (as he's squatting on the floor panting like a spaniel)

Then positional sparring from back mount.  I was so tired. I tried, but was not feeling very effective.

When we were finally done, I was too tired to breathe or blink.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


“Cats never regret anything.” –Tybalt, King Of the Cats

No-gi at Bellevue. Crisanne is sick, and I emailed Kelly but she was busy. I thought I was going to be the only one there- which could, depending on Carlos' mood, turn into either a private or a cancelled class. As it was, Ben showed up. Ben is great to roll with, although it is an exercise in humility! So we just rolled for an hour.

With Ben, your number one goal is to stay out of his half guard. I knew this, but it's difficult. I usually charge in on my opponent immediately after the fist bump- and when Ben is sitting there on his butt with his knees apart, there's really no place else to go. With most people, beginning by stepping into their half guard is ducky.... because I'm good at passing top half guard, so we start the roll with me getting passing points and then side control. Ben, however, does not follow my script. 

He did show me an option which involved hugging below his butt- which you have to do fairly snugly, gripping one wrist with the other hand. Sprawl hard, sink weight down, pry/kick leg out.

At another point, he was observing that having my butt posted a little ways out helped me defend the sweep or roll. One of the things I'm trying to pay more attention to lately is my habit of pasting myself as closely to the opponent as possible at all times. 95% of the time, this is exactly what you want- but there are a few positions where you really need to scoot your butt out a few inches. I am trying to be more aware of figuring out those specific situations.

Another learning moment: being in the head and arm choke. I had the free arm- the one on the side closest to Ben- wedged in there horizontally with the elbow against his head, and it seemed like it would let me hold out for a bit. He suggested that instead I cover my ear with my hand. That didn't make practical sense to my brain, but I went ahead and tried it- and yeah, it was better. I was cooked either way, but the hand-over-the-ear bought me a little more time.

Straight ankle lock- he's playing with a  figure-4 grip here. I tried it and liked it. This might work better for me than the standard.

Coach Dynamo saw me standing on the mat doing toe-heel, toe-heel, and asked if I was doing ballet. I said no, I have plantar fasciitis. Turns out he has had it too. He poked at my foot a while. It was fairly painful after the afternoon standup class.

I'm sure CK- who often makes things in my back go "twang"- would be amused to hear that the coach actually made something in my HEEL go "twang". We found a knot in the bottom of my heel. It felt like a marble deep in there. Something is really skewed in the world when you can have a KNOT in the bottom of your HEEL. That can actually be twanged. That is just wrong.

I saw Pam in the locker room getting ready for the next class, and that made me want to do the next class. I actually felt fairly okay at that point, but I was pretty sure that after the warmup I would crash hard. Reluctantly I decided to pass.

Pam told me that every time she makes eggs, she thinks of me.

Takedowns to opera

Turn your body into a temple and nature starts talking to you. It brings you back to a wilder, more authentic state. Nature is not just a name to identify what we have not yet covered with concrete and asphalt. It is life lived without fear, without sense of guilt; life not enslaved by the artificial rules of a society which has lost it center. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path


This lunchtime in Bellevue we did ALL TAKEDOWNS- to opera music.

It was nice to see Carlos again; it's been a couple of weeks.

Double legs; shoulder throw (dropping to knees); Standing shoulder throw (a few grip variations), fireman's carry.

Note that you can start with judo grips, then use your lapel grip to pull opponent's lapel toward the distal, and feed it to your other hand as you turn- so that as you pick opponent up, you now have hir lapel wrapping hir bicep.

Also- with judo grips, you may be able to duck your head under opponent's straight arm to the outside. This is illegal in judo becaue it endangers opponent's elbow. Perfectly acceptable in BJJ. You can attack the arm, try to swoop to the back, or do one of several additional throw setups as soon as s/he has to let go with that hand.

Drills, then TAKEDOWN KING OF THE HILL. OMG. As I shook each big guy's hand, I said with mock seriousness (only I really *was* serious), "Don't kill me."  They were all careful.
Doug got a clean takedown on Prof. Carlos, then strode off the mat declaring "I'm gonna retire now!!!"  Daniel also got a clean throw on him, which was awesome to see- Daniel being a blue belt not much bigger than me.

We recieved a fingernail hygiene lecture today. Note: Do not tell the prof that you are leaving the mat to deal with a broken nail. He interprets this statement as "I am an inconsiderate jerk who didn't trim my too-long nails before getting on the mat".

This was a very exhausting class. I came in feeling fairly stiff from yesterday, and turned down Casey's offer to play balancing-circus-bear on the exercise ball so that I could get well stretched out before we began class. Allergies have also been troublesome the last few days- and by the time we started KOTH, I almost had to duck out because I had one of those ice-pick-in-the-temple headaches. I decided to try to stick it out... fortunately for me, it mostly went away by the end of class instead of getting worse. Messed with my concentration a bit, though. I didn't do so great in the KOTH.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"I'm experiencing it."

When human beings lose their connection to nature, to heaven and earth, then they do not know how to nurture their environment or how to rule their world- which is saying the same thing. Human beings destroy their ecology at the same time that they destroy one another. From that perspective, healing our society goes hand in hand with healing our personal, elemental connection with the phenomenal world. –Chogyam Trungpa, Shambala: the Sacred Path Of the Warrior

Wednesday evening BJJ at Kirkland.

Same techniques as this afternoon, minus the replacing-guard-from-turtle and from under the sprawl. 
Techniques were a bit easier with a partner my own size (Thanks Pam).

Positional King Of The Hill from back mount. Room divided into "small guys" and "big guys"- the former consisting only of me, Pam and Dave- so very little rest for the three of us.

Several spars, all with experienced blues and above. That's very exhausting. I was on the bottom quite a bit tonight, even with Pam. For some reason, everyone still kept telling me how awesome I was doing. I was confused, but what the hey- I'll take all the ego-stroking I can get.

I held Mike off with spider guard for a long time. "How d'ya like my spider guard?" "I'm experiencing it."

I was pretty darn tired by the end.

Fat Man Roll

Intention and lack of intention; mindfulness and no mind at all. Magic lay in the tension between those spaces, in the otherwise senses of the esoteric understanding of two things that did not admit of one another at all. –Elizabeth Bear

Sun: 128
Mon: 129.5  (eep!)
Weds: 129.5

Wednesday lunchtime BJJ in Kirkland.

"Fat man roll": You are in turtle, with opponent hanging off your hip. Opponent is foolish enough to commit hir arm deep enough for you to trap on the side opposite hir. Roll, KEEP HIR HAND TRAPPED as you keep weight on hir chest. Roll toward hir feet to take side control. For some reason, I always want to roll toward hir head, so I asked Cindy what would happen. All sorts of unpleasantess, beginning with Cindy getting double underhooks and shucking me off like nothing.

You are in turtle, opponent hanging off your hip. You grab hir far pantleg, scoot your butt away from hir, place the sole NEAREST hir on the mat, and pull your other leg through under you to replace full guard. Remember to pull your head back so that you don't get folded up under the opponent.
Same technique, only starting with opponent sprawled N/S on top of your turtle.

Opponent has back mount on you. Hand-fight the choking side (if there is one) and fall to the opposite side. Lie on opponent's thigh, remove the lower hook. Use the SAME HAND to now start fighting the other leg while you scoot out and take side control.

Same entry, but opponent gets half guard as you are trying to escape. Prop yourself on hir chest with mucho weight on and use your other leg to pry your trapped leg out. From being the demo dummy on this, I learned that the angle of this pressure on the joints is quite painful, and not practical to try to clamp down and resist against.

A little positional sparring from back mount. I continue to struggle with both sides of this. Today my biggest problem was that I could not seem to fall to the side and pin the thigh without taking the entirety of my weight off the opponent (at which point I could never recover- I ended up lying on the mat beside him and he simply rolled on top).

A few spars. I got muscled around a little today by larger men, but I managed to superior-technique myself into a top position for some of the time with both.

Cindy declined to roll with me because she was holding out for me to come back tonight instead of going to Bellevue.