BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

This time, I’ve really done it

Broken a toe, that is. The last time, I think I just stubbed it very badly. But this one is already black and blue and aches, oh, it aches.

Well, at least I was intending to take the next few weeks mostly off.

Both ankles are still bothering me, too — the one the kid rolled over in class a few weeks ago and the one Lo tried to rip off on Saturday. I can walk fine, but lateral movement is a no-no. Both shoulders, in different directions (left one when it’s pressed in to my body; the right one when it’s twisted back). Neck = ouch. Both wrists when I put weight on them; grips on both hands come and go. Ribs flare up sometimes (they were great in the tournament, horrible Thursday, and fine today).

So, yeah, I need a rest break.


Got there today right as the guys were getting ready to spar. I changed to nogi and came out all prepared to do a nice slow warmup and maybe just drill. Sundance wanted to roll to warmup before he sparred, though, so we started right up. We went maybe 20 or 30 minutes, and then the guys sparring asked him if he wanted to spar. By then, he’d decided to just roll since he’d missed most of the week with school. Then he asked if I had my gi, which I did, so we switched to gi for another hour or so. Right away in gi, I stood up to pass his open guard; he stood up, too, and so we started to play standing up. We were the only ones on the mat, so there was no problem with that. He turned in for a hip throw, I tried to step out, and my one toe (left foot, toe next to the little toe, so in a weird “Why the heck did you get hurt?” place) didn’t go with me, resulting in me dropping like a rock and grabbing my foot. I figured even then that it was broken, but decided to roll anyway. Some troubles pushing off with it during the round, though no troubles hooking or sweeping with it.

A few sweeps, a few escapes; a lot of failed sweeps and escapes and so getting caught. I think he had at least 1 of everything; tried not to let him have more than one of each, but not always successful. Two gogoplata attempts (I only know what it is once there’s a foot in my face) that turned in to omoplatas, one of which I managed to snake out of. (No rolling; broken toe couldn’t push.) One long series of stacking against armbars that took every bit of strength and energy and pressure I had; he finally gave it up and pulled me back into his guard and congratulated me on that defense. I just collapsed on him for a moment. Got frequently to the position from Thursday night that Justin had shown me, getting either double butterfly hooks or x-guard; some sweeps, also some getting back to normal half-guard or full guard.

In nogi once, ended up in place to practice the switch (wrestler’s sit-out). Failed. So paused and asked to review that; we pulled John, the wrestler, in for a moment to help. He suggested first getting both of their arms behind your own arms — or at least getting one behind and pinning down the other arm — since trying it when one arm is under your neck will result in you guillotining yourself. Then later in gi, when I got myself back under there, we stopped again since i couldn’t sit out because his arms were under my neck and I couldn’t get them off. He suggested staying underneath, instead of trying to sit out to the side, and going in for half guard. So practiced that a bit.

When we finally stopped, he said I’d nearly had a choke in there. I didn’t know what he’d meant, so we re-created the positions so I could see where I could have finished it. Hadn’t even been looking there, and didn’t think the hand that was in the lapel was deep enough anyway.

The other guys had moved on to some conditioning, so we moved on to practicing straight ankle locks and kneebars and their defenses. (I had Buddy, Paul, and Elyse, at least, walking me through those during the tournament, but I’d never really practiced them and so was fuzzy on what was needed.) Did that for a while, and then he had some Sambo moves he’d picked up from a DVD that he wanted to practice.

The fights tonight should be awesome!

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Tournament: US Grappling Submission Only VI

My goodness, what a weekend!

To make a long story short:

  • Had 80 minutes total rolling time over 7 matches, including one 50-minute match (2nd match).
  • Lost all 7 matches — but since I was going for the experience anyway, it’s all good.
  • Did get a 2nd and a 3rd because there were only 2 or 3 of us in the division.
  • Got to work tables for the 2nd half of the day.
  • Lo got her blue belt at the end of day!!!
  • We didn’t leave until nearly 10pm, and there were still matches going on.

Results are up here

The long story:

Friday, one of the guys called. He couldn’t get off work early — and possibly wouldn’t be able to come at all — so, since I was cutting weight, Buddy and I left at 4:00 to head to Richmond. We got there around 7 and weighed in; I was at 129 without having to strip. My streak (ha!) continues. Then we went out for steak. Yum, steak…

Saturday morning, we got there by 10. Referee meeting, Rules meeting (they go over illegal techniques at each level, explain “reaping the knee”, and let you ask questions), and then the blackbelt fights started.

Eric Burdo and Rudy Fischmann first. Not sure how long that went. Eric finally won, and then Dennis Hayes and Steve Bowers started. The place was great during those two fights: so quiet except for a corner or two muttering, until someone had a great escape or reversal, after which everyone clapped and hollered for a moment. At some point, they made an announcement that the regular brackets would start at 11:20 or after the black belts, whichever came first. Dennis & Steve were still going then, so they started slowly closing off parts of the mat to them (the black belts had had free range at first) until finally 7 divisions were going around them. Dennis won.

Girls started on mat 1. Two advanced/purples (Elyse and Melissa), and then us intermediates. Four of us, 115 – 145lb. I drew Lo first. 14 minutes. Don’t remember much of the day at all except that I was playing defensively nearly the entire time of every match. Oh, and that Lo has a great ankle pick takedown. Lo’s mount control is wicked; there is no space at all. Had her in my guard a while, but couldn’t get her posture broken enough to even attempt anything. Don’t remember what she finally caught me in. Little break, and then Shannon Pedroni (from the nogi intermediate absolute in July) and I had the 3rd place match.

50 minutes. Five zero minutes. That. is. nuts. It was fun, but it was nuts. And we were moving nearly the entire time, too, no stalling (not that there is stalling in a Sub Only). Short pauses to both take a few deep breaths, and then off we went again. We even stood up again two times during the match! I know I tried to work takedowns all day, but I think I only came close on one. (Probably always picked the wrong one for the situation — I was choosing based on what I could remember at the time, not necessarily what was there.) Her top side control is no fun to be under. I don’t know how, but I got in top half guard at one point, went for the D’Arce, she got her hand or arm in just enough to thwart it, I moved to north/south to hunt that kimura, she turtled, I went for the turtle reversal but for some reason couldn’t get it, came back around and set up the Peruvian necktie, only I think I grabbed her arm underneath instead of my own!, and I think I might not have had it set up quite right, thought about the armbar but she was out before I could do anything. After that, don’t remember, but I think she eventually got my back for a RNC. We collapsed together on the mat afterward.

Lo ended up winning the division. Little longer break while the beginner and novice divisions went. Not nearly enough time to recover after that last match. Shannon pulled out of the absolute, so it was me, Lo, and Laura. Me and Lo first. Argh! (But I mean that in the most complimentary way — she’s good, and I always draw her first.) :58 seconds. Doh. Ankle lock, I think. She’d gone for it multiple times in the previous match since I apparently tend to wave my feet and ankles out there for the taking. Wasn’t sure where the ref was, and I’d rolled to escape but had missed the push and she had it deep and we were both belly-down, so hollered “Tap!” so she’d let go, which she promptly did.

Since I didn’t do much in that match, the table asked if I needed a break before the next one. I said I was as ready as I’d get, so we went right to the next on. 1:58, I think. Laura had gotten my back early — I think I had the brilliant idea of trying to turtle and roll through something, only it didn’t work at all — and gone for an RNC, but had it right under my nose and was pulling back. I was thinking it was very close to a neck crank and it was really really starting to hurt in the back of my neck in ways that were not pleasant. Elyse was our ref and finally warned her that it was getting close to a neck crank, so she repositioned her arms and got right across my lower jaw instead. I dunno what happened, but something in my face hurt quick and hurt a lot, so I had to tap. She apologized; I said I was fine. I think I was more startled than anything else. [Although, when I got home today, I noticed that I had a bruise on my face right where she did whatever it was. So something did get hurt.]

Since there were 3 of us, it was a round-robin bracket, so Lo and Laura went later for 1st and 2nd, and Lo won.

Briefly light-headed after those two matches, which brought a moment of panic. Not is fun. Chugged more Pedialyte and chewed gum, which are my two favoriate tournament supplies now.

Longer break until gi somehow; I remember walking around in my gi for a long while. Went first with Laura. Not long, though, maybe a minute or two? (I wrote all my match times down afterward, and then left the paper with them there. Doh.) She got mount quickly, I got to my side, she got a bow-and-arrow grip on one side, I defended that, and then she ostensibly went for an armbar; I forgot about the lapel grip and only thought of defending the armbar, which put me entirely out of position to defend the choke. Doh! She said afterwards that that was exactly what she had been working to do anyway. Oh well.

Shannon again for 3rd place. Only about 9 minutes this time, and she finished me with a D’Arce where I was too slow on the defense.

I wandered away to see how Buddy was doing. At this point, whatever time it was, he had finally finished his nogi division (intermediate, 180 – 189.9) and had gotten 2nd and was waiting for nogi Intermediate absolute. As we all remarked several times during the day, the good thing about no time limit is that there’s no time limit; the bad thing about no time limit is… there’s no time limit. Several matches broke 1 hour, and that started setting everything behind and affecting other tables. I don’t think he’d even had a match in the absolute yet.

Sometime in there, Eric and Dennis fought for 1st and 2nd in the black belt division, and Dennis won. Don’t know about the 3rd place.

Then Elyse came and found me because, despite keeping an eye on Mat 1, I’d totally missed her absolute match and it was now my turn. Oops! (And I think she said her match was ~20 minutes? I must have zoned completely out. — Reading the Results again, I finally realized that Elyse and Melissa only had an absolute in gi, not a weight division. So what I thought was their weight division was their absolute.) Ran all the way around, tossed off my shoes, and jumped in. Shannon wasn’t feeling well and so had pulled out, so it was just me and Laura. This is the round I actually stepped in and turned like I might have known a hip throw… only I don’t, really, so it didn’t happen. Again I had the brilliant idea of turtling and rolling, only she got my back back again. Defending the RNC for a little while, but despite Shannon’s coaching, she finally got it in and finished. (Afterward, Shannon showed me how to wedge my defending arm in deeper to prevent them from getting their arm under my chin at all.)

Lo had also done 3 matches in white belt beginner and 3 matches in white belt absolute, and she won both divisions there, too. (Took a long while, too, and I don’t know how long she rolled total.) So after her last win, Andrew stepped out and promoted her to blue belt. Yay, congrats! Much deserved. (I’m sure the white belts are very relieved. πŸ˜‰ )

Huge “Thank You!” to Paul, Shannon, Elyse, Buddy, and Lo — and anyone whose voice I couldn’t identify — who helped corner me during my matches. I’m sorry I couldn’t always do what you wanted, but I did very much appreciate it.

So, I got lots and lots and lots of mat time against some really good girls, which is all I really wanted anyway. I think I did some good things in my matches; I also did some dumb things and also saw where I need to really work on stuff that I might once again be assigning to the “the boys are just stronger than me” category. My cardio seemed great — I really didn’t feel tired after my 50-minute match, and I did stay in all of my divisions. (Didn’t have much power, and my brain & body weren’t quite on the same wavelength, but oh well.)

Buddy eventually ended with 3rd in the intermediate absolute about 9pm. There were some looong matches in that division. He’d had to miss all the gi divisions, though; they were being held up by the nogi absolute, but they were finally started anyway.

Chrissy recruited me to help with tables at one point, so I did that. (It’s pretty easy in a Sub Only — no points! Write down who wins, how long, and with what, and keep everyone in a bracket informed of when they’re on deck.) Our mat cleared about the time Buddy finished. The guy he beat in the consolation match had just had a 30-minute and then a 1hr 53min-match before and had started cramping up after Buddy RNC’d him, so Buddy and some other guys stayed with him and got him Gatorade until the paramedics arrived. The guy was okay, just dehydrated and a little light-headed, but wasn’t able to continue to the rest of his divisions — they had just finished nogi!

Sometime during the day, it started snowing and sleeting. Since it was already looking like we wouldn’t get out before dark, we decided to stay one more night in Richmond with my aunt. But first we stopped at BW3 for wings, football, and fights. The snow seems to be mostly cleared up this morning, so we’ll head back in a little bit.


Oh, I meant to add this this morning, but completely forgot: During the day, people kept coming up to me — and Shannon, too, I guess — to congratulate us on our 50-minute match and tell us how impressed they were with us. And to tell us that we were nuts for continuing to compete after that. πŸ™‚

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A Private Butt-Kicking

Went in early this morning. Adam, Justin, and Will were all planning to be there, but only Justin came. So after he and I warmed up (on the Swiss balls, of course — he can stand; I can barely stay on my knees), we rolled for about 45 minutes. I got my butt thoroughly and completely and entirely whooped. All good stuff, and I see lots of things to work on.

I bungled the sweep from Thursday a few times, so he stopped to show it to me a few more times; never did pull it off, though. He wasn’t letting me get away with anything sloppy, which everything seemed to be, or without good pressure, which I had none. Managed to always set myself up to be swept. Also dropped myself into several triangles; one he finished quickly, another he let me attempt to defend, though it did no good. There was a calf pinch, several ankle locks or heel hooks, a kneebar (that I rolled myself in to while trying to escape something else, doh), the Twister (maybe two? did escape one of them, though I think it was more him giving it up to try something else), an armbar, … probably more, but I don’t remember.

My ribs on the right are bruised from Thursday night. Any knee-on-belly hurt. A lot. Almost to knocking the wind out of me just from the pressure. Both sides. Ow.

Adam, Mark, and new-old Kevin (who used to train with Tim 6-7 years ago) came in for the normal class time. The guys paired up and rolled, then switched. I worked on shrimping a lot; working on getting my hips completely off the ground and posting up on my shoulder. Later, Adam showed a couple of gi chokes, which we drilled a couple of times. Lots of talking theory and showing a few things throughout the day.

After the guys let, I did mini-Cindy again:

  • 3 pullups
  • 6 pushups
  • 9 squats
  • 12 minutes
  • 14 rounds

Only one round better than last time. The squats were the worst part! My hips were hurting.


Another Butt Kicking

Virginia Tech was up 34-0 at half; just scored again for 48-7 in the 4th quarter.

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Tournament: US Grappling Submission Only IV, gi

Today we were back for gi at USG Sub Only IV. Update: all results are posted on the NHBGear forums.

The women’s divisions, which all started on one mat, got started a little late because our ref was first fighting in his division. But not a problem. The gym was again very hot, and of course the gi made it even hotter.

Ryan Hall and Seph Smith ended up against each other in their division’s finals. They just played around for a few minutes, rolling lightly.

Found out early that there were 3 girls in the White Belt and 3 girls in Absolute. But, there were no girls in my weight class, so they bumped me up to the 130-145, though both girls were on the smaller side of it anyway.

A big Thank you to all the folks who helped me out from the sidelines in my two matches today. I don’t even know who you all were, but I really appreciate it.

They started with purple belt girls and worked down. Finally got to me and Lo, who I’d met at the Open Mat in Richmond last month and had rolled with several times then. I knew she’d be tough, and she didn’t disappoint.

I don’t remember much of it. πŸ˜› She pulled guard, I tried to posture up; she tried to cross-collar choke me, I somehow got out. I got under mount (doh!); she tried to cross-collar choke me. I eventually got out, though it was short-lived, and I was back under mount again; she tried to cross-collar choke me. I think I must’ve escaped again, and she tried to cross-collar choke me again. (Anyone else seeing a pattern? I sure was — but I was considering that she was really trying to set something else up, so I tried not to overcommit to defending my neck too much.)

I kicked her across the face once on accident while trying to walk up to a higher guard; she got me back with an inadvertent eye punch later. I might even get a little black there. πŸ˜€

I think I got a hook or two in a time or two, but nothing seemed to be really effective, and I’d wind up back under mount again, defending my neck. At one point, she got my ankle and went back for the straight ankle lock; she had her top knee across my hips so I couldn’t posture in to her. A girl on the side finally called out to turn my heel into her ribs and to grab her lapel — no, her other lapel — and pull myself in. (I’m not sure who you were, but thanks!) Eventually got enough leverage to get around and out.

Not sure I ever got to top with Lo; I think I was fighting off my back most of the time. Did wind up back in her guard a time or two more, though I wasn’t getting anywhere trying to break it. At one point, probably when I was back under mount again, I remember thinking, “One of us needs to get a submission soon, or I’ll have to tap from being so tired!” Kept fighting, though, and I think my hips did a few good things that I totally wasn’t expecting them to do. Nice job, hips! I think I had a north/south kimura escape to turtle, but couldn’t grab a leg; she may have had or nearly had my back, but I somehow got away from that.

But finally, back in her guard again, she caught that cross-collar choke and got the angle real sharp, and I couldn’t defend it. Started tapping, but my hand was on the far side of her face and the ref wasn’t watching there (and she wasn’t letting go until he saw); I finally croaked out, “Taaaaaap!” and the ref stopped us. Ref had to pick me up; I was tired — that match was 13 minutes long! Felt so much longer.

I got a break for a little while and watched a few more girls’ matches go. Too soon, though, they called me to go against the third girl in our division, Trish. I thought I was okay; I felt fine.

We started, and I got a double-leg takedown. A takedown, I got a real live takedown!! Sweet! Didn’t secure the position quickly enough on the bottom, and she got back to guard. She started fighting for the cross-collar choke. Hey, wait a second, I just lost on that. Nyuh-uh, you can’t have it, too — only one per day. I think she swept me or opened her guard or something; I somehow ended up on my back, playing from guard and open guard. She was fiesty (probably trying to overwhelm me and finish me off quick, since I’d just had a long match), and I quickly realized that I was still tired. No gas in the tank. Crap.

Somehow, I don’t know how, I survived that initial onslaught. I thought I was done several times. She could hit nearly any sweep at will as I didn’t have much defense for them. My hips were working on their own, though, which was good — my brain had no clue what we were doing. She had an armbar from mount, which I managed to follow up and stack. I think I followed that with a double-under pass, maybe; that was in there somewhere, though I couldn’t manage to secure the position afterward. She had a few other armbar attempts from mount, but I think her weight dropped on her legs first, so I had space to shrimp out the back door. I don’t know how I escaped sometimes; my body was working on its own.

My brain started asking if I wanted to tap from exhaustion. Then another little voice said that Tim and Justin and Adam would probably never speak to me again if I did. Darn it, have to keep fighting. And then I heard a number of girls on the side giving me advice and encouragement (and Fred and Sundance in there, too), so I plunged back in.

We had to reset at one point since we were rolling off into the middle of some other matches. She started crawling back. Finally realized that she seemed nearly as exhausted as I was, and this was only her first match. Alright, I can do this. Keep fighting, chica.

I’d been catching several triangle-to-armbar transitions, but she’d escaped from the first few; I just couldn’t hold on. Also, I think my hips weren’t quite deep enough. Saw another one and shot my legs up for the triangle; she postured, so I switched to the armbar. This time, someone yelled to roll, so I rolled toward my stomach. Couldn’t quite get over because she’d grabbed my lapel and was pulling for all she was worth. Somehow, finally, her grip broke and I got all the way over. My legs were burning, I couldn’t breathe, my arms were going numb. But I heard Sundance say to arch my hips and Liz, I think, to pinch my heels, and other girls calling other things, so I held on and held on and arched and pinched and just when my brain started saying that my body was about to just give in and collapse I heard the ref say, “Tap! She tapped!”

Oh thank goodness… I did collapse then, belly down, and just laid on the mat and smelled that new mat smell. I didn’t even know where we were on the mat or even which way was up. I finally poked the ref’s foot and asked him to help me up. He said, “What, again?” I said, “Yes, please.” So he pulled me up — and propped me up for a minute — and then raised my hand. Ah, I do like that part.

That match was over 9 minutes. I couldn’t feel my arms. I couldn’t think straight. I stumbled over to Fred and Sundance on the side and then collapsed on top of Sundance.

Done, I was done. Couldn’t even talk. I finally got Fred to go tell Chrissy that I wasn’t going to do the Absolute, that I had nothing left. She made fun of me :P, but then did take me out. (And she gave me an arm massage. Hurts so good… and I could feel my arms again afterward.) I know I could’ve gone and laid there and tapped and gotten a 3rd-place medal, but I didn’t want to do it if I wasn’t going to make a fight of it. And I knew I had no energy available. So Lo and the other girl (not Trish, a different girl) had a single match in the Absolute, which Lo won in a few minutes by RNC.

And in our division, because Lo beat me and I beat Trish, then Lo beat Trish by the transitive property, so Lo was 1st, I was 2nd, and Trish was 3rd. We’d all forgotten to get our medals, though, so they had to track us down later and give them to us. I talked to Trish and one of her coaches for a little while; one of their teammates is heading to Tech this fall, so he should be coming over to train with us.

Sundance was originally bumped up in weight (from 150-159.9 to 160-169.9), but another 159 guy showed up, so he went against that guy. I don’t know how long it was, maybe 6 minutes?, and the other guy finally caught a guillotine that Sundance couldn’t get out of. He also tore open his ear, which had been cut in class last week, so he decided not to compete in the Absolute, either. He and his girlfriend left after that. I hung around a bit longer to drink Gatorade and energy drinks until I felt like I was able to drive home. I figured if I stopped at my aunt’s first for a shower and nap that I’d never get back on the road.

While I was hanging around, I met a ninja. (This blog thing is sometimes weird, because people you’ve never met know who you are. πŸ˜› And you know who other people are, and you can point them out at tournaments and think, “I know who that is.”) Sorry I couldn’t take you up on the food; we’ll try next time.

In summary, this weekend I

  • saw lots of people I’d met
  • met lots of people I’d seen
  • collected several bruises of unknown origin
  • earned 3 hard-fought medals with four matches that I’m proud of

I’m still taking next week off. I’ve already raided the library for a stack of books, and I intend to catch up my Techniques page again. So, see ya in a week!

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Karate College ’09

The guys first decided we would leave this morning (Friday), then decided today to leave Saturday morning instead. So, after talking to them this morning, I headed over to Karate College to see if I could get in for a little bit.

They’d moved Paul Creighton around a bit, so he only did 1 session last night (instead of both of his, like last year) and 1 this morning… which was finishing up right as I got there. I did get to watch the last technique and worked in a little bit with Bob Gracie’s guys.

Armbar from guard. Slide one hand up between theirs and control their head. Other hand controls same-side elbow. Pivot just a little. Open your guard and ride a high guard, far leg coming over their shoulder. Drop the hand from behind their head to control their wrist; shift the other hand up to the near side of their face. A little push with your hand, and bring the leg from their shoulder over their face. Raise hips to finish.

Then Paul, Bob, and Josh went off to pick Renzo up from the airport. His sessions are tonight.


Went back tonight for Renzo’s seminars.

First hour:

First, a reverse armbar off a wrestler-type trying to squeeze your head from inside your guard; he’s reached foward and wrapped one arm around your head and is squeezing for dear life. (Secret wohoo!) Use your hips to push against his hips and give you some space. Take the hand on the inside and brace it across their throat; take the other hand over their wrapped arm and grab your other wrist. Use the second hard to stabilize the first. Brace them away from you as you get your hips out to the open side; they fall in the hole, and their now-trapped arm should be propped across your shoulder. Bring your knees up, one under their near shoulder and one over. Blade of your top arm just above their elbow, and turn.

Second, a guard pass to ankle lock. A little advanced, probably, considering most of the people there hadn’t done any ground work before, but I still at least like the pass part. So you’re in your opponent’s guard, and your posture is broken down. Stay down, but get your hands on their biceps. Stay relaxed, he said, and wait until you feel them relax or breathe. Jump up on your feet and turn about 45 degrees, stepping in to them. Continue to follow that angle, walking your hands around and driving with the knee that turned in to roll them over their shoulder and on to their stomach. You end up in reverse back mount, with them flattened; you’re sitting on their hamstrings with their legs bent and their ankles in your armpits. (They’re now at 90 degrees to where they started.) Reach one arm around a leg and through to trap it, then drop your forehead to the mat. Step the opposite knee over their leg so it’s between theirs; reach the other hand up and hold the first hand. Now slowly spread your knees apart, like you’re doing a split, while slowly turning your body toward their foot.

This one was a little tricky, and we were having trouble with it. Renzo demonstrated on me for one of my partners, and it felt like an ankle lock. Paul demonstrated it on me again later, and it felt like an Achilles lock. (And both my partners kept turning it into a calf pinch.) I think it depends on the placement of the arm when you shoot it through: Renzo got my ankle locked in deeper, while Paul went a little further down on my leg. Anyway, the roll-’em-over part was fun.

Third, a can opener defense to armbar. (Yay for more wrestling defenses!) Renzo said he used this one in Pride 8 because he knew the Japanese guys like to do can openers, so he actually stuck his head up there so the guy would grab it! So, from inside your guard, the guy reaches forward, gets both of his hands behind your head, and tries to can-opener you. One arm shoots to their far bicep; forearm stays parallel to the floor, with your elbow under their ribs. As they try to pull you in, this arm braces against their chest and gives you distance. The other arm goes to the opposite side of their head to control their neck. So your arms are crossed in front of you. Now swing around to the armbar, pushing their head away with that hand and controlling the arm you’re taking with the first hand.

In this seminar, I worked in with Bob Gracie’s guys again. Technically, you’re supposed to pick a group (A or B) and then do all the seminars for A or B; you’d get to at least of everyone that way. But I stayed on Renzo’s mat for another session. One of Bob’s guys left to go to the Krav seminar with Mike Lee Kanarerk on the other side, and Perry came over from doing the previous Krav seminar. And he told me that he’d knocked a guy out in that one. The guy had for some reason tried to kick Perry in the crotch as hard as he could. Perry deflected it just enough that the kick hit his inner thigh, but still high and hard. (And if Perry said it was hard, then it was pretty hard.) So he threw a kick in response, right at the guy’s jawline and using his foot. He said if he’d really meant to knock the guy out, he would’ve used his shin… But the kick must’ve caught the fellow just right because his eyes rolled back and he stiffened and dropped backwards. And that side of the gym doesn’t have mats, so his head bounced off the concrete. Um, ouch. They had to call an ambulance and cart the guy away to the hospital.

Perry also came over bearing actual bad news: Adam’s fight is off. The guy backed out at the last minute. As of then, we have no explanation for why he backed out. And the promoters couldn’t find another fighter in time. So we won’t be going down tomorrow at all. The other guys already know. (I’ve been learning to text all weekend. I stink at it. But it’s apparently what all the kids are doing, so I’m having to learn to keep up with them.)

Renzo’s second seminar:

First, a neck crank from side control. Be sure you clear the guy’s inside arm and get your knee behind his shoulder. Next, reach around and under his head with your top arm. Slide around to about 11 o’clock and grab the reached-under hand with your other hand. Sit through toward his legs, and then step over toward mount with the far leg. Now turn your upper body toward the ceiling.

Second, an armbar from side control. Clear the arm again and stay tight. Slide your bottom knee up as if going to knee-on-belly and tuck your top leg further up under his shoulder and along his ribs. Fall back at about a 45-degree angle from his shoulder, sliding along the arm you’ve trapped and hooking around the arm with your top arm. Your knee-on-belly knee slides up to their shoulder/side of their face. The finish is a reverse armbar. When you’re doing this one for reals, you do it fast. Renzo did the first time, and made Paul wince and jump. But with partners, you take it slow so you don’t rip their arm off.

From here, if for some reason their arm turned and you can’t finish the reverse armbar, bring your top leg across their neck and pivot your hips out to the opposite side. Finish the armbar there.

Third, the choke that Nick’s been trying on me for weeks! I think it’s called the “Big Poppa” choke, but I’m not sure. Anyway, from side control again; this time the guy has his arms in pretty tight and you can’t isolate one. Reach around and under his head with your top arm. Take that same-side leg and shoot it straight backward, then turn onto that hip, being sure to turn your body with it. The turn helps get your shoulder in front of and under their chin. Now walk back to about 11 o’clock and grab the reached-under hand with your other hand. As you walk around, you should feel their face being pushed away from you; you can use your ribs to make that happen even more. You want them looking away from you. Once you’re to about 11/12 o’clock, completely relax your lower body. Hold your arms where they are, but let your body weight press in to their neck; don’t try to crank it.

And I got pictures!

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