Today’s temperature was around 86 degrees and humid. It was overcast, so it looked like it might be cool. I took a walk at lunch but had to turn around because it was just miserable out there. After lunch, though, for some reason the heat came on in our office! It’s usually freezing in there — I have been known to wear a sweater during the summer (or even put a sweater on over another sweater in the winter) — but suddenly I started getting warm and feeling as if I was out in that stuff again. Ugh. Thankfully the HVAC company has an office actually in our building, so they were able to fix the problem quickly.

I feel like a jalopy crawling down the road, black smoke streaming from the hood, sputtering coming from the engine, random parts falling off, a bumper hanging halfway off and dragging. My knee was uncooperative with everything tonight, my neck is stiff, there’s a knot just under one shoulder blade — and then during Open Mat, I twisted the knee again and then later somehow strained the hip on that same side so badly that I can hardly bend it now. Also, sometime tonight I got a giant bruise on the top of one foot.

Also, why is it that when people say, “Let’s go light,” what they really mean is, “You go light, and I’ll go hard”?

BJJ Fundamentals

Warmup. Knee did not like. Then drilled side control escape back to guard for the rest of class.


Rolling to warmup. I drew Giant White Belt then Steve, and then was the odd one out.

Drilling was an Ezekiel from top half guard. Drilled for the rest of class.

Open Mat

Tim called out that we all needed at least 3 five-minute rounds before we could leave. Buddy first and we both played around. Then Guillaume, and it was here that I injured my knee while trying some spinning rolly twisty thing to take his back while he was rolling and spinning away. Then I tried to finish the round with one leg, and that’s still no fun. I sucked it up for one more round, though, and somewhere in there strained the same-side hip (hip flexor, maybe?) something terrible. No idea how. Too bad no one makes full-body ice packs yet…

We passed!

There wasn’t supposed to be an inspection today — we were supposed to be out of luck all week — but someone apparently did come and do an inspection anyway, and we finally passed! We can get in! So tonight was our last night in the current space. Starting tomorrow, the mats will be pulled up, (the old squeaky puzzle mats will go back down), and the mats will go to the new, permanent home. That does, however, mean that there is likely no class for the rest of the week.

Also, Karate College is this week. Renzo isn’t able to come this year, though, and I’ve got something Thursday night and am leaving town on Friday for the weekend, so I won’t be heading over there at all.

Fundamentals, gi

The knee was all sorts of squirmy and painful today. Not fun. I considered not even going to class because of it, but then decided I needed the exertion. Good decision.

So humid. Whew! Warm before you even do anything.

Short warmup. I managed everything (though could only turn out on the side-to-side drills); had to go slowly on the single legs and shoot & sprawls but I did manage to shoot on the left knee without having to reach for the floor to balance myself. Huge progress!

Then partnered up for armbars from the guard. Worked with Brandon. And omg you guys! My knee could push and pivot! It could push and pivot!! Huge, huge, huge progress! Though, heh, pinching my heels down caused some discomfort. (See, it’s been complaining about the normal stuff today and letting me do the problematic stuff.)

Rolling next, two rounds, and Tim let me join tonight. So got a couple of good rolls with little hints of jiu-jitsu popping up from time to time. Is so nice.

Drilling was options for chokes from almost-passed top half guard (they’re hanging on to your ankle for dear life with their legs). Couple more rolls to finish up. There was an odd number, so I sat out the first one. Then Tim had me roll with a kid (12, tops) who had come in with his mom. (Unlike the roll where my knee injured itself, this was billed as a “take it easy and play with him” roll. Kid wanted to be vicious, though, lol.) One more roll to finish up.

Knee did super much better in rolling. It even allowed some butterfly guard position, though no real hooks would work. Minor moments of bridging, though fully turning over isn’t quite back yet.

Eamon has been rolling really well the last few months, and I’ve known he was getting so very close to blue. For the second round tonight, I saw Tim pair Justin with him, and I was hoping that meant he’d get it soon. End of the round, sure enough, he got promoted to blue.

Now I’m off for a(nother) week, and then it’s “Hello, new school!”

Dare you to move

Since I have the day off for the Memorial holiday, and since there was no class Friday or Saturday and none tonight, Aubrey suggested that I come to morning class today. I actually woke up before my alarm and managed to wake up enough to pack all the right things and get myself there on time.

Still in the giant restrictive brace, but I did manage to sloooooowly jog (and turn corners!!) and to slooooowly raise my knees at least a little and to caaaaaaarefully kick up my heels. I can bear-crawl, I found out. There were also going-up to get triangles, and I absolutely cannot slam them in using my left leg. I can do them on the right, except I can’t ratchet down the left leg to lock the triangle. Then triangle + sit-through guard break, and I can’t do those with my left leg under me at all, either. Meh.

Then rolling to continue the warmup. I gave it a try, and just tried to move around and see what I could do. Turns out that there’s a whole lot that I use that leg for, so I spent most of the rounds attempting something and having to bail because it tweaked the knee. Silly stuff, too — like I went to mount once and that was the most excruciating pain of anything else. *le sigh* I’ll get there.

Drilling was first a half-guard pass, and then a counter for that pass. I worked with Robert, who also injured his left MCL a while back, so we talked a bit about that, which was helpful. He said he’s had to learn how to do everything on the other side; the bonus, of course, is that people don’t see it coming because it’s from the “wrong” side.

Everyone else rolled once more, but I sat out because the knee was tired. Now Aubrey and I are off to plant the garden!

Evil in the morning

Two nights of staying up way too late made this morning pretty much evil.

Four of us plus Andrew this morning, which is big for a morning class recently. Warmup, and Andrew didn’t like us for some reason and had lots of evil things worked in. Then rolling to warm up, which I think most people do not understand. It does not mean that you clamp and hold for a whole round just so you can say you didn’t get swept or passed. Srsly. (Hint: warmup round means “move.” Also means “relax.”) Rounds went white, blue, white. On the last, since it was 2 sets of blue vs. white, we blues had to start/restart in a disadvantageous position; my partner chose to start in side control every time.

Then Andrew showed us some tips for passing half guard involving always threatening a submission (guillotine, far-side armbar); then when they have to react to that, you can pass. Instead of drilling, went to specific sparring from half guard. Top had to pass; bottom, sweep or submit. Then switched top & bottom and repeat. Switched partners once.

A short drill on recovering the underhook for both the top and bottom player, involving cross-facing, which turned out to be fairly evil when done correctly. Then one last full sparring round.

First Tuesday

This was my first Tuesday back since the last time I came on Tuesday (which was the first one back in the new year). Ya’ll get that in a minute…


Rolling to warmup. Ed and Adam. Then drilling reviewed the sweep from last night, with two other options for getting under their knee.

Aubrey and I have swapped books — I let her borrow Jiu-jitsu University and she let me borrow Dave Camarillo’s new book, Submit Everyone. (I have a “Hyperbole and a Half” moment every time I say the name: “Submit All The Things!“) Review coming later; initial thoughts are that’s it’s fairly advanced stuff, but well-laid out and articulated (though the military jargon gets a little annoying after only a short while).

Anyway, right before class I was reading the chapter on armbars and SITREP 4.9, Passing: Armbar off Guard Defense, caught my eye. It’s a little tricksy move that involves pinning down one side of their open guard with your knees, your back hand reaching under their pinned leg to grab their belt, while holding their sleeve on the pinned side with your free hand. Stand up while pulling both belt and arm, and they unfurl and are wide open for passing. Pull their arm up and step straight in to take the armbar. Since I seem to be at the initial point fairly regularly, I figured I’d give it a try. Drilled it a couple times on the living room floor, and then looked for it often tonight. Caught it on Ed twice (though was too pleased with the first part that I entirely forgot to move on to the armbar, doh). And he reciprocated with a smooth kneebar entry.

Open Mat

Rolled with Buddy and Eamon, who had inexplicably thought tonight was nogi night and had come without his gi (though he was only too willing to use mine).

Rolling notes: did better overall with pressure down. * That pass worked twice; nice. Now remember the armbar. Doh. (Also, could not get the setup on the larger boys.) * Elbows in tight! Everyone was after them tonight. * Telling Buddy how to defeat my back defense was a very good idea — he’s really making me work for that defense and those escapes now. * Try not to grunt at the same time you’re almost tapping, even if they’re also crushing your ribs hard; guys tend to be nice and let go anyway. (At least I’m remembering to tell them that they did have it and to apologize for the “can’t breathe!” grunt.) * My cuticles are shredded. Huh.