Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gracie class 11/30

This morning was chilly! Good think Kirk always runs us around a bunch to warm up.

Richard began the technique portion with a review of the transition from side to knee-on-belly:

Then attacks from knee-on-belly:

Did some rolling too-- saw Jason in the gym despite his crazy work, travel and family schedule. Didn't roll with him, though-- I rolled with Leila first (and she freaking took me down... got side, got mount, and got a nice ezequiel on me- grr!) and then Tony and then I rolled with Richard. I learned a response to getting sprawled on during a takedown... the peek-through.

Then we all had lunch with Phil and Rhalan. Rhalan is very mellow and easy to talk to. Look forward to having him on the mats this coming week.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gracie open mat 11/28- shark in the water

A great open mat today. I rolled a bunch with John. He tried a lot more hip throws this time, and while my technique was sometimes appallingly bad, I survived. I tried to pull guard once, but he tried it at the same time, so I lucked out in mount. I did pillow choke him once, again with pretty bad form. I found myself occasionally in a good position, but not sure what to do from there-- it's as though I'm so used to not having any options, and only occasionally seeing one clear direction where to go, that when I can settle into mount or side control-- I get lost. I also stupidly gave him my back during a really inelegant takedown attempt-- and he almost choked me, but had my jaw, not my throat-- so I just endured, and endured, and endured, and he gave up. He's a nice guy with a good attitude so I look forward to training with him more.

There was a high school (?) dude there too... at the beginning of open mat before I'd done any rolling, he sees me come in and start chatting with people.. mind you, I'm wearing white gi pants and a tank top that has drawings of people doing triangles across the front. I'm barefoot, on the mats, and my hair is braided up-- and he looks at me (he's all of 15 or 16) and asks if I do jiu jitsu. I say yep-- he blinks and looks shocked, and says "whoa! that's weird!" So I give him a raised eyebrow and then John pipes up "dude, watch out, she has a vicious choke" and I felt awesome. :)

But it wasn't all fun and games, because then a brownbelt named Dan worked me over a little, and taught me his favorite open guard pass. He also gave me some hints on switching my hips when someone has feet on my hips, which became very useful later on.

Then Jordan completely dominated me-- taught me a new choke-- redid the Jordan Roll on me as well as the pretzel -- swept me a couple times-- tested my base-- generally just tossed me around in only the nicest ways. Got me in at least two armbars and one good choke, as well as fist in jaw, too.

Tomorrow the Rhalan Gracie seminar, my takedown lesson, and Ivelin's little get together.

I'll try to post some Thanksgiving pics soon. I gained 6 POUNDS in one day-- can you believe it?! 126 to 132! UNREAL... it's got to be water.

Cara's coming to give me a haircut at 5 and I think I may nap before class at Copa tonight.

Gracie class 11/27

Yes, even on Turkey Day, we train :) I got there late, 7am or so, and worked in on passing and defending open guard. Glenn, a purple, and Nick, another white, both schooled me pretty good. I popped another nosebleed for no reason whatsoever. I dunno.

Last night I had dinner with Mitch, Scott my "purple wing," Ivelin and Richard, and I was starting to seriously doubt whether I'd do NAGA. Stage fright or something... but today Phil said we needed to take it easy because I had a tournament next weekend... and it was funny, like all I needed to hear was Phil's confidence to get mine back.

(Of course, he had no idea I was stage-frighting, nor did he indicate any confidence in how I would perform! but in that moment, I felt protected and even championed, like I was important or something... I'm sure there's some psychology in there, daddy-figure analysis, etc.)

Anyways, look forward to rolling with Jason and Leila and Scott. Leila because she's the best approximation I have of the likely competition at NAGA... Jason because he's better than me but willing to work with me, and not too much bigger... Scott because he plugs holes in my game (assuming I have the RAM necessary to absorb his comments).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Night of Blood (aka Gracie class 11/25 evening)

Tonight, I bled all over creation during class. Why would that make me smile so? I truly am a freak. It was not traumatic in origin (you'd think if I were ever to get a nosebleed, it would be from Shane's shin in my schnozz last week.) Instead, it started with Donald the Royler brown who scribed elegant parabolas through the air with my body-- sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep. I started bleeding after the first two and all together the sweeps only really took 20 or 30 seconds. I didn't land hard, he was very controlled and gentle, but I didn't resist them all that much once he got me going, so my head must have felt some G-forces. It stopped, started again later with my friend Jason's triangle attempt (that was almost a gusher-- a pool on my arm as I fought his embrace) and then a third time with Richard as he had me in side control.



But fortunately I made it through the technique section without exsanguination.

There were other techniques, but honestly, they apparently didn't make much impact on my brain. I did enjoy rolling with Jason quite a bit. Jacked up my L big toe because I was doing a positional sparring drill, trying to maintain kesa gatame on Ulises, and while we spun like whirligig beetles, Jordan's ankle and my toe connected :(

And I mentioned Richard squashing me like a bug. I did have one open guard pass that I was relatively proud of-- until he pointed out that I should not have committed both my arms to his bottom arm, and instead should have controlled his bottom knee, flattened it out, and passed over that. Hmmm. That did work well.

Gracie class 11/25, morning

Wow.. I felt a lot better after class than I do right now-- mainly because I just ate eight milk chocolate chip-pecan cookies. They weren't big ones, but they were homemade, so they're way richer a breakfast than I needed. I can't believe I just called cookies "breakfast."

We worked an alternating drill-- you're mounted, your opponent scissor sweeps you, you do the knee/arm trap-upa sweep-- back and forth. Another drill was doing whitebelt-killer sweeps from closed guard, then your partner does the knee-in mount escape.

Then I got to roll with Nick twice (he was so mellow today! but he's sore from the last tournament, the round robin in San Antonio, and he's tweaked his knee.) I also rolled with Shane, the tall slender guy, and while I managed to take him down, he's aggressive, and with those long legs of his, he's a real threat.

Yes, I really do try to train every day. :) That's why I say I'm an addict.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back on the mats!! Hooray!!! Gracie class 11/24

I am like a heroin addict when it comes to jits. I spent the weekend curled up on the sofa with my husband, bundled up in fleece and pretending it was actually autumn weather outside (until Sunday with the 70 degree temps) and I didn't train at all Fri, Sat or Sun. Needed the break but I am so happy to be back on the mats.

Saturday night we did attend a local MMA event-- King of Kombat. We had a good time thanks to Richard who got us front row VIP passes!

Richard, me and Mitch.


Me, making fun of the promoter guy's utterly goofy wink at me.



Me, Mitch and our buddy Zade, who swooped in on the last VIP pass and left Ivelin and the Peruvian Wildcat out in general admission.


Tonight in class: open guard pass to side mount escape and maintenance.

Also learned a defense to knee on belly and transition to a spinning armbar.

Shout out to my injured friends-- I miss training with you. I miss rolling with you. I hope you have a safe trip over the Thanksgiving holiday, be careful, eat lots of turkey, come back healthy and sound and FAT and ready to roll. NAGA is just two weeks away!

Whoa!!!! Blog of the year?!

Thanks Slideyfoot, for referring this as a possible contender for BJJ blog of the year!

Definitely would be cool, but mainly I'm flattered to even be mentioned. If you agree, feel free to vote for me!

BJJ Blog of the Year 2008 Contest

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gracie class 11/20 evening

All technique moved to Relson Gracie Austin Journal.

Gracie class 11/20, morning

After class I sparred with Nick, Kirk, and a new guy named Trevor. Nick owned me as usual. Kirk, likewise, but I expect it because he's a 4 stripe blue. It was at least fun because I used Coach's shoulder-to-shin takedown and it worked-- but I needed to be faster in trapping his legs and passing. Trevor is a new-to-us whitebelt from Orlando and we had a nice match. First time, he totally took me down, got mount way high, and I was screwed. Ended up subbing me by hell choke, which I defended for a while, but I was completely unable to get out of the mount, so it was just a matter of time. Second time, he still took me down, but I ended up escaping mount, got half guard, then guard when time was called.

Then I worked with Eric, I think, a big purple with a tat of bloody barbed wire around his collarbones. Worked on sweeps-- particularly butterfly and halfguard. Either way, you want to focus on trapping the postable arm, grabbing deep under it and locking it to your body, sitting up tightly underneath them, and rolling over one shoulder as a unit while kicking up with the hook.

Getting the hook in from half guard isn't hard now-- he taught me some tricks. Scoot your hips out 2" to the side of the leg you've trapped and no matter how high up he rides his leg, you can get the hook in. If he's holding your hips, push him up with your arm in his throat, scoot your body straight up towards his head, and then scoot hips out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gracie class 11/19

Class started with some positional sparring, guard passing, and takedown drills. Interspersed with all that were, in total, 700 crunches of different varieties, if you counted honestly.

Techniques:

sacrifice foot-on-hip throw
from pushing, they push back, or
leg reap from pulling, they pull back
helicopter armbar

After class from Coach:
Start by circling to your right like you're a lefty
Tilt upper body like steering wheel, go for the loaded leg- slide linked hands to his ankle w/out putting head in front of your heels- drive shoulder forwardly against his knee (below it)
Trap his leg, go over the chest, cross grip the lapel for papercutter
Fist in throat choke and take down.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gracie class 11/18 evening

Rolled with Jordan-- he swept me again like last time, but I should have written down some notes, because it's all out of my head again. Probably because I rolled with Donald next, for 15 minutes or so, and it was like rolling with the ocean. You can push your hand through it and not leave a hole; it can hold your body up or down and smash through it or let it float; you can't hope to beat it. That's Donald-- super slick, super smooth, very fluid. I was mesmerized watching and trying to understand what he was doing and I lost most of it.

Super pooped tonight from last night's workfest till 1am.. looks like I have a lovely evening planned with my husband tomorrow night, making chicken enchiladas and taking a walk... then back to the office to make some phone calls to witnesses.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gracie class 11/16

Last night's UFC party at Ivelin's was a success.. everyone liked the foodies and cookies... Amber and Maggie came and were much appreciated by the gentlemen present.. and I ended up going to bed late, tired, and content.

Today's class started with a question about doing papercutter chokes from side- the key to keeping them from rolling into you and out of it is to use your other hand to pull up on the tricep of the arm closest to you, before you sink in the choke.

Then, takedowns: timing the knee grab with the lapel shove from the side... the ankle pick (keep head at the same level as theirs and get their nose past the toes) and then the Tito Ortiz clinch, with a hand over the neck, the other hand underhooking and grabbing the shoulder, and your forehead shoved into their neck. That plus a controlled tight spiral down = nice takedown.

Then, a thing from my tournament footage review with Phil: when you're mounted and they turn on their side, how and why to grab the bottom leg (to reinsert your low mount hooks)-- alternatively to take the back.

Rolled with Leila, Richard, Jack, and Kurt. Watched a TKD bb test after for about 4 hours... came home and ate some yummy chili.

REEAALLY sleepy now so headed to bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Takedown class 11/15

So-- Richard takes private lessons in takedowns from Justin, a Big-10 wrestling superstar and 2-stripe blue in bjj... again I am being tucked under a nice wing, because Richard is now inviting me to sit in on his takedown lessons every Saturday morning. I came in no-gi in case he wanted to roll after, but they both insisted that I get a few techniques in too. Bonus for Richard because Justin got to watch him perform the moves from a different angle and listen to Richard teach the move. Bonus for me, not only for obvious reasons, but because it was damn chilly this morning (60-something degrees) and even in a long sleeve rashie, I was a bit chattery till I started moving.

I took lots of notes (the other bonus for me not participating in the whole lesson) which went like this:

I also got to run some guard passing drills with Thomas, Doug, Richard and Justin... then takedowns with Richard... then butterfly guard passes and counters to butterfly sweeps with Thomas and Richard. All in all, a nice 2.5 hours on my Saturday morning, while Mitch ran errands and got lunch.

I'm cooking for the UFC party tonight at Ivelin's... hot pizza dip, hot crab dip, and 5 chocolate cookies (chocolate cookies with white, semi, milk, and dark chocolate chips)... wanted to make a rum punch but may run out of time or ingredients... and made these awesome spicy pretzels that I (DAMMIT) burned in the oven moments ago. Now the house smells vaguely hellish.

Gotta run...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gracie open mat 11/14 and random thoughts

I am currently cozied up in a corner booth at Halcyon, sipping a mug of sadly bitter mocha coffee, digesting some yummy sushi, and patiently waiting for salsa class at 9pm to teach at Copa. This will be a long post then, since I have time to kill.

Two hours of productive rolling at lunch, despite having woken up at 2:30am and not being able to fall asleep again, despite having a Cobb sandwich at Kerbey Lane (too much blue cheese) for what felt like lunch but was clearly breakfast as it was prior to 10am. Now, I'm dragging tail feathers a bit but coffee has no effect on me.

I recognized while rolling that I am predictably falling into the same positions-- he's in butterfly in front of me, we grip fight, I manage to half-assed do a knee-through pass, land in half guard, halfway succeed in controlling his hips from side, but mostly fail to extract my leg from half guard-- get swept, sometimes managing to land with half guard that goes nowhere unless you count 75% of the time, when he transitions from half to side.

Usually I can tell he's making a distinct effort to not overpower me or muscle things-- but still, he's got excellent, instinctive weight placement and my ribs are not always well-sprung enough to preclude groans during transitions.

I wish I had a better memory for exactly how he was subbing me. I think he got a triangle, a spinning armbar (from back?), and surely a choke or two. Last I lost count, it was 1-6, and then I only got one sub if you count the time I was coached through a non-RNC choke setup from back. It's frustrating, but not in the ready-to-cry way that the Friday before Atama was... (gee, only a week ago?!) I'm frustrated that I am not a better training partner; I obviously don't push him or test him. He told me in a moment of candor the other day that he only rolls with me because of his neck injury-- what was his word, incompetent? I'm just incompetent enough to not pose a threat to his neck, and small enough basically to be safe as well. I don't expect to really challenge anyone but perhaps Leila at this point, and that's only because we're a similar size, but it would be nice to be able to help others as much as I'm getting helped. Hopefully someday.

I did almost make the mount attack series from yesterday that Richard taught-- and Scott was watching when I flubbed it. I got the gable grip over the shoulder and trapped the hand on the lapel but when I scooted for inverted triangle under the head I let go the hands-- he came up and reversed me, so I should've kept the triangle, but I let it slip away.

I think jits is fabulous for a million and one reasons, but one of the top five is that it's deep in the sense you can keep learning and progressing for a long, long time and never touch bottom. So, I guess I am comfortable with the concept that I may never feel like I have "arrived" or that I "get it."

Still-- the prospect of making blue-- ahhhhh... I know, who cares about the belt color, and I really don't. It's more the prospect of reaching that skill level. I'm still not tired of being toyed with, and as long as it's still productive I'm happy. I need some sweep defenses-- half the time I'm not really on the mat but dangling above it, suspended on feet, knees, hands. But it would be nice to have a little ammunition.

I rolled with Shane again-- a slender guy, very tall. I am sure he's being nice to me because like last time, I was able to take him down (armdrag to the back, trip; single leg, trip). The only downer happened during a scramble; he accidentally clocked me with his long, hard, bony shin.

Rolled with Scott briefly who emphasized what I should have done from that north south position to kimura: when they're grabbing their arm to their belt you jerk their arm hard and fast the direction it naturally goes (to the stomach, in front and forward) and then slowly, with control, go up and back for the kimura. The ferocity freaks them out but doesn't hurt anything.

He also discussed when/which side you go for the underhook: when you're passing guard or in guard, the desirable underhook is on the same side as the free leg(s). So, if I'm on top and I have Scott's R leg in my half guard, it's his L leg that's free, so I want my R arm to have the underhook. Key when passing guard is to go for the proper underhook-- thus if I pass to his R/my L, I want my R arm to get the underhook.

If you can't get both hooks in from turtle, get one and a knee; with the hand on the hook side, reach in and grab opposite collar, and that accomplishes the same control job as double hooks. Worked a little on that flippy roll from back with reverse seatbelt too.

Attack from half guard: Be completely on your side, get up on your elbow then your hand, scrunch down under them-- either sweep by driving forward and catching their posting arm or dive under them and roll when they sprawl back too much, I think.

After work I went back to Phil's and since my dinner date with my husband was in an hour, I decided not to roll-- instead, Phil watched my tournament footage and wrote two pages of notes, 19 separate things I need to work on, and he prioritized 4 things to start with. I really jam on his attitude- very professional, demanding but with humor, encouraging and pushing, and always with the goal of helping you develop a unique game. And he seems to dig my competitive attitude.

OK-- about time to bounce. I'm pooped. Hoping to do a takedown class tomorrow morning with Richard but if that doesn't happen I have plenty of work to do, footage to render, gardening to handle, food to make for the UFC party, and working out to do (it's been a full week since I really lifted.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gracie class evening 11/13

I missed two hours (and all the technique) because of the execution. (Denard Manns is no longer an issue.)

But I did learn a few things from rolling with Scott:

1. Nifty choke/flip from rear: without hooks in, get reverse seatbelt grip (R arm overhook, L arm underhook) with your hips slightly offset to the L of theirs-- about half a butt cheek offset. Dive inwards, tucking your chin, so it looks like the top of your head is going through the space between their head and shoulder-- dive, roll, tuck, flip them over you with your arms, and your R arm should tighten around their neck as you go. You land with them in between your legs and finish the choke.

2. How to switch from one ankle lock to the other just by switching which knee is between theirs.

3. Getting back mount from the armdrag. (Pull your hips away from theirs as you jump and put your feet in the backs of their knees.)

Rolled a little with Scott, Richard, Terry and Jason. Jason owned me as usual. Sulk.

Gracie class 11/13

This morning we started with a much longer warmup than usual, so the technique portion was a little shorter.

I rolled with Richard after class. Still sweep city (as in, I get swept, under the rug, to the ceiling, and back again, over, and over, and over... but I haven't yet swept him..) and in the end I tapped to a Jacare-style skirt choke that I totally saw coming but was trapped and couldn't escape. Jammed my poor thumb HARD into the mat at one point-- blood everywhere! Boohoo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gracie class, evening 11/11

Class tonight: two judo takedowns (a standard seoi-nage, the counter, and the re-counter, kouchi-gari.)

Then a scissor guard pass:

Then I opted to skip the womens' class-- no one comes regularly outside of the womens' class so they tend to be relatively soft, and I just didn't feel like messing with it much. I did practice guard passing and sweeps with Brandy for about 15 min because I think it's important to encourage women to get into jiu jitsu. But then I worked with Jordan on a few fun things.

2. The Pretzel: This can be an open or butterfly guard pass, or a takedown from the clinch. I lost track of exactly how to do it, but it starts with a cross-body armdrag, and you interlock your two arms around their one, then roll over your shoulder that started the armdrag.

3. A new choke that's making the rounds.. unfortunately the details escape me, but I've emailed for clarification.

Jordan is fun to roll with, he's very strong and doesn't take it easy on me when he's got dominant position, but he moves methodically and allows me to think about things as they're happening, plus he's patient about stopping in the middle to explain how something works. That Jordan Roll was great fun-- he did it to me and I was like a little kid after a roller coaster-- "do it again! do it again! show me!" And he has excellent control, even when he did the pretzel to me as a takedown from clinch, it barely hurt at all.

LOL... lately I notice how often during rolling (or normal existence) jits people have pops and clicks and grinding noises, which are dismissed as "normal"-- it seems we shouldn't have noises be normal! But inherent in the activity is the development of these constant minor injuries. Likewise, the concept of acceptable pain-- the pretzel as a throw definitely crimped my bicep, but I was fine with it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Atama Open- my matches

All these ladies were very nice; all had about a year to 18 months of training, so I feel pretty good about how I did. The real credit goes to my instructors and training partners, in no particular order: Christy, Leila, Shama, Phil, Robert, Tom, Nick, Richard, Randy, Kurt, Moss, and Eric. Double kudoes to my corner and instructor Phil who was the most amazing coach during my rounds!

Here's my first match:

video

The second match went the whole 5 minutes and I think it's too long to post here so you'll have to check it out here on YouTube.

The third, the finals round:

video

I definitely need work on takedowns, guard passing, triangle defense, and taking the back without getting reversed, for a start.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

YEAH!!!!!!

Short version: won my division (white belt adult women in gi) at the Atama Open in Houston.

Longer version: 2 subs + 1 win by points = gold medal.

(Hell choke and americana)

Longer still version tomorrow or even Monday, w/video.

The rest of our team likewise kicked a$$-- Ivelin, Scott, Shama, and I (and I think maybe Trey and Travis too) were all in the medals. Emmanuel was 4th in his division. Scott put Bill to sleep "twice" (there's a story there) and Ivelin choked his opponent out cold in the finals of his no-gi division with a nice tight anaconda from guard.

Headed out to celebrate now :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Gracie class, evening 11/4

So-- how do I feel getting ready for tournament #2? Tom keeps harping that I need more self-confidence. I find it funny-- I have never been shy of that, and I think my willingness to put myself out there shows I have at least some. But I can't help but have moments of utter fear. I am not so much afraid of losing matches as I am afraid of making stupid mistakes. There will always, always be better grapplers than me.. but I want to lose to other people because they execute faster, better, with more balance and technique. I fear that I will lose because I forget to do simple things or because I put myself in harm's way. I should lose to other people, not to myself.

Gracie class, morning 11/4-- GO VOTE!!

Richard taught this morning.. we started with drilling armbars from guard, back and forth, emphasizing getting your ear to their knee, curling the heel that's over their neck down to the mat, and pinching knees together tightly. Also, just control the arm you're barring, and get your wrist blade on theirs.

Then we drilled armbars from mount.

We rolled after that. With Kirk I worked grip breaks and more side control escapes (I used the term "worked" very loosely, much more like *I* got worked over..) He also pointed out I'm still in spazzy panic mode in open guard-- like pushing and struggling to get away, when I should be thinking of a move to attack them. Then with Tommy, a blue (2 stripes? 3?) I struggled to pass a variety of guards. Then with Shane we started from standup. He was obviously letting me work but I appreciated it.

Then Richard showed me my mistake on the armdrag that left me vulnerable to the ankle pick/knee bar.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gracie class 11/3-- also, GO VOTE!!!!

So tonight at Phil's it was "scissor sweep and what you can get from that" night.

Whooo... my head is bursting at the seams. I got to roll with another white belt who owned me all over the mat, then got some help from Juan, a 3-stripe blue. He taught me some things about grip fighting, how to practice for a points tournament (always be aware of points and position first), and we worked on scissor sweeps quite a bit. He was so generous; poor guy wanted to roll with Richard but spent so much time with me that he hardly got any time with Richard.

Tomorrow's a big day-- please vote! I already did early voting, so I will be in Gracie from 6-8:30am and 5-9pm.

Thank you Stephan and Donald, a.k.a. Achilles Heaven

Ahhhh... the sweet, sweet taste of victory.

Today I got an ankle lock on my friend Tom. Imagine the biggest grin on my face, that's about half how I felt :) I am so happy because this time part of it wasn't a gift. I think I surprised us both. I was certainly surprised! It was like my body knew what to do without consulting my brain!

The title pays homage to the two men responsible for my ankle lock-- Stephan Kesting and Donald, a brown at the Relson Gracie school here in Austin. I was all psyched up to use Phil's easy-peasy open guard pass but Tom stayed on his knees the whole time. He likes to shove my head down because I don't fight off his neck control, and eventually takes my back. Eventually I turn into him (need to remember to turn into him and go under the arm!) and end up in guard. He opens guard immediately, but I generally wrestle around with legs ineffectually, his feet clinging to me like prehensile little pains in the ass.

Today, I scooped up under his ankle that was around my hip and going towards my back. I got the outside, underneath leg angled properly, with my heel in his hip and ball of the foot down on the mat-- got my inside, top leg right with the shin against his privates, instep under his bum-- laid down on my side, arched and looked away... I think, looking back, that I probably didn't surprise him at all, but I was thoroughly surprised that my body seemed to identify what I needed to do without me thinking it through in words, for once.

The rest of the roll: I need to work on takedowns from the clinch. I have to try to go for more triangles. Screwed up my armbar counter to side control-- instead of mindlessly trying to regain guard, when their head is up high, frame on the jaw, catch the head with your leg. I also need to work on triangle counters and armbar counters.

Tonight, I have Gracie class from 5-8; the Atama Open is this Saturday and it's my second tournament. I'm feeling pretty excited... no pressure no pressure I keep telling myself.

Creative heel hook entry..

Sweet transition from standing/back to grab the heel hook, by Jorge Santiago.

Thanks to Jason H. for the link!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Gracie class 11/2

This morning's class was really good. I finally was brave enough to ask a question, and the class ended up being all about my topic. Plus, I brought milk chocolate chip-pecan cookies still warm from the oven... plus it's less than a week till my second tournament... plus Richard worked with me for an hour after class... plus unlike every other weekend, I didn't gain weight even though we went to the Salt Lick last night, and had Sandy's great cream puffs with homemade ice cream, berries and chocolate fudge sauce... plus my chicken tortilla soup turned out great... so I guess it's just generally this weekend has been a happy one.

My question? I said I wanted to learn to pass open guard (thinking specifically of the tricky Randy and his "spider monkey" self.)

Gracie class 11/1

In the end I got my brief done yesterday-- emailed it to my boss for his review-- and Mitch decided to take a nap, so I was free to go to the Gracie school for the noon class. Then this morning I forgot about resetting the clocks, so I'm up an hour earlier than necessary, which gives me a chance to blog about the class, and to scarf down the last Runts from halloween. Breakfast of champions.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloweenie!

Yeah, yeah, so it's the day after, so what?

I had yesterday off entirely. Well-- speaking of my physical labors only; I still had to work (and work a lot, which is partly why I didn't go to the gym at all.) I have a brief due on Monday, and I underestimated how long it would take.

So, I worked, and worked, and skipped class, and worked more. Helped do two witness interviews.

We have a friend from Conroe TX staying with us this weekend because he's taking the State Bar's certification exam for a criminal law specialization today. We had dinner with him at Chuy's last night (which means chicken fajita nachos. Boo.) Mitch stayed home, so I taught salsa at Copa by myself. It was fun-- Ivelin came with a black cape, a funky hat, and a mask. Zade and his friend Tom stopped by dressed as drunken sailors, but they weren't drunk yet. I danced a fair bit, and then agreed to check out a party with Ivelin.

It was the single biggest, craziest block party I've ever seen-- kind of like footage from spring break in some college beach town, except no beach... this party was so big, people were arriving in cabs and you couldn't park for blocks. Vendors sold food, glow sticks, and who knows what else.. I wasn't costumed as anything except for a salsa teacher. The night's best comment-- a guy walked up to Ivelin and asked if he was dressed as Pimp Zorro! Truly comic. Lots of skinny, fat, and in-between. One girl had a totally cool look-- black and white checkered scarf tied over her head (think pirate), a white blouse with a black leather half corset (laces up just around your waist), a belt with bullets all around, tight grey capris with a scimitar hanging from the belt loop, black tights, and amazing high heeled lace-up boots. She didn't look like she rented it, it looked like stuff she owned and wore regularly... it was truly attractive. Unfortunately one guy-- well, just think "man who recently gave birth" without a shirt on... and he was wearing a DIAPER taped around his waist (no pants!) with packing tape. *SIGH* I told Ivelin it was like watching a train wreck, you can't tear your eyes away from the disaster.

By about 1:45 I was getting chilly and a little bored... the DJ had shut down his music because a band was about to get started, but I didn't care to stay. Got to bed about 2:30 and woke at 6 this morning to get my car's tires rotated, alignment, etc. I need two new tires, wahhh!

So I'm home now, made a pot of chicken tortilla soup, gonna work on this brief some more, and then I'll hit the gym. I hope I can find someone to roll with today, I miss it.