Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rashguard review-- the Honey Badger by Meerkatsu/Tatami

Tatami is releasing the 2012 version of Meerkatsu's Honey Badger rashie at the end of July, and it can be reserved here at the Tatami site, or here at Budovideos.  It costs about US$57.

Tatami has this to say: "The Honey Badger rash guard pays homage to that [most?] fearless of animals, the Honey Badger.  Made famous buy [by] the viral youtube videos the Honey Badger's famous slogan is "Don't give a S*@T," so if you leave it all on the mat and are the last person standing in training or competing, you are a Honey Badger. Only the finest materials are good enough to bring out the superb detail of the Meerkatsu Honey Badger rashguard [and] that['s] why we have used Italian inks and a high density polyspandex material, all dye sublimated for an extraordinary finish."

Honey badgers are pretty badass, I must say..

But is Tatami's rashguard going to live up to its spirit animal's reputation?  I put one through the wringer to find out.

The short version: Super cool artwork, sublimated dye design that will never flake or peel, and superior construction and manufacture make this a quality product worth the price and a much better choice than generic UnderArmor.

The long version:  I received a size small from Meerkatsu for this review.  We're friends on facebook, but otherwise unaffiliated, and I received no extra swag.

I liked that it didn't have a smell to it (sometimes rashguards have a chemical scent to them and require prewashing before first wear... not this one.)

Along with the rashie, the package contained a handful of cool stickers displaying Meerkatsu's talents.  Nifty!

These rashies are longsleeved and crew necked.  Much nicer than "surf" style rashies with their mock turtlenecks, I'd say.  The fabric, 80% polyester and 20% spandex, is sleek and smooth, resistant to pilling even with daily use under a gi or as nogi attire, on tatamis or puzzle mats.  Grody rough feet failed to snag on this as well.  The fabric is a good bit thicker than  your lightweight UnderArmor rashguard, but not noticeably warmer.  It snaps back to shape quite well, even after untrained apes grab on to it whilst rolling.

I'm 5'2" (36-28-38) and the small seemed just right as far as my shoulders, chest and waist go -- but the body was quite long on me.  To fully display the glorious snarling maw for the camera, I had to pull the hem down over my behind.  I am sure this is great news for long-torsoed people who hate rashies pulling up during rolling... this has all the length you need to stay well tucked in to your grappling shorts.

This is how long the sleeves are on my arms, pulled all the way down.

And this is how much extra length there is, when I wear it normally.  Notice that there is a "stripe" of lighter grey fabric on the inner aspect of the sleeve.

When I don't pull the hem down, the rashie rides up comfortably around my waist, but it seems to lose a little of the intimidation factor.  Call it "truth in advertising" when I wear it.

I like that the shoulders are raglan-style which makes them accommodate a wide range of shoulder widths and is extremely comfortable-- no chafing in the underarm area. The design on the back loses a little punch because I'm so shortwaisted, but I think it still looks great.  One arm displays the Tatami logo.  The other side has Japanese characters and the honey badger logo.

All the seams are made with an interlock stitch that has stood up to heavy use and machine washing very well.  I will say maybe I'm a bit of a princess, because the inside of my arms noticed the seams and felt a little itchy, the first five minutes of wearing the rashguard.  However, I quickly became accustomed to the sensation and didn't even notice the seams for the rest of my training.  No rash or abrasion was apparent when I took it off (hence, I think, the term "rash guard.")

I have a handful of rashguards from other companies, academies etc and find it really annoying when the artwork flakes and peels.  Two of my rashguards are dye sublimated and despite 3+ years of heavy use, have never peeled or flaked.  Why not? The artwork is first printed onto large sheets of high-release paper substrate. Then, images are transferred onto the garments using heat and pressure. Heat converts the solid dye particles into a gas (a process known as sublimation) and the pressure bonds them to the polyester content of the garments. The dye is absorbed by the garment, which differs from the screen printing, where the ink sits on top of the garment. So you know this awesome honey badger will be snarling just as brilliantly years from now.  Probably more brilliantly that you will be!

I've machine washed it, on cool, warm and occasionally hot-- maybe 30 times?  and machine dried it (on medium) every time.  I don't mind abusing my stuff when I'm testing it.  This rashguard did not act like a victim.  Apparently, honey badgers tolerate any water temperature without shrinking and machine drying just makes them-- dry.   I'm impressed. 

BJJGearJunkie did a video review of this rashie here and a written version here.  WhiteBeltAcademy posted lots of photos with his first-impressions review here.

If you get one, I think you'll be happy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pan-seared tuna with quinoa salad

If, like me, you're dairy-free, you can skip the feta cheese in this dish-- it's mostly a garnish, and the tomato/olive mixture is still pretty tasty.
4 5-oz. boneless, skinless tuna steaks
salt and pepper
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, put through garlic press
2 cups cherry tomatoes (any color), halved
1/3 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano 
1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese 
Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until done to your liking (3 to 4 minutes for medium rare, depending on steaks' thickness). Transfer the tuna to a large plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until golden-brown, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper; cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.

Transfer the tuna to plates, top with the tomato salad and feta, and serve.

I like to eat quinoa instead of pasta since I've been on this gluten-free thing, and I keep a tupperware box of cooked quinoa in the fridge so I'm ready to go with dinner.  Quinoa can be a good side dish, or if you add enough stuff to it, it makes an excellent base for a dinner salad.

Yummy add ins for quinoa-- pick 3 or more, and stir thoroughly:
baby spinach
shredded kale
garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
chopped red onion
cherry tomatoes
shredded carrots
black beans
chopped pears or apples
dried fruit (especially craisins)
nuts-- almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are my favorites
diced fennel
goat cheese, gouda, or colby jack

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Street vs. sport.

So, while I haven't been training much "pure" jiu jitsu this month at all, I have been dropping in on some judo classes and some kajukenbo classes, both run by old friends.  It's been fun because I get to see a wholly different group of tendencies.  Judo people have no problem giving up their back (well-- the ones I play with) and neither do wrestlers.  However, I know judo matches get set back up on feet fairly quickly, and my kajukenbo friends seem to rely on the view that "if this were a real fight, I'd just punch you out."  And everyone looks at me as the representative from Brazilian jiu jitsu and wants to test themselves (even though I'm "just" a girl.)  So I get to spar a variety of opponents who don't do "the right things" and I have to find responses to them.  As a result, my jiu jitsu is getting a little garbled up with more street-y stuff and less sporty stuff.  I think Helio would approve.  I just keep telling myself (as I wrassle around with a 19 yr old kid, 6' tall and 215 lbs, and no training at all) that if they're not submitting me, if they're not in a position to punch my lights out, then I'm winning.  I might not be "beating" them-- but if they can't beat me, in the end I have succeeded.

Rener and Ryron just posted a video on a similar topic-- it's on the long side (22 min) but worth your time.

When I started jiu jitsu, I pooh-poohed the boys at my academy who seemed overly focused on "if I get in a bar fight" type situations.  When asked, I emphasized that I was NOT training jiu jitsu for self defense, but was exclusively interested in the sport aspect.  And, I had attended, and later taught, so many womens' self defense seminars through the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in my city, that I really felt quite confident I could handle myself in a "stranger attack" type situation even without jiu jitsu.

But when I started training with Donald Park, I began to see that I would do a great disservice to this art that I love, if I did not practice the self defense aspect of it.  Sure, I don't go to "that kind of bar" often if ever.   Sure, I doubted anyone would attack me, mount me and start punching away.  But what if?  How embarrassing if I were training jiu jitsu for years and got beaten up! or worse, got taunted by a 19 yr old kid after a judo class!

So I happily prioritize self defense.  And you should too.

I will say this-- guillotines! loop chokes! arm drags! take the back!  soooooo much fun against big strong 19 yr old apes ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A beautiful thought, a call to action...

My instructor's blog post on Saturday was inspiring and, yes, felt a little bit like a horoscope entry-- you wonder whether it was written for you because it feels incredibly specific and topical and appropriate.

Lately I've been pondering my lack of motivation to go train.  What I have come up with is a combination of-- feeling fat and out of shape (this is getting better now that I'm back to working out 7 days a week and often doing two-a-days)... being tired at the end of a long work day and not wanting to train at 8pm (my old academy had early am, lunch, and 5pm classes and I would be home by 9pm)... feeling like once I miss a couple classes, I'm too far "behind" everyone else....

But Donald's post helped me face an icky, ugly truth-- part of my reluctance to train is fear.  Fear of sucking and fear of people talking about how much I suck.  Over the weekend, I happened to have a conversation with a guy who trains at another school, about his experience when he visited another academy.  He alluded to a training partner's belt color (an advanced belt) and expressed disappointment over how this person's skills did not seem to match up to his belt color.  We've all heard comments like that, whether about people from other schools or not, haven't we?  I don't know about you, but they're the ones that used to galvanize me to train harder-- to make sure if someone from another school rolled with me, that I never let my instructor and my team down.  That I always repped them well. And yet now, my confidence has receded like the tide going out, and I'm afraid I've become a girl with a ratty blue belt who rolls like a ratty white belt.  That fear is my failure.

I am not close enough to my instructor to fancy myself his personal friend in the true sense of the word, but I feel I know him a little better now, and it is somewhat reassuring to know someone I respect so much has also failed. 

Thought I'd share with you the conclusion of his post:

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.


Gluten free!? dairy free?!

On Friday my husband and I had a conversation with my Reproductive Immunologist.

[Side note:  When I was obsessed with jiu jitsu, for like the last 3 or so years of my life, I got a kick out of saying "my chiropractic neurologist" or "my myofascial massage therapist" or "my ortho guy".  But now that I'm a little bit obsessing with trying to make a training partner I can ALWAYS dominate, ha ha... I have a new set of specialists.  And the newest addition to that stable is the reproductive immunologist, who is tasked with stopping my body from killing the embryos it apparently doesn't like.  Anyway.]

This doctor walked us through the latest round of blood test results, gave me some good news (the partial DQ alpha match is not a problem; I won't need super-duper expensive injections to permit and maintain a pregnancy) and some bad news.  The bad news is, my body is agitated about something, and that agitation isn't good for implantation.  His advice-- the next time we try to conceive I should be on some prescription meds like prednisone and lovenox... also I need to be taking monster doses of antioxidants, fish oil and the ACE vitamins... and...

I should reduce or eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet.  "But I don't have any problems with gluten! or dairy!"

Yes, you do-- your cytokine levels show that something in there is agitating your body, and we suspect it's gluten and dairy.  So abruptly on Friday, I came to the end of consuming most yummy things.

No more cookies, sandwiches, Belgian waffles, cereal, cool glasses of milk, yogurt, fried chicken, pizza, pasta, potstickers, etc. etc. etc.

Saturday I moped around the house, eating inordinate quantities of fresh strawberries and roasted almonds by the handful.  Not the most varied diet but I survived.

Sunday lunch with our niece, I had quinoa/corn/black bean salad, with a roasted ear of corn, and some green beans.  The tortellini with pesto taunted me.

Sunday night at the Mexican restaurant I had fajitas on corn tortillas, no cheese, and I don't eat sour cream any way.  They were okay.

It really aggravated me for a while and I'm sure it will continue to do so.  But I am trying, because I want to have a little one, and maybe this is what it takes.

However, all you Paleo people can start telling me about how to make gluten-free flatbread if you want.  Please?  Or whatever it is you eat sandwiches on.  I know-- you're grain-free, not gluten-free.  I'm just hoping for suggestions, from anyone.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Come get your Rickson fix here!


Rickson Gracie Black Belt
When: SATURDAY JUNE 30th | 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Price: $85 per person

The third American to receive his black belt from Rickson, Henry began his training in 1995 at the Rickson Gracie Academy in West LA. Having spent more time on the mat with Rickson than nearly anyone on the planet, Henry is is a true product of Rickson’s teachings. A remarkable talent with unparalleled Jiu-Jitsu skill and knowledge, Henry served as the Head Instructor of the Rickson Gracie Academy from 2004 – 2008 and is now the head Jiu-Jitsu instructor of his own school in Santa Monica, CA – Dynamix Martial Arts. (
Don’t miss this chance to train with one of the country’s best black belts, as he passes on the lessons he’s learned from arguably the greatest Jiu-Jitsu practitioner alive, Master Rickson Gracie.

You MUST pre-pay and register-- click here to pay by paypal...
email INFO@GRACIELEGACY.COM for price info and
to schedule a private or semi-private lesson

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to be a great mediocre BJJ student...

Wow.  I just read a great post by Cane Prevost.  If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you will recognize the name because I really enjoy his pedagogy of jiu jitsu.  He's a blackbelt in the SBGi school under Matt Thornton, and his blog The Gentle Art captures some interesting insights in the teaching and learning of jiu jitsu.

Anyway, for those of us who aren't full-time jiu jitsu athletes, (us Part Time Grapplers like Liam) living in an all-expenses-paid jiu jitsu house like I've heard the Team Lloyd Irvin people have, Prevost's article on how to be a great "ordinary mortal" is pretty slick. So if you're not one of the Miyao brothers... Mackenzie Dern... or Buchecha... if you just enjoy jiu jitsu as a part of your life... give it a read here.

Braised balsamic chicken and squash for dinner...

Is your garden (or farmers' market) bursting with tomatoes and summer squash?  Here's one way to use some of summer's bounty....

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (your preference, or you can do this without chicken)
2-3 summer (yellow) squashes or zucchini, sliced into 3/4" thick pennies
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tomatoes, diced (or one 14.5 ounce can)
dried oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme (around 1 tsp each-- or about a tablespoon each if you're using fresh) 

Season chicken breasts with ground black pepper and salt. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and brown the onion approximately 30 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.  Add squash halfway through, raising heat to medium and stirring a bit to keep them from over browning.  Put squash and onion in separate dish, then add seasoned chicken breasts and cook on medium until browned on both sides.  Add smashed garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring to keep garlic from burning.   Return squash and onion to the pan.

Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.  Serve over brown rice or quinoa.  I like green beans or brussels sprouts on the side.  

Enjoy :)

Gi Review: the Submission Fight Co. Light gi

The short version: Not light enough to be considered a "light" gi, but well-made and VERY reasonably priced -- an excellent entry-level training gi.   Maybe not the best choice, fit-wise, for a petite or curvy girl, but should be fine on a guy!

Shakib sent me this gi for a review in April, and I wore the heck out of it for a while to be able to give you my opinion on it.  Meerkatsu posted a very detailed review of the preproduction version a year ago here.  Everything BJJ also reviewed it here, BJJ Gear Junkie reviewed it here, and SEA MMA Gear reviewed it too.

You can buy this gi directly from Submission Fight Company or from BudoVideos.  And with this code, "Georgette5", you can get 5% off anything storewide until December 31, 2012-- only on

Submission Fight Company introduced their first generation of goldweave and pearl weave gis in 2010. This followup, aimed at the competition market looking for light weight kimonos, is very reasonably priced at under $100 for the white version and only $105 for the blue (with the black coming in at $110.)  The blue they offer is the standard bright cobalt/royal blue-- if it looks navy in some of the photos, it's due to me shooting some photos in daylight and some with my kitchen overheads on, sorry.

Shakib emphasized some updates and improvements made to this gi including double stitching on all the patches, some adjustments to the measurements, and the biggest improvement of all to the pants-- 1 inch of padding along the seams of the gi pants for extra durability and to prevent any type of ripping along the seams.  Their website also lists the following features:
  • Pearl Weave Fabric Top
  • Contrast Stitching
  • Light 100% Rip Stop Pants
  • Pre-Shrunk
  • Rip Stop Collar and Lapel
  • New Logo and Patch Designs
  • Heavily Reinforced Stress Points
  • Rope Draw String
  • Awesome Fit
I beg leave to differ on the awesome fit, but I'm an odd model, it's not a women's-fit gi, and we'll get into that below.  Also, they claim the A1 weighs 3 lbs 3 ounces... I can only say that the one I was sent weighs 4 lbs 1 ounce on a digital scale.  This A1 is not a lightweight gi, compared to my Vulkan Ultralight (3lbs), my Vulkan Pro Light (3lbs 2 ounces), or even the Black Eagle Predadora F3 which isn't marketed as a "light" gi yet also weighs just 3 lbs 1 ounce. 

I wish I could have shrunk this gi more-- it really hardly shrank at all despite hot water washing and hot machine drying, which is good especially if, as a beginner, you only own one gi.  (NO EXCUSES FOR NOT WASHING IT EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU TRAIN!  THROW THAT SUCKER IN THE DRYER!  and a dryer sheet wouldn't kill you either.)  I found the jacket to be somewhat stiff, boxy and loose in fit even after several hot water washes and hot machine dries.   I need to dig out my pre-wash measurements, but I think you can see from this photo that they resolved the short-arms issue with the preproduction version. 

More uncomfortable for me was the fit of the pants.  There is some extra fabric between the legs, and I think with a less-ample behind to fill it out, there may be a bit of a diaper feel to it.  The front crotch area always wanted to pooch out, giving the visual impression of an erection.

 This might be a plus if you wear a cup the size of a serving dish, but was somewhat disturbing for me when it prompted some snickering from training partners who know me well enough to take the mick out of me on occasion.

The patches are bold and eye-catching, and the contrast stitching is sharp.  I think it reaches a nice balance between plain and blingy. 

I was intrigued by the use of what I thought was the Muslim crescent moon and star as the "O" in Submission (Meerkatsu interpreted it as a billiards ball so perhaps I am mistaken.) In any case, it's an attractive looking logo and gi.

The jacket is made from single weave material (I couldn't tell you the difference between pearl and single weave-- but I know this is not the fat, felty feel of double weave) that feels smooth and comfortable against your skin and the lapels are covered in ripstop too, which I find wears better than twill.

Here you see the fray on the front crotch seam of the pants which I observed before washing/wearing it.  There were a couple of missed stitches in places and the ripstop was fraying here and there but nothing excessive, and certainly not enough to impair the lifespan of the gi.  I was happy with the high quality of this gi considering it is priced in the low/frugal range of what's out there.

This gi is amply reinforced at the key stress areas, like the armpit.

 The sleeve cuffs are lined with rip stop tape with a double seam.  The side vents and armpits are enforced with an extra layer of gi material and there is more ripstop lining around the edges of the side vents.

The pants are ripstop cotton.  Like Meerkatsu, I noticed a stiffness to the material.  After about the 7th wear/wash/dry cycle, they softened up a bit, but still have a touch of whatever fabric treatment I assume was applied in the factory.

I wouldn't say they're plasticy though, and they were comfortable in a non-air conditioned academy in Las Vegas, and a non-air conditioned gym in Texas when it was about 90 degrees outside... so that's pretty good.  I wasn't as comfortable in the jacket, but I believe that was because of the fit issues there-- just too much fabric for my frame, though this was fine as I used it as my judo gi.  The arms were a bit long, and baggy, and the chest/torso/shoulders definitely very roomy.  If you're a short, stocky guy with broad shoulders like my husband, this gi is for you.  (And yes, that's my husband's belt-- mine was out in the car.)

Like tuxedo pants, there is a stripe of tape along the outer leg and the rope drawstring is very comfortable and easy to adjust.

 There are only two belt loops on the trousers. More would have been nice but since they're rather widely spaced, it wasn't a problem in terms of the drawstring coming up too high over my hipbones.

I did like how well the pants were constructed and sewn, except that unlike the version Meerkatsu reviewed, the lining on the front of my pants stopped just below my knee, so when I knelt, the horizontal seam cut my knees up. 

Here you can see the start of the lining is about thigh-height, extending down to the upper part of your shin when standing.
*-- top of lining

*-- bottom of lining
As much as I wanted to like this gi, because it's from a new company and I seem to root for the underdog a fair bit, I wasn't crazy about it.  I'm spoiled, though, because I have an uncommon body shape and size compared to the majority of jiu jitsu students, and I've diligently pursued the "ideal fit" for me, which this was not.

I imagine if I were a traditionally sized and shaped student, I would really enjoy this gi. While it definitely was not a "light weight" gi by my standards, it is constructed from a light weave and rip stop material which is climatically comfortable especially when training in warm weather.  It looks sharp and is so reasonably priced, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone getting into the sport and looking for a quality entry-level gi.  Don't forget to take advantage of the 5% off discount code "Georgette5" through the rest of 2012, at!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Low-carb lasagna

Lately I'm craving pasta and tortillas.  It sucks.

I'm going to try this zucchini alternative to lasagna noodles in my next lasagna and let you know how it goes.  I got it from LiveStrong today.

Heat oven to 375.  Using a mandolin, slice 8 zucchini length-wise into long strips. Place on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 15-20 minutes then blot moisture.

Arrange zucchini on baking sheet and bake until slightly browned.  Use in place of your normal lasagna noodles in your preferred recipe for lasagna. 

I tend to do the classic-- browned hamburger meat and Italian sausage crumbles in a marinara-type sauce, with basil, oregano, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and an egg.  Other variations involve mushrooms, spinach, etc... but I think with the zucchini it would be sufficiently healthy and vegetable-ish I could skip the other greenery.

Jean-Jacques Machado

 Mike, Canadian jiu jitsu student from ACMA in Ontario, sent me these interviews for your enjoyment. As he put it, "I think that the Machados are an interesting branch in the BJJ tree... Professor Jean Jacques is a super nice guy with amazing and interesting stories to tell and share...We had dinner with him the night before this interview was taken. He told us some interesting stories of visiting the Gracie farm in the mountains of Brazil and training with all his cousins at a small age... very cool stuff.  . . .   I think it is important for people to see the masters who stuck with jiu jitsu purely for the love of it- long before it was popular or considered "hip."  To showcase what I am talking about, one candid comment Jean Jacques Machado shared during the dinner was he has a law degree... rather than practice law and earn a decent living... He (and his brothers) chose to travel to American public schools to put on free seminars introducing people to jiu jitsu.... Talk about love and belief in your art."

Jits Magazine's David Abbou talks with BJJ legend Jean Jacques Machado about a few of his philosophies and updates of late. In part one, JJ talks about how he runs his seminars, what students should learn from a seminar and how it felt for him to finally receive his coral belt from another BJJ legend.

In part two, JJ talks about his career, his opinion on the BJJ scene in Canada and the importance of keeping sport and combat jiu-jitsu separated.

Here, Jean Jacques Machado shows one of his favorite sweeps when someone is about to pass your guard and you reverse with a slick sweep to crucifix.

Thanks Mike for sharing!

Back from a work trip....

 Sorry for the dead blog... had a hearing last week out of town and definitely needed some additional time for preparation.  But I'm back home now.  I'm looking forward to finishing the review of the Submission Fight lightweight gi, the Drysdale cradle, B12 Basics, and Emily Kwok Bigger Stronger Opponent instructionals, Roy Dean's Brown Belt dvd, the Scramble spats, and Jordon Schulz's Law of Guard interactive online instructional series. 

I'm considering taking some time off actual jiu jitsu training.  While my work deadlines are a little more moderately spaced apart, they still exist, and I'm finding myself having to talk myself into going to class (and failing).  I'm cross training with Olympic lifting and my crossfit-esque classes at the gym... and judo... and I roll nogi here and there with friends... so I will still be on the mats.  But I figure if I'm having to talk myself into training, it's time for a break, even though I feel like I've been taking a long patchy break for about a year now anyways.