805BJJ Class 18: turtle roll half nelson choke

First BJJ class that I saw Mark since he went to Thailand. He has an infected cyst that he’s on antibiotics for, and he’s a little loopy. Still, he’s better than yesterday, and he taught class despite his ailment. I was humbled.

We started off right away with review of the seated gi choke. Kind of like a bow and arrow choke. Anyway, it was the one that in a previous class, Josh had given me a crazy hickey. I got in a group of 3 (Chris and Jen) and barely got any practice. Then we did a half nelson version of the same, where instead of pulling down on the gi with the other hand, it instead hooked the elbow out and up high over the opponent’s head, and then shot down behind the neck to complete the choke. We then learned to apply this to a turtled opponent, rolling them into our lap, hooking and racking them, hooking that elbow up and then shooting the hand down behind their neck to complete the choke.

Then it was all rolling. I rolled with new Chris, Ray, Sean, and Curtis. All went very well in the sense that I didn’t get injured. I suspect guys were going easy on me because I’m old, and I very much appreciate their treatment of me. Curtis tapped me a couple times, but at least he was gentle. :)

And I made it to Costco and then home safely.

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Krav Maga Class 42: shoulder tag, inside defenses, one hand inside defenses, boxing sparring

Curtis’ Saturday KM All class. Saranya was doing her first ever BJJ class with Jasmine (we didn’t know it would be going on, so she didn’t bring her gi) while I was working.

Class started with shoulder tag. I accidentally poked my finger into Calvin’s nose. Sorry, Calvin.

Then, thai pads and combinations followed by a knee. I partnered up with white belt Mike.

After that we worked on inside defenses, which is great because I suck at them. Mike and I went slow and I don’t know how much I improved but I feel like maybe I did. We also did defense against straight punch to the body. Then we did one hand defenses against straight punches. Then we put on boxing gloves and headgear.

As I was getting my stuff, Christian yelled at me from the kids’ training room that Saranya knew how to pull guard. I yelled “Yeah!”. I’m so proud. :)

I got to introduce Mike to sparring. We started one handed, then switched who was one handed, and then went normal.

After that I sparred with Scott, Alex, and Renée. Scott got me a few times. Alex was being showy and elusive, so I just started chasing him around with punches (to the great satisfaction of Curtis). Renee and I traded some pretty good shots. She’d just come in and wail on me and get out, so I started trying to time her with uppercuts as she came in.

And that was class.

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805BJJ Class 17: transitions

Changed after KM41 and got into the middle of the warmup. Christian at the helm, and he took us through some neck exercises for the first time that I’ve seen at 805BJJ. Jen was there and checked in on how my rib was doing. Last time I saw her was when I popped my rib, and I was proud to tell her that it’s 100%.

The class was mainly composed of transition drills between positions. Mount buck/trap/roll to guard, then sit up sweep back to mount. Road map side control to half guard to butterfly guard to full guard, then back. Mount elbow escape to guard, then butterfly sweep to switch. All good stuff!

Rolling all started in the mount, and we had to work to escape. I must have tapped out 6 times just because I was afraid of my neck. But I was able to learn some stuff from observing. Like Eric’s belly-on-face mount, or Phil’s butterfly sweep. I had a good time, got swept a lot, and survived. Very sweaty and breathing heavy, but I never got that panicked feeling like I used to get when I’d overdo my cardio. Very satisfying.

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Krav Maga Class 41: shoulder tag, straight punch, groin kick, knees, bear hugs

TJ’s class on Thursday morning. I came in with a stiff neck, but it had about 90% mobility so I took a chance on training. Came in early to wrap my hands.

Standard warm up. Shoulder tag.

We used MMA gloves for the straight punches (1-2) so I had to unwrap my hands. Dinged my thumb right away, so switched to palm strikes. I partnered with Eric, who is a blue belt in BJJ but a raw white belt in Krav Maga.

Next, we did front kicks, and I had to remove my MMA gloves to hold the pad. I just left them off. Hope I didn’t leave them on the mat. (Nope, they’re in my bag.) Then we did knees. Eric threw some heavy knees.

Stress drill for basic strikes was 4 pad holders on the cardinal directions, and one person in the center spinning with eyes closed. A pad tap and hold for strikes until TJ called time. Easy.

After that, we did bearhugs from the front, arms in or out or with no space. Base and space. Drop down, hands to hips (or smack the groin if there’s no space) and kick the groin to make more space, then side control and strikes and get out.

Stress drill for bearhugs was just eyes closed and then defend when the bear hug comes in. All were basically the same – get low, get space from the hips, strike, control, more strikes to get out.

Aaaand we’re late for 805BJJ17.

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Stiff Neck

My neck got cranked again (by Cosmo again) last Thursday, and it’s still stiff. This is disturbing.

I first noticed the strain when my neck started to stiffen up during the drive home from 805BJJ16. I iced it right away, but it was hard to know how effective the ice pack was.

Then the pain started, right at the base of my skull. After a couple days, it spread to the right side and down between my shoulder blades. Then a couple days later it manifested as a stiffness that prevented me from moving my head/neck back and to the left.

Now I’m scared to train because I’m afraid of making the problem worse. If it’s still bothering me on Thursday, I’m going to go see my doctor about it.

EDIT: 6 days in and it seems to hurt a little bit less than yesterday, but it’s hard to know for sure. Still can’t move the head back and to the left very well, and I discovered that wiping my nose with my left hand causes a twinge in my neck.

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805BJJ Class 16: butterfly sweeps

Quick change after KM40 and back on the mat. My comment was “This one is going to be hard.” because the whole morning I wasn’t feeling strong, and I’d just finished a grueling Krav Maga class. Other class members were Cosmo and Daniel. Cosmo’s real name is “Bill” (I think) but his last name is long and complicated so people in the Oxnard PD just call him Cosmo. He’s the guy who tweaked my neck previously.

Warm ups started with shrimping, hip escapes, elbow escapes. We did person balancing and straddled shrimps. We did hook takedown/getups followed by reverse hip escapes across the mat. Oh yeah, and we did rolls back and then forward onto our knee with one foot up. You know the ones I mean, right?

It was during the warm ups that I smelled the mildew on my gi. When I washed it on Tuesday, I forgot to take it out of the washing machine until the next morning, and it was in there with kitchen rags. It was subtle, but it made me want to sneeze. It also made me want to go home. I don’t like being the smelly guy.

Then we did the roadmap. Side control to half guard to butterfly guard to full guard, then back to butterfly, then half, then top person passes back to side control and start over.

The lesson for the day was the butterfly sweep. How to set it up, how to execute it, and eventually how to recover if you try it and it doesn’t work out.

Then we rolled. Daniel and I had a very good flow. Neither could get the other in too much advantage. I’m impressed with his wiggliness, and he knows to go after a kimura but he’s never pulled it off against me.

Cosmo is a beast, and he again cranked my neck. Made me tap to a jaw crush, which didn’t suck so bad but I didn’t want to pay for it later so I eventually tapped as he kept pulling it. After that I got in his guard and held him down for the remainder of the roll.

After class I bought an 805BJJ patch for my gi, and an 805BJJ t-shirt (size XL). It fits tight before washing, so I’m worried that it’ll be too snug after washing/drying. We’ll see…

My neck stiffened up on the way home. It’s bugging me even through 2 ibuprofen and an ice pack. Can’t wait until I toughen the hell up!

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Krav Maga Class 40: getting punched in the face, getting punched in the body, boxing, choke defenses front/side

Christian was supposed to be watching TJ’s awards ceremony today, and Renee was supposed to teach KM, but schedules change and Christian ended up teaching the KM class. Oh well.

Still wrapping my hands because of my right thumb. It’s still very sensitive.

We started class with mouth guards in. Taking turns punching each other lightly in the face with our top two knuckles. I worked with Jeff. No problem. Then we went to the body. Still no problem. Even the sore rib was fine. I may have to stop calling it the “sore rib” if it keeps not being sore.

From there, we worked on inside defenses (high and low) and I got better. Hard to be worse than I was at inside defenses vs. straight shots to the body. Thomas drilled that into me and I improved. Thanks, Thomas.

After that, we started mixing in outside defenses, which I’m way better at (though Christian reminded me to try to make the block at the striker’s wrist). It’s really hard for me to make inside defenses and move in at the same time, because I don’t see it in time to get my body moving. If I try to anticipate it with body movement, I tend to move right into the other straight which I didn’t anticipate. Anyway, awareness training will make my perception quicker.

We ramped it up by having the striker don focus mitts and use them to strike, then have the defender flurry at the end of the round. Then we made it hotter by mixing in combos, rushes, and sprawls. Fun times.

Then we did boxing sparring. Christian showed me the effectiveness of putting a double jab in your opponent’s face to keep him off you. I used that technique effectively against Thomas. Jeff got me in the head with a nice hook. I punched Thomas in the eye. Fun was had by all.

We did front and side chokes too. Pluck, strike, etc. Pairs and then with a stress drill where we would punch the target until we decided to choke him, at which point he’d have to do the defenses and get gone.

Closed the class by mounting a kick shield and trying to flatten it. 4 rounds of about 10 or 15 seconds with short rests in between.

Got through the class with a sore left bicep and a few twinges from the sore thumb, but fine otherwise!

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805BJJ Class 15: arm bar from guard, leg hook guard passes

Scrambled to get changed after KM39 and line up. Christian taught this class too, and we had Rick and Daniel as well as myself. Started in with warm ups. Back rolls kind of tweaked my rib right off the bat, but it settled down and I continued.

Part of warm up was arm bar from the guard. I really felt the strain in my groin (weak, tired muscles) and doing the left arm felt very very awkward.

Then we learned a couple different guard passes. The guard break, the leg staple, the other leg hooked and pulled up on the shoulder, and then crush it to their chest. From there, either slip over the staple side and quickly solidify side control, or slip around the outside of the shouldered leg and complete the pass that way.

Then there were the free rolls. First rolled with Christian, then Daniel, and then *gasp* Rick. Rick stopped me and urged me to stay calm and be heavy in the side control position while not panicking. Very helpful.

Got out of the whole day of training without any major injuries.

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Krav Maga Class 39: 1-4 combinations, combos in/from guard, mount defense and shrimp escape

Christian’s Tuesday morning class. Started with just me and Thomas, but Jeff jumped in just as soon as we started warm-ups.

Once we got the warm up and stretch done, we got on heavy bags and practiced our 1-4 combos. Then we partnered up and did those combos either in the guard or while holding the pad holder in our guard. It was exhausting. Then we did a mount drill where the person on bottom tried to defend strikes while scooting to keep the top person from trapping their arms with a high mount. I got Thomas at the end with a high mount, and he was very unhappy about it. When Jeff was on top of me, I was able to keep him almost constantly off balance.

After that we learned shrimp/elbow escape from mount. Make space, get your leg out, shrimp the other way, kick them off and get to your feet. I felt very comfortable doing that. Jeff was impressed with how quickly I was able to hit the escape. Like a wizard!

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805BJJ Class 14: side control/mount transitions, guard recovery, rolling with Oxnard PD

Came in sweaty from KM38. Jumped into the end of shrimping warm up. Got plenty more warm up and stretching.

Learned to go from side control to mount, and then back to side control.

Learned to go from under side control to half guard, and from there back to guard. The key is to move the hips away.

Then we did some situational rolling. I got paired with cops a lot. Three big burly Oxnard PD cops were guests for the class, and they kind of spas’d out. Then we did 2 free rolls (both with cops again) and got my neck solidly cranked. Still, except for that neck strain (and a mild quad strain) I came out feeling pretty good.

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