Back from Nepal

Well, Saranya and I are. And I’ve got an itchy face, a rash starting in my left arm pit, and the sniffles. Saranya has diarrhea and stomach cramps. Sangeeta stayed in Nepal to take care of family stuff.

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Surprise trip: Nepal

Milan got us to travel to Nepal at short notice.

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Saranya’s KMX Green Belt Test

Saranya got her green belt last night.

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Krav Maga Class 77: shadow boxing, bag circuit, thai pads, ridge hand strike, mouth hand strike, knife defenses

TJ’s Saturday morning class was not one I approached enthusiastically. After a week of neck and shoulder problems, I was very apprehensive. But I had to take Saranya to her BJJ class so I suited up at the last second and took my place on the line.

I knew I was in trouble right away. My cardio wasn’t there anymore. The early jog around the mat was causing my left ankle to twinge and complain. I felt unbalanced during shadow boxing. Unbalanced and awkward. We pulled out the bags and did a circuit, moving from one bag to another, landing a variety of strikes on each before moving to the next. I did okay but was seriously gassing out on the second time around. Then we stretched, and I sweated all over the mat.

We gloved up and did Thai pad work. I teamed up with Thor (Eric) and had a good learning experience. Again, I was gassed. Very low energy reserves.

Gloves off, we learned ridge hand strikes. We also learned mouth hand strikes. These essentially both strike with the injured part of my right thumb, so I had to use my left, and it hurt my elbow and biceps. Very awkward.

We did vertical forearm defenses against high kicks and straight punches to practice for knife defense. Straight knife, and backhand knife defenses. Ended with a drill.

When I got off the mat, I just leaned my head on the TRX post to relax my strained neck muscles. Saranya was sitting on Ivan and crying because she’d hit herself in the eye with her own knee. We were both hurting. Eventually she wiped her face and calmed down enough that we could go home.

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805BJJ Class 31: turtle riding cowboy, dismounting and pulling the turtle over or up, lifting a prone opponent to get hooks

Mark’s Saturday morning class started with warm ups that almost killed me. I went nuts on the shrimping, and wanted to quit before I was done with them. Finally they were over and we got a long talk about Friday no-gi classes are cancelled, and instead we’re going to have 2 weeks of no-gi-only training. Mark said “Out of 14 days, you should be able to make 8 or 9 of those.” Haha, yeah. If I make 6 I’ll consider myself wildly successful, even if I can’t train for 2 weeks afterward. He also talked about the JJM Christmas tournament/camp in Marina Del Rey, which I have no plans to attend.

So the technique drills were attacking someone in turtle position again, apparently building on what they went over yesterday in the final no-gi class. I didn’t go to that class (I was at work) so I had no idea how it related to the no-gi stuff, but whatever. The first technique is to jump up to the cowboy mount, which is knees-on-hips. Grab the back of the collar, step back off them, and pull them into your lap. Get hooks and lapel grips, go for a quick choke with an arm across the back of the neck, and if that fails, reach that back-of-the-neck arm around to pull the lapel down for a standard lapel choke. It’s easiest to get when the choking arm is on top, and when your thumb isn’t weak and unable to grip the gi.

The second technique started from cowboy mount, but this one involved grabbing the belt, dismounting forward, lifting the turtle so you can get your hooks in, then rolling them. Chokes as before.

The third technique is when the turtled opponent instead flattens out on their bellies and hides their elbows and head. Just lift them up by their belt and you can get your hooks in, then roll them and go to town.

Rolling started early. I rolled with a blue belt guy whose name I asked twice and forgot twice. Howard? Larry? Anyway, he started sitting and I stepped to half guard, and spent the entire 5 minutes there. He tried to sweep me and I defended successfully most every time. It was a very slow and easy roll.

Second roll was with Shabbar, and he’s big and heavy and smashed me, took my arms and bent them until I tapped. I jammed my thumb sometime in the vain attempts to defend myself. That was my only injury, except for what are going to be some exceptionally sore muscles.

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Krav Maga Class 76: Bas combos with partners, boxing sparring, gun from front, side, and back

TJ’s Saturday morning class started without Saranya, as she’s at Gigi’s house for a sleepover.

TJ got us running while he showed off his swollen cauliflower ear. Ouch. We did shadow boxing, shoulder tag, team calisthenics, and stretching. Then we geared up and did Bas Rutten combinations (the Thai Boxing tape) on our geared up partners while they defended. I did a poor job of defending against old man Mike, but at least I improved as the session went along. He defended well throughout, and his combinations were crisp and fast.

After a few rounds of that, we got into boxing sparring. I started with Mike, and immediately landed a good body blow after a jab to the face was blocked. He thought that was so good, he did it back to me a few times, and I did it a couple more times to him. We were pretty even.

My next sparring partner was Alex, who’s starting to warm up to me. Last time, he lit me up from the outside, but this time I had far better head movement and made him miss a lot of his punches. I was able to land quite a few of my own, and I felt I got the edge on the contest.

Finally I sparred with Ray, who had a sore ankle. A couple times I found myself standing on his right foot. I wasn’t doing it on purpose, it’s just that he’s a leftie and so he stands with his right foot forward, next to my left foot forward, so an advance means I’m standing on his foot. He stepped on my foot again later, and I did his once also. I found I was able to pressure him and get him dodging too much, but he was able to land a few good punches to get me to back off. I felt bad later for standing on his sore foot, but I did tell him it was unintentional. I didn’t want to hurt him.

After sparring was over, we got down to gun defense. Mike and I reviewed gun from the front and from behind, then we did gun pressing the back of the head and gun pointing to the face. We also went over gun to the side, both in front of the arm and behind the arm. Mike started bleeding out of his little finger, dripping all over the mat. He joked with me, saying “You animal!” and I retorted with the not-so-witty “I didn’t do that!” Anyway, it was little and he got a band aid, but it took time to clean the mat and we just moved into a drill with A’s and B’s, one group closing the eyes while the other group came around and did gun threats, and the threatened had to open their eyes, assess the threat, and make the defense.

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