Krav Maga Class 89: shadow boxing, maneuvering combos, Bas on the bag, front leg kick+bursting strike+body hook combo, inside defense and combo, gun from the front

Got in early and saw Brandon behind the desk. I started moving around on the mat and noticed a couple dust bunnies and grabbed a broom to start sweeping. Brandon said he’d pay Saranya a KMX buck for my efforts.

Class started and we jumped into jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups, and shadow boxing, doing it as a circuit 3x. The shadow boxing included limits on strikes, including left arm+left leg, right arm+right leg, left arm+right leg, etc. Interesting. I need to work on my push ups.

Then we moved across the mat doing front leg kick, burst 1-2 combo. Next time across was the same but with switched stance. Next time across was focused on footwork, with step left, right, and burst forward in a 1-2. Then back again with reverse stance. Last 2 times across were spinning hook kicks. I NEED to work on my hip flexibility.

Drink of water and put on gloves while Brandon pulled out heavy bags. We did two 3-minute rounds of Bas Rutten’s boxing workout. First round orthodox and second round southpaw. Trying to interpret the commands was tricky, and I failed a few times, but tryign to reverse the combinations on the fly was really hard.

Next was MMA gloves and a single focus mitt. Yas and I practiced the combination of front leg kick + bursting cross, then front leg kick + bursting elbow + liver shot. Brandon corrected my posture in that after my burst, I was not recovering my fighting stance to throw the liver shot. I tried to correct it, but I didn’t do a very good job of it. Need to focus on bursting and throwing left that hook to the body with proper stance.

After that we did inside defense and following with the combination we just drilled (or something like it, whatever). After a couple rounds of that, we did gun from the front and saw how it was a lot like inside defense and counters.

I felt like I could have trained BJJ right afterward but decided to hold myself back and keep building steadily. If I can get 3 classes in this week, I’ll try a back-to-back next Tuesday.

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805BJJ Class 35: shot for double leg takedown, takedown practice, rolling

TJ (new blue belt) warmed up the class, then Christian took us into the back room for a circuit.

  1. Balance on a stability ball – knees, knee-and-foot, or… yeah I didn’t get past that.
  2. Shoot in on the wall, ending in a standing-on-your-toes posture with the wall in your face.
  3. Pull down a wrestling dummy and shoot in on a takedown when they pop back up.

We did that for quite a while, then went back to the main mat to practice takedowns. I don’t know ANY takedowns from grips so I just did grip practice. Aaron took me down twice though. Tom got a bloody nose from TJ, and then TJ got his leg tweaked taking down Matt.

Then we rolled, starting from a no-man’s-land position as thought right after a takedown. Not quite guard, not quite side control, but one guy on his back and one on his knees.

I started with Matt, and I did pretty good. Tapped him with an Ezekiel choke.

Next was Aaron, who triangled me twice last time, so this time I was wary. I didn’t submit him, but I didn’t get triangled. He got a collar choke on me from side control (I think – memory is hazy).

Next was Colt, who I attacked with an arm bar twice but couldn’t get it. He told me I should have been more patient on the first one, and given up on the second one. I scraped my face on the mat trying to get his arm free while face-down. I’ll be wearing that lesson for a while.

Next was Aaron again, and we decided to go light. He got me in a triangle (again!) and then he walked me through how to do it. A couple times I almost had him in a guillotine or something but never got it deep. Good defense.

Last was Christian, who stopped me and reminded me not to cheat when advancing to mount. Angle the knee up toward the armpit. We then rolled lightly a bit, and he reminded me to reset and breathe when we fell into a standard position where there was no immediate threat. At the end, I surprised him by throwing up a triangle (just like Aaron showed me) and he happily coached me through finishing it.

FOLLOWUP: 2 days later and my legs are still rubber. Quads are very very sore. Not injured, but I obviously overdid it with the shot drill circuit. Had to lay off the Krav on Saturday morning.

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Krav Maga Class 88: shadow boxing, thai pads, headbutts and their use in escaping the ground

It was a very cold morning. I got to class just in time, but their clocks are slow so TJ was still sweeping the mat. I told Thomas that I’d never felt less like coming to train, and then actually made it to class.

Warm up was slow, with lots of shadow boxing and some low speed calisthenics. I have a real struggle with push ups. I need to start adding those to my daily routine, so I can get stronger. Anyway, I got my sweat flowing and warmed up my joints.

After a stretch, we got gloves and thai pads and got right into a couple of two minute sets. Combos ending in knee and push away for the first round, and then combos ending in a kick for the second round. I held the pads first, and Thomas was my partner. My kicks were solid, my combos kind of sucked, and Thomas made it “interesting” by making up a bunch of awkward combos. I finished the rounds without dying.

We then moved on to headbutts. Forward with/without hold, side, back, and upward. Thomas and I practiced and we did okay.

After that, we did the buck+trap+roll maneuver, and used headbutt to escape if they were holding our neck after the roll. I found I like to do an elbow to the face, some punches down the gut, and then a few to the groin as I stand and make space.

The last drill was applying headbutts during the sit-up+sweep maneuver. Thomas never tried to put weight back on me, so it was always easy for me to land the sweep. However, on the next-to-last sweep, I came down and landed on my kneecap strangely, and it really hurt. Feels bruised, but hopefully not too damaged.

The high point of the class was when TJ was surprised that I only had an orange belt, and insisted that I needed to test for green belt. (!!!)

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805BJJ Class 34: Guard passing and retention, rolling

I got in 5 minutes early, when Christian moved the KM ALL class to the back room. I donned my gi, grabbed a broom, and swept the mat.

We warmed up with pair drills, hip escapes and guard passes. That was both the warm-up and the technical material of the class. Then we rolled.

I rolled with Josh first, starting on top of open guard, and passing to side control. I did pretty well, getting submitted at the end, and in between I attained mount and got a wicked mat burn on my left foot as he scooted across the mat with my foot trapped underneath. At the end, he tapped me out with I can’t remember what.

I sat out the next roll and put some hand sanitizer on the missing skin. After that I rolled with Victor, Phil, Chris, small Andrew, and Brandon. Brandon’s rib was messed up so we went light, but his weight is still putting me into panic mode when he leans it on me. It was Victor’s 2nd class ever, so I told him some basics about side control and mount. Phil and Chris both taught me techniques. Andrew tapped me with a triangle. I basically survived!

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Krav Maga Class 87: Footwork shapes, heavy bag circuit with ground kicks, headlock from the side, sit up sweep

Christian was our surprise instructor this Tuesday morning. Not sure where TJ was, but I didn’t see him later in the BJJ class either. Probably working. Hope he’s okay.

We started by dragging out a heavy bag and spacing them out. Then we did a square around the bag, facing the mirror, in fighting stance, being careful to not cross our feet up. Next time around we faced the bag, throwing combatives at it and focusing on the footwork. We mixed in circuits of front kicks, ground front kicks, ground round kicks, and ground side kicks with sessions of circling (or square-ing) the bags and ramping up the simultaneous combatives during our movement.

After that I was gasping, and we did our stretch out. Then water and mouth guards, because it went right into headlock from the side defense. The first bit was holding a tombstone pad dangling for the striker to pivot and bitch slap it. SMACK! Then we put it together with the turn-and-tuck, pivot-and-strike-and-reach-over-grip part of the defense, then the pull-the-top-elbow-straight-down-while-gripping-their-face finisher. I tweaked my right knee as I was going down once. It doesn’t really hurt much, but it does feel weird.

After practicing the headlock defense a bit, we did 25 (solid) sit-ups before we moved to the back room and learned+practiced the sit-up-sweep. I practiced with smaller Matt, and had trouble hauling myself up onto my hand (instead I just leaned up onto the elbow, which doesn’t yield as much leverage). Still, I find this sweep to be a natural move for me.

At the end we did shoulder-hip-lateral-crawl to really continue the core blast. Oof! I expect to feel that one tomorrow!

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Krav Maga Class 86: footwork shapes, tombstone strikes, shuffle front kick, bursting front kick, focus mitts, gun from the front

Christian taught this Saturday morning class. We had to grab a tombstone pad, put it on the ground, and move around it in fighting stance (either squares while facing the mirror, or circles while facing the pad). We alternated various footwork drills with paired tombstone striking. Palm strikes, hammer fists, elbows, front kicks. We mixed in some shadow strikes with the footwork movement around the tombstone pads.

We paired up to do shuffling front leg front kicks, then we moved on to bursting back leg front kicks.

Mouth guards in, getting hit in the face drill. Andrew messed me up. Elbows to the ear, knuckles to the eyeballs. Not very nice. I was much nicer to him. Christian pulled his typical “switch drills before 2nd guy goes” after Andrew ripped my body with uppercuts under my sore ribs.

Next, focus mitts on and straight attacks on a moving defender. Inside defenses and movement drill. Andrew did well. After that, combos and outside defenses. I did okay, but I took a focus mitt to the eyeball once and that also sucked.

Finally, we did gun defense from the front. Redirecting to live side, pin it to the belly while striking. Redirecting to the dead side, both hands on the gun for control while counterattacking. We then took it outside to do a live drill, and that’s where it ended.

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805BJJ Class 33: Kesa Gatame revisited

What was this? My third BJJ class in the last 6 months? First roll in 6 months?

Anyway, I skipped the Krav Maga class to hit the BJJ mat afterward. Krav Maga leaves me gassed and tired, and then I’m not ready for BJJ rolling. So to get back into it, I’m going to have some days devoted to just BJJ, even if it’s just once a week to get started.

Warm up was slow and easy. We practiced some grips. Learned that while standing, you don’t normally want to go for a cross collar grip. Other than that, I felt fairly retarded and unpretentious. Standard windshield wipers and eggbeaters. Did some yoga ball sprawls and knee balances.

The technique of the day was Kesa Gatame a.k.a. Scarf Hold. This went back to my early days of training, so I felt like I was just sharpening old skills. Practiced transitioning from side control to Kesa Gatame (or “Kesa” for short) and keeping chest pressure. We also learned the arm lock and Americana from Kesa, and I sharpened the detail of getting your lower leg under the joint you’re attacking.

When we rolled, we started from side control. I rolled with Brandon (who is so heavy and unshakeable that he almost tapped me from knee on belly, almost tapped me from forearm across skull, etc.), Dave (twice), and Josh. All those guys are better than I am, but I survived without serious injury! Got a bruise on my face and a bruise on my shoulder, but nothing else has shown up.

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Krav Maga Class 85: lunges and squats, gang shoulder tag, focus mitts, front kicks and scissor knees, level 1 chokes

TJ’s class on a cold and rainy Tuesday morning. Went in feeling good and optimistic. Left my BJJ gi in the car though. Forgot my rash guard.

We started out with the jog warmup, shuffle, backward, then lunges halfway around the mat, then sidestep squats halfway around the mat. Oof, getting me there.

Then shadow boxing to warm up. Suddenly, shoulder tag! Knee touch tag! Gang shoulder tag! Exciting stuff.

Get a drink, put on gloves, get focus mitts, and do combos with a no-hold knee as a finale. I had a group of 3 (me, Thomas, and Matt) and we did pretty good on the mitts, even though we often forgot which knee to throw. Didn’t matter, the hold was the same for both.

Gloves off, pads away, kick shield up, and we did front kicks up and down the mat. This time I was with Dave (who TJ kept calling “Jeff”) and that guy is terribly uncoordinated with his legs. He’s like my brother Matt, who has to do a stutter step to get his body moving in a coordinated way. He’s also very solid and it’s difficult to defend his chokes. Anyway, then we did front kicks back and forth across the mat, and then scissoring knees. After that I held pads for him and Yas, and we did round robin throwing front kick, scissoring knee and then flavor combatives to conclude the phase, throwing the pad to the attacker to hold for the odd man out.

We ended the class with a review on pluck choke defenses – from the front, side, and back. After training on each by itself, we then put them all into a stress drill. One person stood in the center, eyes closed, while all but one of the remaining students peppered him (all males in this particular class) with focus mitts. Eventually, the last student would apply a choke, and the center man (!!) would have to open his eyes and do the defense. I felt very natural at these choke defenses, and I guess I did them okay.

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Pathfinder day 2

It was supposed to be this terribly rainy day, a Winter deluge of biblical proportions, and it was supposed to turn Kegel canyon into a soup bowl. I bought new windshield wipers on the way over. John arranged for a paved parking spot in his driveway, so I took him up on it. Greg, knowing his Corvette would be no match for the mud, carpooled with me. Serina unfortunately had to study and couldn’t game, though that probably saved her from an uncomfortable ride in the back of my tiny yellow Hyundai. I put the wiper blades on while he went on a quick store run. Greg and I had a useful mutual complaints session on the way over, since both our lives have been difficult lately.

Our arrival preceded that of my brother Rob. He’s been trying to spend more time with his kids, or get a haircut, or do anything really to get out of gaming. Or so it seemed to me. He did do a good job of gaming, and he even requested that I bring Journey Quest season 3 over to screen for the group. I guess he’s just got higher priority activities than gaming (like kids and haircuts, for example).

Anyway, Greg and I settled into John’s house, got him started baking lunch pizzas, and set up for gaming. When Rob ambled in, we got coffee and launched back into our Pathfinder adventure.

This adventure (like the last one) took place in the Black Swan adventure book “Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands” and for sure I bought it because the name was similar to “Keep on the Borderlands” that Rob and I played as our first RPG adventure back in 1980. Of course it’s nothing at all like the old adventure – this one takes place as the adventurers discover and infiltrate an old, abandoned keep in what has become wilderness. Last time, they’d discovered and set off an alchemical fire trap that had burned Greg’s fighter to almost-death, so this time they recovered and set of to discover what was behind the chained-shut doors.

It turns out there were spiders in there, and stairs up. It also turned out that there was a whole other page of description of the room that I didn’t see because it was in PDF form, so I learned my lesson. Buy the paper-form modules to run the adventures!

After we got tired of gaming, we watched Journey Quest season 3 and then everybody went home. It was about 8:30pm.

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Krav Maga Class 84: circuits, choke defenses

Christian and TJ have switched Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Christian was there to make me pay for all my months of infirmity. The first 15 minutes of the class was made up of two cardio circuits, repeated 4x each. I thought I was going to die. Then we did a combat circuit involving 1) turning hammer fist and combatives to a pad holder, 2) ground kicks and get up, and 3) pluck practice (the rest part that Jeff and I got last.) After the ground kicks, I nearly had to crawl across the mat to station 3. I’m going to be paying for that one for a while, but it feels good to have done it, and I don’t think I’m too injured from it.

We focused intensely on basic pluck choke defenses today. I helped coach Yas from a limp hand squid to a somewhat fearsome counter attacker. Christian said I was a beast at this, for which compliment I thanked him. David is a big monster, and he gives you nothing when you’re on the receiving end of one of his chokes. Yikes! He lives near me too, I guess.

The end was a drill with one person in the center and the rest hitting and kneeing them, occasionally stopping to apply a choke, which the chokee would have to defend and then go back to being punched. I was 3rd, and it ratcheted up in intensity to the last (Jeff).

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