805BJJ Class 76: reverse shrimp to escape side control bottom to turtle, with immediate knee tap takedown/pass, judo foot sweeps to arm bar

After KM109 I changed (with sore toe and all) and jumped into the running around backward line of the BJJ class that TJ was warming up. We then spread out and did the hula hoop and arm circles and such, then did shrimping.

Coach Mark interrupted the class after that to show us why we do cross over shrimping at all. It lets you ratchet out from under side control, get to turtle, and push through to the far knee to get a takedown.

Then we practiced judo foot sweeps, going backward and then going sideways. The sideways version we also learned to end with an arm bar. I hurt my toes twice on that crap. Then I quit and went home in shame.

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Krav Maga Class 109: thai pad combos with kicks and sprawls, boxing sparring, front kick only, intense pain, inside defenses with counter

Brandon’s class started just as we got there. Saranya’s BJJ class started late too, thank goodness. Class started with 2 straight minutes of jumping jacks while Brandon figured out the sound system. Then it was a quick warm up circuit before shoulder tag (I jammed my thumb) and the kicking combo game (Ray and I got to 9, the lowest in the class).

Next was thai pads and boxing gloves. We did 1-4 combos followed by a kick, then 1-4 combos followed by a sprawl. Then we did boxing sparring for a couple rounds, then we did the same with one puncher and one who could only do a front kick. The last round I went to kick Dave and he blocked with his forearm and my toe went straight into it, jamming it and dropping me to my knees. It was very painful.

Last was defense/attack combos against straight punches. I did not do great.

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805BJJ Class 73: arm pit and sleeve control to arm bar or back take or lapel control sweep and submit

Jumped on the mat after KM108 just in time for shrimping and rolls and fall breaks. I did well at those. Then Christian carried Saranya to the mat, and we got to the lesson, which started with a review of Wednesday night’s class, which was also reviewed on Thursday morning. A tight grip on the cross gi armpit gives you a lot of control over the shoulder and upper arm. From there, it’s relatively easy to lock up an arm bar or get to the back.

We also learned that you can feed the opponent’s gi around their arm, punch through to get an overhand grip to wrap the gi around their upper arm and pull it across their body, then scoot around like you’re taking the back. Get on your elbow and feed that gi tail to your other hand, then sit back with it and roll them over, finishing with your choice of choke or arm bar.

Saranya and I left before rolling. Good thing I did, because after I got home I got so stiff and sore that I was getting angry and panicked. I took a 2 hour nap and that helped a lot.

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Krav Maga Class 108: shadow boxing, belt running, focus mitts, level 1+2 chokes, carotid choke defense, bear hug with lift defense, choke against the outside wall defenses

Pam’s Saturday morning class started with her complimenting me on my carry-fold of my BJJ gi. Then we got into shadow boxing mixed with jumping jacks, push ups, squats, sprawls, and sit ups. After that we paired up and our partners pulled us back using a belt around our waists while we sprinted across the mat and side-shuffled back for 2 minutes each. It was exhausting! The clock felt broken.

That done, we did a couple rounds of focus mitts. Combos 1-5 and then the same with a quick double jab cross added to the end. I did alright. Hardest part was holding pads for Scott, and that went okay too.

After that we did a one-in skill drill where we slowly and deliberately defended with all the level 1 and 2 chokes, bear hugs, etc. I did remarkably alright, with a few hiccups from rust. After everyone got their two minutes, we got further instruction on the carotid choke defense, as well as the bear hug from behind with a lift. Pam thought it was an orange belt technique, but I thought it was green belt. Anyway, it was the first time I’d seen the technique taught outside youtube in all my Krav Maga training. I just checked the green belt curriculum and yes indeed there it is! IN YOUR FACE PAM! ;P

Anyway, after that we went to the back alley where we did choke defenses while being pushed against the wall. On stucco. Fun! Then we did a drill where one half of the class would spin with eyes closed, and the other half would administer chokes (front or back) and the spinner would have to do the defense.

In the middle of this, I was called to see the kids’ class, where Saranya got her first stripe on her yellow belt.

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805BJJ Class 72: double arm grip to open guard, then triangle or pass to back, rolling

Saranya got in at about 10:15am to start warming up and learning some things to do about side control. She really struggled with the back roll over the left side. She also taught me a very nice subtlety about osoto gari – the push-pull setup. Push them away real quick before pulling them in, stepping to their side, and sweeping the leg.

Krav Maga was doing kickboxing sparring during our warmup, but eventually they came to the back room and I grabbed a broom and swept the mat quickly. We did our warmup and again Saranya needed help with the left shoulder back roll.

The first technique we learned was using a two-handed hold on one arm to transition to an open guard. Cross-sleeve and same-side-outer-armpit grips, open the guard and plant the grip-side foot, hip back and get your other foot on the hip, then put your planted foot on the hip and sit up. From there, if they have a grip on your gi, you can throw up a triangle, and if they let go, you can push them across and get up to get on their back.

Speaking of triangles, we learned a hack to finish even a loosely locked triangle: get up on your elbows and lift your hips off the mat, then scoot back until you get the tap.

Then we rolled.

I first rolled with Dave. He got on top of me and smashed me, but I kept my cool and avoided all his submission attempts, eventually getting back on top.

Next I rolled with Dave again because everyone else already paired up. He had an arm bar attempt on me and I bent my fingers sideways to escape. I knew it was a bad idea as soon as I finished doing it.

Then I sat out a round. Saranya was sitting out and I invited her over. She had a bloody thumbnail and I told her to wash it.

Then I rolled with Greggo. I did the move of the day on him, and at the end he walked me through an arm bar finish.

Then I rolled lightly with Aaron to finish things off.

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805BJJ Class 71: Saranya’s first adult class, fall breaks, snap downs, randori, mount escapes, rolling

Saranya made it to her first adult class today! Hooray!

We went about 25 minutes early, so we could warm up in the small room and Saranya could learn the moves for the big class. We went through running and shuffling, shrimping, reverse shrimping, somersaults, and fall breaks. Coach Greggo stepped in to break down the rolling fall break some more and give us some pointers. It was very helpful. Then he started showing me the butterfly guard sweeps he promised to show me last week. They both involve pinching the hooks and planting the head in the chest to put the guard player’s back to the mat. The first one involves reaching under with one hand to grab one of the butterfly hooking legs and pull it across. This opens that side for the pass. The second one involved unhooking one of your legs by kicking out, and then tucking it under the remaining butterfly hooking leg, allowing you to pull your other one around for the pass, or push the knee down and slide your hips over for the pass. Something like that. We were interrupted halfway through by the Krav Maga folks moving it to the small room, so we continued on the big mat until class started.

Warm up was usual, except that Saranya was in the bathroom. She joined class as we were running around. We did all the warm up exercises that I showed her (except reverse shrimping) and we also did backward rolls, which I forgot to show her. She spoke up and asked Greggo for help though, and he broke it down for her. :)

After doing fall breaks in the warm up, we did synchronized fall break practice. 10 back fall rolls and 10 side fall flops. Then we stood up and practiced snap downs moving backward across the mat. I paired with Greggo and my fingers hurt from the grip. I kept trying to do the Navy finish to the snatch single, but I couldn’t get it right. I kept forgetting to get my head to his chest!

Then we did randori in a chain method. Dave, Tom, Greggo and I went to the small room and did 3 minutes each with rotating partners. Dave went first and kept trying to stick his leg in for a trip. He was not too successful. Tom was next, and when I went with him he headbutted me in the face, right on the bridge of the nose. I saw stars and had to sit out. My turn was next, and I did alright. Got Dave down once countering his wild trip attempt. Greggo eventually got me down. Now my nose is bruised.

Then we circled up on the big mat to learn mount escapes. The key details I picked up was to frame with your hands, get your leg flat on the mat and use it to scoot their foot out on your frame side to disrupt their base, then push their leg to make a hole for your knee to come out, then recover guard or whatever. Again, paired with Greggo for the drill, he taught me some really awesome subtleties.

Then we rolled.

I first rolled with Taco. He started on top, I upa’d him over and stayed on top for the rest of the round. He had good arm and neck defense, but he couldn’t get me off the top of him very well.

Next I rolled with Aaron, who just finished his Krav Maga blue belt test. He’s always elusive. He scissor swept me hard onto my left shoulder and had me evaluating my wellness. Good enough. I survived.

Then I rolled with Colt, who I did okay against. Played a little half guard and he kept trying to coach me the whole time.

Next was coach Greggo, and he walked me through upa, then swept me, then walked me through mount escape from the lesson, then through a back take and choke.

Last roll was with Dave. I got a baseball bat choke locked in and had to dismount to finish it, so I jumped off and spiked my left big toe straight into the mat. Stupid! That was it for me. I sat out the rest of the round until we bowed out.

Saranya sat out all but one of the rounds. She spent that round in side control bottom and was unable to escape. Now she’s on a mission to beat Skyler!

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Krav Maga Class 107: basic punching and kicking

Brandon’s Saturday class was tuned to the five new students on the mat. We did tombstone pad punching and kicking, then we did thai pad combos with kicks. Saranya hurt her back attempting a double leg takedown when Ella sprawled on top of her, but she was alright.

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805BJJ Class 63: Drago’s guard pass defense – duck under and arm drag, baseball bat choke from side control top, rolling, 3rd stripe

I woke up after a bad night’s sleep, still very sore from Tuesday morning’s double leg circuit. When I got to SVKM, I was glad to find out that even Dave and coach Greggo were very sore after that training, so I didn’t feel so inadequate. Rick also brought up the experience of walking out of a martial arts class so wrecked that a kid could take you out, and how you have to question yourself in those situations. It got a laugh.

Warm up went quick under coach Mark. 10 minutes and we got down to business. We were visited by coach Drago from the main academy, and coach Mark put him on the spot for Q&A. Rick asked him how you deal with someone who’s got a knee-elbow shield against your guard leg. Drago ducked under his arm and pulled him past, taking his back. I got to practice with Brandon Sherman. He was messing me up by getting a cross collar grip and putting his forearm in my face so I couldn’t duck under. I guess it was my bad for not getting an underhook on that side so I could boost his arm up and over my head as I pulled him back and across.

The next technique we learned was the arm drag. Break posture with the collar grip, then relinquish it to pull the arm across, then take the back. Again, Brandon made my life difficult by gripping my gi above my shoulder. Much more amenable to the previous technique, but this time I had to break down his arm by folding it downward and rotating my body away while I ripped it across with my opposite hand. Very dangerous and violent technique.

After that we learned the baseball bat choke from side control top. Use your cross face arm to grip thumb-in the back of the collar. Then rise up to knee-on-belly, lift their head with your collar grip and sink the other hand into the far side collar, palm-up thumb-out. Bring your far hand over the neck and your elbows together as you step around and lower your head to their near-side hip. Very effective!

After that, we rolled.

I started with Andrew. I think I ended up on top but he recovered guard. I tried to pass but he scrambled to turtle, then when I was attacking he scrambled and I had to turtle. He almost got my back! I had to really work to get out of that, but I did. He got mount, I upa’d him over and again passed his guard. Round over. It was a good one!

Next was Ryan. I had my way with him, pretty much. I got him in an Americana and an arm bar before I decided to coach him a little bit.

Next was Matt. Again, a good roll. I got the better of him positionally but he put up a good fight and had good defense.

Next was Cosmo. I was scared of being crushed, to start off, and I told him so. He went to knock me over at an angle, and I rolled under to get into side control, stopping him from getting on the concrete. We restarted. I mounted and set up a collar choke, which was impossible to finish because Cosmo does not have a neck. I eventually got bucked off and we scrambled to me on the bottom of half guard, where we ended.

After that I rolled with Ryan again, and I just basically talked to him about BJJ and the early learning process. I gave him tips on what to do when mounted, like protecting your neck and tucking your elbows. At the end of the roll, I sunk in the baseball bat choke that we’d learned earlier in the class.

After we lined up, coach Mark thanked Drago for teaching. He chastised some of the people for not showing up. Then he gave me another stripe, as well as Andrew and Matt and maybe Brendan? The first stripe took me 21 classes, and the 2nd one took me 33 classes. At that rate, it would have taken me 44 classes to get another stripe, but I did it in only 9 classes. I’ve been getting better very quickly lately, like it was all pent up and it’s finally starting to come together.

After class, coach Mark told me I looked good on the mat today. He again complimented me on losing weight, which according to the scale I have not done. He also told me “Your daughter is going to be a beast!”

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805BJJ Class 61: fall breaks and shoulder rolls, side control, far arm isolation

I got to class late because of lingering issues following a server Ubuntu LTS upgrade that went pear shaped last night and into this morning, plus insufficient sleep from being woken up to try to help a bratty daughter who didn’t want help but instead wanted someone to do her homework for her. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up when the girls left, got coffee, burrowed back into work, and didn’t finish until 10:40am.

Got on the mat while Dave was warming up the class. We did shrimping and tumbling and fall breaks until coach Mark stopped us and told us that our fall breaks sucked, and that we should practice them right from the beginning so we don’t get addicted to bad technique. I was guilty of the following sins: crossing my feet on the fall break stand up, coming up to my elbow on the fall break, not cupping my hand when slapping the mat, and slapping the mat too far away from my body to be effective. I have to work on all of those bad habits. Oh, and not rounding my body and rolling a little to dissipate energy when I land. That too. Especially on the side fall break, which I barely learned in Krav Maga for my orange belt test.

Then we did some broken down practice drills solo before going back to trying the shoulder roll fall break again. I found it very awkward to get back to my feet without crossing them, so I guess I just need more momentum.

Anyway, that took a half hour, and then we were on to side control and far arm isolation. Use your underhook arm to make a shelf under their shoulder. Use your other hand to backhand windshield wiper their far hand and staple it onto the mat. Then turn that hand over to a monkey C grip as your underhook turns over and hooks your own wrist under your opponent’s arm, and then pull the elbow down toward the hip and lift.

For side control, it’s all about controlling the hips and maintaining an over/under of some sort. I learned two new grips. One was pants grip at the butt cheek, and the other was between-the-legs pants grip. Both of them, you grip the fabric and pin it to the mat. I also learned how to control the hips in reverse kesa.

Then we rolled. I got regular top-ups from the Goo tube I brought, so I was ready to roll. I started with Greggo and he gently dominated me for the first 4.5 minutes before tapping me with a fist in my jaw. Very excellent hip control from top side control on his part. No more letting me have dominant grips to start off. I’m moving up!

I next rolled with Cowboy. I again got him in the bow and arrow choke, and coach Mark thought I was closer to finishing than I was, so he urged me to just keep cranking on it. My grip gave out after a couple minutes and Cowboy escaped.

Then I rolled with Cosmo. I frustrated him a lot in my closed guard, but he did eventually break it and I tried to turtle and go for a single leg on him. I don’t know why I try to do that to him, because it never ever works.

Then I went with Ryan, who I took down from the knees and tapped with an arm bar. As we restarted, he expressed frustration at being taken down so much, and he swore I wouldn’t take him down again. 3 seconds later, I had taken him down again, and he was laughing. I can relate. I used to get taken down regularly too. Now I’m doing my share of the takedowns.

After that was Phil. He let me get top side control and then tried to lock up a baseball bat choke. Instead of mounting him, though, I rotated to north-south and un-twisted his grips for him. When he tried to switch them up, I secured one of his arms for an arm bar, and applied consistent pressure to try to get him to let it go and give me his arm. He eventually did, but as I was trying to lock up the arm bar he went belly down, so I followed, and he did a sky cartwheel to escape and end up on top of side control. Wow.

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The Bogey Man

I had a dream this morning. In it, Saranya and I were visiting a house in the valley. It was like Greg’s house, kind of. Across the street, there was a jet airplane pulling up. They were gunning the engine like a hot rod after driving it through the valley streets from the airport.

Inside the house, Saranya and I had to do a quest. We had to go out the back and through a dark alley. Guarding the way was a statue with a spear. I grabbed the spear and was able to pull it, but the statue kept its grip and walked around me. When I pulled the spear into the light, it came free and the statue disappeared. That’s when I realized that the statue was really the Bogey Man. It was only visible in low light. It was invisible in darkness, and was incorporeal in bright light.

Across the alley was a lantern store, and Saranya had the bright idea of going over and lighting a bunch of lamps. That lit up the alley, and we could go down a ways. But Saranya was sloppy, and left a bunch of dark areas. I tried calling her back (I was too scared to go into the dark with her, apparently) but she was off doing her own thing for a bit. Eventually she came back, but by then a dining crowd had come to the alley and were sitting outside a restaurant next to the lantern store. She made her way through the crowd, and then started going the OTHER WAY through the alley, into pitch blackness! I was petrified. I could see footprints being formed in the dirt on the dark hill next to the alley. I ran out to get Saranya and get her turned around, but when we turned, we saw the shape of a short, bearded caveman guy rushing us at the edge of the illumination from the lantern store. Saranya surprised me again by launching into a flying side kick, which knocked the Bogey Man sideways and made him stagger. I jumped in and cut into his neck with my khukri.

He started arguing with me about the effectiveness of cutting the Bogey Man, so I cut his head entirely from his body, which then started stumbling around reaching for me. I did the Black Knight thing and cut off the arms and one of the legs to render him harmless.

Then I woke up.

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