Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Big Bad Buddha Belly

.... ah, so I've been sidelined with a knee injury. And so, I've taken this as an excuse to gorge on all the Holiday Goodness, including turkey, cookies, burgers, tacos and everything else that is sugary, greasy and oh so decadent!

It was also an excuse not to post on my blog. I don't know, it's tough to post on a blog especially when you haven't done jack and squat with regards to fitness. 

I'm back fully recovered so you'll hear more from me.

So tonight, I finally practiced at Seattle Jujutsu after a long hiatus. It's been so long that I almost forgot how to roll around, throw, and I'm not so limber anymore. I wasn't as gassed as I thought I'd be, but it finally felt good to actually practice a few throws and actually feel the knee all better.

I still wear a soft brace and I'm quite careful with it. I practiced for about an hour into the two hour practice, doing some uchikomis and throws. I had to bolt at 8pm because I committed to meeting some friends before the Holiday mayhem. It was all good, and I felt that it would've been a wonderful night of practice. I do miss rolling around Seattle Jujutsu.

So, why the Big Bad Buddha Belly, well being injured gives you excuses. And when I was feeling great, I had none and was pushing myself.  I could for example have gone swimming which woudl be gentle on the joints and do some yoga and lower impact stuff.

I'm really debating about continuing soccer for the next season. The commitment required and the benefit is just not enough for me. I love hanging out with friends. I like doing active stuff with friends. But the potential for injury is quite high!

Seriously, I went to a Sambo Summer Camp and we did leg locks, knee bars and heel hooks all weekend long. Guess what? I didn't get injured, while someone was actively attacking my knee joint or ankle joint.

In all my experience, joint problems usually don't result from locks. It's from the sudden jarring movement from other contact. Now a semi-contact sport like soccer is much more dangerous in my opinion, and everyone in my club agrees. At least with full contact you know when you're going to get hit, can easily relax and go with the flow. 

Anyways, I'm quite excited that I'm fully back up to speed. My knee feels great and it's recovered. Thank goodness!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tuesday Night at the Budokan

It was another practice at the Budokan.

We practiced rollovers from the turtle. I'm a bit rusty.

Anyways, did standing and groundwork. Overall a decent time.

So, it's been tough trying to recover with my knee. It's quite sensitive and it still hurts. A knee injury affects and permeates your whole life. I guess the point of it is to overcome adversity and keep on going. It's tough, especially knowing that it's hard to get involved and life in general is tough. I do like judo and fighting. My knee seemed very mobile and it was working.

I just have to get going on my other activities, since I let my knee injury stop me from living life to the fullest.  I know now that life goes on, and I should've been going to the pool or something like that. When you stop working out, everything just piles up and you become rather lazy.

It's easy to become lazy. So, I gotta keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A new spring in my step.... and Monday Night Arena Soccer Lights!

I think my knee is pretty much up to 97%. With my soft brace, I took to the field.

It was good to get the blood flowing as goalie. Again the game was fun, and it was cool to be in a Recreational League, however, I swear that the other teams are way better than us. It was the usual result, however, I had some more decent saves this time around with a few that were just whizzers that just blasted to the corners, and it was really tough to block. There were a few shots that bounced back or some that the balls where just there and the best thing to do is to just jump on the ball, curl in a fetal position and hope that the opposing kicker doesn't kick you. And this is a non-contact sport?

I still have problems bending down real fast to block or shots that are wide and I have to jump more than 2 or three feet. The shots are fast and some are cannons.

Our team is now 0-5. I think I'll be vying for one of the worst goalkeepers in the league, however, I think I retain my position, simply because... I have no real clue why.

In light of this dubious achievement, I really like to parallel this to Real Professional or College Teams of Seattle. Let's see. Mariners lost over 100+ games this season. U Dub has not won a single game this season, and Wazoo has only won a single game.

In fact the greatest thing about this weekend's Apple Cup is that someone has to win! It'll be another win for the Cougars or a first win for the Huskies.

I don't know if we have another comparable team in the Recreational "D" League. We are playing a double header next weekend and we need subs. Hey if you have a pair of shin guards and can breathe, let me know...

Anyways, at the end of last night's game, everyone in the Arena Sports Magnuson Staff bailed out quickly like rats from a sinking ship. They turned off the lights in the arena WHILE WE WERE THERE. Anyways, I raised my voice to express my displeasure in colorful language. We are paying customers, are we not? Regardless, I think they sheepishly hid till we left the building. It's their own fault, if they shepherded us out of there politely and helped us gather our things, we would be out of there in 5 minutes. Instead, we stuck around for 15 minutes trying to find our gear under the colorful lights of our personal cell phones. That alone will probably not want me to renew my membership. The soccer leauge is pretty much a cash cow, and there were no apologies given to paying customers, or the fact that the facilities themselves are falling into disrepair. Don't let me even get into the urinals in the men's room. But hey, I'm a guy, I have lowered expectations for sports, but still.

On brighter news, I feel much better with my knee functioning properly. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's judo practice and be normal.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday Night at Seattle Jujutsu

With my knee passing the test of Thursday Night Practice, I feel that I can engage in more active sports. Besides that my fat ass is literally growing. I put on some compression shorts the other day and my belly hung over it. I've gained 8 lbs. since the knee injury and I have to do something about it. Blechh.

It's easy to fall into, "Woe is me, I'm injured..." trap where you don't do basically anything for awhile. 

It sucks in a span of a month. 

Anyways, practice was ran by Lana. She did moving uchikomi drills. It was fun to do an hour and a half of uchikomi to practice and refine some tachi-waza. 

We did some old school ouchi/kouchi drills, as well as combos between seio, kouchi/ouchi, and other drills. 

Overall it was a great night. It was great to get back and have the blood moving again. I took it rather easy and it was great that I can actually do the uchikomi .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back in the Saddle. Thursday night practice at Budokan.

Thursday Night practice at the Budokan, was a bit of post hangover recovery. That is, that people were back to practice after the Continental Crown.

Well the Continental Crown was a huge affair with the whole weekend taken up setting up and tearing down the venue, the prep work, and of course the matches themselves. It seems the club is getting tighter, mainly there are a lot of volunteers making the tournament happen.

Thursday Night was typical practice with warm-up, technique and then randori session. My knee has been getting better, and I finally deemed it possible to actually engage in newaza randori.

The technique of the night was an oseakomi pin, which was a bit unorthodox. It involves grabbing the arm passing over the top and pinning from the side. The pin was quite effective, and can easily transition to straight arm bar, or an ude garami. Otherwise it was a good pin.

You can see the technique in this Youtube video at minute 0:45 to 0:48. By the way this is one of my favorite judo video compilations of all time...

I engaged in a bit of standup randori for only one round.

Other than that everything was peachy keen.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Continental Crown...

Wow my brain is fried. I was doing the score sheets for Mat I in the Continental Crown. There were over 100+ matches on the mat and it all went smoothly.

Actually it went rather smooth, and the action kept on flowing. The whole table was doing great, especially with the scoring, texas match card wrangling and the runners. I was glad Dave was there to double up and recheck my work, as it's very important to do so. Especially with people crowding around seeing who was dong what.

At one point we were down to 3 people in the table due to different schedules, with just a score board operator, texas match card handler and myself with the draw sheets.

It was all rather good with the Texas Match Cards, I like that as it makes things simpler. The score sheet was rather simple, after awhile it was either blue or white. It was rather clear and the matches moved fast enough that you had to be rather quick. Over all, even though there were a 103 matches on my mat, I basically saw maybe a dozen of those matches. I know it's hard to believe even though I was in front of the matches, but trying to figure out who will be fighting who, calculating scores on the fly, and ensuring everything was accurate was quite important.

Round robin pools are the hardest as you have to calculate scores based on wins and quality of wins. You also have to do the calculations by hand and ensure accuracy. Looking at it now, yes, it's rather simple math, but things get blurry, when you have parents, coaches, referees asking you what the score is, who is fighting next and so on. The matches moves by so fast, that you have to keep people on deck and everything on track. There were also scratches and forfeits.

Being an Elite "E" level tournament, had to keep everything very accurate to ensure everyone is on track.

The double elimination one is much easier to keep track of, as person x goes hear and person y goes there. Winner goes here, loser goes there, and if loser loses twice, he's eliminated.

At the end everything went smooth. I like the tournaments with the Texas Match Cards as a fighter as everything is rather definite, you know you have match 53 and you're blue, afterwards you have match 58 white. So you know you have to be in your blue gi and then change to your white one afterwards. As a scorer, I like the Texas Match Card as it keeps a record of your wins or losses, as well as you can set up who is fighting who on the table and know who is up next. You also know that if an athlete gives you his card that he is checked in, knows when his fight is and which color he is. It's a lot more work on the prep end, but makes things so much smoother.

The funny thing is you start recognizing people all around. It's a small small world. The referees, the parents, the athletes, the volunteers. Familiar faces all around. It was a fun tournament. At the end of the night, I was tired. I was up early, up late last night and did scoring all day. When I came home, I crashed hard.

Anyways, I'm still hobbling a bit, but my knee is getting much better. I could do some things, but I think I can come to practice next week if I take it easy. All this sitting around makes me antsy. Looking forward to some good practices next week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Listening to Auburn Bob's Advice

.... So I have been taking it easy.

I didn't go Thursday, Sunday and tonight's Judo Practice. Last night was soccer and I simply watched from the sidelines and watched.

It's really tough for me to sit on the sidelines. It sucks even more being hobbled. I skip/hop from place to place It sucks. I do need to go to the gym somehow and not push myself because being fat sucks. I've totally eaten about 3 lbs. of Halloween Candy. All that excess. OUCH!

Sitting down and being sedentary is just not good for my health. NOT so good.

Anyways took pictures from last night's soccer game. It was fun to watch, but I'd rather I was out on the field. The smart thing was that I didn't bring in my gym bag. Which forced me to sit on the sidelines and support the team. My Defensiveman, Ted, his outer left knee was bugging him and I saw him hobbling after the game. Not good.

I really think that my circle of friends and myself are getting older. I don't know. When I was much much younger, say 10 years ago, not as many injuries floated around, and if it did, people would be sideline for about a week or so and then back in the game.

Then again, I've only been hurting for a week and a day and it sucks. I have noticed significant improvement in my knee. It's coming to the point that it's almost mobile, I'm just going to take it easy because it's not as painful and I could easily push it to the point of breaking again.

For now, just enjoy these pictures:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday night newaza randori

It was Wednesday, so I headed over to Seattle Jujutsu and get my knee still moving. I'm still hobbling. So I needed it to take it easy.

I got a good warm up and did some newaza randori with Vince and Matt. Vince and I worked on overcoming the high 4, passing the guard and then a good clockwork positional drill. It was good randori with Vince. He showed me some fine tuning on my ude garami. Ude Garami should be at 90 or 45 degrees. He also did an ude garami from the guard position, very similar to what Mark did at the Budokan Tuesday night. It's another angle where I can get attacked on. Aaron also showed me how to do a better guard pass by having my hand between the legs back of the hand up on top of the lower leg, as it leverages the lower leg open.

I then did matwork with Matt. He has a very loose open guard. He controls my hips with his feet. Which is quite important. Matt worked on a collar choke going around in a circle. (forgot the name, although very popular in competition judo). He mainly worked on defending/attacking from the guard while I worked on attacking the guard. He then pointed out that I had a good pin, but my transition from pin to submission, I would let up and give him space, therefore letting him go. So I need to practice on my transitions from pin to submission. Still maintaining control and not giving up space.

So the main lesson of the night was to work on maintaining pressure and close contact when going from a transition from a pin to a submission.

My knee is still doing alright but I'm still hobbling. I went to breakfast with some friends, one of them a nurse. She told me it might be my MCL that got strained and to rest up for a bit. I'll take that advice.

I should call up Regence and schedule an appointment, but most likely they're going to say, Ice up, Motrin and rest. At least that's what they did last time for my shoulder. So I know it's dumb, but I'm a stubborn guy, but I'll play the wait and see game. If by next week it doesn't get better it's probably serious.

I'll just take it easy. Go warm and easy. Maybe take a yoga class or two to keep it limber but not strain it. I think soccer for next Monday is out.

Oh.. and Halloween is tomorrow. Perhaps I could get a cane, a fake beard and a cardigan and go as an old man? I already hobble, so I won't be faking that...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Keeping my knee warm and mobile...

I got a soft knee brace at the drug store and headed over to judo practice. It's not unusual to have people putting all kind of braces at practice. Knee, ankle. etc... In fact the normal ritual of taping and bracing goes on at practice. In fact on one side of the dojo there's plenty of tape to go around. Toes, ankles, wrists, etc... It's all normal.

I can't run. Period. My knee still hurts. So I took it easy.

I did the warm ups best I could. I could only do forward and backward throws as rotating was hard on my knees. So I did mainly O-soto-gari for fits as it doesn't hurt the knee as much. The whole rotation thing was tough on the knee so I couldn't do my favorite throw which was seio-nage.

There weren't techniques taught tonight. Tonight was mainly a workout randori night. It was great because I can only really do newaza with one good knee. I was able to get in 5-6 rounds of groundwork. I didn't do any standing randori at all and just watched.

It was good as I was working on doing guard passes tonight, and overcoming the sprawl. I did some good guard passes as well as attacking the sprawl into a pin. I also worked on my transition from pin to pin, which was really cool. Mark showed me some keylock moves from the guard. I have to see him show me again which is really cool. I'm not used to getting attacked from the guard from the top. Meaning going over my shoulder to get a keylock on my arm and doing an ude-garami. I usually post and get a guard pass. However I'm not used to getting attacked from the "top" usually attacks come from the bottom. Meaning getting an armlock, a triangle choke or something similar from the guard, not a keylock from the top while in guard.

Tonight's matwork was fun. And it was great to get the blood flowing. I think it helps my knee to keep it warm and moving, but not push it too hard. It's a fine balance. As my knee was a bit hurt, I was trying to look for leverage and openings more tonight since I don't have the usual power when I do have a good knee.

Standing randori was good to watch, and there were some good throws executed by people all around.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My right knee HURTS!


Anyways, the inside of my right knee hurts. I'm no doctor, but it feels like my medial collateral ligament (MCL) was bashed up. At least it's not the infamous ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament).

The good thing is it just hurts, I hobble because of the pain, but nothing too major. (I hope). It could be a tendon too. Don't know. The last time I was hurting with the shoulder injury. A couple months back here:Shoulder Injury.

That injury was caused by an upper right bicep tendon tear which just needed Motrin, time and warm stretches to heal. I'm hoping that's it.

I just could not sleep last night because of the pain. I've been bruised up before with my rib hurting for a couple of days, but that was not that bad. Sure it hurts and can't sleep, but being ambulatory is a big important of normal every day life.

Speaking of other injuries. I've got a minor cauliflower ear on my left ear, but that's not that bad, it only hurts when I sleep on my left side. Anyways, with all that aside, you play sports and you will eventually get hurt a bit. It's a normal part of life. The thing is, I did not expect it from soccer. It was after all a Recreational "D" level league, or as recreational or non-competitive as you can get.

I still love it, though and it breaks up the monotony of the normal grappling routine. Which, I do love grappling and is still my priority. However, variety is the spice of life. The last thing I want to ever do is "burn out" which I often see happen in martial arts. Someone goes hard for very long and eventually burns out, not to be seen for a very long time. I've done the same. I think I'll be good to go once again.

Which totally bums me out about my knee. Tonight's practice, I was looking forward to it after a whole week of not going grappling due to a head cold. I'm going to get a soft knee brace for my right knee and see how that pans out.

I think I'm just going to pop a few more Motrin and call it good.

Soccer has got to be one of the more brutal sports...

Soccer is fun. Don't get me wrong. But I get beat up more in soccer playing goalie than being thrown at least 20x on the mat in judo. It's just a different type of hurt, mainly the unexpected jarring movements back and forth that is very quick. I bashed up my right knee and I'm hobbling a bit, which will need time to recover. Getting thrown in judo, I'm more used to. However throwing myself and diving for the ball is another thing.

One thing that I did not do is warm up. I was just barely on time for the game, and the game starts on the dot, and being a goalie means that I have to be there as I don't get subbed. I think the reason I was so stiff was the lack of warm up, once warmed up I should be good to go. As always, when I don't warm up I get injured. Bah. I've been so careful with my ankles and knees as of late that a knee injury sucks. It's nothing bad so far, it's just that it hurts... a bit.

Anyways, it was fun. I need to work on some of the angles and keeping balls away from the middle of my legs. I have a wide shoulder width stance and a fast ball going fast is hard to block. So i have to narrow my stance a little bit closer. As usual be on the balls of my feet and keep my knees relatively close to block. The worst part is that hopeless feeling as you're trying to get a ball in between your legs, when you adopt a wide stance. THAT SUCKS. It's one thing to dive for a ball and miss, but to miss a ball in between your legs is just embarrassing.

I do like the dojo version of Judo soccer where you just dog pile one another and play, tackle the goalie and what not. And really judo soccer is not really soccer, as the ball is merely an excuse to gang up on whoever has the ball.

I was out with a head cold last week, so I did not do any judo. My head cold is gone today. It was bugging me for about a week, and the last thing I wanted to do was to give someone a head cold grappling. It's just not cool. So I've been laying low for a bit. Consequently, I've been itching to practice and practice hard. Looking forward to tomorrow's practice at the Budokan tomorrow. Hopefully my right knee should be a wee bit better.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Witnessing a Shodan Grading at Seattle Jujutsu

I was fortunate enough to get to watch a Shodan Grading at Seattle Jujutsu. For those of you not familiar, Shodan is the first black belt rank, or rather the first step into becoming a serious martial arts practitioner.

Black belts in the grappling arts usually take a lot of years, usually 8-10 years to qualify for grading. I'm sure there's faster and longer, but the typical grappler, usually puts in a good 8-10 years of constant practice before being considered.

Seattle Jujutsu is run by Aaron and he runs a really good club. Andre, who has been a student of Aaron for over 8 years tested for his black belt. From what I understand, Andre, is his second black belt to be personally trained by him. Vince, Andre, and Yoshi all started at the very beginning 8 years ago.

The test had a lot of meaning in the journey, and it was great to see the whole club there. All the black belts were there: Aaron, Vince, Lana, and Elena. The test consisted of the curriculum demonstration (representative, but by no means all inclusive), a question and answer section discussing philosophy, a teaching demonstration, randori, and finally shiai. The test lasted close to 3 hours. It was a combination of both mental, physical, and internal toughness.

One thing that Aaron did was to make sure it was all inclusive and solicited input from all the members of the club. And that he treated everyone from the oldest to the newest member with the same respectful equal manner.

It was quite an experience to watch, and a rare one at that. At the end, there was the symbolic passing of the only brown belt in the club to the next senior student. The club is very traditional that only the sempai, should he choose to, wear the brown belt. Almost always, the brown belts in the club still wear their white belt. As the years go on the white belt gets to a darker and darker shade. Eventually the student earns a black belt, and wears the black belt. Over time the black belt loses it's dark luster, gets lighter and lighter over time, eventually almost looking like a white belt. It's the circle of all things.

The new black belt join the dan ranks, and the journey continues. That's what I love about this sport, it's a journey, there's no destination, and that getting belts are momentos in a journey and not the purpose. The journey goes on...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Zenyu Fight Night!

Last Night, Auburn Bob, invited me to Fight Night at Zenyu. It was really cool to watch. In the Zenyu Mat area there is already a Fight Square. They then brought in 2 national judges in their suits who would referee the matches. In the corner, Zenyu had an honest to goodness electronic scoreboard that is used in some of the regional and national matches. And they even had a technical staff bracket man, fans in the peanut gallery, 2 official photographers, awards, and cupcakes in the end! The only thing missing would be T-shirt vendors and a concession stand.

Now I know how Zenyu can have great technical staff, as they run these Fight Nights once a month, every third Thursday or so, except for this Tuesday which was more convenient for all those involved.

The matches were 2 minutes long, and if no score, they would go into golden score overtime. Overall they managed to cram in 7 divisions of 3-8 people in a span of 3 hours. Quite efficient indeed. The Fight Night was run very smooth, and the action constantly flowing.

It was actually great to see the National Level Judges, referee the fight. And I learned even some of the finer points of judging. Judging is hard, and is under a lot of pressure. It was a lot of fun to watch the different calls being made, what was a wazari, koka, yuko or ippon.

Some of the finer things in judging/rules I learned. When the judge tells you tuck in your gi. You ONLY tuck in your gi. If you untie the belt, then tuck in the gi, then it's a penalty. The judge will let you know when to retie your belt, which would be apparently obvious. One of the judges gave a newaza pointer about controlling the head on the mat, you control the head an it's easier to keep your opponent down on the mat.

Overall, this was great to see. Zenyu has an awesome program especially for the up and coming judo players. Fight Nights was a way to prep club members in Judo Tournaments and also allow a friendly tournament atmosphere for those that can't make it to the tournaments.

It was a lot of fun and it was exciting. I think Zenyu has a great program going and it was quite fun to watch.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Emerald City F.C. !

Today was the first night of the Arena Soccer League. My friends asked me to play as they needed warm bodies to fill the roster. Since, I had a pulse and can magically transform Oxygen into Carbon Dioxide, I fit the bill.

During the recruiting process, I was interviewed. Some pertinent questions were asked.

Through some deep deliberation by the powers that be, I was assigned the goalie position.

Tonight's game was fun, although I should be familiar more with the rules. Mainly I have to stay in the goalie box, and I can do anything in the goalie box. That goalie box is mine! If I venture outside the goalie box, I can only kick the ball.

Umm let's just say that my goal keeping skills need a wee bit of improvement.

Overall a fun Night!

The Emerald City F.C.

Kent Racquetball

So played four 15 minute games with Katherine at Kent. It was a lot of fun, she's starting to pick up good serves, serving to the dreaded, backhand "dead zone" corner. She still needs to put some more power, but what she lacks in power, she makes it up in accuracy and finesse.

I still got good power and my racquetball game is improving. This game I basically served from the left side of the court to the right back side, trying to perfect my right side crack serve. When it hits the crack the ball simply becomes dead... That is when it hits, and it's pretty nasty. I was trying to get speed/accuracy down and it was good to practice with Katherine. I have to watch my efforts to kill the ball, where it comes up short, and instead killing the ball, you end up losing a point. It's probably better to try to hit the ball to the back wall, keeping in mind your opponents position. I have better success with passes and positional shots rather than kill shots.

Overall a great game.

Seminar with Travis Stevens, 2008 Olympian

Photo: Me, Travis, Jake

Yesterday was a seminar with Travis Stevens, 2008 Olympian, and he came home from training to hold a training camp at his home dojo, Ippon Dojo in Lakewood, Washington.

It was a great session that lasted for 2 1/2 hours. I was tired at the end.

The session covered newaza, counter-attack, gripping, and a general philosophy of fighting.

That was the biggest thing about Travis, was his philosophy and thought process of fighting. He does not run away. Each and every attack is an opportunity for a counterattack. Doing a sprawl is running away, but instead, he meets it up close and turns it to a counterattack. Same thing in newaza, he uses his opponents attack and makes it his own. Each and every move is an opening. You never run away, you counterattack.

For the ground fighting portion, we covered 3-4 different attacks from the turtle. To do a turn over. He then covered defense from a turtle and using the turtle as a counter-attack position.

For the counter-attack, he showed us to meet a throw with a tight block, then counter. Instead of running away, he stops his opponents momentum by being up close. Then he applies his counter.

The Grip-Fighting portion was showing us how to grip properly on the sleeve by making a T, where you are gripping with all your fingers.

The end of the session was just normal randori, I think 2 or 3 minute rounds. Did 6-7 rounds with different people.

The camp was the best thing to come out this weekend, and I learned quite a bit. I'm still quite a bit sore, I crashed later that evening.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rainier Cup Recap

Well, it's entertaining. The picture above was my match with Matt. Guest Photographer is Auburn Bob, who took these pictures. Overall it was a good event, although there was a lot of hurry-up and wait.

I got eliminated early on.

Some things to work on are:

1. Slow things down (I was trying so hard to get Ippon aka knockout, that I left myself vulnerable to counterattack)

2. Timing. (self explanatory)

3. When on the ground bridge, shrimp out right away. Time is not on your side, the longer the pin, usually the tighter it becomes.

One good thing is that I didn't get a single penalty. I was playing aggressively, and well, when you play aggressively you take chances, and sometimes you lose. Oh well.

Overall it was good, my opponents were simply better than me that day. No excuses, just take back what I learned, and work on it another day. What's even better, is that I didn't come away injured. (knock on wood) So I can train, and train harder.

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Rainier Cup Fight Prep

I'm getting my stuff ready this morning, going to grab breakfast, get my gi back ready to go. I never like tournament prep time, it's the anticipation that's a killer. Butterflies in my stomach, and the fact that this will be my first tournament fighting in the Brown/Black Belt Division.

Anyways, as I get my gear ready I check for my USJF and USJA card, I read this quote on the back of the USJA card.

CREDO by Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by sweat and dust and blood; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in worthy causes; who at the best, knows in the end of the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pizza, Happy Hour, et al...

Um, as I'm typing this, I just ate a whole pizza. Yep one of those frozen pizzas that you put in an oven. What else? It was delicious. I assume that the whole serving size is one pizza. Ya. I was hungry.

So, what's been going on. I was bouncing between 203.5 and 209 lbs. this week, depending on the condition of my body, and how much water (or not it has). Considering I'm hovering at 209 lbs. right now and weigh-ins are tomorrow morning, it's a good thing. I'd get to 198 lbs. eventually, but this weekend is not it. Besides 198-220 lbs is a huge weight class, and I believe tomorrow's tournament is Light/Medium/Heavy tournament so weight classes in general is a guide. A lot of people I know bounce between 90kg-100kg weight class.

This week has been a blur... To recap.

Tuesday afternoon

Muay Thai with Jen. Apparently Jen took Muay Thai for eight years, and has lots of private lessons, at one point she was actually instructing classes for a couple of years. She has been my regular running partner. Right now, I do need to run, although we did talk about other interests, and the subject came up about boxing/muay/thai/martial arts. So she came by, we did combos. I don't have the fancy timers at the gym, so we just turned it to the music channel and "ended" rounds at the end of the song. Fair enough. We worked out for about 45 min-1 hour. It was a good workout with lots of sweat. Oh. Since it was a rainy afternoon (big surprise in Seattle) we ended doing practice in the living room, which, upon discovery is not pleasant for my room-mate who happens to sleep at odd hours of the day. (Her bedroom is underneath the living room).
Wednesday afternoon.

I got a lunch hour session with Katherine for racquetball. We played 3 good games. Her game is picking up. Nice way to relax for an hour.

Boxing with Amy and the SPD crew. We worked on combos and mitt work. Did 3-3 minute rounds per combination swapping mitts/gloves/partners. Did 3 rotations of 3-3 minute rounds so, total of 9 3 minute rounds? Hmmn. That's a long time. Anyways, I was tired.

Immediately after, I jumped into my truck and headed to Seatown Sombo. I got there just in time for stretches. It was the usual.. warm ups, rolls, and then uchikomis. The technique of the night was a knee bar from the turtle position. It was good, I need to practice it more. Then we just did light positional newaza and some more standing randori. There were about a dozen or so people that night, and just simply a bit crowded, so just have to watch where you throw people. Ground work was fun, although we didn't have the clock running, we must have done about 20-30 minutes uchikomis, 20-30 minutes of ground fighting and 10-15 minutes of standing. I don't remember much, the night went on like a blur.


A quick 2-3 mile hike on Cold Creek Trail. Nothing special.

Thursday Night Practice was this:

Standard Warm-ups (I was tasked to lead this). Uchikomis. Technique of the Night. 30 minutes of newaza randori, 30 minutes standing randori.

Technique of the night was: Sankaku on a turtled opponent. Apparently I have problems getting my foot into the crook of my knee. It was good. My left ear has been jammed again. It was hurting from Tuesday night's sankaku practice. (Sankaku is triangle choke with your legs). I don't think I've got cauliflower ear just yet, it's just tender. Oh well. It's part of training. I think most everyone in the dojo has some form of cauliflower ear. No biggy.

Gary and Leo gave me pointers on the tournament. Basically it came down to this: Commit to your technique. Throw like you mean it. Better to attack and be on the offensive. Whatever happens, win or lose, learn something from it and improve upon it. Oh and work on 1-2 techniques (your main staple) for a year and perfect it for competition. And all it takes to be a winner is hard work and practice. There is no magic bullet...


I bagged a workout with Jen. I was tired, the thought of punching mitts and doing combos was tiring, and the fact that I needed to be rested for Saturday's tournament.

I then did Happy Hour at Grey's with Mike/Robbin & Co. It was a fun happy hour, but had to excuse myself early as I had a racquetball appointment with Katherine. It was a good game of racquetball. Being a bit tired and sore, I ended up playing more strategically and not really moving as much... Being tired ummmm.. improved my game.

Anyways, it's late. I had to write down what I did this weekend before I forget. It's going to be a fun weekend. Tournament tomorrow and the Travis Stevens Clinic on Sunday.

I'm just going to take it easy and have fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

29 Judoka

29 Judoka. That's how many people were at Budokan during Tuesday Night practice. It was very crowded.

Here's a picture of the dojo taken awhile ago. Now imagine 29 judoka in it. It was exciting and fun, lots of new faces or people stopping by to practice. We had 2 Germans come by.

I wish I had my camera, but I didn't have it with me. So you just have to imagine the dojo filled with 29 people.

It was mostly newaza randori and we only did limited amount of standing randori as it was too crowded. It was a great night to see so many people.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday Open Mat

Sunday night was Open Mat.

It was cool as it was rather unstructured. I ended up doing 30 minutes warm up. 30 minutes uchikomi.

And then an 1 hour of newaza randori. There was no clock, so kinda moved and rotated around. I worked on guard passes and reversals. We did a lot from the knees, and consequently my knees are sore.

I still need to work on my guard. I'd rather not be in guard as of now, but I need to work on the guard more. I'm decent at passing the guard and executed some good guard passes. My posture is pretty good.

It was a rather fun night. And 1 hour of mat work is a great workout.

It was fun as there were some bigger heavier guys out there and its a lot of fun to roll around.

One thing, either I wasn't trying hard enough, or my cardio is improving, or I'm just relaxed. I didn't gas out. There was still plenty of gas in the tank or am I learning efficiency? I have no idea. It seems I'm rather relaxed now and when someone gets me into a position, I try to think tactically and change up or do something. It's weird, it's starting to become more of a cerebral exercise for me as well as a physical one. Sure it's demanding on the body, but I tend to think more.

I no longer keep score in randori as you should but thinking more and getting movements done. I could stall out, but anyone can stall out, you know? Might as well work on your technique. Be that getting into a turtle and escaping, reversing a turtle, guard passes, switching newaza positions, positional control, trying armbar to oseakomi, to arm bar. I think I get more enjoyment out of trying to squeeze out as many different techniques (executed properly of course) in randori.

It was fun and I'm craving more. Hopefully Amy can get some time so I can practice with her grappling group. I finally got a set of wrestling shoes so that I can practice grappling with different people and different areas. Wrestling mats are very common and many places require wrestling shoes, so getting a pair of wrestling shoes just expands training opportunities.

I have some racquetball scheduled today at 11 AM and am planning to get some laundry and stuff done. Didn't launder last night's gi and need to do so.

I have to watch what I eat. I ate some greasy Chinese food and pot stickers yesterday. I gained like 5 lbs. from coming home and only working out 2x in 2 weeks. Anyways, the Rainier Cup is on Saturday and I really feel I haven't trained much in the last 2 weeks. I need to work on my judo game with judo rules, as I've been training lately in jujutsu and sambo rules. So my gripping needs work, throws, fits, etc...

I'll still throw myself into the Rainier Cup and just have fun. Oh and my fatty ass has to fight at -100kg, not enough time to get under -90kg without killing myself in that short amount of time.

Anyways, the dojo I worked out in last night was featured in this video:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Big Apple!


Today I was at the Big Apple! New York. There's nothing like it in the world. I passed by Madison Square Garden, home of some of the most awesome sporting events ever!


I got to work out today at the New York Sambo Club, which is ran by Steve Koepher and is located in the heart of midtown Manhattan, at 15 W 39th Street, 4th floor.

It's a great gym, next to Bryant Park, and really accessible from Penn Station.

We did standard warm up routines and we practiced two throws. Both of the throws can be followed by submission, one with a submission to the arm, the other throw, is a submission to the heel.

I don't know the exact terminology, and rather than describe it akin to IKEA furniture assembly directions, I'd rather just go vague and generic.

The first one is a forward shoulder roll to a submission. The second one is a leg takedown to a submission. The second one is pretty slick, but it's hard to describe in words.

That's one thing about the martial arts, that it is hard to describe and put into words how something is done, even a picture book doesn't really show you, nor a video. Books/Videos are merely supplementary information to jog your memory after learning it hands on in class.

Steve is a good instructor and broke it down by the numbers. The guys at the club were really cool and had great attitude and demeanor.

After the instructional part of the class, we got into randori (free sparring). As this was a no-gi class, I was to use more body grips and so throws like ogoshi, kata guruma, kouchi, uchi-mata, ouchi, osoto and ippon seio nage can be done no gi. It's just slightly different with the grip. Some throws/chokes such as sode and uki-eri can't be done simply without a gi.

I forgot how much faster it is without a gi, and you can simply sometimes "slip" out of a hold where in a gi you're much constricted. It's just a bit different.

I wasn't able to throw as much and simply went to take downs. One of his students exploited a big hole in my game. My legs. Legs are free game in Sambo. I've been practicing Olympic-style judo for so long that I leave my legs wide open for attack. In Olympic Judo you don't have to defend your legs. There isn't a leg lock, heel hook, calf crush, toe hold and knee bar in Olympic Judo. Now mind you, I say in Olympic Judo.

The amazing thing about Judo, is that the original Judo is really preserved by the Russians, who internalized it and added indigenous folk wrestling styles into what is now Sambo. aka Russian Judo, Combat without Weapons, Jacket Wrestling or "is it some kind of dance?" Of course Sambo has different flavors, combat, freestyle, and sport.

Anyways, history lessons aside, I'm sure you can Google it to find out more...

Ah, the sparring/randori part of the session was fun. We did about 5-6 2 minute rounds. I was getting better transitions from pin to sub and from pin to pin. My arm bars continually improved between the sparring sessions. I tried one heel hook and I still need a LOT of work on it before I can use it on an unwilling partner. (err.. resisting partner) I need to work on defending the legs, creating separation to disengage and stacking better.

Oh, and the class was held in a Cage. First time I practiced inside a Cage. Different feeling, a bit claustrophobic. And I noticed that the Cage can only be opened from the outside when it's pinned shut.

Here's a picture:

Overall a great day at the Big Apple and a big thanks to Steve for a great workout.

For those of you asking, here's a video about what Sambo is all about:

Friday, October 3, 2008

Back home in Jersey, the Scarlet Knights & Rutgers Kodenkan

I traveled back to the Shore Area and got in touch with my roots. Ah the smell of Bagels, Pizza, and my all-time favorite snack. Mallomars. If you haven't had a Mallomar it's made by Nabisco and it's basically a reverse S'more in a box. It's made in Hoboken, and I haven't seen it out on the West Coast. Thank Goodness, because my fat chubby butt is inhaling a box of Mallomars in between typing.

So, now that we got the foodie goodies out of the way.

I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Sensei Barb Gessner, who teaches at the Rutgers Kodenkan. She's a 6th Dan Jujutsu and 5th Dan Judo and she graciously allowed me to practice with her club at Rutgers. We met at the Upper Gym at the Rutgers' "Barn" and at the Wrestling room for the advanced class.

Rutgers Kodenkan teaches Danzan Ryu Jujutsu which to the layman (that's me) looks like judo with some harder aikido-esque moves. There's also more emphasis on self-defense techniques. The goshin-jutsu part of their curriculum looks similar to the goshin-jutsu kata of judo and tomiki-aikido.

The falls are quite different, and as an art, they emphasize practice falls a lot. Sure my ukemi could use some work, and I haven't got my gymnastics/acrobatics part of my judo to a high enough level. One thing that they did work on the forward fall, which I hardly practice in judo. We did it once or twice this year. And although theoretically, you should "fish" out of a throw in competition judo, I'd rather get thrown properly and give my opponent an ippon rather than do a "Matrix-esque" move to land forward. Since I don't do it often enough, I need to practice it more to do it under live conditions, rather than pull one out of my butt during competition and hurt myself. It was really good to learn the forward fall with Rutgers Kodenkan, as I surely don't practice it enough. And if I do fall forward, I tend to go towards a forward roll anyways.

It was great to learn some Danzan Ryu Jujutsu. The jujutsu I'm studying now at Seattle Jujutsu is Yabe Ryu Jujutsu, which is pretty much judo.

The Danzan Ryu Jujutsu throws were the same exact Judo throws with the same names. There were some names a bit different, like they called Morote Seio Nage a bit differently. Then they had self defense combinations which used a counter followed by a judo or aikido technique.

One thing was that the class was more instructional, which is really cool, as some moves are quite nasty when applied in a live situation. A lot of the moves that I was learning last night is specifically banned in judo/bjj/sambo competiton. Mainly small joint manipulation, i.e. finger and wristlocks. Since I mostly study Kodokan Judo, with an emphasis on competition, I mostly do randori and haven't had the full breadth of the Judo curriculum which does include atemi-waza and self-defense techniques (goshin-jutsu kata). Besides, the Judo Curriculum emphasizes randori techniques at the kyu levels. Nage-no Kata and Katame-no Kata, which you need for 1st and 2nd dan respectively. The other historical katas are required for the higher dans, and so hardly really get taught.

I helped teach the kid's class with Steve (a black belt in jujutsu). I was asked to help teach the techniques that I do know. Mainly parts of the gokyu. I helped teach seio-nage, o-goshi, kesa-gatame and yoko-shiho gatame.

The senior class, I got to witness a promotion test, which was really cool.

I was then taught how to fall. Mainly to refine my ukemi, which does need work. I was grateful to be shown some more ukemi, which you more or less learn by getting thrown around. My ukemi is actually rather decent when I do get thrown with force speed and control. However my static ukemi/acrobatics is not that good. And I can't roll on my right as well or do cartwheels on my right.

It was different being a brown belt in class where there's only two black belts. I'm not used to that. At Budokan Dojo, I'm one of two or three brown belts amongst a dozen or more black belts.

It was also my very FIRST time as a bona fide Assistant Instructor. For that I'm very grateful for the opportunity. Sensei Barb let me teach a few things. Oh and we played a game at the end of class, which I learned from Neil Adams at the Neil Adams camp. It was tag, with the "caller" calling out different body parts to tag. It was a lot of fun! and perfect for kids. So I would call out "left shoulder" and you'd try to tag the left shoulder. I'd call out "right shoulder" and we'd try to tag the left.

At the end of the evening we practiced some randori. I randori with Steve and Cahill, the newly promoted guy. It was fun. We did some standing randori and then some newaza. It was fun doing some randori, and it was great to get the blood flowing! I haven't randori since Monday, and so was itching to get some good mat time.

I focused on techniques in Randori, which was cool. Randori was a great back and forth of throws/counterthrows and good to work on their techniques and mine as well. There were a few leg sweeps/grabs that was new to me, which was neat to work on. I also tried a few takedowns that I hardly get to practice like te-guruma and some leg/ankle picks. They haven't seen drop seio and drop kata-guruma, which they picked up rather fast.

A lot of the stuff they were doing were classical kata judo, which is cool, and I was amazed that there wasn't much time spent on grip fighting, and they focused more on the classic sleeve lapel grip. I tend to also do a sleeve lapel grip, although I tend to just maintain contact with my left on the lapel and have my right hand free to grip/throw. I like this more because:

a. It frees you to attack from different angles. With a left hand lapel grip, you can do:
1. Same side attack (i.e. ippon seio, kata-guruma, kouchi/ouchi, o-soto, etc...
2. Opposite side attack (i.e. morote seio, o-soto, uchi-mata, tai-otoshi, etc...)

b. Once I have two hand contact, I throw, as a general rule. In most competitions, it's hard to get two hand contact, so once you do get it, throw!

Grip fighting aside, it was cool not to spend oodles of time on grip fighting, as it is generally considered "negative judo" and grip fighting should be coupled with an attack, attack, attack...

That's the thing, even though the most awarded wins awarded in Olympic Judo is shido, it's more aesthetically pleasing to win by an ippon or submission.

Overall a great time at the Rutgers Kodenkan!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday Night Workout

It was Monday Night and went to Seattle Jujutsu Club. It was a lot of fun, we started out goofing off and dong a series of parody tapes. So class started about 15 minutes late.

After warmups, we did uchikomis.

It was pretty much open practice.

We did grappling with Mongolian style folk wrestling rules, which means basically only your hands or feet can touch the mat, any other part of the body means that you are down. Emphasis was on body grips, as the Mongolian folk wrestlers wore skimpy outfits. It was a lot of fun. Sometimes bullrushing works. And I did a fairly sweet ogoshi that was really cool.

Then we worked on positional newaza, I was working on body position, guard passes and reversals. I executed some sweet reversals when the pin wasn't that good.

We then did 10 rounds of 2 minute newaza. 2 minutes is fairly short, and the time went by rather quickly.

Overall it was a decent night. I'm learning to post more and watch my body position. I execute my guard passes with due diligince, taking great care that I don't get into a position to get arm-locked. My moves are more deliberate. I also think my conditioning is fairly decent as I wasn't gassed out, mind you I may have just been taking it easy. I don't know. I feel that I wasn't gassed while others were.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Start of the Wet Season...

Well it's the onset of the Seattle Wet Season.

So started it off with some indoor sports on Friday and capped it off with a morning paddle on Saturday.

Played racquetball for 1 1/2 hours yesterday. It was a lot of fun.

Paddled for an hour this morning. It was wet. Cold. Thank goodness I was wearing my spray suit.

Packing for a trip to Glacier Basin.


It's cold, wet and rainy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Breaking through the plateau

So, my fat-ass has been hanging around 205 lbs. lately, but just the last few days the scale has been at around 202-203 lbs.

I know 2-3 lbs. doesn't seem much, but I was just hitting a plateau in my workouts, weight and progress. It's so great to break through the plateau!

I think I've learned to relax a bit more, to just enjoy the moment. When I'm engaging in randori/free practice, I'm more relaxed and not as tense. I have a good yet strong grip, and then I can shift my weight here and there to get a good throw. I'm not "forcing" throws as much and grab a throw that I can do when the opportunity presents itself. Also I'm not tiring myself out as much by wasted energy. I remain calmer and can execute a quick burst of energy when I need to.

Yesterday, I swam 2 x 200 yards. I think the AllStar Fitness Pool is 25 yards long. So I did 2 x 200 yards. It was a lot of fun, and also, the same principle applied to swimming, relax, work with the water and not against it. Tuck your chin in, breathe. There was a lady there, Melinda who is a great swimmer who gave me more pointers on the proper crawl technique. Mainly tuck my chin in and swim with the water.

It was very relaxing and it was nice to actually swim. Swimming gives you a sense of spatial awareness and body movement. It was a lot of fun.

Last night's technique was Sode, with the different variations of the Sode throw. One of the variations was like a modified morote seio nage, but it was still a sode. Reuben had a variation of the sode that was a good drop sode.

Leo from Brazil is back and is helping to teach the class, he is a really good teacher and very chill. He has a black belt in judo and BJJ. And he learned it in Brazil, where it is part of the culture.

Anyways, it was a lot of fun. I'm making progress albeit slowly. I'm still on track to get to my goal of 198 lbs or <90kg for perhaps the Rainier Cup in October or the Obukan tournament in December.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This afternoon I worked out with Vince and Brad at Seattle Jujutsu. We mainly did uchikomis which was just great. Sometimes, I just really need to work on entrances and exits. My body is still beat up from much of the week as I haven't really taken a rest at all. I was thinking of going to Wednesday night practice, but I thought better of it, as I was a running a bit ragged so I bagged it. Quite Ragged in fact.

Tomorrow, I've got Dragon Boating and Judo scheduled, so it's going to be rather rough.

After class we did a kettlebell workout. WOW! Kettlebells are awesome. Did some movement and they were very natural. I was beat tired afterwards.

Above is a link from a Seattle Times Article about Kettlebells.


So it's been a bit since I kept up the blog, I traveled to Lincoln City Oregon for 3 days of Sambo. Of course that Thursday, I did boxing with Adalia at her Portland Gym, as well as Filipino Stick Fighting and the Tai Chi Staff. It was a lot of fun and a great workout.

I've been dragging for a bit. I just need some chill time.

So to recap.

Last Thursday - Boxing in Portland
Friday/Saturday/Sunday - Sambo in Lincoln City, Oregon

Monday evening, I did worked out with Amy's co-workers at her training center. We mostly did ground grappling. That night I learned the guillotine choke and the crucifix. I never practice neck cranks, mainly because they are not used in the sport of judo.

Tuesday Night, was pretty much warm up to randori. No techniques shown that night, and since I was still wicked tired. I was very relaxed and supple. It totally helped me in my judo as I was able to think tactically, set up moves and actually be proactive.

The more relaxed I was, the better the performance. I did fairly well in newaza and executed a few good guard passes. Also I was keeping my posture up more and I was protecting my arms.

So now, I'm starting to think tactically, and judo is not really about strength. Yes, strength, flexibility, agility and endurance are very important. The more of these attributes you have, the better you are to be able to execute the moves needed for the situation. Physical conditioning is merely preparation for fighting and a very important part of it. In fact, now that I don't really worry about my endurance, I can really think tactically through a randori session, instead of only what my body can do. It's quite an amazing realization that physical conditioning gives you so much more options and stimulates your brain, as you are not thinking of making it through a round, but instead, thinking of the round as a chess game, planning your move/counter move.

Judo is really a physical chess match, where a multitude of moves are merely tools. You have to act proactively and act with the opportunity presented to you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sambo Camp

Just came back from 3 days of Sambo Camp in Lincoln City, Oregon. It was a lot of fun. Lots of techniques covered. Same side grip take downs, leg picks, armlocks, leg locks, and heel hooks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Principle of Ju

I need to relax more.

Seriously, not that I don't get a great workout at practice. Although I'm starting to Plateau. I have to exercise outside the dojo. Right now the randori workouts, although strenuous is quite not long, or intense enough. I still need more rounds. Tonight was a bit cramped. We had over 20 people in the dojo, and randori in that small of a space tends to get tight. You do end up being hyper aware at times, and a lot of people engage in wall judo. Using the walls to your advantage, but seriously, the dojo can really accommodate only 10 people or 5 pairs safely in standing randori. You can push it to 7 (14 people) and that's the max without bumping into each other. You do tend to develop peripheral awareness, so you don't throw or run into people during randori. It also means that I sat out 3 rounds of standing and 1 round of ground work.

Which brings us to randori. I have no idea why I go into a notch below competition mode, and so am not really learning anything. The only thing I'm really getting into is grip fighting and defensive stance, and where does that get me? I still get thrown, but it's not improving my attacks. I have to attack and counter-attack.

That brings me to the second that Phil taught me tonight. Which was move the body. You move the body to set up the throw. It's like boxing, with the footwork. It's like a light bulb going off my head. I have to really move my body to set up an attack. Judo is not a static sport, it's a dynamic one.
I also at this point really need to supplement my judo training with working out at the gym. I do have a gym membership that I hardly use. I got to use it. I probably could take some yoga classes to loosen myself up. Then go swim. And then perhaps do some interval trainings.

When I did use to do interval training, my judo improved. I stopped, figuring I was going 2-4x a week judo/jujutsu and dragon boating. Now that dragon boating is over, I figure I have to really supplement my workout. Dragon boating was a lot of fun and a great workout. It's also very intense interval-like training.

I'm reaching a plateau, and need to change my habits to break through and reach a higher level. I'm starting to slowly creep up the scale again. I'm floating around 207 lbs as opposed to 205lbs and I don't think that's muscle weight. Again my goal is to fight at 90kg, which is 198 lbs. I should go walk around at 200-202 lbs and I can drop enough to fight at 90kg.

Oh and no more late night burgers!


p.s. Photos courtesy of John aka MajorConfusion from my dojo.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Seattle Dragon Boat Festival.

4th out of 21 teams. Blechh.

3rd place boat was .07 seconds faster than us. 7/100ths of a second over 500m!

Anyways, it sucks. Especially when it's so close. It feels good to win or at least medal. I know it's obvious.

Uggh. Anyways, it was a decent two days and had sort of fun, but the after-race feeling just sucks.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Into the Night - Last Practice before Seattle Dragon Boat Races.

Last Night was the last practice before this weekend's race... Literally. It was almost dark when we came into the dock. Although the sunset was just majestic giving Mount Rainier a reddish hue during twilight on Lake Washington. It was definitely a Kodak moment.

This weekend's race is here:

So. We practiced 4 x 200m. 3 x 500m and 2 x1000m. It was all fun. I love it because it's just sprints. We'll see how it goes.

I felt great and kept up with the pace. In fact, I really did feel good on my left side. The only problems I had was when I switched to the right side, I did not paddle as well.

One thing I noticed at the faster pace is the recovery. I need to bring the paddle up higher so it does not catch the water. It happened a couple of times.

Other than that it was cool, although I could clearly see the person in front of me tiring out a bit, as she was delaying her exit and not reaching forward enough which cut into my stroke. I really feel a difference between the beginning of the season and now. I really think that weekly practice helps and my overall level of fitness is much better.

Anyways, I love sprints, as I can put it all out there. The 1x1000m is going to be rather rough, but I'd like to really think of it as a golden score overtime in judo. Either way, the races are less than 3 minutes a piece with the 1000m being 7-8 minutes.

Today I could really feel my whole upper body a bit sore. I'm going to take it easy today and paddle like crazy tomorrow.

Oh, and I did stop by the dojo after Dragon Boat practice to check out the practice. It was rather sparse. I think people are still beat up from the Fall Classic. Tracy was there and her knee is all messed up from the tournament. I assume Grant is out with the bruised rib. Kurt still has cauliflower ear and it looks like it's just been drained. He also sustained a toe injury that night. Lynn had an ankle injury. And of course, everyone has the normal bumps and bruises. I saw Jake did an awesome te guruma on Aaron. That was some awesome technique. We almost refer to it as "gorilla judo." I simply sat on the sidelines, even though my gi bag was in the truck. I wanted to practice, but I didn't want to get injured before tomorrow's 2-day race. It's going to suck being injured in a small cramped wet cold boat. So yeah, I just sat out and watched practice.

Bamboo Bar & Grill Happy Hour - $5 Macho Nachos

Well, Wednesday Night, what could I say. I had a late dinner with Pedro a friend of mine from high school. We had some Macho Nachos at the Bamboo Bar & Grill. It was some good times.

Anyways, tonight's training was simply oseakomi techniques. It was good as it refreshed some of the basic holds. I was partnered up with a new guy who it was his 6th practice, so I showed him some of the basic holds. We went from Kesa, Kata, Yoko-Shiho, Kami-Shiho.

We then went into newaza randori for maybe 4 rounds. It was a rather short practice, mainly because I was late. Other than that it cool. I was working on defending the turtle, sweeps, and passing the guard. I need to lock down my pins much more as I had a pin and had it let go because he shrimped out of it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Knee in the ear!

More Juji-Rolls from turtle. More practice. Rolling from the left, roll from the right, front roll, rolling backwards. Lots of fun practice. Jamming the knee to the ear, controlling the head, either by pushing it in or hooking it in.

We then practicing breaking the resistance of the armbar by pushing in the other shoulder.

Tonight's randori was a bit more aggressive than usual. It's a good thing, but you can see there's more aggression in the air. I have to move more and watch out for the uchi-mata. I did some good randori, my grips are getting better, although a lot of people are realizing my normal tactics, so I change it up a bit.

Of course, competition shiai is much more intense. Practice was over rather quickly though. I don't know the rounds do sometimes melt away. Did 4 rounds newaza and 5 rounds standing.

Overall a good night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fall Classic / Ladder Tournament / Junior World Team Trials

Just got back from Spokane.

I think I'm getting better at Matwaza. The science and art of moving mats. I'm fairly proficient at it, considering, I helped move 30 x 6 = 180 Swain Mats back and forth from the dojo, to the truck, from the competition, to the truck, and from the truck back to the dojo.

Being part of the technical staff, it was the first time that I truly understood the intricacies of running a high level tournament, and there was a lot of work involved, mostly from volunteers.

Let's see:

a. Technical Staff - Running tables, brackets, Texas Card Matches, Scoring, and of course moving mats.
b. Tournament big-wigs. They had to corral all these people.
c. Referees - Some of the referees came all the way from different parts of the country.

Now of course there's the whole logistic thing on the competition side, but that's another story.

I did see some great judo, especially at the Junior World Trials. It was intense, never before have I seen the real intensity of competition judo. After all second place doesn't get you a trip to Bangkok.

Some of the best judo I've seen was by Arm Lock Girl, Sarah Black. I forget where she's from, she had some awesome newaza and she armlocked 2 girls in a row. The coolest thing was she would see a newaza opportunity and take it, it was very natural, and always showed progress. There weren't that many times that she was stood up for not making progress. If she couldn't get an armlock, she'd go into an oseakomi, get an oseakomi call, go for an armlock, transitioned to an oseakomi, do a rollover, get a pin, and then go for a choke. She was very natural and fluid. I noticed a lot of judo players see a turtle and say... okay turtle stop. Nope. She'd go in for the juji roll, if not a juji, then a choke, if not a choke, then a pin. She was amazing.

One thing I learned at the Fall Classic was protect yourself at all times. A medal is not worth it. One of the fighters was caught in an omoplata with the opponents legs. He tapped, and the award was given to the person who performed the omoplata. Yeah, in theory you're only suppose to do locks on the elbow joint... but, the omoplata was fairly deliberate. I'd tap too. I've tapped before in neck cranks, but arguing about a point is useless. Just remember to protect yourself, and tap when you need to. A piece of metal that goes into a closet is not worth it, unless of course it's an Olympic piece of metal. But let's be serious about it, there's only a dozen people in the country that are true contenders for it. Myself, not being one of them. Yeah, it's okay... Telling me I'm not Olympic material is not going to break my heart.

Anyways, gotta get ready for practice.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

16 Hot Wings for the Price of 8!

Well that's what I pretty much ate all day. Our judo club went to the Wingers restaurant. The volunteers were gorging as we were taunting our only competitor at the Wingers restaurant who was trying to make weight. The other competitors weren't with us and were probably taking it easy just getting ready for this morning's fight. It's 5 in the morning and I can't sleep. So that's why I'm typing. Which reminds me, I hate cutting weight. So my fatty self should really get going into losing that final 7 lbs. to get under 198lbs. I'm floating at 205. I can lose 5lbs. water weight, but I'd hate to cut it that close, and running in sweats and sauna time is really not that fun.

I haven't done squat working out yesterday. Today, I'll be helping with the Fall Classic Tournament. After going to the Neil Adams Camp, I see quite a few familiar faces running around the tournament site.

Perhaps after the tournament today, probably go for a run or something. I did bring my sneakers for that occassion.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCormick & Shmicks Happy Hour $1.95 a plate!

I don't know what's with me, but I've been on the See-Food diet. What I see, is what I eat. I've got a ravenous appetite, and I just have to get it under control.

Life has been fairly busy. Wednesday night, my knee still hurt, so I did not go to Boxing. Maybe next week at 5:30 boxing with Amy. With my knee hurt, I took it very easy so did all of nothing on Wednesday. I didn't even stop by Seattle Jujutsu to say hello. My right knee was really hurting and I didn't want to strain it too much. I did stop by MKG Seattle since it was right across the street to Mr. Gyros, who happen to have a great Lamb Sevlaki for 4.99 and is rated one of the top 50 places to eat cheaply in Seattle by "Seattle Weekly." So MKG Seattle is a MMA gym featuring Kickboxing, Boxing, Filipino Martial Arts, Submission Wrestling, etc... It's a cool chill school with no belts and a get right to working out attitude. It reminded me of Ring Sports United. Although RSU had more of an instructional feel and seemed more geared to competition fighting. This scool I think is more geared towards Self Defense Instruction and not competition. The one thing I noticed is that people didn't wrap their hands for punching, and they used Wavemaster Punching Stands. I'd prefer thai bags myself, which they did have in the corner. Admittedly the class I was watching was more of an experimental class, so it's not typical. They have what's called a "CORE Group" that are more advanced students training more often and get personalized training. The FMA part of the class was new to me, even though I have a Filipino heritage, I have zero clue on Filipino Martial Arts. FMA is hard to find with the right lineage and they are usually tucked away somewhere and you have to know someone to get into it. MKG would be cool to learn FMA, although, honestly I don't really have time at the moment. FMA looks rather complex and really cool, and there are many variations of FMA. Dumog, Bakbakan, Palitawan, Kali, Escrima, etc... that encompasses weapon, striking, kicking, wrestling, grappling and submissions. It was fun, to go and see, however the price tag wasn't. For profit schools have to pay the teacher's/owner's gym, mortgage and put food on the table. Honestly, the pro teachers do it for the love of the game, rather than to make money. So MKG is a cool school and the price is typical for good schools that have to put food on the teacher's table. Now non-profit schools are cheaper, however, you have to put in volunteer time in the dojo as you get higher in rank. (i.e. tournaments, refereeing, cleaning, etc...) So no matter which way you look at it, the costs are really the same. Either pay up front in cash, or pay less cash and put in sweat/time.

The true money makers such as the "Rex Kwon Do featured in Napolean Dynamite" are there to make cash and only cash. I actually have not run into a school like that at all in Seattle, for that I'm truly glad.

Fatty Update. I weighed myself this morning and I am 205 lbs. at 26.5% Body fat according to my trusty Tanita Meter. So I'm still walking around at 205 lbs, although the fatty meter did say I lost 1.5% of fat the last month or so. Still fat and obese according to the NIH BMI index. I do want to fight in October (Rainier Cup) and in December (Obukan). And no I'm not fighting in the Continental Crown nor the Fall Classic this weekend. I'm just not ready, and seriously, those are elite level tournaments. A lot of my friends at the dojo ARE competing, and they are true contenders and have placed/won some of the E-Level or D-Level tournaments. I usually can't beat them in the dojo, so I don't think I'm E-Level or D-Level yet. I just need to fight in local tournaments for now.

The cool thing is that in Early June I was fighting at 100Kg+ (220 lbs). When you're 220, why bother dieting at all? I mean Heavyweight you're fighting fighters much bigger and even though they're bigger, they are usually, in most cases slower. -100Kg Light Heavyweight class is just brutal as they actually try to cut weight to get under 100kg. Now I'm aiming for -90Kg, or Middleweight. -90kg Sounds cool anyways as it's "Middleweight". So 7 lbs to go to get to -90kg (198 lbs). I should be able to do it by October. It's only a month or so away. If not October, then definitely December.

Like I said, I really need to actually focus on diet and exercise. Right now, my workout routine is a haphhazard mish mash of judo/jujutsu and dragon boating.

Oh.. Last night's practice. Last night's practice started with a warm up of loading the extra Swain Mats in the truck. After loading up the mats, we did ukemi, then uchikomi. Warmups were rather quick since we spent the last 20 minutes loading up the truck. Newaza Randori were 2 minute rounds. Did quite a few of these. My newaza randori is getting better, and I can get a good bridge or sweep when somebody got me on an oseakomi. However, I still have to be mindful of my arms. My arms still gets caught in armlocks.

Tachi-waza was a different story. I'm moving ponderously. I really need to get more flexibility in my legs and do squats, rotations and just an overall sense of balance for the ashi-waza. I just need to do more uchi-komi. My grip fighting however is getting much much better. But I just have no idea what to do once I get the grip and then throw.

I really need to connect the dots. I know how to grip fight. I know how to position my body. I know how to throw. I just need to get it all together and make it one fluid motion with the right timing.

I got thrown for a great ippon seio last night and he just caught me in the attack. I do hope my knee gets better as it'll help me do foot techniques and make me generally move faster on the mat.

Oh and I gorged at Happy Hour at McCormick & Schmicks. It's a 1.95 a plate and the plates are HUUUUGEEE!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Burger King 2 for $2.22.

I know weird title, but hey this fits well with the title to my blog.

I'm still recovering from the Judo Clinic. And this weekend is the Fall Classic/Ladder Tournament. So really I'm on Judo overload. That, and I have watched at least 12-16 hours of judo Olympic feeds. So I just really need a break. Sometimes too much of a good thing is bad. So basically the last few weeks, I've been going, seeing, living and breathing judo. It's great to be immersed, at the same time, I really need a life.

Anyways, tonight's practice was centered on the people competing at the Fall Classic/Ladder Tourney. We did turtle drills, newaza randori, grip fighting, and then standing randori. Afterward we did a throwing line for the competitors.

Practice went by quick. It was over before I knew it. I was really tired, consequently I was a bit more relaxed and my movements were more efficient. In newaza, I was able to get a good bridge on a kesagatame and reveresed it. When I'm trying to pass the guard, I have to be extremely careful of my arm getting caught in an armlock, which it did, a couple of times.

I'm getting better in doing more moves in overturning the turtle. Consequently we still need to practice transitions. At the Neil Adams Camp, Neil emphasized transistions to newaza as an important part of the game. You have to be decisive and deliberate to show progress. Did a lot of drills at the camp in fighting the turtle position quickly to show progress.

Anyways, with grip fighting I'm getting better. I have a relaxed, yet controlling grip. However, just like Wile E. Coyote, once I got the grip, I have no idea what to do with it. I just need to do drills of throwing from the grip. Right now, I do this.

1. Fight for grip.
2. Get Grip.
3. Adjust my grip to my favorite grip.
4. Attempt a throw and not follow through.
5. Attempt the SAME throw again.
6. And Again.
7. Repeat Steps 1-6.

Seriously that is some very predictable actions that telegraph my next move to my opponent.

It should be this:

1. Grip and throw.

I make things way to complex, seriously, now looking at it. It's fairly simple, where it really boils down to one fluid movement.

Hmmm.. time to do laundry and take a shower.

Oh. And yes, I did get the 2 for $2.22, I wolfed it down after practice. I should stop doing that.

Lake Washington Rain

It was raining. Thundering. I called Chana to see if practice was canceled. She said, "nope... only cancel it for lightning or white caps..." So... practice was on like Donkey Kong.

We did some race pieces. It rained. It was good we kept on paddling as that kept us warm. Surprisingly, the lake was fairly warm.

I was using more of a leg drive and hip movement and could feel the power in my stroke. At least for my left side, I'm getting better.

It was rather uneventful or uninspired, it was a dreary day and practice was practice. The race will be on in 2 weeks, so we'll see.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Whidbey - Neil Adams Judo Clinic

Aaron, Neil, Jake and Myself.

Marti Malloy ('07 US National Champion) and Neil Adams ('81, '83 World Champ, '80 & '84 Silver Medalist Olympics)

Just came back from 3 days of Judo.

A lot of techniques shown. Lots of drills to do to take back to the dojo. I can't quite remember it all. It was a lot of fun. But my body is just beat. I got to meet a lot of people. Great people and just great attitudes all around. There were some other prominent judo figures floating around, but everyone was just humble and down to earth. They were just accessible and I had the chance to randori with Neil and Marti. It was really cool to see how judo is performed at that high of a level.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mediocre Bowl

This afternoon after Neil Adams Clinic was Bowling. Judo players aren't good bowlers. Seriously.

It's 8PM. And already back home. Yep. Wild and crazy I tell you. 2 days of Judo 4 hours a day and I'm beat. I know 4 hours a day doesn't sound much, but I'm tired.

I'm going to watch the Olympics and veg out. I'll post a bit later.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I haven't played racquetball in about a year. Booked a reservation at Bally's in Renton. Played with Katherine who is a 3.5 in tennis. She hasn't really played racquetball all that much.

We had some awesome rallies. Final Score was 2 games to 1. She picked up the pace rather quickly. We played for about an hour and a half and it was great! I just started remembering my different serves. The Z-Shots. The kill shots. The Corner Shots. The Lobs. And the dreaded left back corner serve. She had some cool ace serves to the left back corner. And her forte' was the drop shot to the front wall. She has a lot of finesse.

My right knee was still bothering me, but it was fine. I wasn't running as much and it really forced me to think tactically, my court position, and pure efficiency. I'd just hate to run for the sake of running you know?

Overall it was a lot of fun.

Then my friend Amy invited me to come to her boxing class at the SPD Training Facility. It was a super nice facility with a nice rubber surface for the striking portion. Not too grippy, but has enough give for different striking techniques. Various training bags. Heavy Bags and Muay Thai Bags. They have a few training dummies and a Wing Chung wooden trainer. They have a cool competition mat area for grappling with brand new zebra mats.

The class was rather informal and it was very chill. We did some basic warm-ups. And then we started with footwork drills. We moved onto basic jabs and crosses. Then added a few more strikes/blocks/fades and step asides. We then did a muay thai clinch with knee strikes and a push with a punch/side kick combo. It was a lot of fun. It was pads, and we did about a total of 12 3-minute rounds with each round alternating pads/gloves. I really think my judo/jujutsu randori has helped me in my stamina as I wasn't really gassed during the punching part of the drill, or perhaps Amy was taking it easy on me. I did end up pushing Amy just a bit as a stream of expletives came out of her mouth as I kept on flashing a jab, then a jab/cross combo over and over again. It was an overall fun workout, that was a lot of fun. At the end of class we did some conditioning, mainly sit-ups. 50 crunches, and 25 left/right elbow knee crunches. My left ribcage still hurt from Monday, so I couldn't really get my left elbow to my right knee. We then did hold your partner's ankles and lift you legs up to touch the hands drill. And the hands were positioned that not only you lifted your legs, but you had to lift your hips off the deck. We did 20 of these.

It was a lot of fun. I had a great time, and I do miss my boxing/muay thai workouts. I'd have to get back into it. It's just that I don't have a lot of time, and hopefully this Wednesday workout with Amy becomes a regular thing.

So then my right knee was starting to really bother me, after I removed the tape after class. Taped up it was fine. Without it, it just didn't have the support. I just have to lay low on it. And going to the doctor will just mean, getting it looked at and then recommending ice and motrin. If it bothers me next week, then that's another story.

So, with that. I stopped by a store to pick up some water and head over to Seattle Jujutsu to watch the class. My knee was still bothering me. I went over there to watch. There were 2 new faces in class. And the familiar ones. Ah the technique of the night was working on hizagatame. Some more technical pointers, such as the feet on the scapula works better than knee on hip. One of the things I noticed was the rolling of the hips to apply pressure, rather than just closing your knees. Also cupping the elbow with your hand helps to locate the elbow and apply pressure on it.

The rest of the night was spent in randori. I just watched some sweeps, reversals, shrimps, and the normal randori stuff. It was good to watch a bit as I noticed how people moved to try to keep a steady base. A common theme seems to be control of the hips. If you control the hips either from the guard or in the guard, you can either pass the guard or have control the person in your guard. Hmmn, just an observation.

Anyways, it was an overall fun day. Although I do need to take some more motrin for my knee. My knee is just throbbing. Cool thing is that I no longer feel pain in my left ribs, either that or my knee pain eclipses my rib pain. I do sometimes feel some pain in my right shoulder due to the upper bicep tendon tenderness. I think I just need to soak in a hot tub for awhile.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday Practice

Last Night's practice was standard practice. I think everyone is taking it easy because the Neil Adams Clinic is this weekend. Thursday - Sunday. So that'll be 4 days of judo. I'm debating whether to go there Thursday, because, I'm still sore.

I still couldn't sleep last night due to my left ribs. I still think it's bruised and can't really roll over. My right knee is a bit tweaked because of randori last night. Probably from a kouchi, osoto, ouchi or something. Right upper bicep is still sore when I move my arm to the inside. And just the normal wear and tear from training.

I took it relatively easy, and my standing techniques definitely improved. There's something to be said by being relaxed. I just felt bruised last night and when you're bruised you move rather efficiently. I didn't feel winded as much last night, perhaps mainly I sat out every third round.

After Monday's BJJ experience, I'm starting to appreciate Judo's stand-up game. Don't get me wrong, I love newaza; However when somebody that is much bigger in size rolls with you in newaza and knows what they are doing, it's going to hurt. I do have decent pins and can do newaza. However, newaza is not my forte' at the moment. I study BJJ and jujutsu for that reason, to improve my ground game and to feel comfortable.

The stand up judo has merit, as it equalizes the size differential. Being a smaller guy in stand up randori is actually easier as I can get in with a lower base. I'm more compact and can get under people's center of gravity and throw them. I really don't mind fighting bigger guys in stand up judo because of that reason. Newaza is a bit different as strength/flexibility matters quite a bit on the ground.

Then again, my dojo is a grinder, which I like. I mean there are about typically a dozen black belts at practice with 4-6 non-black belts a night. The cool thing about it is that all the black belts randori and not just walk around the mat. We get one technique in the night and the rest is randori.

The technique of the night was the same juji roll that we were going over. This time the focus was on the rotation of the arm to break the lock for a good armbar. I'm getting my rollovers, better and better. It's still sloppy and needs work, but it's getting there.

I think with the Neil Adams Clinic and the Fall Classic so close everyone is tapering off. Which is cool I gotta go light next week, which will be good as I need to rest my body a bit.

I can't wait to go to Spokane for the Fall Classic and see some great judo. Cool thing is that I'm just part of the "technical staff" mainly I can "technically" move one swain mat from the truck to the gym floor. I'm sure I'll be doing some other things; hopefully something very mundane and doesn't involve too much brain power.

Neil Adams Clinic starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.

Here's a video.

OH MY GOODNESS. Now I just watched that video. And a big light bulb has lit up inside my dim head. No wonder that's been the technique of the month at the dojo. Practicing it over and over and over. It makes sense now. It's Neil's signature move. Now I can't wait to go to the clinic.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I want my baby back ribs...

Yeah, I want to go to Chili's and have some ribs. They sound delicious right about... now.

Last night I stopped by BJJSeattle. Rodrigo is really cool and allowed me to workout in his randori session that night. I missed the beginning class earlier, so this was basically an open mat session with different objectives. The last part of the night was just purely open mat.

The newaza practice was practicing from the closed guard, half guard, and side control position, to try to get the dominant position for a submission. I still need to work on my guard sweeps. I did manage a few. My guard defense and offense is severely lacking. BJJ practitioners practice the guard a lot. Judo is about making instant progress towards a pin or a sub, so if you have a high probability attack in judo on the ground y0u take it. Also most pins/subs in judo are set up after a throw, so transition is important. Again, my current guard defense is basically a stalling maneuver, enough to get a matte call to get stood back up. I can do a hizagatame, sankaku or a sweep if my opponent leaves himself open for that. Otherwise my bag of tricks on the ground is fairly limited; especially in the guard whether in offense or defense. The thing is, once I do pass the guard into side control or north/south, I'm fairly proficient in locking down the pin. That I can do and maneuver so the bottom can't shrimp/post/bridge his way out. Now what I need to work on is transitioning from the pin to pin and pin to submission.

Now BJJ, the objectives are a bit different. You spend a lot more time on the ground. During the whole hour and a half was all newaza. It was an eye opener, and I felt great being able to practice more newaza with a lot different people. The cool thing about Rodrigo is that he kept the practice moving and the objectives in focus. Once the guard was passed, it was reset. It's cool, as it keeps it from going stale and flailing around on the mat doesn't increase your experience nor knowledge.

Closed Guard - Defense: I need to control the hips/hands/arms. Watch out for people who gets their shoulders underneath your legs. This allows them to roll you. I was trying to do a sankaku to trap one arm and get my legs around the neck for a triangle choke, the thing was, I didn't have control of the trapped arm.

Closed Guard - Offense: I have to be careful about posting my arm towards my opponent. Or grabbing around the waist, it's easy to become trapped and get into an omo plata. I'm more careful now about armlocks. I still need to work on my guard passes. So far, I only can really execute two guard passes. 1. Knee in butt. 2. Legs on shoulders and roll.

Half Guard - Defense. I need to work on this. From here, I should do sweeps.

Half Guard - Offense. I'm getting better at this. Since I can do ude-garami from the halfguard, going on an attack for ude garami gives me that distraction needed for me to pass to a mount or side control. Usually, I can get from half guard to side control. And from side control, I can get to my favorite pin, North South or Kami Shiho.

Side Control - Offense. I was trying to go from side control to a juji, but I still need more control. I also tried to go from yoko shiho (side control) to an ude-garami which would be easier, again I just need more control. My pin was tight, however, but I still need to get a submission. I guess in BJJ the pin is part of the transition to the objective and not one of the primary objectives as in Judo. I accidentally tore my uke's gi, as I grabbed on tight to the gi skirt for the hold down.

Side Control - Defense. This was an exhausting exercise. It was a good exercise to get yourself out of the pin. It's tough. I was shrimping/bridging/rolling. I still need to just work on it.

At the end there was a purely open mat session. It was fun. At the end of the night, I sparred with a 6'2", 260lbs, solid, ex-college wrestler. Let's just say, this was the first time, in my martial arts training that I was squished. He was the windshield and I was the bug. At 205 lbs and 5'7" I'm not a svelte guy. However, I was truly overwhelmed. His takedown to kesa was just powerful. My ribs still hurt this morning. And when I rolled over in my sleep, last night, my ribs just plain hurt! After breakfast, I'm going to grab some more motrin.

Oh and the bruise of the night is: Left shin area bruise. This one is a nice shiner. I think I got this when someone was trying to do a guard pass or something like that.

Conclusion: I need to work on my conditioning. I need to work on my strength. I then need to work on my techniques. Windshield Guy just proved to me that strength on strength doesn't quite work. Even though I'm strong, there's always someone out there bigger and stronger than me. I have to use my strength and technique together. You need both, without strength, you can't execute a good controlled technique; and brute strength doesn't get you anywhere with a knowledgeable opponent. Windshield guy gave me some more pointers on the initial clinch from the ground. Coming from a college wrestling background, windshield guy's game is really from the initial clinch to take down. I did pick up some pointers, namely keeping myself compact and using my stocky build to my advantage. I just need to work on it some more.

Now for some comic relief. Somebody forwarded this to me. It's on you tube. I think people who practice bjj/judo/jujutsu/wrestling will find this funny.