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.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Okuriere

Traffic. Seattle. Sunday afternoon. Who knew? Seriously, I listened to KOMO 1000 news traffic update 4 times before I got to practice. Now it's only physically 15 miles from the dojo to my house. It took me 40+ minutes to get there! I was going to be a bit late, but I was seriously late. Still had an hour and a quarter of workout done at Seattle Jujutsu, but late nevertheless.

I do need to take it easy, but for some odd reason I'm compelled to take more and more martial arts. If I'm not practicing (such as last Monday/Tues/Wednesday) I'm actually checking out dojos. And I have seen quite a few dojos in Seattle. I've seen the West Seattle Martial Arts School on Wednesday and the Seattle Kung Fu Club on Friday afternoon.

Actually to make a list, here are the Seattle Dojos I have visited:

Budokan Seattle - Judo
Seattle Dojo - Judo
Seattle Jujutsu - Judo/Sambo/Jujutsu/Grappling
Zenyu Dojo - Judo/Defensive Tactics
West Seattle Martial Arts - Okinawan Karate/Basic Self Defense Judo Techniques
Evergreen Tang Soo Do - Tang Soo Do
Lee's Martial Arts - Tae Kwon Do
Aikido of West Seattle - Aikido
Seattle Kung Fu Club - Kung Fu (Don't know which lineage)
Tenzan Aikido - Aikido/BJJ
Marcelo Alonso BJJ - BJJ/Boxing/Kickboxing
Rodrigo Lopez BJJ - BJJ
Ring Sports United - BJJ/Muay Thai/Boxing
Guru Johnson's Gym (Don't know the exact name) - FMA (Now defunct, Johnson went to Hollywood to become a stuntwoman)
Shaolin Kung Fu Group (Practices at Hiawatha) - Kung Fu

I digress. Tonight's technique of the night was oku-ire-jime. I'm not that good with this choke, as it's hard to apply. I'd rather apply hadaka-jime or the rear naked choke. Perhaps, because you don't have to search for the gi. Oku-ire-jime (sliding sleeve choke) is still a hard choke to apply.

Photo Credit:

Did this from the standard position with person behind you. Then from the hi4/turtle.
Then we did newaza randori with 2 minute rounds. I think I sat in for 8 rounds or so with various people. Then practiced some newaza randori with BJJ guy after class.

One guy that I did roll around with a couple of times was a bit new. He's also a lot smaller, so he's a bit feisty. I think he needs to relax more. I could see it, that he's just not comfortable yet, and hangs on for dear life. There are some techniques in randori that just get to a stalemate, and either attack or open up, so that techniques can be practiced and learned. We just got into a stalemate, which is fine; however it doesn't improve on our technique. I just need to work on my guard passes. When he gets me into the half guard he just clamps down on my half guard leg so hard. I'm just careful that I don't fuck up my knee, which can be easily done if he clamps on hard and twists. I'm very cognizant of that. Then for the choke, he does a good thing and controls my hips with his feet. However he squeezed hard with those legs on my hips. OW! It's all good. I just think that with him weighing about 130 lbs (soaking wet) more like 120 lbs, and myself weighing 205 lbs. that he gets a bit antsy. I just don't really like fighting tiny guys. Usually I'm the smaller and more compact guy in fights. Granted I'm not svelte at 5'7" and 205 lbs. but I'm usually one of the smaller guys in a dojo. I'm also used to fighting the 100Kg+ guys. They're more predictable. He's the smallest guy that I randori with. He just needs to calm down more. He's a good guy and means very well. I'm just not used to fighting with him, and I'm EXTRA careful with him so I don't injure myself. I think he'll do well, once he gets more techniques down so he can do a finishing move in randori rather than fighting to a stalemate. Sometimes, I let him have something after the halfguard. He doesn't try to get back to a full guard. He just stays there in the halfguard and clamps down. Do a sweep? An armlock? Transition to a full guard? But please don't clamp down on my knee and stay there.

I've talked to him a bit and he listens, which is cool. We'll see what happens. As always. Protect yourself at all times. And of course the major tenet of judo: Mutual Benefit and Welfare. Protect you and your partner. I just want to make sure that I can walk the next day and not have major knee injuries.

Anyways, it was an interesting practice today. Oh and I talked to Adalia today, which was so cool. We talked about how gi's get so stinky so quickly. I wash mine every day, if you must know. I have two double-weave gis, and they're starting to show their wear. I have two old gi's that need pant bottoms, which I need to order from hatashita sports. The cool thing is that I'll get two more pant bottoms, and one more blue gi. That should bring my total gis to 2 competition gis (blue and white). 2 Dojo gis (with the new pants that need to be ordered) and 1 new blue gi! So that will be a total of 5. And I can rotate through my two old gi's for training. One is a doubleweave and the other a singleweave. The singlweave is nice for training in the summer. Right now I'm using my competition gis, and they're starting to get ripped. They're perfectly sized and fits me very well and are within regulation. Once I get the new pants and blue gi I can use those for training.

I'm excited for the upcoming Neil Adams Clinic. Hopefully Hatashita Sports can fly over my new gis before then, as I don't want to have stinky gis for the 4 day clinic. I think I can map out laundromats in Whidbey so I can wash my gis everyday. Washing the gi is a MUST.

Anyways, I'm off to bed. I still need to really plan out my training schedule other than judo, so I can seriously lose some poundage. I'm floating at 205 lbs. and I think I'm at a plateau .


So Friday at Zenyu Dojo I met Gabe, who invited Matt & I to Saturday's Defensive Tactics Class. I showed up quarter to 9 the next day at Zenyu Dojo and Gabe introduced me to Butch and Don. Don is the founder of Arrestling and he does some practical training for LE.

We did some work with target acquisition from the ground, while maintaining distance from your opponent. Then we worked on ground work. We worked on the crucifix hold. Then we worked on protecting from the guard position from strikes and striking from the guard, mount, and side control position. This was quite new to me as I never practiced strikes on ground work before. The majority of time through judo, jujutsu and submission wrestling (pretty much the same thing) has been dominance of control, positioning, and then a submission.

Striking puts a new angle on things. Things that I commonly felt comfortable in left me vulnerable to strikes. And strikes puts a new angle in self defense. Not that judo doesn't teach you self defense, but it's more of a sport. Akin to the boxer, never worrying about low strikes or throws. A grappler is not used to strikes. Getting hit/stunned on the ground was a new experience for me. It was cool as it was light-medium contact. Enough to know that you have a vulnerability open and that it's good to be aware of these vulnerabilities.

Case in point is the groin. In most sports, groin punching is not usually allowed and therefore not thought of; and consequently not defended actively. Granted I always turn during an uchimata throw as I just don't want to get hit in the 'nads. Same thing with a failed tomoe nage or a guard pass. The thing is you can (usually) seen when a disturbance in the force is going to happen; and so turn/move/avoid it. Now it's another thing in a Defensive Tactics class where your opponent doesn't know nor care about the rules; this is in fact a place where there are no rules.

Don was an awesome teacher and it was cool to actually learn from his class. I may stop in and try the class again sometime when my Saturdays are free. Don has a background in judo, wrestling and some other martial arts.

Anyways it was fun and a different change of pace.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Apparently Safeway peas makes the best ice pack. Today I'm just icing my right shoulder because it's sore and perhaps well I shouldn't push it too hard. Yep that's a picture of peas. And a postcard "miss your sweat" from Ring Sports United. I haven't been there in 4 months? Perhaps 5 months? I'd like to go there but I just can't afford the $100+ tuition a month and to top it off it's in Bellevue. Fighting Bellevue traffic is not something I enjoy.

Well that's besides the point. I digress. Safeway Peas are great and Icing my shoulder is good. It's just a precaution, not something that happened, I'm still recovering from the time I pulled my upper right bicep tendon on Sunday.

So tonight, I stop by Zenyu Dojo. It's a cool place next to the warehouse. A huge mat space, weight room and changing rooms. Gabe had the keys and let me in. I got to practice with Gabe, Nate and Matt? I'm horrid with names. He's a 210 lbs. guy that's a black belt. We started doing throwing drills on the crash-pad. I love crash-pads. I don't think we train enough on them. Just doing a throwing line allows you to do more a follow through than moving uchikomi. I got to do osoto-gari with a follow through, which was quite fun. I also practiced on my left side morote seio. I need to get it tighter.

Then of course randori. Randori was fun. We did 3-4 rounds of standing randori with 2? or 3 minute rounds. Then we did newaza randori afterwards for 3 continuous rounds per person and people jumping in when it's their turn. I worked on some guard sweeps and reversals. It was fun to roll around with different people.

Oh, and the technique of the night was the British Strangle. We worked on this for quite a bit. I have done this done to me in randori as recently as yesterday. It was actually good to work on it tonight. It was quite fun.

I like the chill atmosphere and I had a lot of fun. I'd have to visit more often.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Smog Alert

Today the air was thick as anything. I could hardly breathe. It was just plain hot and it's still 82 degrees and the air is not moving. I know 80 something degrees at night might not seem much, but hello this is after all Seattle! Seattle doesn't get hot and stuffy and no one has air conditioning anyways.

So today was the first day I practiced after I tweaked my right shoulder. It should be fine. And it was. I took it a bit easy. Shoulder still hurts a bit after practice. Nothing that ice and motrin can't fix.

The technique of the day was the juji roll, the weave and try to get oseakomi in between the weave so you don't get stood up. My juji roll from the turtle was getting better, which was cool. The trick is maintaining control between the juji, the roll, and back to the juji and try to get the juji down.

Then we got to the randori part of the practice. The newaza randori was good, I was just getting dominated. I still need to move faster. I was caught in a few armlocks, chokes and pins. I still need to work on it. There was one newaza that I did okay, I was able to get to a pin, then he got me in a halfguard, at which point I was able to apply udegarami on his left arm. The rest of the time, I still need to work on my base, and escapes from the turtle. I did have a chance to do a randori round with Mario, who is a friend of Johnny's who just recently came back to the dojo. Mario was on the Brazilian Greco-Roman wrestling team and also did some Jujitsu back in Brazil. He was quick and he got 5-6 armlocks and a choke within the 3 minute round. It was good to roll with someone with that good of a base.

Did about 4-5 rounds of standing randori, which I don't really remember much, as I was gasping for air. I was trying to find something to breathe. I felt like I was underwater. I really need to work on my conditioning.

I spent too much of the night eating mat. Here's a picture.

The sad thing, this is just normal. I'm just having fun right now watching the Heavyweight fights on the Olympics. I swear these live events is cutting into my sleep. Tomorrow, don't know if I want to take it easy or go step it up. I'm still watching out for my shoulder. My shoulder should be fine, but I'm going to keep a close eye on it. I don't want to be sitting out for awhile. A week or two is not going to kill me and should help in my recovery.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday Night Photos

So I was at Budokan on Tuesday Night. I can't practice since I have to lay off my right shoulder. Instead I brought along my camera. It'd be actually cool to watch practice, well since, I hardly watch it because I am IN practice.

Dave was also there and was working on the laptops to stream in judo from the Olympics. In the middle of practice, we stopped practice and everyone huddled around to watch Ronda win her match quickly!

We actually ended up taking a judo portrait of the class. Not everyone was there as it's summertime and a lot of people are out and about doing one thing or another. Here's some pictures from the night.

And here's some more with standing techniques.

Regence is awesome and 800 mg Motrin

So Monday morning I feel a nasty pain on my right shoulder after icing it all night on Sunday. At 10:00 I called Regence (my insurance carrier) and Debbie x4856 at Regence told me I could go to the Ballard Sports Medicine Clinic to check out one of their Doctors, since they are a PPO.

At 10:07, I called Amanda at the Sports Medicine Clinic, pleaded my case and said she'll see what she can do and call me back. At 10:15, she got me an appointment for 2:00 PM. As in less than 4 hours from now. She is just awesome! Not only was this any appointment, but this was an appointment with Dr. Hsu who is an Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in shoulder injuries. I was in luck!

At 13:45. I checked in with the front desk, filled out paperwork and by13:50 I was done. At exactly 14:00 I was seen by a nurse who did preliminaries. She then referred me to the X-Ray tech on staff who took four X-rays of my shoulder. At 14:20 I was seen by Dr. Hsu. He looked at the X-Rays and made the diagnosis. His diagnosis was that I don't have any serious injuries in my right shoulder. Thank Goodness! He did some other tests and said that I pulled my upper right bicep tendon. I should rest, ice it and take ibuprofen. He told me to take 4 days off from working out and then gradually work out and see how it works. Light at first, and work up to full intensity by the end of next week. If things deteriorate, do a follow up. However I should be fine!

At 14:30 I was out of the clinic. Done! This was the most efficient phone call to specialist that I've seen in awhile. Also should I need Physical Therapy they have it on site at the Ballard Sports Clinic. It's a pretty cool thing to know that my insurance carrier can take care of things rather quickly.

Monday, August 11, 2008


So the technique of the day at Seattle Jujutsu was hizagatame. Worked on the finer details on this armbar. Armbars is all about techniques and finesse, well since injury can or may occur. We're very gentle and always have good control. It is after all, the "Gentle Art."

We also worked on transitions. This was great, as we hardly do training in transitions. We usually do tachi-waza or newaza, but hardly ever work on transitions from standing to the ground with control. I worked on morote seio to kamishiho. And Osoto to kesa.

It was an overall good day at the dojo. Although I was feeling it. I taped my left toe (hangnail). I taped my right ankle (general soreness). At the end of the night I was icing my right shoulder. Don't know how I tweaked it, but it sucked.

Spent the rest of the day watching the olympics at It's so awesome to have streaming video of judo.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hot Sake!

Saturday was practice with Hot Sake. They have a different start piece and their race rhythm is much faster than ours.

They did 30 penne strokes as their race starts as opposed to our 6 x 16's. It's much faster, although the transition from the penne strokes to full race pace is much different.

Then we did 4 race pieces on the left side and 4 race pieces on the right side. I like the race pieces as they are a nice 3-5 minute sprint.

I was exhausted afterwards. Then I tried one of those Vivanno latte's at Starbucks afterwards. It was tasty and good.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I've been hitting it fairly hard. My body this morning felt like it got ran over by a truck. 800mg Ibuprofen is my friend. I've got bruises here and there.
I just get bruises. Don't know. Perhaps eat a banana or two? I'm just going to take a break. These are just little finger marks that pock my body. Oh and there are more, but I'd spare you the visuals.

I still got some flab. Need to workout more, actually adhere to a program than haphazardly going to judo/jujutsu practice 4 times a week and dragon boating once a week. Weights? Running? Cycling? Swimming? Don't know. I just need to cram more stuff. Friday is usually my recovery day as Saturday I sometimes do fairly physical activities like hiking or the like. Sunday is jujutsu night again.

I'm enjoying today. I'm doing absolutely nothing and it's all that I ever thought it would be. (Shamelessly stolen from "Office Space")

I weighed 204.5 lbs with 27.5% fatty on my Tanita Scale. I think I'm getting some tone, but need to get better. At least I wasn't Jabba the Huttesque like I was at the end of winter. Wow that was some fattyness. When you can't fit into your tailored suit and insist on wearing a Hawaiian Shirt, well then, that's when I realized, I've gone too far into the fat and need to shed some loving.

Yes, there's less of me to love, more or less as I weighed in close to 235 lbs at the end of winter. I started working out to slim down and got down to 220 lbs for the Western Washington Tournament in June. Then I stepped it up a notch and my walking weight is 205lbs. I just need to walk around at 195 lbs and I'd be happy. I'm losing about 15 lbs every two months, or roughly 2 lbs. a week. Again, my goal is to fight at 90kg in the fall. (Not the Fall Classic, the fall season).

I think I may still try to go for a swim and hang out at the pool/jacuzzi and watch the Olympics on the big screen at AllStar Fitness. They have the most awesome TV and Cable/Sports Packages in the locker room and in the Atrium.

For now, I'm going to just chill, get organized and relax.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ude Garami & Summer Heat

Well another hot day in the sun. I was driving by a car-wash fund raising for some animal shelter or something like that. This picture is just here, well, to illustrate how hot the day was, and that I'm more than happy to support a good cause.

I digress, I'm sure you're dying to know what the technique of the day was? Yes?

So, it's ude garami, or side wrap, or how you bend your arm into an L and twist. This time it was shown from a side control or from a half guard position. As always, passing the guard is always a pain, and there is a transition into half guard to the mount that is always tough. A lot of people crank down on the half guard, holding on for dear life. I like the ude garami from the half guard. It's theoretically fairly simple and effective.

Newaza was abbreviated. Did four 3 minute rounds? Grant, Jake, Jenna, Andy and Steve. It was fun to work with Jenna although it was funny that she was letting me get a bunch of armlocks, which was quite unusual. I was teaching her reversals from kesagatame and we worked on that for a bit. I was able to get the technique of the day on Andy during the last 20 seconds of the newaza randori. Took me awhile, but I finally got there. I need to work on my base, the guard passes and not getting caught in a turtle. Conversely, I was making progressive attacks with the juji rollover, with the hardest attack getting the inside arm to roll into a juji-rollover. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, just need more work.

Tachiwaza was with Jake, Aaron and Andy 2x. Likewise practice was shorter due to the annual baseball game, so the usual suspects weren't there. I tend to push people forward while doing a backward throw, which negates my advantage. If I push forward I should attack with O soto, kouchi, ouchi, or a leg/ankle pick. If I pull back, then I should do seio, kata, harai, uchi mata or ogoshi. I was attacking more and more. Again, I was just having commitment issues. I guess I'm so used to them not working that I'm not following through, just making the attack and not following through it. I have to FOLLOW THROUGH. I must commit to the throw. Overall, my rate of attack to passivity is increasing. I do tend to attack more, and less of the half-assed attacks. My grip is getting better, and no longer have the grip fights that happen. I no longer putter around when I do have my grip, I just act. It's getting better and I'm noticing an improvement albeit small; an improvement nevertheless.

Ah it's this little joys in improvement, getting better, and the realization that some of the techniques "actually works." I know shocking. I'm learning to be more centered and be aware. Still I've got a long ways to go. It's the things that doesn't make it stale that compels me to practice more.

Same Side Grip with Elena

Tonight, I practiced at Seattle Jujutsu. It was a sweltering day, for Seattle, and it was already hot and sticky even before going into the dojo. At least the fans were running and the music blaring. I stretched out, warmed up then practiced uchikomis. I got to practice some uchikomis with Elena and she has an awesome domineering grip. She also got quick reversals/combos that were fast. I tried to learn some from her and it was really cool. She showed me a defense for the overhand grip where you hook your arm over their arm and turn, and sacrifice throw. I need to practice it a bit more to get the hang of it.

Anyways, the technique of the night was an armbar from the butterfly guard. This was hizagatame or Knee hold. For this armbar you are using the same side hand and your hips (via the knee on the elbow and foot on their ribcage) to apply pressure to the elbow joint. Did this quite a few times, gotten a good hold of it.

Then we got into newaza randori. First guy was cool, he got me on an armbar the first half. The second half, I had more gas, and was able to move more quickly; where I got the dominant position. From there I was able to get a few pins, and a good armbar. I was finally able to get the armbar that I've been working on at Budokan for the last few weeks; which was cool.

Second guy I went into newaza randori just simply dominated me. I need to work on my reversals and escapes. I did some decent reversals. He did a great guard sweep that was really good. He had a good base, I also need to move more quickly in the mat and keep looking up. I tend to hunch down and not have good posture. I have to look up and get the inside grip. I also have to work on my guard. But that's another story altogether. I just need to be more flexible, have more gas and have better posture. Simply put, I just need to work out more.

Then I did some tachi-waza with Elena. She's got really cool sacrifice throws, seios, leg picks and ankle picks. I was telegraphing like crazy. It's hard to get under someone who is much smaller than you. She weighs -48kg so is probably half my weight and she is barely 5 foot tall. I tried to work with drop seios or drop kata gurumas or leg/ankle picks. Again she can see these a mile away. I tried some deashi harai, kouchi, ouchi and harai gosh. It was hard to get underneath her. Especially hip throws, which wasn't going to work. My ouchi/kouchi were lumbering in comparison to her super fast lithe frame. She told me that I tend to push people around, which caught me in a few throws, as I was already providing the kuzushi for them. Anyways that randori session with her taught me a lot of things, and it was just fun. She had an awesome same side grip that was unbreakable and she would be relentless in her attacks.

We just did some cool downs (meaning laying on the mat and vegging out) and chilled and shot the breeze. Overall a good practice night.

Came back home and it's still over 80 degrees inside. It's hot, wicked hot and sweltering in Seattle. I'm taking a shower and going to bed.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stepping up a notch

I really feel that with the looming Fall Classic and Ladder Tournament, the practice sessions at Budokan are stepping up a notch. Mind you, still safe, but just a bit harder training. I think everyone is going to go lighter about a week or two before the tournament, and so now is the time to go hard.

The technique of the night was the juji roll from a turtle. The same one that's been taught the last few weeks/month. This time, the emphasis was on jamming your knee on your opponents ear and use their head as leverage. You control the head, you can roll them. It's all about control; and jamming your knee on their ear is part of that. I got some knees to both my left and right ears. My ears are fairly tough, so no cauliflower ear. I say that now, and watch my ear is just going to get cauliflower-ed the next time I step on the mat. I actually managed to do some rolls and get into the arm-bar. I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable with it.

And so we went into newaza. Did some rolls, some guard passes an armbar or two. Of course I got armbarred a lot. Bert got me into a few unusual armbars that I never saw coming. It was fun. I'm getting more and more proficient with guard passes which is cool. I just got to be faster on the mat and look up. I guess as always it comes down to conditioning. Did Newaza with Phil, Gary, Bert, Istvan, Andy and Kurt. Newaza was 3 minute rounds. So did six 3 minute rounds.

Then we did standing randori. I didn't notice it but they changed the standard 3 minute rounds into actual tournament 5 minute rounds. Ouch! 5 Minute rounds was just a beatdown. I did 3 5 minute rounds: Jake and Phil (2x). I puked in the garbage can after randori with Jake. I did the standard 3 minute round and the last 2 minutes I was simply gassed. Nothing. It's funny when your conditioned on 3 minute round randori that the last 2 minutes of a 5 minute round you've got: Nothing. I was searching for some strength, gas, anything. My gas tank was at empty. I just did the motions to survive the round. Survive I did, albeit sloppily. I simply didn't walk away. Waiting for 110 seconds for the 10 second beep, and the final beep beep of the end of the round was like waiting for your number to be called at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

I simply need to practice more. The 2nd one with Phil was more about showing technique so was a bit more technical. I learned quite a bit on that one. Phil showed me how to neutralize my pulling hand (my right) by simply moving. I tend to throw a lot on the left. All my techniques come from the left side. (Don't know why, it's just is, even though I'm right handed) I felt really lost when my pulling hand was neutralized. Well a lot of people just give me their left side and so I can always do something.

Anyways, after practice, I was gassed. And then we did the dojo shuttle runs. Three 4-minute intervals. I was weezing and gasping for air. It was a pretty sad sight. Phil said, "Don't worry, this is good for you, you'll feel better afterwards..." Why is it that when someone says, "This is good for you..." that it involves a lot of sweat and pain on my part. Flashback: Coach Butch Britton, the cross-country coach telling me, "Today run bleachers, this will be good for you..." And every time someone says, "This will be good for me..." that I feel like puking afterwards?

So another fun day doing the "Gentle Way." Yay. Joy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday Night Paddle

Hmmmnnn.. Paddling. Yeah. I paddled. We did race pieces. I put into practice all the things I learned from the stroke clinic the day before. I did more of a leg drive and oblique workout, which is cool, means I'm actually using my full body to paddle. My obliques were sore afterwards. Oh, we paddled south past the I-90 bridge. Did 2 race pieces right side. Then 2 race pieces on the way back left side. The paddle back was tiring as we were paddling against the wind. My stroke sucks when I'm tired. There were times when I didn't do the recovery right and splashed everyone in front of me. The cool thing is I have excellent reach. I like the sprints. I do like the race pieces as it's just 3 minutes of pure exertion. I can do 3 minutes. Longer, not so much.

This will be short. I was tired afterwards. Had some pho. Love pho, especially after paddling as it warms you right up. When the sun sets on Lake Washington it gets mighty cold. Fast.

After Pho. I stopped by Seattle Dojo to watch some judo. They did some armbar drills, some light randori. And of course the staple of Seattle Dojo: Ukemi. They just have the most beautiful ukemi. I think it's the hallmark of Seattle Dojo. The Ukemi is just great they practice it all the time. Anyways, they found my Black Hawkeye hat that I forgot at the dojo. I was looking all over the place for that thing. Luckily it was just there and was able to wear it home. I just like the Hawkeyes and they have an awesome wrestling team. If I were to go back to grad school, I'm seriously considering U-Iowa. It's such a great school and the campus was just great. The midwest is just cool to boot.

I've been often enough at Seattle Dojo that they may make me practice the next time I go there. One of the senseis were asking when I'll be at practice and not watch. Anyways, I already practice Tuesdays/Thursdays at Budokan. And will be practicing at Seattle Jujutsu on Sundays and every other Wednesday. Adding a Monday Practice will not be smart as I'm usually exhausted from Dragon Boating. Sometimes, it's just fun to watch and take it in. Besides, I'm usually running late, earliest I'll get there is 9:00 PM which wouldn't make sense missing 1/3 of the practice.

So the Seattle Dragon Boat Festival is only a month away. Can't wait to go to my first race. It's going to be super fun!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stroke Clinic

A great day in Lake Union. But before that I did some warm-ups by helping my friend Steve and Andrea move. As always, I'm one of the first people to get called for a move. Don't know why. Perhaps I show up? That's the thing about me, I may not be the best athlete, but I do show up. Almost all the time. The more unpleasant the task, the more likely I'll be there.

And so we did a round at Super Buffet. I don't know what it is that makes you hungry at a buffet. And what do they put in the iced tea? I swear I drank a 3/4 of a pitchers worth of iced tea. I felt mighty heavy after the Super Buffet. But it was super fun.

So, onto the Stroke Clinic. I've been dragon boating now for a couple of months and have been given a rudimentary lesson in how to paddle. Seriously, put paddle in water, pull, how hard could it be? Well apparently, there's a lot to technique, and there was something fundamental that they taught me that day, that applies to a lot of sports.

For example when you throw a ball, you don't lead with the upper body right? You lead with the hips. When you throw a punch, it's from the hips that generates the power. And of course in judo, it's all in the hips.

It's the HIPS! I have a fairly strong upper body, but I don't get everything out of it. The whole paddle, is to move your outboard hip forward and push off with it. It's a linear motion. I gotta work on my stroke. I also over-rotate my upper body, which doesn't really help much as I spend the first half of the paddle, counter-rotating. And so it was a good exercise. It was the first time I got a one-on-one instruction on how to paddle. It was lots of fun. To top it off it's a great day on Lake Union. Lots of people and lots of sea-planes taking off and landing.

After an hour break, enough to get home and get my gi-bag. I head over to Seattle-Jujutsu. It was a normal practice of warm-ups, uchikomi, and randori. Elena Zeitsev who was a World Sombo Champ was there. She is very athletic and it was fun to watch her do acrobatics during warmups. I was lucky enough to do some grip fighting with her. She is quick she had some awesome leg picks and same side grip.

Did some more light randori. For the last half hour of practice or so.

It was normal randori. Nothing too bad. Tweaked my left knee a bit, so sat out the last 15 minutes of class and iced my left knee with some frozen corn.