Monday, March 22, 2010

the more things change the more they play the same

The last couple classes have been good.

Technically, this material should be review for me, but BJJ has a much greater focus on the finer points of positions and submissions than my previous instruction, so it's been very productive.

I'm getting comfortable on the mat again and lasting longer in rolling every day.

I'm not going to pains-takingly restate what is really basic material, but the focus and tone of this class are fixing problems.

More to follow.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Back, again

Well, I found an AM brazilian jiu-jitsu group I can make even with my odd hours and my ankle is deemed sufficiently regenerated for training so I'm back on the mat.

First class was yesterday, we went over kesa escapes and kesa maintenance. Stuff that should have been review, but when you get it straight from the BJJ tree it's a better product and I corrected some flaws.

The new group seems very chill and has a good atmosphere. I'm pretty psyched to keep attending.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back again

Been out of action awhile. Fucked up an ankle.

I'm back and I start a new BJJ class on Monday. I hope it marks the end of my perpetual newbie streak

Saturday, May 23, 2009

YAY + UFC 98

The "Yay" is because I think I found a new fight team.

Here are my pics for UFC 98's main card. The card has been so plauged by injury I'm not going to do much more then a quick look at the main.

Machida, tko, 4th

hughes over serra, boring-ass decision (my heart wants me to be wrong)

sherk over edgar, likewise (Heart also wants me to be wrong)

Fouka-Pokam, tko, rd 3, fight of the night (two strikers, the more developed one ought to come off better)

miller takes an early sub over sonnen. Probably a triangle.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


First real attempt at a workout today. I've been doing some escrima once a week, but that's a weapon art - high theory, low cardio. This was the first day I tried weights since the hospital.



Never get sick people. Never get sick and never get fat. Eat organic and don't party. Fuck'em if they call you a hippy douche buzzkill.

I'm not even going to post the weights. It was a bummer.

We've lost the gym I was happy with. It was not running at a profit and was a passion business for the coach, and he can't afford it with "our troubled times" pinching his day job.

I'm pretty pissed about that. I did find out my old kickboxing instructor is teaching again, and I'm looking forward to revisiting his striking instruction. He's also been cross training in ground fighting, which I hope I can get him to work with me on as well.

Our MMA team may be able to hang together somehow until we can work something up for a roof over our heads, but it's up in the air. It's a product of living in this town. I'm commited to what I'm doing, and I'll move to do it if I have to.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm back

I'm "back" from surgery. Well, I'm sitting up again.

Not everybody I show this blog too knows about my medical history - I have had, for several years now (some of it since childhood) acute sleep apnea, chronic tonsillitis, and associated pneumonia, migraines, insomnia, and narcolepsy.

My count of waking incidents at night was 150 per hour. That means while trying to sleep, just about once every 22 seconds I would move to a lower stage of sleep or wake up altogether. My doctor said I was probably getting a true night of sleep - REM or deeper - once every six months or so. The upshot of this is terrible hallucinations, constant fatigue, and episodes of microsleep at dangerous times such as behind the wheel. Secondarily, my particular apnea was so bad that it was effecting my practice at the gym - I simply couldn't breathe, at all, through my nose and had trouble breathing through my mouth when on my back. Add to this 2-3 months of sick time out to extrenuous colds and tonsilitis and you can see a general health complex outlined that was really fucking up my cabbage patch.

So, finally, after literally decades of fighting this shit, I busted out the credit rating and just went to an Ear, Nose, Throat specialist. He immediately scheduled me for surgery. The thing is, what I'm having trouble expressing here, is that while it was obvious that I has some nasal problems, most of these things, as individual symptoms, were sporadic and minor - enough that at any given time I couldn't just point to "disease x" and lay my problems on it, so compounding the physical issue was a real fear that I was simply a lazy hypochondriac. The doctor's immediate concern and ability to quickly point out, even to me as a lay person, the structural problems in my sinsuses was therefore a huge relief.

I had my tonsils out, adenoids out, turbids cut down, septum reshaped, and my soft palate trimmed and shaped in a 2.5 hour procedure.

There are still stints and packing in my nose so it's a little soon to be certain but I can already feel better airflow and am already getting better sleep.

The sensation of full airflow most people take for granted is almost narcotic to me - for the last few days lying around recovering I've just been sitting, blinking and goggling at how alert I feel and how much more responsive my body seems fully supplied with good ol' o2

Dispite the pain and expense, I know this was the right choice for my fight career and my daily life.

The only downside is I am feeling a new fear of breaking my nose - previously I didn't care, since the thing didn't work anyway.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

So I showed up for a lunchhour judo class and nobody else was there.

Which means, basically, I get a private for the monthly rate.

This is a very handy thing. Obviously, you have the attention of the instructor, and you set the pace...but more importantly, you get to do two things: Find bad habits and tailor material individually.

These are both kind of big deals for me. I'm a pretty big freakin' guy, and not everything developed by small Japanese men works exactly as planned for me.

The lesson went well, the pace was better for me then the usual MMA class, where I don't usually get in a full complement of drills...

Thursday, March 5, 2009


So I went back to the gym on tuesday.

I sucked it up. Still had some fluid in the lungs, had to duck out early, hack it up in the bathroom, then slink home feeling defeated.

That's probably a TMI but welcome to my pretty world.

Yesterday I couldn't get to the gym until halfway through the workout, so I ended up just doing some light weights and some roadwork.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sick boy

I get sick a lot. I have messed up sinus. Genetic, not from getting punched.

I'm right on the cusp of affording to have it corrected. The surgery is scary, but the prospect of actually getting to breathe through my nose unimpeded and the prospect of not getting sick every six weeks have me excited to be on the other side of it.

Hopefully no one from my insurance company will find a way to fuck this up for me, even though they're trying as hard as they can.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


We have a new guy.

New guy is a wrestling jock.

New guy has an issue.

We square off for grappling. He looks at me, and says his first words to me, ever:

"You're going down."

"Well, I've done grappling maybe 6 months, so that shouldn't be too hard for you"

"Well, I'm new too," he says "I've only had one fight."

The guy is wearing a t-shirt that proclaims him to be the assistaint wrestling coach at a local HS.

I roll my eyes inwardly.

Wrestling jocks all come on pretty much the same three ways. Sadly, they're the best three ways, and this guy does dump me, and I land hard with all of our weight on my hands and knees.


I tap out.

He's looking at me, confused, as we stand up. He throws me again. This time he lands in side control, crossfaces with his elbow as hard as he can. I tap out.

"You're tapping out just from that?"

"Yep," I say, "you win. Good job"

We stand back up.

"I'm a wrestler," he says, "I don't give easy sympathy, dude."

OK, this guy, I'm thinking, this guy is something special. 30+ year old guy, works with children, has an outlook/attitude like this.

Fine. I stifle the urge to ask him to box, where I could return the one-sided work, and proceed to show him every clinch stall I learned in my short time in judo, tapping whenever we hit the ground. Whatever. I'm not going to give practice to a guy if he's going to come on like that, and I'm not going to trust him to apply a sub until I understand his personality better.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I call it the Great Wall because Chinese Food played a big part

I'm going to talk for a minute about The Wall.

Not the Floyd album.

The Wall is what you hit when your muscles just run out of ATP in mid motion. If you've got enough food and water in your system, you can avoid the wall for a little bit if your breathing is well synched to your motions.

I'm far better at doing this in stand up fighting. On the ground, I forget that being rolled is a transition that requires breathing and land flat on my back with empty lungs and a guy on top of me. When this happens, your body can run out of fuel in seconds, at least until you can take a deep breath.

It's a terrible feeling, to know that you're paralyzed for a few seconds, that your opponent can rear up and hit you at will.

Relaxation and good breathing come in time, but that doesn't make right now less frustrating.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Maybe I should tout MMA

Hey, I went 7 for 9 in straight picks not bad.

I really, really didn't think Bonner would look that bad. To his credit, dude is made out of concrete and took several shots that would have ended most fights. Jones defiantly beat the odds that made him out to be a feeder and took the spotlight, and I liked watching it far too much to be pissed about my pick.

Parysian vs Kim, well, that one was up in the air really due to their similar games, so I went with the bigger, younger guy figuring all else being equal he'd land on top on the ground a little more, but Parysian did, once again, just enough good things to eke out a decision. Parysian is a hard fighter to like - I personally understand that getting hit sucks and he's found a way to win fights while minimilizing damage, and that is, in a literal sense, the goal of the sport. I try not to come down on good defensive fighters because that's behavior I associate with drunken, annoying brosephs in the ufc audience - the same guys who hoot "knees knees knees" and "Stand'em up" at innappropriate times.

Karo, though, he clearly isn't even working to close - his top ride is a true lay and pray, not something analogous to the unconventional grappling of, say, Guida or Jones that we saw on the same card. Nor is his defense based on baiting and controlling the opponent like Machida. He just surfs, then, in the last half of his last round, you see him come alive and quickly demonstrate some activity to make it clear to the judges he was the slightly busier fighter. If he'd disciplene himself to the pace he sets in the end of the fight, he'd wouldn't be the magnet for criticism he is. It pisses me off when a guy could be so much better.

Its too bad it wasn't a no-gi judo demo, though - several of those throws by both men were really pretty.

Machida looked like a goddamn god, like always, and it's real nice to see him get some spotlight at last for the way he systematically disassembles people in the ring - he's the 206 division right now if you ask me. Some people say he runs away in the ring, but they don't understand the difference between a great outside fighter and someone who just doesn't want to engage - watch Machida wave the red flag at his opponents by dashing in with a hard knee or a quick flurry when the start to tire of following him, or watch him capitalize on countering opportunities. The guy is clearly the dude who should be in the ring with Evans and the Jackson/Jardine fight doesn't really matter - Machida will run through either man if White sticks them between him and the belt.

(Also, in other news, OF COURSE THEY WON THEY'RE THE FUCKING STEELERS ... life is not a fairy story, children)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

UFC 94 Picks

Main Card Bouts:
-Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn Decision
-Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva Decision
-Karo Parisyan vs. Dong Hyun kim Decision
-Nathan Diaz vs. Clay Guida Decision
-Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones TKO

Preliminary Bouts:
-Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono Decision
-Jake O'Brien vs. Christian Wellisch Decision
-Chris Wilson vs John Howard Submission
-Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares Decision
-Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer TKO

Weight Loss

I'm coming back into the sport off a layoff. I was bad sick during that layoff - hospitalized on oxygen for part of it - and I'm way overweight at the moment.

For all the biggest loser fans out there, or all those trying to diet:

I lost 14 pounds in six two hour MMA classes over the last two weeks. That's actually almost scary.

Yesterday in the shower, I felt a bizzare sensation and slapped at my own leg, thinking one of our arachnid or insectoid planetary roommates was running down my leg (I hate bugs, I lived in a buggy, drafty old house as a kid and they just aren't my favorite neighbors)

Turned out it was just water running down the channel between my calf muscles, suddenly exposed by the dehydration of the week's workouts. That's fucked.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


People who watch our workouts tend to roll their eyes or shake their heads.

I've been asked some variant of the question, "Why would you want to do that on a Tuesday night?" more times then I can conveniently count sans mechanical assistance.

Rocky Balboa's famous answer: "Hey, yo, because I can't sing or dance."

It's hard to describe. I guess the rationale of a given fighter, like the proper way to play a pair of nines, depends. For some, believe it or not, it's the scant money: "I'm gonna work out anyway, and if I fight one fight a year for 500 and 500 that pays for the gym, anyway."

500 and 500, by the way, is five hundred dollars that's yours when they lock you in the cage, five hundred more dollars if you win.

1000 clams is not that much for a fight under the NSAC unified rules of mixed martial arts, which require only the use of a thin 4 oz glove and allow full-on elbows and knees as well as punches and kicks. There are guys at this gym that take home $1,500 bucks a month from their day jobs, though, and for them the chance of an extra few thousand a year must seem like a sweet deal.

During the winter, with the patch on ice, this is not too far removed from my reality - but I am not one of these guys.

There are others in the gym who have a burning need to fight - some sort of deep seated external need drives them. These are the once-bullied, the crime victims, the youngest brothers, the sons of single mothers. There were days and weeks in high school when I had a shitty time -I think everyone did - but I am not one of these guys, either.

The only way I can really explain it - why I endure in something that is routinely frustrating, routinely painful, something I get no promises and no reimbursement from, is to say this: In the ring, I completely understand my world. There is no background noise, there is no background thought. I get to feel what it is like to have one purpose and no distractions, and that's priceless to me. Any monetary or physical benefits are cool, of course, but I have to place them secondary.