Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Doing What You Love...

...makes the bad things go away. I arrived for my teacher lesson with Big Daddy J wound up tight. I knew I needed to punch someone or something, so I hit the bag while I waited for him. I'm working on speed - playing the shoulder touch game last night with some big boys reminded me why speed is of the essence when going against someone bigger & stronger.

After reciting my list of woes to BDJ we started to work on my form - no "teaching" him technique today, an act of mercy on his part. Just worked the basics, fine tuning fighting stance, punches, movement. Learned a lot about hooks in a very short time. Constantly fine tuning the principals on which everything else in the training is based. I am absolutely convinced that until the most basic movements are mastered to the nth degree, and can be applied with speed, power, & precision, and without thought, the techniques that follow cannot be mastered completely.

After he left I threw about 1,000 hooks to the bag to sink it in, & went home happy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Night Sneak In

I usually don't train krav on Monday, but since Fit and Fearless will be closed most of the week, I snuck in. First hour was the General's level 1 class. He has been exceptionally helpful to me on teacher training & I watch him like a hawk every time I work with him. He let me hold the bag for his demonstrations & even though he was going at, what, 10-15% of his power he was still knocking me back consistently. That boy is scary strong. He also corrected me on my fighting stance - again. I get in low & strong most of the time, but still my old habits continue to haunt me in just about every area. Its a constant frustration for me, but I know of no other solution than to keep dogging along, working on it, so that's what I'm doing.

2nd hour was level 2/3 with Big Daddy J, we did a fun & unusual warmup, then worked slap kicks. FINALLY, something I don't feel like a total dork doing. That's cheating, of course, as I used to do them in karate. :) I don't care! Bwahahahaha!

Then spinning back kicks, so back to dorkdom, but not too bad. Mami K demonstrated them to a couple of us over on the side, and she can do it perfectly with a big ol' pregnant belly! She also told me I'm not getting my hips around enough, which is the reason I so often bounce off of people larger than me when I'm kicking them - especially on vertical front kicks. She was right, too - the second & drove my hips in the power came right with it. More to work on, but I feel like another piece of the puzzle fell into place. Of course, I KNOW in my brain that the hips always drive power, but when you're thinking of 80 things at once, sometimes the most basic principals get overlooked. That's why we have teachers, no? I'm in such a good mood after class! I'm already looking forward to tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday Night Fights

Started off first hour with the Gentleman & Big Daddy J making a futile attempt at teacher training. I've been lazy for about a week and a half & not studied my teaching cards, so when Big Daddy J asked me to teach him front kick, something I've gone over about a million times, I screwed it up. Lesson learned, still have a ways to go. I also found out the Gentleman is prepping for his next Phase training & will be gone for a few weeks. I get extremely attached to my favorite training partners, so I'm not happy, but he wouldn't accept my extremely generous bribe to stay, so I'll just have to put up with it.

2nd hour was level 3/4 with Relentless. I haven't solved my little situation of taking a while to warm up, so I was a big fat uncoordinated goober for most of the class. And I've been caught one too many times cheating by keeping my eyes open to little slits when we're supposed to have our eyes closed for attacks, so I actually had to be a good girl & slam my eyelids shut on command. Grrrr... Then every time the Rock or Gina Carano would grab me by the throat in attack I would squeal so loudly! It always sounds like someone stepped on a puppy when I get taken by surprise. Its a flaw I've decided not to worry about. Right now I've got bigger fish to fry. If I squeal like a little girl while I'm kicking your ass, your ass is still kicked, no? A lot of sparring tonight, too.

One thing I appreciate about Relentless is that no matter how dumb my questions or mistakes are, he never gets impatient. At least, he never shows it.

Next class was yoga with Dr. J. I am really glad they've added this class, its the breath of fresh air I didn't even know I needed.

Finally, MMA class with Mudslide. I've been a lurker in the shadows for quite a while, I'm much smaller than many of the guys in there & didn't want to hold anyone back because of it. Well, too bad for them, I really like what they do in there & want to learn! I was planning on partnering with the Gentleman & really looking forward to it since he's leaving, but Mudslide partnered me with a new girl. I was muttering curse words under my breath about it - to my mother's dismay, I have a mouth like a sailor - but she turned out to be an excellent partner! One of the things I liked best about her was she will tell you what she wants. We were doing a long combination that confused her & instead of just plowing through without understanding & making no progress, she asked me to keep attacking with only the first part of the combo until she'd mastered it. Sounds like common sense, but a lot of people won't do that! So good for her, I say. She mastered it, we moved on, & she had the whole combo down cold by the end. Also, she hits hard, which is a quality I like in a woman. Way to go, Goldilocks!
We also did hip throws & sparred some more. I got a fun round of sparring violence in with the Gentleman, so that was the frosting on the MMA cake!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Good Morning

Decided to try an new workout drink today, Surge Workout Fuel, & am loving it. Even after 3 hours of going hard I have energy. Its a relief, because I'm planning on drinking this stuff during my upcoming rank test. I knew a morning class with Relentless would be a good experiment - I am not a morning person, & his classes are hard! We did hammerfists & roundhouses, two favorites, & the General and Big Daddy J showed up & coached me & Miss C a little. Ended class by mounting our kick shields & just viciously pounding away at them. That always puts me in a good mood.

2nd hour was level 2/3 with the Gorgeous Bastard. Oh, we had so much fun today! Mouth of hand strike, ridge hand strike, & guillotine from the front. We had to scream at each other like maniacs both for the attack & the defense. Also, we attacked each other randomly, & each defender had his gym bag strapped to him to make it more difficult. On one pass, the Gentleman attacked me & as I was defending my foot went into one of the loops on a heavy bag laying on the ground, which took both me & the Gentleman to the ground. We were still fighting, screaming at each other & laughing, but my foot was stuck. Had it been a real attack it would not have been funny at all. You just never know what crazy thing you may have to deal with. Scary.

3rd hour was BJJ with the Professor. I partnered with Crazy L & we worked passing the guard, then passing the guard with submissions, then we rolled. I love the deep penetrating tiredness you feel after BJJ. If you ever are feeling cocky, I recommend you roll with the Professor. He'll school you and tool you and humble you like you need.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Timid Girl + GB on TV

Started out tonight in Relentless' class, level 3/4. Partnered with Miss C - I don't partner with her much anymore for level 1/2, but for 2/3/4 we do, as we'll be testing together next month. Began class with the Thai pads, working combinations, adding in 360 attacks & kicks from the bag holder. Next we worked a new (to me) bear hug from behind defense & sparred.

An issue I've experienced for some time & am really just now fully addressing is my timidity and clumsiness in the beginning of class. Even after our warmups, which are usually really challenging, I am uncoordinated & slow. Its only about halfway through my first class that everything starts to flow. I think its really important that I shorten this time period as much as I possibly can. Is it all just mental? I don't know. I'm thinking that warming up before class by hitting combinations on the heavy bag & practicing footwork might get my brain & body in sync. If anybody has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Next hour was Dr. J's yoga class. She is really a good teacher, I'm glad they've added this class. She's an adept practitioner, but her classes aren't cloaked in whispers and holiness. Just good strength, breathing, and flexibility work, a perfect counterpoint to beating each other up. Tonight we worked a lot of twisting poses & headstands. The Gentleman's first class! Yay!

Fit and Fearless is on TV! The Gorgeous Bastard is shown teaching an Austin police officer krav maga, as the police work to reduce deadly force encounters.
Check him out doing his thing at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pistol Whipped!

I was only able to stay for the first 3 hours of the seminar today, as I'm in the dog house at home and had to come home early to cook & be a good wife. It was 3 hours of torment & pain, I don't mind telling you. So how come I'm still in such a great mood? The truth is, I'd rather be exhausted, in pain, & doing everything wrong in front of someone I admire, as long as I'm at krav. Maybe my sister-in-law is right and I really am insane. My right hand (gun hand) is completely black and blue and I'm sore all over. I got punched in the throat & smacked in the cheekbone with the barrell of a (fake) gun. Do I care? I do not.

The entire class was spent on gun defense, which I will not describe, though I will admit I did it wrong most of the time. I'm not sure at exactly what point John started speaking Sanskrit, which I don't speak. I only know that I stopped understanding anything he said during the last hour & could only think of food. I had the best time! I'll retain much more from yesterday's portion of the seminar, as gun defense has always been my weakest skill, but I will get it eventually, and when I do, it will be mine forever.

Whipped by Whitman

So there's this guy named John Whitman who comes around to Fit and Fearless a couple of times a year to teach us. He's a 4th degree black belt in krav, a former president of our system, & many, many of our drills and exercises come from him. I hope I can remember what we did yesterday to tell you properly - as usual after a good training session my body is buzzing so much I can't sleep that night. I finally got up at 1 a.m. & took an ambien, and this morning my brain is a bit fuzzy.

We started with the focus mitts, moving in with a right hook for an initial strike, eventually adding other combatives to the mix. One of the interesting things we did was after warning our attacker to move away a couple of times, we'd attack with a right hook, then assess to see if they were leaving us the hell alone, moving in for strikes, or shooting in for a takedown. John had me demonstrate the takedown during the exercise - I suspect its largely for the visual effect, as my partner was a 6'4", 230 pound wall of a man, and I'm me. The first time he went for the takedown he got me! I landed on my back with a resounding thud & flailed around like a cockroach trying to get his massive body into my guard. The next time I got the sprawl & he didn't take me down - whew! The general is so much fun to partner with, he is constantly drilling me to improve on every little thing, which helps, and he's so big I don't have to hold back, I can just strike.

Next John talked about when to be the first person to strike, about the importance of making a decision now - right now, in class - about where your line in the sand is drawn. I was hoping we'd cover this again, as I think its so important. In On Combat, Col. Grossman tells us that interpersonal conflict is the universal human phobia. Its true, and often we will resist acknowledging that a threat is real until its too late, because that thought is so scary to us. The time to make the decision when you will strike is now, not when adrenaline and fear are blasting through your body & short circuiting your brain. Taking it seriously and drawing my own line in the sand during the last Whitman lecture on this subject has saved my butt in the past. I'm grateful and I hope he always covers the subject.

Later we worked weapons, handgun & stick. I've never worked with sticks before, and was happy to discover it came naturally to me & felt really good. It didn't feel really good when I got whacked hard in the head with the stick a couple of times because my defense wasn't strong enough. That's freaking negative reinforcement of the highest order, so I fixed it pretty damn fast.

Next we did standing sweeps, which I didn't want to do because my fall breaks are weak. Of course, standing sweeps are exactly what I need to be doing! Everything went great until I allowed myself to feel tired & lost my concentration for a moment, when Miss M slammed me into the ground with the force of a tsunami. My head didn't actually slam into the ground but I had such a hard whiplash that now my neck feels like concrete. Stupid girl. Me, I mean.

I get so much out of John's visits! You know, if he looked like Brock Lesnar, or Rambo coming in here, I don't know that I would be as motivated or learn as much. John just looks and acts like a normal, friendly, polite human being. He's a normal-friendly-polite human being who can hit you so fast and hard that all your arms and legs fly off your body, that's the cool part.
Because he looks and acts like someone you can relate to, he makes you feel like you can do it, too. That's the kind of teacher I hope to be some day.

Day 2 starts in a couple of hours!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


After sitting all day in an investment seminar to learn to make my family's investments stop hemorrhaging I was about to explode. I almost knocked everyone else down getting out the door at the end muttering, "gottahitabag, gottahitabag". Turns out I'm not that good at sitting in a chair all day.

First I met the Library Lady and since Big Daddy J is away we took turns teaching each other techniques. We played pick-a-card-any-card from my stack of technique flash cards & let fate decide our...well, fate, I guess.

2nd hour! A level 1 class with The Gentleman, paired with The Goddess of War. She has come so far in the past year! From the very beginning she's had good aggression, but she's getting the technique to back it up. It felt so good after being cooped up all day to just unleash! Hammerfist! Elbows! Chokes! God, I feel so good now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Late Show

Oh, its very late. My husband is in bed asleep & I have to get up early in the morning, so I'll be brief. First hour of training was a private lesson with Miss C & the Gorgeous Bastard, who was looking particularly gorgeous today, and being more charming than bastardy. What a great hour! We did lots of footwork & looked like goobers doing it because we (I) have lead feet. Then we rolled around on the ground - forward rolls, backward rolls, running (trotting) into a roll, rolling forward & whirling around before you can stop & rolling backward & rolls that end in fall breaks. Fun!

2nd hour was level one with Mighty Mouse, who has mighty kicks. Miss C & I paired up again, first time in a long time for level one, and Crazy L worked in with us. Lots of strikes & 3 person drills. Crazy L hits the bag so hard that for a minute there I thought Miss C was going to hit her back. I held the bag for Mighty Mouse during demonstrations & have to ask myself, "how can someone so tiny deliver so much power?" Actually, I have to ask her, because I don't know. I'm "power" hungry though, so I really will ask.

3rd hour was level 2/3 with Relentless. I was getting pooped by this time, but rank test is coming up in January, so I may as well get used to fighting through it now. 360's & outside defenses, numbers 1-5. I don't know if there are any numbers past 5, but that's what we did. I like them, they feel natural and effective.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Friend

So, I get to my one-on-one session with Big Daddy J & there's a surprise: there's someone else studying to go to Phase (teacher training) & its someone I really like! Studying with a partner is fun, and the Library Lady is going to be great. Today we "taught" each other plus Big Daddy J & Spike, who is always helpful. He will let you punch him, which is a quality I always look for in a man.

Relentless taught level 3/4 tonight. Lots of combos on the focus mitts. We did this one drill I always enjoy: get into groups of 3, and Jewel is holding the mitts & calling out combo numbers for me to strike, while Mighty Mouse is standing behind Jewel & extending either her left or her right hand. So, I am responding correctly (ha!) by striking with the right combination on command, while watching Mighty Mouse & shouting out "left!" or "right!" based on which hand I see extended. Of course by the end of the exercise I'm shouting out "what?!" "Auuuugh!" and "french fry!" like I'm a tourette's victim. We also did the drill where you cover up, close your eyes & get the crap beaten out of you by your partner, who is using focus mitts to pound you with. When your partner claps the mitts together, you attack them with combo #4 & cover up again to take your punishment. These are two of my favorite drills & I'm not kidding. We ended the class with constant chokes from 2 attackers. I have a whole new respect for Mighty Mouse. She is tiny. She is sweet. She will hand you your ass on a platter.