Saturday, January 31, 2009

Well, I was warned. Once you start teaching, it gets harder to train, because the class you'd be training in, you're teaching. Time to start hitting the gym harder & doing conditioning work more faithfully on my own time. Can't be fat & gassing out in front of the class!

Level 1, assisted Relentless in a hyooooge class. Lots of new people right now. I was watching one student, Mr. E, who has come so far in the last few months. You watch someone make the same mistakes over & over for a long time, trying and failing to correct them, and then BOOM they've just got it. He's gone from working very defensively for so long, to being a little aggressive one man army. Its very gratifying, and helps my attitude toward my own weaknesses, that if I just keep plugging along the pieces will fall into place.

2nd hour I intended to train in the Gorgeous Bastard's level 2/3 class, but Relentless asked me to help out with the Intro class instead. Turned out he was busy, so I assisted the Gentleman the whole time, & taught several techniques as well. I think I'm coming along well in my teacher training, but its evident I still have a long way to go. The Gentleman has had his own class for a while, & knows which extra points to hit and when. After demonstrating & explaining a technique I start to flounder a bit, so that's the next area for me to focus on, while continuing to improve on everything else. I'm really glad I did this class, since its the longest I've been in front of a group, but now I'm itching badly for a workout.

Went out to lunch with Spike and the Gentleman afterward, yummy Mexican. The food, I mean, not just the company. I'm so proud of Spike! He's going to officer training for the Marines & I just know he's going to do so well. With men like Spike serving in the Corps, its got to be unstoppable. Its very exciting!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Started out on my own tonight, working round kicks on the bag. I was in a moody, nasty snit when I got there, but after about 15 kicks I was soooo happy. Just happy. Worked with Relentless for a little while on teaching defense against low punch. Next hour the Dragon was teaching level 1, with me helping & teaching defense against low punch. I did just okay on teaching, still going a little too long! D'oh, dammit! Mighty Mouse taped me teaching, but missed the demonstration & there was no sound, so I just watched my body language & it was good, but I counted the seconds & I talked for too long - 33 seconds. The demonstration was probably another 30 seconds for 2 live demos & 2 slow ones. The Dragon said it was good, but I know it can be better. I think I am more confident now for sure, but I didn't remind myself to be stern, so I may have been too friendly. I caught myself smiling a lot at people as I was walking around making corrections. Sigh. There is a middle ground between sweetie-pie and bitch, and I'm going to find it someday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Started with a private with Relentless tonight, tweaking, patching holes, working on adding one more piece to the puzzle.

I've aggravated my old shoulder injury somehow so I'm not actually physically training this week. Instead I helped out The Dragon in level 1 & he was gracious enough to let me teach a technique. Hammerfist this time - I love hammerfists! He told me I should teach something I don't love, but I didn't think I'd have time to review teaching points before class, so I wanted to play it safe. He said it went well, but that I need to shorten it even more. So that's what I'm gonna do.
Toward the end of teaching a technique I sometimes wonder if I was clear enough so I'll revisit a point or two, but they always call me on it, so I must find a way to shut up. My husband has been looking for a way to do this for years, but no luck so far!

I was going to run away & go home after class, but Dr. J caught me & told me her yoga class was going to be particularly good for shoulder rehab tonight, so I stayed & am so glad I did. I just feel good after her class, my body feels loose and strong, its a relaxed friendly atmosphere, so everyone's in a happy mood. A good night.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back Again

Sorry I've been away! I was scolded last night for my lack up updates - the truth is I've been getting home later & later from krav because we stay in the lobby yapping forever after, there you go.

Now, yesterday's training was much fun. I got to assist Relentless & taught front kick to a vertical target, which was interesting because I had just finished a fatigue drill & could barely breathe or stand up when he said "come teach this". But it actually went well, so thanks to Relentless for making me do that. Actually, thanks to Relentless for something much more important - After class the other day, the first time I taught a technique in a long time, I was asking Relentless how I'd done & he said it was fine & pointed out that I hadn't giggled at all & that was good.

Then he said it: "You know, Parker, you could - and you will - have a rape victim in your class sometimes. This stuff is deadly serious to her, and if you're up there giggling during a technique, how is that going to make her feel?" I was horrified. I felt like I'd been slapped in the face - but not a mean slap. It was the kind of slap that wakes you up. I've been "working on" being more serious in front of the class and "trying to" do better, but that's over now. Now its just done. If some rape or assault victim is brave enough to facilitate her or his recovery by learning to meet that situation head on, I'm damn sure not going to be the one to make it harder for them. Its funny, I also feel calmer and more confident in front of the class now, too. Strange how just a few little words can make all the difference.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Big Night For Miss Parker

Yipee! I got to teach tonight! Choke from the front with a push, a technique I really like quite a bit. I score myself a B, talked too much at the end, but up then then I did fine. I was gassing out during class, didn't eat much or drink water much today, but in the end it was also nerves. I want MORE! Also, I didn't giggle or make jokes while I taught, so that's an improvement. Yay!

2nd hour I did bag class instead of my usual yoga class. I think I may switch off every other week. I love yoga - especially the way Dr. J teaches it - but I also need better conditioning. By the end of bag class my punches were slow and heavy, like in a dream when you're trying to fight but your limbs move in slooooow moooootion. So then I skipped MMA & just watched. As I've often done with the Gorgeous Bastard & Mudslide, I mostly studied the Professor's moves. Watching people who are very very good, as these 3 guys are, is very helpful, not so much for the techniques they use, but just the way they use their bodies in general, if that makes sense. Its the fluidity. What weakness in their opponents do they choose to exploit? Look how he's moving his head around so he doesn't get hit - I don't do that! So now I'm working on it. Watching someone on film is good, but live is better, especially when they're patient enough to endure your questions afterward.

One thing for sure, though: boys are stinky!! When class was over they opened the door to come out, but the smell came out first & Relentless said, "Wow! What's the defense for that?!" and started head feinting. The Gentleman bravely took a deep breath and said, "Ah, the smell of sweat and shame..."

On a different note, I was talking to a girlfriend of mine on the phone tonight who is very successful at her job, but she says she just keeps thinking, "I don't belong here" & its eating at her. Maybe that's why I'm so happy at Fit and Fearless, I walk in the door & feel that I belong here. Its good, its really good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Whoops, I messed up my little experiment. Last Saturday I woke up too late to have a big breakfast & bonked a bit by the end of class, so yesterday I woke up nice & early & made a big breakfast to last me through all 3 hours of work. Then I missed my first class. Doing a little project on the computer & once I'm on a project I usually won't stop. Ah, well, it gave me the chance to chat with Mami K & The Gorgeous Bastard for a while. And breakfast was delicious!

So my first class was my usual second class and the Gorgeous Bastard certainly earned his name and we're not talking about appearances here. 360's until the cows came home. OH! My arms are black and swollen. Okay, let's be frank, I had fun. A lot of fun. Working with Spike is always fun. And I learned something. GB says there's no secret to 360's, that they hurt a hell of a lot, and you just have to suck it up. In fact, that's what everyone says. But I gotta say, I decided to concentrate not on my defending arm, which was killing me & therefore making me hold back, but on my punching hand - my counterattack. Focusing on striking took my mind off the pain in my other arm without making the defense weaker, which allowed me to go in harder. So, I'll keep working on that & see how it goes.

Next hour was BJJ with the Professor. New ways to pass the guard. I worked with the Stronggirl & Big Boy Z. Such a difference! Working on the ground with someone your size is a completely different experience than working with a huge ball of muscle & bone like BBZ.
Maybe its just because I'm such a newb? The Professor seems to not have this problem. The Professor seems to have no problem with any person of any size at any time. BJJ is so confusing! Grr, I don't care, I'm just going to keep working & hope that one day it eventually all clicks. Even if it doesn't (& I kind of think it will), I'll still be having a great time. Seems like a good deal to me.

Oh, and I almost forgot: SPIKE RULES!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Started out yesterday with a private with Big Daddy J & the Stronggirl. We took turns, I teach the Stronggirl some krav, she teaches me a lift - she's a Crossfit teacher - and the whole time the Gentleman was practicing his handstands over in the corner. Oooh, he's almost there!

Next, on to level 3/4 with Relentless. The rank test scheduled for tomorrow was cancelled because too many of us have let our lower level skills slide - I'm sure I'm one of them, I'm not practicing all my skills all the time. Right now I'm really focusing on levels 1 & 3. I don't know how long it will take until every technique is an automatic reaction, but I know I'm a long way from it. We ended the class with the lights out choking each other. I'm such a cheater. If I don't get attacked very soon after I close my eyes, I just can't take it! I have to peek.
Then my heart rate shoots up because I'm trying & failing to force myself to keep my eyes closed & I'm so jacked up by the time I finally do get attacked that I'm usually giggling uncontrollably like an like a 13 year old at a Jonas Brothers concert. The thing is, its getting worse instead of better! If I know I'm going to be grabbed by the throat & I have to close my eyes its like lightning is shooting all through my body, my breathing escalates, & I get a little panicky. I clearly need to be choked more often.

Last class was MMA, with the Professor. Drill drill drill, endless rounds. A lot of fun, actually, then sparring. You know, once I get going I do okay sparring with either gender, as long as they're around my size. (Relentless excepted. With him I'd be dead before I knew I'd been touched.) But once I get with the really large men, I'm toast. They get those big hairy arms right past my defenses like soup through a sieve. Most of the large guys will outright refuse to hit me, which is fine, but the fact that they're getting past me is sobering. If I ever get attacked I hope its by a little tiny masochistic guy on sedatives. Then I'm golden.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dangerous, demonic, daring, Doomsday Daniel tried to kill me with his warmup today. He's a cruel master! Loooved class, palm heels, hammerfists, headlock from the side. I love level 1 classes. They are big and they are fun and Daniel is juuuust a little bit scary, which makes it even better.

My sweet friend came to krav today to try out class (we partnered in Daniel's class, and her previous training has served her well) & I taught her stance & movement before class. Mami K was sitting on the other side of the room facing the wall. I didn't know if she was meditating or what, but I should have known she was up to something. What, was I born yesterday? Sheesh. I put my friend through her little lesson & at the end - without even looking at us even once - Mami K shouts across the room, "I'll bet if I walked over there right now I could push her over from the side because you didn't teach her a stable enough stance!" Or whatever the hell she said. So I thought, "No way!" & looked down at my friend's feet. Way!! She was right! Unstable stance. How does she do this mystical black belt Pai Mei stuff? It makes me want to try to trick her just to see if I can get away with it. This same urge earned me many beatings as a child, but some people never learn.

After level 1 I stood outside & talked to Doomsday Daniel for a while, as its been forever since I've had the chance to do so, & then went late into yoga. I considered skipping, but Dr. J is a good sport & I wanted in. We did a really cool move where you do a full backbend with your hands & face right up against the wall & then walk yourself upright by walking your hands up the wall. I didn't think I could do it, but Dr. J makes you believe you can do things that seem out of reach, and I did it!

Afterward, I stayed in the lobby & chatted for a long time & made an agreement that seals my doom. Miss M has been after me forever to spar, so I agreed that we would do so this Thursday. Hopefully I will be attacked by a hungry leopard before then, as I have more chance of surviving such an encounter as sparring with her. Goodbye, everyone!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It's just like my dear old daddy used to say. "Sweet Parker," he'd say, "payback's a bitch."

So, yesterday I was naughty at the grocery store & snuck up on Mighty Mouse from behind. Today I'm in class fighting over a gun with the Goddess of War & we bump into Mighty Mouse doing the same with her partner, and what nobody but me realizes is I'm getting hammered in the forehead over & over & over with Mighty Mouse's gun as we slam into each other. I now have a nice visible lump on my forehead and a new regard for karma. As well as a fear of mice.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First hour today Miss C & I had a private with the Gorgeous Bastard, working on techniques for the test that I now suspect may not happen. We aren't covering the techniques for the test much in class & nobody's really talking about it, so I'm not sure what's going on. I know not everybody is paying to cover this stuff in private's. Anyway, I'm just going to hide and watch, so if we still have it on the 17th, I'll be as ready as I can be.

2nd hour was level 1 & the class was hyoooooooge! January resolutionists, I guess. Its pretty exciting to see so many new people at once, everyone giving it their all. I ended up helping out, though I don't know how helpful I was tonight in the end, I just got to a few of the sea of people, it seemed. The coolest thing was that Mighty Mouse ended the class with choke defenses in the parking garage instead of the studio! It definitely added a bit of a sinister flavor to the class & I'd love to do it more often. By the way, the first time I held the bag for Mighty Mouse I thought I was ready & braced for impact but she immediately knocked me off balance & back onto the mirrors with her palm heel strikes. She is SO strong! I don't think she has that much more muscle than me, but she can deliver! I want to be like that too!!
Then, later, I saw her at Central Market in the deli department, but she didn't see me, so I put my hands around her throat from behind, thinking, "you know, I don't have my mouthpiece in...". She plucked my hand off her throat with a textbook move & whipped around. "Parker! What the...!!!" I do know I should not have done that. I'm Satan's spawn, what can I tell you.

3rd hour was level 2/3 with GB, we worked outside & inside defenses. I got punched in the face by Miss C twice. Karmic pre-punishment for my grocery store crimes. Miss C did everything right - instead of relaxing & watching her body for movement, I anticipated what I thought she was going to throw, got jacked up & wiggled the wrong way, straight into her oncoming fist. Sigh. Also the General stopped by & tapped me on the shoulder & the moment I saw him I said, "D'oh! You're about to correct me, I'm doing something wrong." He denied it with the flimsiest of claims & proceeded to correct me on what I was doing wrong. The General's eye sees all.

When is the Gentleman coming home from New York? If I don't get punched at least once a week by him I just feel empty inside. Va aqui!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Worked combinations on the focus mitts with Big Daddy J, tweaking, tweaking. I've been in such a funk the last few weeks, not studying my teacher cards, not being able to form a thought, it felt good when we started teacher practice. Just to be back on a normal schedule participating in my normal life was a relief. But the teaching - I talk too much, that's what it comes down to. I need to use fewer words to get the idea across. So, again, rewriting the cards, redoing, tweaking, tweaking.

2nd hour, level 3/4 with Relentless. Bob & weave, slipping - slipping is fun, I like slipping. Need to work that into sparring, since panicking doesn't seem to be working out for me as a reliable strategy. I was actually able to work with Relentless for a few exercises, since I wouldn't put my battered shin through the torment of shin defenses, he worked absorbing roundhouse to the thigh with me instead, plus other stuff. His name should be Freaking Fast, because that's as true of him as his relentlessness. Also did back kicks & spinning back kicks, at which Donkey Boy excels. That child will be a force to be reckoned with some day, if we let him live that long. :)

3rd hour, yoga. I can do handstands now! Yay! Against the wall, but so what, I'm happy.

4th hour MMA with Mudslide. We worked side control again & my partner was once again Goldilocks. That girl is game! I'm glad she's here. I also got to roll with the Professor, one of my absolute favorite things to do - especially since Mudslide had us add strikes instead of just grappling. I'm soooo glad I started joining in this class instead of just standing around biting my lip about it. Don't be like me! If you're unsure of whether you belong in a place you're considering, jump in! Its the only way you've ever know.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First hour today was Level 1, with Relentless. I'm working on going 100% on every drill & exercise in an effort to improve my conditioning. In the past I've always held back in expectation of a long training session. Its exhausting, but its already getting easier. I got to demonstrate defense against headlock from the side to the class, & I have clearly done something to offend the guy who attacked. He almost ripped my head off & then proceeded to try to choke the life out of me. At first I was startled, but then I was so happy! It was so much fun to successfully defend against a hard attack! Also, he was such a good sport about being smashed in the balls, hammerfisted repeatedly at the base of his throat, & slammed to the ground. I always wondered how exposed the attacker's throat would be when going hard on this defense, and its very exposed & vulnerable to attack. Yay!

Next hour, level 2/3, I started out in the Gorgeous Bastard's class. We got in trouble for getting up wrong & had to do pushups. Guess I'm glad I was one of the offenders, wouldn't want to do extra pushups for nothing! We did various drills throughout, but I had to stop when we got to shin defense against roundkick. I still have a bright green massive lump on my left shin that aches pretty much constantly. This is from an errant kick two weeks ago, so I'm beginning to wonder if something is actually wrong.

Anyway, I stepped out to assist in Relentless's introductory class. It was a big group, and were they ready to rumble! I partnered with a woman who is really strong, once she gets her conditioning & technique in order, she'll be awesome. Great attitude, too. A couple of times she was dying to stop, but never did. Her t-shirt asked the question, "What are you grateful for?" RIght now I'm grateful to my teachers & training partners for helping me grow. I'm grateful for students like her who keep fighting when they want to collapse, because they inspire me to work harder, too.

By the way, go see the movie Slumdog Millionaire. If you're reading this in Austin, its still playing at the Alamo South. Great movie.