Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yesterday was a whipping, and it made me so happy. I started the morning with the Gentleman, working the heavy bag, doing tortuous drills forbidden by the Geneva Convention, & teaching when he's got me exhausted. We did this one exercise that was interesting: to help me learn to focus & to not be distracted, he had me hit the heavy bag non-stop while he is 1) striking me continuously, not hard enough to really hurt, but just hurt a little & jar my body enough so that I can't comfortably strike the bag because I have to continually reset my body 2) yelling "sprawl!", & I have to sprawl & come up with a combo #4, then go back immediately to whatever strike I'm assigned, and 3) he bear hugs me & either drags me away from the bag or flings me aside like I'm a rag doll. Yes, he is strong enough to do that. My job is just to ignore him & keep hitting the bag no matter what. After an hour of this I ran home to eat & shower & come right back for round 2:

A session with the Gorgeous Bastard. I show up & he asks, "Hi, how are you?" I answer, "I'm tired, sore, and I don't want to be here or do this. So its perfect, because that's what I was hoping for. Let's do this." He put me against the wall & started punching me, making me fight to get off the wall. After he got tired of being kicked in the balls we went to ground work. Started each round from mount, side mount, & guard. Fight him off. Work buck & roll. He made me punch him in the face & head, which I have a huge problem with, particularly with him. In fact, I believe that the day I can punch GB in the face & not get upset, I can punch anybody. That day is closer, but its evidently not here yet. We didn't work krav "techniques", aside from buck & roll, so much as just go at it. Hard.

I've done a session with the Professor like this as well, and I value these lessons very much, & I intend to do them as often as I can, adding the Gentleman & whoever else I can get to add to the mix. Well, not "whoever", but guys I know well & trust completely, because we're going hard. I find that I learn things I can apply to krav, such as when they clinch me hard & start flinging me around or dragging me someplace, I have found I rarely have the upper body strength to get them off me, and I exhaust myself trying. So now my knee has started to automatically come up for groin kicks, and that seems to be working nicely. Mmmm, I'm not saying that right. I mean to express that the ability to automatically react aggressively & just attack instead of thinking about what I "should" be doing is what's helping me in krav. This quality seems, for me, to be more readily cultivated in these bang-bang-bang sessions, than in sessions that focus more on mastering technique, or even in sparring.

Also, if you plan to do this sort of lesson, its important to think objectively about where you need to grow, & pick the right instructor to address that need. For instance, The Gentleman will attack me very hard & if I mess up he won't stop, he just keeps attacking, yelling, "Fight, Miss Parker, fight!!". I'm sure the other guys are willing to go harder with me, but the Gentleman just does it all the time.

The Professor, as a devotee of BJJ, is more interested in what he calls "flow". He keeps me always moving, teaching me strategy, showing me how to find & exploit openings I never would have found on my own. Also, because he's not a kravver, he moves his body differently, which gives me something new to have to address.

The Gorgeous Bastard uses his size against me (at my request). Even though I trust him completely, when he comes at me I still feel a little flash of fear, a total lizard brain response. So I use all my weapons against him, but he primarily just uses muscle against me, which helps me learn to struggle against an impossibly stronger opponent & face that automatic fear head on & causes me to fight dirty automatically.

What I'm observing in myself is this:

Bad: a tendency to ball up if I'm hurt, an extreme dislike for punching people I care about in the face with the attendant hesitancy to do it, a tendency to back up if I'm scared, a habit of getting myself stuck in triangle chokes, and I squeak & squeal a lot when I'm exerting myself.

Good: a natural inclination to fight dirty, particularly punches & kicks to the groin & a complete willingness to grab a guy's "package" & rip it off his body (even my friends that I can't punch in the face), a strong tendency to bite anything close to my mouth, to scratch/dig the eyes, a natural movement toward headbutting & attacking the throat. I have also found on several occasions that if a guy has me pinned while we're on the ground, if I shove my thumb quickly & very hard up his ass, he freaks out, loosens up, & I get a convenient opening to attack him. I also have found that I do not give up, at least not so far, which has been a huge relief.

Interestingly, I notice that when you're exhausted your body just does things that your brain might not have considered. For instance, when The Gentleman had me on the heavy bag, once when I was very tired he grabbed me & started to drag me away & I quickly wrapped my arms around the bag & held on for dear life. He laughed & went back to punching me. Same with groin kicks/knees instead of trying to simply wriggle out of hard clinches. Your body wants to do what works, if your brain can just shut up long enough to let it go to work.

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