Thursday, July 30, 2009


Just saw video of myself "sparring" the Gentleman this morning. Sweet baby Jesus. I look like a timid little mouse. Poor G is just going about 20% on me, how sad for him! It's extremely clear in the video that I will do just about anything but strike my friend in the face. How depressing. The good news is, this is going to make an excellent "before" video!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ladies class went well tonight. Jeff announced we are making the class a permanent part of the schedule - yay! - and everyone was very happy to hear it. Tonight we worked hammers, vertical front kicks (the lazy man's term for the kick), and bear hugs. I am scared of Mighty Mouse. If she ever demands money or food or cute shoes from me, I will hand them over. I notice that when the Gentleman attacks me he does it hard and with abandon, with no thought to his own safety. I'm not like that. I'm too fearful when I attack. Working on it. That and about a million other things.

Also, I'm putting together a packet to be distributed at the ladies self defense seminar coming up in September. I've started creating a reading list of books and blogs for anyone who is interested in learning about that stuff, and downloaded some info off the Austin Police Department's website. Today I was asking questions of a husband and wife who are students at F&F - she's a cop and he's a former EMS worker. I'm creating a list of what people can expect from EMS, cops, and even their own friends in the immediate aftermath of an assault. One fascinating thing the EMS guy told me "her body will be treated like a crime scene". That creeped me out & I asked what he meant. He talked about not destroying evidence, treating any life threatening injuries, but then letting her get to the police as quickly as possible so EMS doesn't accidentally ruin the case. An example he gave was that sexual assault attackers often bite or lick their victims, and if he licks her hand, and the EMS workers go to put an IV in her hand, they'll sterilize it first - destroying any DNA evidence that could have been collected from the saliva. This stuff is fascinating to me. More to come.

Many Rounds of Bang

Though I've been telling myself for ages to get back to working out properly, I just always seem to be "too busy", which, of course, is bullshit. So last week I took GB's level 3/4 class to get myself jump started, and last night I took it again. I think its working. I partnered with Miss C, my favorite partner, who I haven't worked with in several months, and we did fun stuff I didn't know how to do, so I'm learning again! Then for about the last 10 minutes of class we sparred. Yay! I've started having trouble punching people in the face again, I guess because its been 6 weeks or so since I've done any sparring. After a few rounds I was ok, so clearly I just need to do it as often as possible.

Fortunately the Gentleman asked me to spar after class, so we went at it for about half an hour, then I stepped into the MMA class in room 1. My first class being taught by Tap. More sparring. One hour. Freaking awesome.

Now I ache. There is no part of me that does not ache.

Last night, when I got home, I took a shower & climbed into bed, where I proceeded to dream that I was, you guessed it, sparring. I woke up at 3:18 a.m., cursing myself. Enough with the punching, I need some rest.

Its funny how perception can deviate so very much from reality. Between rounds I had my hands on my hips, pacing around in circles. Big Daddy J beckoned me into the lobby and asked me if I was feeling pretty good. "You must be, the way you're strutting around like a badass." Ha. If I'd had the energy to laugh, I would have. The truth was that my heart rate was up so much from being out of shape that if I stopped moving I got sick to my stomach. I could sit down with my head between my knees, or lay on my back, to achieve the same end, but Relentless had taught me never to do that when I went to Phase, never to show weakness to my instructors. I figured it was good practice to keep that habit up, so I just keep moving, trying to keep the "Dear God, somebody help me" look off my face. Guess it worked!

More sparring with the Gentleman on Thursday. Yay!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Taking a Bite

Taught level 1 last night in the small room. I don't think I've ever done that before. It was a pretty big class, and we worked palm heel strikes, round kicks, front kicks to a vertical target, and 360's. How I love 360's. Such a natural movement. Mudslide came and sat in on class for a while, so I had him attack me for the demonstration & he was brilliant. Good hard attacks, but very visible.

I've just finished writing an article for the new website called "The Unwritten Rules of the Mat", an idea I stole from watching the Tour de France where they had a similar story about the rules of the peloton.

Looking back on last night's class, I realize how often people just instinctively know the rules of good behavior in class, even though they can sometimes be different than those of the outside world. It's extremely rare for someone to just be an outright ass in training. I refer in the article to an incident when I had to strike back at someone who was being reckless & hurting other students (including me) by running over them when pushing his partner back with his strikes. It was making me mad, but I knew he was pretty new to this, so I tapped him on the shoulder & asked him politely to stop doing that. He said he would, then slammed into us again. I asked him a little more sternly to be careful. I saw him running over other people, stomping their ankles & hurting them. Ooooh, it made me mad. So I positioned myself next to him during the next round, & when he ran over me I body slammed him & stuck my finger in his face & told him he'd better cut the crap right now. He was shocked, and after class came over to me & apologized repeatedly. It turned out he really hadn't meant to harm anyone, he was just being a wild man trying to keep up with his more experienced partner. I felt kind of bad at the time about how mean I'd been to him, but it was only then that he stopped stomping us all to death. I guess sometimes when a growl doesn't work you have to take a little bite.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill!

Well, that's a movie that I've never seen, but it just has the best name ever. It's these ladies in our ladies-only class I'm thinking about. They're starting to get a big more aggressive & it's tickling me to no end. Juuuuuuust a little bit, it's poking through. You can see the difference between the women who are there for their first or second class & those who have been doing it a while, and I'm loving that!

Tonight we worked chokes, a source of frustration for me, because they are so shy about their defenses, and real life chokes are just so scary and horrible. I know it takes time to build that aggression up - for me it actually took years, and I'm still not where I want to be. But I was raised on MTV and microwave ovens and I want everything NOW!

So it was so cool when we went out into the creepy hallway, where you can't see around any of the corners, & choked each other. When you get people in a new environment they really loosen up, and we started seeing some real progress! Then, the most fun, each of us, including me, went through a gauntlet of the whole class. Each side of the narrow-ish hallway was lined with potential attackers, and you never knew who - if anyone - it would be. The most nerve-wracking part was standing there with your back to everyone while Mighty Mouse gave out attacker assignments. We are strongly encouraging everyone to use their voices to yell at their attackers & one lady yelled, "Get off me!" and to her very next attacker she yelled, "You, too!" and we all laughed. Its getting more and more fun as we get to know each other.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oh, Happy, Sweaty, Bruisy Day

I think I might be starting to suck a bit, because I've not had a proper training schedule for over a month now. Today was my first day back. I'm sore & banged up & have a huge mouse on my right shin, which is the one that's already trashed. Nice. I don't seem to care. Though I did care when I was icing it a few minutes ago, but whatcha' gonna do?

I rushed into the Gorgeous Bastard's level 3/4 class from a meeting that I still didn't stay til the end of. His classes are always so creative and challenging, I just know I'm going to have a wealth of ideas to steal. Tonight we did this cool thing where we shoved our attacker, who was standing too close & in front of us, then as they flew backward we stepped in with a front kick to a vertical target, which pushed them back further. Then we didn't "advance" open/close style, we stepped in & threw a hard right cross to a focus mitt. The next round we continued to advance with more right crosses, ending with stomps to the kick shield, which the "attacker" dropped. It was really challenging to get the right distance in movement - I found myself often moving too close in, or not close in enough to get a strong punch.

The next thing was even better. One person stood, alone, clad in full pads & mouth piece, and boxing gloves, at the end of the room near the door. (No head gear) Another person stood at the opposite end of the room. They were facing each other. In between, the entire rest of the class, all in full pads also, stood between them, holding kick shields, standing & holding the pads in a herring bone pattern, facing the first person at the end of the room. On GB's "go", person A fights through the padholders, who try to prevent his passage. Once they have finally made it through, they quickly grab the lone person at the back of the room & get them in 3rd party protection position, then rush for the door. Every other student in the room has by this point thrown their kick shield aside, & proceeds to attack person A with punches, kicks, whatever. The Emasculator must have kicked me in the ribs 3 times. Actually it was 3 times. I counted.
I am extremely excited to be doing this again.

Next hour I - well, for a while I ran my mouth in the lobby. Then I talked Copperhead into taking bag class with me. It was brutal. I told Relentless when he corrected my form to SHUUUUT UUUUUUUUUP! He was right though. Dammit.

Then about 20 minutes of MMA with the Professor. Pooped.


I'm constantly trying to come up with new ways to make the ladies class more interesting, so much so that Mighty Mouse is having to rein me in a bit. She's right, too, sometimes I want to do fun stuff before they're really ready for it. But last night we did something fun.

Everyone hates practicing eye gouges, because no matter how softly you do it to a pad, it hurts. I guess if you reeeeally do it softly enough, it won't hurt, but you also will get zero benefit. So I read on an online forum that grapefruit halves make a nice substitute for the human eye. They're gooey and fleshy, and when you cut it in half cross-ways, that little triangle of flesh makes a decent approximation of the size of an eye. Hee hee!

So we went outside with a big bag of grapefruits and a big knife & started going nuts with eye jabs. Man, we were covered in citrus bits and juice! I totally underestimated the juiciness of these fruits. It was cool. We had them set up in two lines & each lady got a fresh grapefruit half to start on. A couple of people went so crazy with it they totally ripped their fruits in half with their jabs! I don't know, in the end, how realistic the fruits were, but it was useful because it made them contemplate the reality of what we're training for, for just a few seconds. Everyone, even me, hesitated for just a second before ramming our fingers into that wet mess, but watching them make the decision to just go for it is pretty much what I live for.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Great Article

At krav we're always harping on about the fact that the way you train is the way you'll fight. That's because when your body experiences an adrenaline surge & your life is in danger, your brain & fine motor skills degrade, and your body automatically does what its been taught to do. So if you practice throwing weak knees to your partner, then drop your hands & stand there saying, "okay, your turn", that's what you'll do when the heat is on. Yes, its really true.

And here's a link to an article called Combat Psychology and Sports Performance that explains exactly why. You're welcome!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Having Fun!

Okay, I'm having fun teaching. Can't quite seem to get enough of it & when I see my students progress it is SO exciting. Usually the men catch on quite quickly, often, I believe, because they had more athletic experience when they were younger. Even with Title 9, its less common for female children to be serious athletes than it is for males. And then there's that whole testosterone thing going on with the guys - often a definite advantage.

So in spite of my unexpected extreme enthusiasm for training women, which I'll get into another time, I'm fascinated by the occasional male adult student I get who seems to have never, ever done anything athletic before. They are often shy & just don't really seem to trust their body, know how to use it, or believe that its powerful. This is a common problem for females, but much rarer for males, so when I get one, I watch them like a hawk, because I want that payoff. I want to be there when the switch flips and the shy guy gets that look in his eyes & finally makes a real fist & just NAILS the pad, forcing the padholders body back for the very first time.

It happened recently, and I got to see it! It is so exciting, because you just know that newfound confidence is eventually going to bleed over into every area of his life. God, I love being a part of that process!

So, yeah, this is definitely my idea of a good time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Watched Big Daddy J train a new girl in CrossFit today, wondering if that might be where I'm going.....having lunch with him tomorrow to talk. Refuse to speculate. You can't make me.

Walked back to the main studio & took The Gentleman's bag class, like an idiot. My abs are still screaming from Stronggirl's CrossFit Festival of Torment yesterday, but some people never learn. I'd like to learn to teach bag sometime, I really like that class. Glad I'm back to working out properly, maybe now I'll actually make it through a whole class. Eventually. Then I went to Mighty Fine Burgers! I sure did! Bwahahahaha!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Girl's Club

Enough if this non-posting nonsense! And today I have something special to write about. Mighty Mouse & I taught the first in the July series of classes for women only. It was fun! By the time it was over everyone seemed exhilarated & ready to come back. We did lose one - one lady having her first class pooped out during the warmup & almost fainted. She had to leave. Its unfortunate, because it wasn't a difficult warmup by krav standards, though let's face it, back when I was taking my first class there's no way I could have done it. People need to learn to pace themselves. Another lady found the warmup to be too much for her so she just walked around the room until she got her heart rate & breath back to where she was able to participate again. I guess sometimes the way we learn our limits is to exceed them, though. Kind of like with tequila.

We went over the basics tonight, as we had a couple of very new ladies - palm heels, front kicks to the groin, & knees, ending with the drill where you mount the kick shield & pound the crap out of it. Next Wednesday we'll build on it with straight punches & add chokes - probably 2 handed pluck, its the easiest. Also, next week we'll start adding in training in street clothes, which I'm very keen on. It was an idea I'd been toying with in my mind, but the Machine requested it & seemed to feel quite strongly about it, so I'd like to do it every Wednesday if Mighty Mouse will agree. Actually, after the first time we do it we should ask the students how they feel about it, and be guided by that.

I'm very excited about this class, the women are very open to whatever we want to do & they say they feel more comfortable training without the men around, so they can let loose more. I am very surprised to find myself feeling so strongly about the success of this series of classes. With my normal preference for male training partners, friends, and companions my very ardent desire to see these (and all) women grow in confidence and ass-kicking ability was the last thing I expected. But when I see how exuberant they are after class it just makes me greedy for more.

Hey! My husband just came in the with the mail & my new focus mitts are in! I fell in love with the Title Micro Mitts, so I ordered some. Maybe tomorrow I'll smack the Gentleman with them in our sparring session. To paraphrase Bam Bam, "I got some mitts, look out!"