Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Humble Pie

Mirrored From:

One of the things I've noticed is that BJJ is one of the quickest ways to humble someone. Don't get me wrong, I am having a ton of fun. But I did martial arts most of my life.

I have been pretty good at stand-up martial arts for a long time, and it was the rare occasion that I would go against someone and just get manhandled (though it happened occasionally).

5-4 loss against the #1 ranked 1st Degree Black Belt at the time.

Prior to competition.

But here I am, getting smashed by everyone. According to all of the forums this is pretty normal. Now, I have felt pretty decent and actually gave a couple blue belts some trouble, but not been the better grappler at all yet.

Part of this comes from a difference vs. my previous martial arts background.

When I came through the ranks of different stand up systems, there were usual several belts, such as:

Early belts came pretty quick, so a white belt was a person who basically knew nothing. You might have your green belt by 4 months in.

In BJJ, it is:

And the black takes much longer to get to. You get to purple belt in the amount of time many others get to their black. So being a white belt feels like forever. It also skews my original expectations of rolling (sparring) with a purple belt.

Rolling with a purple belt basically means you will get smashed. Browns and blacks will smash you too, but usually in a more gentler, instructive way.

And here is where the next part of humble pie comes in. I keep seeing on message boards people saying "34 is too old to start!" Most of these posts get an argument and I disagree with them... but ... less than 2 months in I have my first injury.

Saturday I did not have time to go to class but I had time for open mat so I took advantage of it. It was all upper belts and it was a lot of fun. The first match was against a brown belt instructor, then a very large blue belt, then the black belt instructor, and finally a purple belt who repeatedly got me with kimura. Which is basically this, but we were on the ground.

Now, in a prior class I was in an arm bar by a very good student and I slipped out of it. So I had some (false?) confidence that I could get out and refused to tap until it was really sunk in.

It did not hurt too bad Saturday or even Sunday. But Monday (after my 3 year old daughter had also slept on my chest after a tornado warning), it began to hurt really bad. I could barely turn my car right. I went to BJJ class and tried to push through the pain but even the instructional drills were excruciating.

I got it checked out by a doctor and he said it just seems to be a sprain and will hurt for about a week. I am hoping he is right so I can get back to training.

Meanwhile, Logan is doing great!

Here is he practicing his guard. He is saying he likes BJJ more than football and he has not ever liked anything more than football so that is big news. He loves wrestling and practicing with me.

Next week he test for his second stripe. Another difference in BJJ and my previous experience is they have different belts for kids. So he can get a grey belt (and variations), orange, yellow, and up to green... I think all before 16 and then could become a blue belt.  They also get stripes quicker and in more of a consistent way, so by next week he will have two stripes to my 0!!!

So here's to hoping I am feeling good enough to train tomorrow!!!

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