Photo by Jon Dingman.
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Some details for perspective. Coach is a really good brown belt, and the guy he fought is a black belt! Yes, it was a super fight and the organizers put the match-up together. Coach weighs in at roughly 160lbs. Not a super huge guy, but we love to tell him he has broad shoulders 🙂 His opponent on the other hand, wasn’t a small man, weighing in over 200lbs. A slight advantage I would say. He was my size, all muscle.
It was a 10 minute match in which ended in a draw. Coach was close to a sweep in a few situations but ultimately there were no points or submissions.
Sometimes the key isn’t beating your opponent, it’s not letting them beat you. This is another great example of how impactful Jiu Jitsu can be for self-defense in mismatched situations (David & Goliath).
Technique trumps all, and if this isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is!
Props to everyone that came out to compete and support Carlson Gracie Team on the mats. Special shout out to Alfred Carling for taking a match on 10 minutes notice against a brown belt. Alfred is a purple belt for those that don’t know. That is the Carlson Gracie way. Anytime, any place!
I have been training Jiu Jitsu for about two years now, and it only gets more intriguing every day. I have learned a lot about patience, self-control, how to become calm in pressure situations, and yet I am just scratching the surface.
There’s an inner gauge I am learning to read that enables me to slow myself almost into a state similar to a lion when it’s getting ready to attack. Poised to pounce, completely still and focused, and with an unmistakable burst of smooth movement ramping up an overpowering and aggressive attack that’s hard to escape. All the while I’m in a place where I find myself using little power and maximizing energy conservation. Sounds easy right? Yeah, no!
I am two years into this wonderful journey and I am only starting to scratch the surface, literally! I’m a newborn cub in the wild, and I’m glad to be here! It’s sometimes hard to put into words to those not familiar with Jiu Jitsu how challenging the journey is. All I can say is get on the mat and start training. You’ll immediately see how difficult it is, and quickly you’ll learn how addictive and rewarding the journey becomes!
Today I reached a new marker of progress and I am very excited about it. Coach Orlando called me up after a great night of training and striped me up. I earned my second blue stripe tonight, and I couldn’t be happier.
I’ll continue to train and continue to grow. Hopefully one day I get to grow into a lion. Not so much for the sake of promotion, but with the hope that I can one day read that inner gauge like a master!
Have a great week on the mat!
It is a long journey, and sometimes life happens! Of course, life always happens, it’s just that sometimes you have to adjust priorities. Your every day routine shifts.
I earned my first blue belt stripe at Carlson Gracie Menifee in December, and I couldn’t be more excited. Not excited about the stripe per se, but about what it means to see forward movement in my journey.
Over the last year life has led me in various directions. Some good, some great, and some painful. I have been through some nagging injuries which quite honestly are getting a bit annoying. If you ask, I’ll continue to blame old age. I also made various life changes that included some very involved career moves which took focus and dedication, and a bit more travel than I had seen over the previous 12 months.
Needless to say, these variables have slowed my mat time, and training has not been consistent. From November through December my training increased only to be slowed by more travel and injuries come the new year.
The purpose of this post was really to remind myself that life will continue to happen, and that’s OK. I am a 37-year-old businessman and father of 5 beautiful daughters. Curve balls are going to be part of my being on this earth 🙂
That said, I love Jiu Jitsu. It has truly changed my life, and I can’t ever see a day where it isn’t somehow a part of my life. I still study through videos and read about techniques every day, even when I know I can’t train for whatever reason. The journey continues, and always will.
My commitment to my journey has not weakened, in fact I would argue that it strengthens by the day. I am committed to my team and couldn’t ask for better folks to train with. This is the month leading into the IBJJF Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship which is the next tournament I will be competing at. I am not prepared as I should be, but I am doing it anyway. I am not a medal chaser (although reaching the podium rocks) but rather a practitioner that believes that competition elevates your training which ultimately helps improve your game. Improving is my focus, and competing will give me the opportunity to win and learn, or learn and learn, there is no losing.
To close, I’d like to point out that I know for a fact there are a lot of players out there dealing with these same events, constraints, blocks, whatever you want to call them. All I can personally say is it sure feels good when I am on the mat, and even though it’s tough for me to consistently train sometimes, I always go back. Can you honestly tell me you don’t feel a bit of a void or an emptiness when you’re not training? Don’t let it get to you! Just do it, go train. Find a way. Life will continue, and so will your Jiu Jitsu journey as long as you get back on the mat as often as you can!