I don't train to be better than you. I train to be better than me.

I don't train to be better than you. I train to be better than me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 My first year in BJJ. What did I accomplish?

I'd say just getting involved with BJJ, and the positive changes it has brought about in my life would be an accomplishment.

As a husband, a Parent, and a Professional I have a LOT of very important responsibilities on my plate each and every day. It can be very easy to become overwhelmed and forget about taking time out for myself. BJJ has really given me an escape that is all my own. 3 times a week when I am on the mat I don't worry about work stress, or any of the little messes in my life that distract me. I just train. That escape actually aligns perspective for me. I can go home and play with my daughter, interact with my wife, and just engage my life with a clearer head because I had that time to "reset" my perspective.

I have tried other hobbies, but I was never captured by them the way I am with Jiu Jitsu. I think about it all the time- but unlike day-dreams the result of that thought is productive the next time I am in class.

I can also say that there is a social aspect to it that has been really good for me. I have met so many new, and great people in this last year thanks to training. Honestly, I haven't made new friends like this since college.

I also think we live in a time when there is a lot of focus on classifying people- It creates a segmentation within our society that files us into our separate classes which isolate and divide us. This is not so on the mat. I think the fact that we spar with each other regardless of what we do outside the gym builds respect for each other. I roll with doctors, construction workers, lawyers, students, line cooks, stock brokers, police officers, social workers, teachers- you name it. Some drive 80k cars to the gym, and others ride bicycles. We come from all walks of life, different races, religions, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds. We roll, and sometimes the guy that mops the mats, and cleans the locker room after class to earn tuition taps out the Neurosurgeon. This is usually followed with smiles, handshakes and maybe a brief discussion about what just happened. There is respect for each other as human beings. This is the way it should be.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone rolled. I know for sure my world is.

That is what I got out of BJJ in 2010.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Up-Down- OUT!

Attended coach Matt's intermediate class last night. We were working on defending strikes from guard which seemed a bit odd for a grappling class, but still quite applicable if you are training for self defense applications.
I have actually put some thought into BJJ as a self defense, and really I am glad the school doesn't pitch the art form that way. From what I gather with regards to the prevailing attitude when training: We practice BJJ for sport- with an eye toward competing in organized BJJ/Grappling meets rather than throwing someone a beat down on the street. Don't get me wrong, I think it is very useful to know headlock escapes, and the RNC, or kimura would certainly come in handy when restraining someone, but really if I am up against someone with a knife, or a gun I'm not looking for a single leg- I'm looking to bug the fuck out of there immediately. Fortunately my social, and professional activities rarely put me in a position where I have to worry about defending myself. Last time I checked the gang activity down at the local Albertsons was at a minimum.