So yesterday. Got out of work on time for once, traffic didn’t completely kill me and I was able to walk into the Academy respectfully on time. Huzzah!
Karate was awesome. As is normally. My Kali stick fighting is improving. I have to remember that while using the wrists makes it look fancy and with great speed, power comes more from form. As it is with everything in life.
The title of this new segment is in reference to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After Karate I asked if there was any BJJ classes that night. Figuring right after Karate is BJJ class. Right? Right? Well yes, young Karate-ka! It is! …..on Thursday! See the wonderful thing about working weird random shifts is that you tend to forget what day it actually is. Kyoshi Vito, being the awesome guy he is, said “Yeah? You bring your Jitz gi?” I replied that I had. So as soon as other BJJ guys hear this? Well they’re always. ALWAYS. Down to roll.
So there I am. Mr I’m a White Belt with a sterling 0-0 record and two whole classes. Staring down a man who bares the deadliest colour combination of our time. Black and red. He is a Jiu Jitsu black belt. My first thought is ‘Well shoulder, you had a good run…’ He introduces himself. We share the traditional handshake to fist bump. He is told that this is my third ever class and first ever roll. He chuckles. My second thought is ‘Well fuck me….this is gonna be lovely.’
The telltale sign of a great Academy is its instructors and senior belts working to help the lower grades to improve and get better. Also known as…he took it way easy on me.
I think I held my own rather well. I was able to escape all the holds, maintained a decent side control for a good chunk of the roll. Was able to kick out and actually tried some offensive moves. Fearless I tells ya! I still don’t know how it happened. I had him in side control which he countered and escaped rather easily. Then, I saw it. The human chess game showed me a possible move. An open back. I snapped up, lunged behind him and took back control. And that’s when almost as if natural instinct, I saw the opportunity and took it. My arm slid in front, quickly matched by my opposing hand. Regardless of the the fact that I had only two formal lessons prior to this moment, I still excuted that which I had absolutely no business doing.
The rear naked choke.
It proved to be not very effective at all as he countered it moments after I had (I thought) locked it in. The point still stands. In the first ever roll I managed to not only stay alive against a black belt but also managed to try maneuvers well above where I should be.
The professor’s quote of the night: “Are you sure you’ve only had two lessons? Like….REALLY sure?”
This chess game is awesome. I love the hell out of this art. It’s fighting, but more so thinking. It’s 5% trying to tap or choke someone, 95% moving around getting out of bad positions to get into better ones. It really makes you adapt to situations and find a solution to the predicament you find yourself in. I also gassed in less than 10 minutes. Which is better than I figured I would do. Time will indeed tell but I think with a lot of time, effort, studying and training I will achieve some great things personally in this art.