first day with my Gi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Move of the Week

      I haven't been keeping my 'BJJournal' like I said I would, oops.  (but not that surprising).  And haven't been studying books (also not that shocking).. although, We are awaiting the arrival of a special book, any day now.  Gary spent $89 on a copy of Helio Gracie's master book, because it only had one printing. There's so much to learn, so much to study, so much to practice... it's difficult to focus on one thing at a time.  At the school we're at now, they teach anywhere from 4-8 different moves every night; it makes my head spin, and after a while, it's quite challenging to pay attention.  Going to Jiu-Jitsu feels like going to school.  It's hard to pay attention for so long, and Everything is a test; an opportunity to succeed or fail.  A learning opportunity, of course... I tell my students that a quiz is just a learning opportunity... but they certainly don't feel the same way.  I understand.  It stings just a little to get beat up no matter what. 

     This week, I have had a few more moments when I've felt things coming together, and where I've been remembering some long-lost moves.  Really, I guess it's the process of my brain recognizing a position I'm in, and searching the filing cabinet for what to do.  (and by filing cabinet.. i mean that my brain is probably more like a box that just gets papers shoved into it at random)  A friend posted this video on facebook because it's hilarious, but it is also very good basic Jiu-Jitsu.  I subscribed to Kurt Osiander's 'Move of the Week,' so I am committing to a way to focus.  My commitment to myself and my jiu-jitsu practice is to keep watching each week's video 2-3 days throughout the week. 

Here's the video:
Kurt Osiander move of the week - escape from side control

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Upper Belts

      Our school hosted a seminar; a guy who trained with our instructors and got his black belt from Royce Gracie.  This was my second seminar.  My first was with De la Riva and I had no idea how special it was... since it was maybe my second month of training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  At the De la Riva seminar, I trained with Gary and a couple of other purple belts.  I wasn't really seeing the connections, so mostly I just did what the person I was training with explained to me. 
      At this seminar, I trained with a black belt (mostly because we were the two partner-less people after everyone else paired up).  I still have the 'awe factor,' but as I meet more black belts, the interaction feels more comfortable.  I switched partners for one move that was harder with a height difference, and didn't know until the car ride home that I was with the master instructor of our school  (we're at a satellite).  I don't think i did/said anything embarrassing  :-)  
      From the very beginning, I've been so spoiled, getting to train with upper belts.  I try not to impose too much on their training time, but I think this is one of the reasons that I have stuck with it.  They have a general heir of calmness and sincerity that I truly appreciate and aspire toward.   Especially at this bjjym, I am noticing that many of the white belts don't have that same spirit of respect and artfulness.  Everything seems like a threat and a reason to prove themselves... instead of self-betterment and an outlook on life.  One theory -  the people who stick with it are the ones who have that attitude of a long personal journey.  I don't know if it's something that you can grow into, or if some folks who just come to "fight" and to "win" against others quit after a while.  In general, I am fascinated by what may motivate different people to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu... and to stay with it.
      I asked my instructor this question one day.  He said that, when he was a kid, he was smaller, and play fighting with friends, others' size and strength brought great advantage.  Someone showed him a Japanese Jiu-Jitsu move or two, and he liked that he could find an angle to lessen their advantage.  He stuck with it because he is generally a pretty hyper personality, and the days he trains Jiu-Jitsu, he notices a greater sense of calm and self-control.       
      What brought you to the mat?  and what keeps you here?