Expect Nothing

There is something special about being treated like the annoying little brother by someone higher ranking than you in jiu jitsu.

Sometimes you think, they’re only helping me because they want me to actually put in a good training session so they get something out of it.

Other times you know they see something in you that reminds them of when they too were a white belt, trying to not be awkward and get submitted every minute.

When you get to class and expect nothing, accepting the challenge of just trying to survive and learn at the same time and a breakthrough happens because someone else decided to help you. That’s special.

Where’s My Gas Tank?

This week has been one of those… well let’s just say it’s referred to as “Reporting Hell” internally. I’d say that’s accurate. As of yesterday (Thursday) I’ve already spent well over 40 hours glued to my desk chair working and working and working on reports. It’s that time of year. It’s what we do.

So guiltily, I didn’t go to BJJ all this week until last night. I managed to slip out of the office around 6 and make it to the 6:30 and 7:30 PM classes. As I’ve said before, back to back classes can be really hard depending on what the first class brings. In the first class yesterday was half wrestling double legs and half arm bars. Pretty intense stuff, but I felt good at the end.

Once I started the warmup for the second all-levels class, I knew I was in trouble. I couldn’t catch my breath, my muscles wouldn’t work the way I wanted them to and eventually I had to take a break (which has never happened to me). I felt dehydrated, but drank water all day at work and right before practice. I guess it wasn’t enough. However, I got back in class and we practiced omoplatas and then rolled.

Rolling when you’re exhausted is a blessing in disguise. Mostly because you can’t pull shit off that involves strength. It’s all about technique and staying calm so you don’t pass out. So, I just worked on that and it was good.

I’ll tell you this, I’m glad it’s Friday. It’s a good soreness in my body that’s taking my mind off the work week.

Happy Weekend to you all.

Weigh Your Natural Advantages

I’m a big dude. Always have been. Always struggled with it.

In BJJ, being big and strong can have its advantages and disadvantages, like anything else. I partially got into BJJ so I could lose weight with a regular exercise I actually enjoyed.

Yet, as I work on my technique, I’m self-conscious of my weight, size and strength. When I’m in someone’s half guard, side mount or full mount, I’m conscious of if I’m hurting them. Mostly because I believe in BJJ karma and courtesy. I don’t want people to hurt me in practice either.

Then I get to roll with a purple and brown belt in randori. I get looks of disgust. They hiss at me, “Use your weight. Use your strength! You’ve got it! What’s wrong with you?”

What I’m usually encouraged to do with fellow white belts is strongly discouraged by the OG upper belts. They’re not encouraging me to go nuts and flail around, but to be aware of all the leverage I can take advantage of.

I’ve lost a substantial amount of weight since getting into BJJ, but even still, I’m just now learning to appreciate what weight I do have.