JJW Double-Feature


First and foremost, I must stand before you here, my audience, and admonish myself for not thanking my teammates last week when I was promoted. It is through their continual trials, along with the excruciatingly patient tutelage of my instructor, that I have risen to The Standards at our academy – high as we all know them to be. It is really the first thing I should have done – ‘my first act as purple belt’ or some such nonsense – but at the time I had not the focus, the presence of mind.1

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions are something, in the strictest sense, that we do alone. To believe that my modest gains and achievements were something I accomplished strictly by myself, however, is simply nonsense. My training – technical instruction, positional sparring, self-defense, and all that lovely rolling – is done with a team. We test, we sharpen one another. Without a team, there is no training. Without a team, there is nothing.

Particularly, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude toward Ian, Taesung, Tantrik (congratulations on the blue belt), Vidush, Phoenix, Joseph, Roy, Roli, Derek, Seth, Jordan, Dan, Jim (Captain America), and Donald.2 Whatever I do, it is always with your collective help.

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Iowa Wrestling Documentary

So, the documentary is pretty self-explanatory. And I’m not sure what to say about it, other than listening to what these young men had to say about their mental states, what they were thinking while competing MELTED my face, exploded my brain, and, worst of all, made me reticent to call myself a man.  I mean…LOOK at that crazy kid’s face.  Look at it!

While I would probably not advocate a person ever sincerely espousing opinions I have enclosed below, it is interesting (frightening?) to hear what the toughest among us are thinking as they compete.

19 year-old: They’re trying to destroy me, trying to destroy me. And I have the right to kill them. He’s afraid of what I’m going to do to him in front of his parents, in front of his family.

I think wrestling is a good sport because you can break somebody. You can break their spirit – you know, make ’em be a different person for the rest of their life.

Presumably when answering a question along the lines of “What is it that you are trying to do with your opponent while on the mat?”…:

Monster B: Make him feel like a fool. Break his spirit. Trash him. Pick him up by the singlet on one side, and his backside, just like a little kid, and throw him out the door.

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Aaand there is literally several dozen more quotes like that which, when you hear them, make you wonder how those Iowa coaches broke that many sadists and sociopaths out of the most dangerous mental asylums in the United States, and why these patients are so damn good at wrestling.

Anyway. It’s an interesting watch, and worth your time. Thanks for reading.

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1. Girl problems.

2. Afraid of forgetting somebody, I started with the lowest belt color and worked my way up.

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