I Had A Disturbing Dream

I had a disturbing dream, and I can’t focus on writing about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Yes, I had a ridiculous dream last night. And I woke up this morning to write an entry (because I didn’t yesterday, like I was supposed to) but my brain swims now with this nightmare.

I dreamed I was traveling abroad in Southeast Asia as a tourist. And I was taking a picture of this stupa – as are so common in Southeast Asia – when three or four people in military dress aggressively approached me. “Hey,” one of them said in broken English, “you no picture that,” as he grabbed my arm. They surrounded me and grabbed both my arms.

Momentarily, I considered resisting. After all, I’m kinda okay at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I was a lot bigger than my four antagonists. But they had rifles…and since I started getting pretty good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I developed this fear that if I ever actually resist against official-type people (police officers, for example) with guns, they’re just going to shoot me. From the perspective of the police officer, I’d be impossible to pin and arrest. It “makes” so much more sense to “just shoot me.”1

“No…I’ve never taken a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class in my life.  In fact, I would not know a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu if I saw one.  I promise.”

Anyway. I don’t resist, because I don’t want to get shot. I was in a foreign country; I don’t know the laws. What is an appropriate punishment for taking a photo of some sacred stupa? A fine? I’m ready to dole out a bribe or two in a third-world country. Who isn’t, right?

The next thing I remember about my dream is being stuck in a dank, awful cell. Bribing obviously did not go as planned. Looking at the terrible surroundings, I wish I had resisted. God knows what was in store for me.

Then something happens. I realize where I am. I realize what’s going to happen to me. I’m in Cambodia. And though it has been something like 35 years since anyone had been abducted by the Khmer Rouge, I knew somehow that I was being taken to the Killing Fields.

It was night, now. I was in my cell. In the morning, I was to be tortured and almost certainly killed by it (or just outright killed). I was starving. Everything sweats with moisture in my brick enclosure. How far was I underground? I looked at the bars to see if there was some way I could possibly escape.

Instead what I found was a desktop computer. It wasn’t there before, but it was now.2 And it was connected to the internet. So I did the only thing any rational person would do when facing their certain demise while in possession of a computer with high-speed internet: I read the Wiki page for The Killing Fields and looked up photos of what they did to their victims. I did research about what was going to happen to me tomorrow.3 Goddamn it, it was only bad news. Bad News Bears for The Jiu-Jitsu Wanderer.

I woke up this afternoon with my last clear memory of the dream – me sitting on the computer looking at bodies in the Killing Fields in various stages of decomposition, people mangled by bamboo sticks, rocks, bullets, disfigured by starvation, and, particularly haunting, amputations-as-punishments – threw the sheets off my body, and made a mad scramble for my coffeemaker.

“I had an awful nightmare right now,” I said to my roommate, shuddering, and scooping coffee into the paper filter.

“Oh yeah?” he responded as he opened the fridge.

“I was about to be killed, I think.”

“Was it about zombies? Cause zombies, bro, are Sear-E-Us. I hate zombies.”

Thanks for reading. Next week, I’m going to write about the various sorts of training I’ve been doing to ramp up for the upcoming tournament.

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1. Being shot or otherwise brutalized by the police is an unfortunate reality in America:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IFINZ9N_eY&feature=g-user-u

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cAAM4TXPdw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLiAWdq9pf0

I literally have dozens of examples.

2. Dreams don’t have to make sense, I guess.

3. I realize now I should have maybe gotten on Reddit, and asked for help. Or Facebook. Or maybe I should have just written my mother a nice email. I’m so thoughtless in my dreams sometimes.

Preparing For The Tournament I

First of all, let me say here and now that I have a monstrous headache.1 Headaches like this are going to reduce my grammatical inhibitions. Consider yourselves forewarned.

Okay, so I’ve begun my training regime for this upcoming tournament. The most trying of the implementations is eating healthy. As a Mexican, I am required by my genetics to eat as unhealthy as allowable by law. Cutting down on the cheeseburgers and tacos has been…difficult. Actually, difficult isn’t quite the right word, because I’m very disciplined. What really happens is that I am approximately eighty-thousand times more irritable. And because I work security at a bar downtown, this means – examining the population as a whole – the 21-year-olds out having a nice, irresponsible night of drinking are going to receive a fractional amount more death-threats as a result of ever-more-mundane infractions.

I decided, on a whim, to go with a cat photo. God knows if you want thousands of hits on a website in an hour all you have to do is post photos of cats.

In the morning, I have two cups of coffee and 48 almonds.2 Pretty standard. For lunch, I’ll eat whatever I want, but in a normal-human proportion (instead of my gigantic feasting sessions).3 Or I’ll have a shake of some kind…two bananas, a cup of oatmeal, a cup of almond milk, and another fruit. Today I’m trying pears. We’ll see how it goes. Then dinner is a salad, with a little olive oil.

The main point being that I have reduced my caloric intake from ~6000 calories of pure junk to ~3000 of Not Altogether Junk. I needed to lose 15 pounds for my weight class (who knew I was so fat?) and am about halfway there.

The benefits to eating healthy? After a meal, I do not feel the urge to immediately begin hibernating. I look better, I guess…? I don’t know. This topic upsets me. Healthy people are so goddamn smug sometimes; and their oneupmanship pisses me off to galactic proportions.4

“Suffocated kumquat, perhaps?”

Bit of a vanilla post. Next week, I’ll go deeper into what I’m doing to train for this tournament. Finally, I found a better video of my very last jiu-jitsu match. What is my ultimate inspiration for training so much and eating healthy and being tired all the time from exercise? My last goddamn loss.

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1. Finishing 2/3rds a bottle of whiskey at the behest of your jiu-jitsu instructor (and with his help) will do that. “What? He’s never led me astray before…” – Famous Last Words.

2. Apparently the fact that I eat exactly 48 almonds every single day and have been for a year or more is strange. I had no idea.

3. My hunger is legendary, my audience.

4. Though I quit smoking some 18 months ago, I still feel a certain affinity with those brave souls who choose to be unhealthy. The Misanthropic Wanderer.

Wednesday Update

Tim Kennedy came in yesterday again. I won’t bother you guys with the details, but he was kind enough to show me just where my limitations are in Our Gentle Art. And my damn neck/shoulders/face/whole body are aching with his friendly reminders. His series of friendly reminders.

In other news, over the course of five months or so training at Atomic Athlete, I have now gotten a lot, LOT stronger. I used to be able to only do 14 push-ups, or thereabouts. These days, I will claim to anyone who has half an ear to listen that I probably can do fifty. All this, despite the fact the last time I was called out and asked to do fifty push-ups in front of them, I only did 35 or something like that. But still. That means I’m ~ 2x stronger than I used to be. In fact – this was two weeks ago, I guess – in the midst of a friendly jiu-jitsu-related game, I suddenly found myself on the losing end of a scramble, and front-suplexed a friend of mine for victory.1 All this in the name of victory.

But what about on the mats? Will all this new strength translate to victory on the mats?

There’s a competition coming up in Austin. My crew and I are all planning on rolling up and doing our best. Since it’s in Austin, I’m also going to struggle to make sure that I have all my matches taped for everyone’s mutual perusal.

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Now for something completely different.  Here is an example of the kind of email I receive.

“For my last round, I was up against possibly the (physically) toughest white belt at our academy. Why is this slated to be not as productive as my rounds with the upper-belts? Because this man is [redacted] Hercules.

[…]

Anyway. The guy doesn’t even try to pass my guard most of the time. He charges in straight and tries to submit me from within my guard. I try to get him in a triangle , or something…then it happens. I hear another white belt from the side lines: “[Name removed for privacy reasons], [NRFPR]! Close the triangle! [NRFPR], you need to close the triangle!” […] The problem here, in my defense, was that this [redacted] brute just decided to bend his massive upper body down to the ground beside my head, and I had no techniques lying in wait to counter ‘lock you down in something reminiscent of a [redacted] kama sutra position.’ I’m pretty limber, or so I’m told, but through eyes shut in wincing pain, I could swear my knees were touching behind my head. Fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. When he moves to pass or counter or breathe, I’ll slip into the mist and return to give him the Unfortunate-Wrong-Place-Wrong-Time-Islamic-Woman-On-A-Crowded-Islamic-Country-Street style [redacted] he needs.2 Yeahhh…that’ll learn ‘im good.

Wait for it.

[…]

For [redacted]’s sake! He never [redacted] moved. His [redacted] head inches away from mine, breathing in [redacted], I swear it, with all his weight of this [redacted] man trying to fit me into a Chinese combuine’s shoe AND AND the little engine who could, “Ah yeahh, man. You got that triangle. You just have to close it. Close it, close it!” At this point, others have been riled up (how, I will never be able to reason) and start giving my opponent some coaching. This is fine, I’m not one for giving a shit, but what do I hear? What in the [redacted] does [NRFPR], who has done nothing wrong to anyone since his fetal days to warrant this abuse, have to sit through – or rather, [redacted] lie in a folding lawn chair fashion through? […]

I’m unable to move, he’s unwilling to give up his position, and I’m even more unwilling to tap from such retarded antics. [Large, beautiful, beautifully inappropriate rant removed]

The bell rings. What was it, like, five minutes and change spent in that position? Ehhh… Suddenly it was alright. I knew going in that he’s the one I need to beat first to really climb up the next run on the ladder. If I can’t obliterate the [redacted] brutes with minimal to no skill, how can I proceed to challenge those with actual techniques to employ?” – Fin

The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires, my audience. Thanks for reading.

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1. Sorry, Roy. But, my audience, I am much stronger now for sure.

2. I just moved and can’t find the required citation for this. It’s in god Is Not Great, for sure. Needless to say, some countries do things…substantially different (toward the worse end of the spectrum) than us:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/saudi-women-demanding-right-to-drive-are-threatened-with-beatings-arrested/2011/05/26/AGuDBzBH_blog.html