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.
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.
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: