Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

Old Blue Belt

My worn out old blue belt

My blue belt is quite worn; when I wore someone else's belt one day, a student who I'd been rolling with for some months congratulated me on my promotion to blue belt.

I'm old, slower, and have a bad hip. So could it ever be possible to promote me to black belt, no matter how many more years I train? Or even purple belt? Children cannot be promoted to adult belts, because they are not capable of beating an adult. Some young people can jump around me faster than I can respond. I have been accused of stalling, whereas I really am unable to deal with some young athletic blue belts, although many of them find it hard to get me to tap.

This is despite training six classes a week. If I spent more time before or after classes, I could learn faster. If I could spend more time watching the Bernardo Faria and John Danaher videos, that would help me progress. I have a lot of commitments as an adult; besides my full-time work, I also have a house that is a "renovator's delight", and need to spend plenty of time being delighted in that way. I have family that need my care and attention.

It's three years, three months old. I expect plenty more wear on this old belt.

Social Distancing in BJJ

The Australian government encourages social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19. This covers many aspects of life, but fails to cover Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. Here, from a non-medical background, I begin the effort to fill that gap.

I'm sure I haven't covered everything, and look forward to hearing other people's tips on social distancing in BJJ.

Old Hippie

As I mentioned, In 2016, a hip surgeon took a look at my hip x-ray and said that I will need a hip replacement in two years. Recently the pain and the limping caused me to believe I might have to.

The main snag with a normal hip replacement is the likelihood of the joint dislocating if someone does a stack pass, where your knee gets pushed next to your ear while you are lying on your back. The doctor said it's simple: just stop doing BJJ.

Richard, my physio, said that together with appropriate exercise and stretching, massage is helpful. So when on holiday in Launceston, Tasmania, I went to get my hip massaged.

I whinged to the massage therapist about how I have to put up with the pain, as I cannot bear to stop doing BJJ.

As I was leaving, it turned out that a female customer had been in the booth next to me, listening to our conversation; there's no privacy from the curtains. She had already gone, but wrote a note that the receptionist handed to me. A note of
      encouragement that says: Never give up something that brings you
      so much joy.  Exhaust all options for pain relief first.  Try
      CBD oil or help oil.  Good luck.

On top (a rare event)

On top --- a fleeting moment

Wade caught one of those rare and fleeting moments where I was on top. Stolen from his web site.

Carlos Machado

My instructor
    Billy with Carlos Machado in the middle

I went to Carlos Machado's seminar with my instructor Billy who I practiced the techniques with.

The techniques Carlos showed us included:

Basking in the Aftermath

Moved to Masters division with three competitors; none in the seniors division except me. Beating the first guy was a doddle. He didn't turn up. The second got me in a sort of shoulder-locking arm bar. I tapped out to the third in a triangle choke. So I came third.

Photo with three men
                                          standing together on podium at Grappling Industries

More relaxed this time, less spazzy. I'm already signed up for the next Grappling Industries competition on 21 July 2018.

Leading up to competition: two weeks left

I've lost three kilos of weight in the last two and a half days. It's more than I need or should; that's 1.7 kg less than the weigh in upper limit. No wonder I felt so weak in training last night.

Looking at the list of people who registered so far, I see that I am by far the oldest competitor; the second oldest was born in 1972, some nineteen years younger than me. I feel scared and nervous now. Last night, watching the Bunn brothers and Tenzin passing guard, there was no way I could come anywhere near that athleticism.

Grappling Industries 28 April 2018

Silly old man will get his (donkey) handed to him. Just turned blue belt and thinks he can compete against these seasoned young men?

No matter what people think, age, speed and strength do matter. It's OK; I'm not doing this for golden glory so much as for the experience. Got to do this before I die.

Blue belt

After two years of very regular and persistent training, my teachers gave me my blue belt.

Photo with instructors and new purple belt Adam after awarded blue belt

So what do I think about that?

Some white belts can still beat me. They are younger than I am, some are bigger, and most are far faster. That's OK, even though a few of my training partners occasionally grind me in the face, I still keep on. I enjoy learning.

I just try more things now. I need to be more playful, and not worry about people getting on top of me, but need to risk more and try more new things. Chris at our gym is like that. He's really good, and playful.

Still Uninjured!

Amazingly, after training more than two years an average at least three classes a week, I am still uninjured (except a small caulifower ear, which helps keep my earphone in!).

So why is that?

It's the respectful and kind nature of the people I train with. If all the people in the world were as kind and respectful to each other as my training partners in our gym, the world would be a much better place.

The other reason is that I tap early and tap often, particularly for joint locks.


Why do this?

When I turned up to Movement Martial Arts, I had little idea of what BJJ might be, and I was surprised to find that it seems to be all about people dressed up in pyjamas wriggling on the floor trying to choke each other.

I gave it a go, and found it wonderful fun. I was hooked from the get go. And dripping with sweat. And shaking from the effort. And heart going at a million miles an hour. And left with a strange euphoria.

The teachers are really good, kind, friendly, and clever, good at Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as well as teaching it. The mats are so good, the environment well equipped, and open seven days a week.

The only snag is that it takes a lot of skill to wriggle on the floor wearing pyjamas and choking people. The people who've done it a while seem to get me in an arm bar in a matter of a minute or so. It's going to take me a long time. No worries, the journey is good. I found the Internet full of helpful videos and teaching material, and so I created this little site to gather a few resources together to refer to while I practice at home, with these links on the TV, so I can try the exercises out in my lounge room, which I've converted into a BJJ gym. So lucky — few objections.