I Don’t Know What To Do

The reality of my BJJ suckage is this;  I don’t get on the mats very often.  As we all know, in order to be good at BJJ, which should be attainable by the majority (I could be in the minority), you need to get on the mats often and consistently.  It’s not that I intentionally skip class, but I have too much life going on.  I have a shitty job where I work a different shift and different days off every week.  I have kids whose needs over shadow my BJJ needs (rightly so), and I have a wife that I like to spend time with occasionally.  Added to that, the number of BJJ classes at GG are few (compared to other gyms), and the turnout is very small.

This week I reached out to a man who runs another BJJ school in my community.  It is quite a bit bigger and has many more students.  The reason I reached out to him was because they have several noon classes through out the week.  GG has a pretty good relationship with this guy, mainly because he is so nice (I don’t like it when schools fight).  Anyways, I asked him about attending the noon classes.  He gave me the price list.  I asked about drop ins but he said they don’t do that.  I understood why when we talked about it.  Basically they don’t want people that only occasionally show up because it’s hard for the core group to have to wait for people that aren’t consistently learning the curriculum.  Also, he’s trying to run a business.  I totally get it.

I don’t normally think like this.  But the idea of leaving GG to go to this other place has been entering my mind.  I would be basically paying the same.  Maybe a bit more.  And I would have access to noon classes, evening classes, and open mats every week.  The part of me that wants to learn BJJ says go for it.  But the part of me that is comfortable at GG says to not.  Also, for some reason I feel obligated to remain loyal.  I don’t know what to do…

The end

I See it Coming and I Can’t do a Gosh Dang Thing!

The one thing I admire most about a good BJJ fighter, is the ability to let their opponent know what submission they’re going for, and despite the best efforts of the opponent to defend, they get it anyways.  There are certain go to submissions in everyone’s tool kit.  For example, when I roll with Sean, I know for a fact that he is going to try to triangle choke me.  I see it coming and I can’t do a gosh dang thing!  While I admire the skill it takes for someone to finish a submission even when it is known ahead of time, it gets to me a little when I fall victim.  Even when I watch someone fight whom I’ve never faced before, I can tell how they will submit me.  lol.  Not the best way to think when you are preparing for a possible match up.  Oh well.  It’s best that I look at it with admiration rather than disdain for my lack of skill.

This week I was working on opening and passing guard by standing.  I had few successes and several defeats.  I think that being stuck in someone’s guard is the spot where I feel the most helpless.  No matter what I try, I can’t seem to break through.  I watch videos on different hand positions for control, and different postures to break open the guard.  I study theory from the top BJJ players in the world.  Nothing seems to work for me.  In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to worry about the guard because I wouldn’t end up in it in the first place.  This isn’t a perfect world.  More often than not, that’s where I am while on top.  Well, I’ll keep at it.  That’s the best I can do, right?

Product Review: Redstar Long Sleeve, IBJJF Legal, Ranked Rashguards

I’ve wanted a RedStar gi for a while now.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.  I can’t seem to get myself to part with the money though.  The way I look at it, I have a few gis already, why do I need another?  I did however, feel that I needed a couple of ranked rash guards.  So I decided to give one of their newly produced, IBJJF legal, long sleeve, ranked rashguards a try.

Currently they’re on sale for $29.95.  The regular price is $59.95.  I thought the shipping was a little much at $10.95.  Add in sales tax, and now the price is $46.22 USD.  Still, a pretty good price.

The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the packaging, was that it is thicker than a lot of rashguards I own.  The stitching looked to be very good quality.  The usual RedStar logos are on it, making the colours pop.  It does have “Let’s Roll” on the right arm, which I think is a little cheesy, but not nearly as bad as some things I’ve seen.

The fit is fantastic.  I always order size large as I have a fairly large chest.  If I get medium (which would make the length much better), they always feel too tight.  Anyways, it is a little long for me, but I’m used to that.  And really, length isn’t a big issue as far as rashguards go.  I wore it under my gi last night.  It breathed quite well.  I sweat like a Mexican whore (no offence intended to any whores in Mexico.  I just assume that you sweat a lot because of the heat and a constant elevated heart rate), but the garment did quite well at wicking the sweat away.  My gi wasn’t as soaked as it usually is at the end of class. 

All in all, I’m very happy with the shirt.  It’s a good fit, quality made, and it looks damn good!  I’m looking forward to wearing it in competition so I can show it off. 🙂

Purple Rashguard Front
Purple Rashguard Front
White Rashguard Back
White Rashguard Back

VHTS (Very Hard To Submit) G1 Gi Review

VHTS (Very Hard To Submit)
VHTS (Very Hard To Submit)

So I won this gi in a lovely little Facebook contest from Grappling Industries.  I was very surprised.  I’ve never won a gi before.  Anywho…  I’ve worn and rolled in it now, and I thought I’d tell y’all about it.

This is the description of the gi on the VHTS website.

The VHTS Gi is born to give comfortable, soft and tailored like feeling while practicing and competing.
550G pearl weave 100% cotton pre-shrunk fabric
A label which you can write down your affiliation and name.
Ripstop single weave 100% cotton
Pre-shrunk fabric stretching round draw string
Gusset with pearl weave fabric the same
as the jacket material

I really like the look of this gi.  It’s crisp and clean with not too many logos or emblems.  It does however, have a cool little Bruce Lee quote on the pants.  Speaking of which, the pants are so comfortable.  Nice and light but really strong.  I don’t know if it’s part of the plan, but they seem to be pretty stain resistant.  You know, sweat and grime from your training partners.  Ewwww…  The crotch area is made of the same material at the jacket.  It seems really strong.  I don’t see it ripping.  The drawstring is a bit thick and cumbersome, but it hasn’t come undone on me yet.

The jacket is very soft.  It feels like I’ve been wearing for a few months.  Worked in right away (I hope no one else was wearing it).  The only issue I have with the jacket is the cut.  It seems to be… slim fit?  I got the correct size for my build, but it seems a tad bit tight across the shoulders.  This loosened up once I started sweating and got moving around.

I don’t really have any other cons to report.  Overall it’s a really quality gi.  Totally worth the money that they’re asking for it.  I’m glad to add it to my collection.  Here’s me choking a training partner in it.


Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, where to start…

Last month my blog was very depressing.  Not only to me as I wrote it, but by judging from the replies I received, depressing for the readers as well.  Nothing has changed as far as the condition of my knees.  They still hurt, throb, swell, clunk, lock, etc, etc.  At one point I was ready to give up on all that I love (not my family but my hobbies/passions).  My wife said it right, I was completely heartbroken.  It wasn’t because I had been injured.  I mean, between Muay Thai, BJJ, and skiing, I’ve been injured a lot.  I’ve learned to accept it and hope to heal quickly.  This was different though because it had been so long since I’d had a major injury to my knees.

Growing up as a kid/teenager/young adult, I suffered several traumas to my knees resulting in several surgeries (6 to be exact), crippling pain, and months and months of rehab.  I was very upset this time around because I know exactly what I face.  There’s no, “Let’s wait and see what happens.”  I know what is on the horizon, and I’m REALLY not looking forward to it.

My initial reaction was to cancel all my competitions/trips/fun.  I was supposed to go to the Provincial BJJ Championships put on by the OJA, but I canceled that.  I lost my hotel fees and still haven’t been refunded my entry fee.  Then I was going to cancel my Whistler trip.  I basically decided that I would eat the money that I had spent.  Well, my wife was against me canceling.  The guys that I was going with were against me canceling.  Basically all were against me canceling.  After a lot of thinking and a lot of research about ACLS and leg muscles, I decided to go.  I had expected to come back on crutches.  My aggressive style of skiing doesn’t bode well for ACLless knees.  Somehow though, I came back with only a little swelling.

The final thing I was considering calling off was my Blue Belt grading.  This was actually to be my first ever grading if you can believe that.  All of my promotions in SAW and Muay Thai were based on performance.  I received my SAW black belt by defeating a Judo black belt in a grappling match.  I received the rank of Kru in Muay Thai by spending my time training and getting in the ring to fight.  So this something new I was facing in my martial arts career.  Like I said, I was considering calling it off.  My wife was right, I was heart broken.  It was like my will to look on the bright side of this situation was gone.  Anyways, after talking with my wife, my professor, and receiving a surprise email of encouragement from a team member, I decided to go ahead with it.  Result…  Blue Belt!

Tomorrow I will attend my first BJJ class as a Blue.  I’m going to keep it up as long as I can.  I know that when I have surgery, I’m going to fall way behind all my team mates.  This is actually the first time in my BJJ career that I feel like purple, maybe even brown, is attainable…