My Journey into the World of Jiu-Jitsu (LONG ASS READ)

(I intend this to be a continuing FanPost or FanShot as I’ll be running this as an ongoing blog that’s yet to be set up. Because I know most aren’t going to read the entire post I’ll repeat what I said at the end. “If you have any critiques on how I could make this better PLEASE let me know! My writing skills are not the best and as my girlfriend so kindly pointed out ‘commas are your friends’ ”)

I’ve always been enamored by Jiu-Jitsu and grappling for a long time. I followed the UFC events as much as I could and got hooked on PRIDE. While I was in college I considered joining our school’s grappling club but never had the guts to attend a meeting and see what it was all about. Fast forward 4 years and I land a job with Boeing out in Long Beach California. I started watching the UFC more and more often and read as much as I could online, I was even a Sherdogger “PRIDE elitist” at one point. I found several schools that looked promising. The one I really wanted to join was Brazilian Top Team with Marcelo Perdomo, a black belt under Murilo Bustamante one of my all time favorites. I always toyed with the idea of going down and trying it out as it wasn’t more than 5 miles from where I was living. I was always too timid and worried about looking foolish and/or getting completely worked over and I passed up the opportunity.

Fast forward again a few years later and I’m still in So-Cal but now living in Huntington Beach, literally less than 1 mile away from my apartment was Cleber Jiu-Jitsu with Prof. Cleber Luciano a black belt under Royler Gracie. Yet another amazing opportunity pissed away as I couldn’t get myself to go, even for a peek. I have a close college buddy who is about to receive his purple belt from Fabio Santos after the Pan-Am tournament (fingers crossed) that’s always begged me to get in to Jiu-Jitsu and I always just had these stupid reservations. So there you have it I had the opportunity to study under some of the game’s best for roughly 5 years and I wasted it.

Fast forward a layoff, a move to Huntsville Alabama, working a year for NASA, another layoff and landing my current job. I’ve been at my current job about 2 years and have been living in Northern Alabama for about 3 years now. Not exactly my preferred destination but I’m employed and compensated adequately. I’ve been looking a bit here and there at schools in my area. I’ll give you a hint; there aren’t a lot of choices. After talking with my buddy (the Fabio purple) and getting him to dispel most of the worries I had about it, I decided to start classes.

The school I’ve decided to join is Triad Martial Arts with Master Johnny Lee Smith. 99% of people aren’t going to know who he is, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t accomplished. He’s a 3rd degree black belt under Master Carlos Machado and rolled back in the early 90s with Rickson. Now it might occur to some of you that maybe there’s this guy in Alabama that is claiming to have all this. It was one of my first thoughts as well, partially because there is a McDojo here in town that had put up a Gracie Academy sticker on their front window. It took about a month before that sticker came down. A visit to Triad’s website shows pictures of him with Rickson in Rickson’s garage in the early nineties as well as recent shots of Rickson doing some seminars here in town.

That brings us to the current day. I sit here on my computer about 2 weeks out of training. You might be asking yourself, “Why don’t you just go now?” A valid question, I convinced a coworker of mine to start rolling with me and he’s got some school stuff to attend to before he feels comfortable starting and I’d really prefer to start with a blank slate with him. I’ve ordered a gi (Gameness Air) and I’m ready to go!

-stop reading here, if you haven’t already, if you don’t care to read a little about me-

What makes this blog interesting is that I’m WAY out of shape and pretty damn overweight. I’m going to be 30 within a month and I stand about 5’11” tall and if I had to guess I weigh about 245 or so at this point. So this should be interesting from several points I haven’t worked out on a consistent basis in quite a long while and I’m going to be documenting this on hopefully a semi regular basis from my first class. I’m an avionics system engineer so that means I sit in a cubicle all day at a computer. It’s time to change things and go have some fun rolling. Believe me when I say I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be easy and I don’t expect to be learning flying omoplatas in my second or EVEN third class, my buddy told me that’s 4th class stuff :) I don’t expect to become a quick learner or start tapping anyone anytime soon and while belt promotions are a real honor, I realize that belts only cover two inches of your ass. I’m going in with an open mind heart and soul and expect this to be a wonderful, if not hard, journey into the amazing world of Jiu-Jitsu.

If you read the entire thing, I applaud you and award you +1 internets. If anyone has anything they’d like to share tips/tricks what to do what not to do for a super beginner please feel free to let me know. As I mentioned earlier I’m not a very talented writer, so if you have any critiques on how I could make this better PLEASE let me know. I promise my following entries won’t be as wordy or lengthy, I just wanted to provide a background to let readers know my situation.

Oh and if you’re in to photography (especially lightning) check out my photo blog (in my sig)

Thanks for reading BE!


\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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