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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Shifting Gears for a Second

I have been meaning to post this for a few weeks but got derailed, here goes:
 Lets begin with how much I love martial arts. It's right up there with Horror and Metal all three sharing the same passionate intensity. I finally decided to train again after a much too long hiatus. Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger. I worked construction for years that did a number on my bones. My knees make sounds like castanets in a flamenco ensemble. I had a lot of reservations about going back, especially taking something intense like Muay Thai. Sure enough, the beginning months were hell, I could hardly breathe let alone keep up with hitting the Thai pads. In time I felt myself getting stronger and my endurance lasting longer and longer. Looking back, how pathetic I felt and how many times I wanted to quit, it's almost pathetic the defeatist attitude I had. A new challenge arose though, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I used to watch the class that was on right after the Muay Thai one I attend. Holy shit is was unreal! I mean we do crazy shit in Muay Thai for conditioning, don't get me wrong, but fuck this was so unreal. There were break falls which almost looked like gymnastics, cartwheels, picking your buddy up onto your shoulders and carrying him across the mat. All the while doing lunges when the instructor called out to do so. Hardcore, to say the least. Well, after much deliberation I finally told my chicken shit self to throw on a Gi (uniform) and jump in. The first class was amazing! Of course I had to tap out left and right but I put up as good of a fight as any newbie could. I tried my hardest to employ things I learned in magazines and from watching fighters that I admire. Some of it worked, yet most of it did not. Who cares? I did not expect to be promoted to black belt the first day and having to tap out is no big deal. It is, in my opinion, a lesson in humility. Having honorable people as partners that really want to help is a huge bonus too. This brings me to my most recent class which was a personal victory. Towards the end of class we have a sparring session (called rolling) where we try to employ techniques we know, and try to defend against our opponent's submission attempts. After a month of classes and getting thrown around and tapped out left and right, it was all starting to make sense. I held my own pretty good against my first opponent which was a big improvement compared to when I began. My second opponent was what eliminated any negative thoughts about my progress. We basically started on the ground, I got away from him and we ended up in a standing position. I took a basic Judo grip on his Gi and tried for a Seoi Nage. The aforementioned word is actually the name of a Judo throw, one that I picked up at a Judo dojo I need to return to ASAP! I almost completed the throw but stopped due to my opponent's resisting. I ended up with my opponent behind me standing and he was about to trip me and apply a choke. I heard my instructor say "Go man, you're not finished yet!" That is when I reacted and with my arm still locked under his I attempted to finish the throw. I lifted my leg to try and get him over but my knee gave out being I had his weight and my on it and we went to the ground. I scrambled up, and took the opportunity to get side control on my opponent. From this position I finally got my first submission in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The very awesome Kimura technique, one that is growing on me as my favorite submission technique. I love Judo, Masahiko Kimura is a personal hero to me and I made a goal to have my first successful submission to be a Kimura. Now, of course it is wrong to keep track of who you tap and who taps you which I totally agree with. I can not help but feel such a sense of accomplishment though form this personal victory. I know it is going to be a very long and very tough road, especially for me since I am in horrible shape, but I have these small victories to fuel my desire to succeed. I live for this, words seem weak in conveying the intricacies of my elation when I put a Gi on or sixteen ounce gloves and a mouth piece. I strongly recommend it to anyone, young or old. Shit, my buddy that I usually train with is like 43 and was in horrible shape when he started. You can do it, most places cater to your needs as they want you to keep coming back and most of the instructors give a shit about your success...It is their job as a coach/sensei/Kru/master.
Here is some videos if your scratching your head and saying "Kim ur a -who?" "Say o' naggy what the fuuuu?" "I thought Thai pad was a dish?"
Seoi Nage:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m8Qf3X-eW4

Kimura from Side Control:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCdn80UT5eQ

Muay Thai:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8kbZhZVIyU

Buakaw is a bad ass fighter! Look him up, those round house kicks are sick!

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