It doesn't really matter that I am not the ripe age for a BJJ noob. I may never be the greatest at it, but BJJ provides an experience that is very much needed in my life at this age and most other ages. Here is my list of reasons for thanks, not in any order:
Feeling good physically
Belonging to a team, a group of people that I respect (most of the time)
Adrenaline rush of competition
Feeling of accomplishment for what I have done; something that nobody else can take the credit for, unlike other things in life
Laughing at funny BJJ stuff and team member antics
Here would be a list of things that I hate about BJJ, but that list would be obvious to anyone that loves the sport. BJJ is complicated, difficult and sucks in so many ways that make it a great experience in life.
Team Dave Trader JJ had 3 competitors at the IBJJF New York Open, which all won medals.
Michelle Welti with a silver and bronze in blue belt adult. She looked really good and dominated except for one nemesis opponent.
Arturo Ayala with a bronze in a tough white belt weight class. His second opponent wins the tournament's Douche Bag Award by showing up at the podium and saying that he was Arturo and taking his medal. The the IBJJF did the right thing and gave Arturo another medal. Can you believe/tolerate that there are such people out there in our sport?
I was very fortunate to win my one match and a gold medal in the white belt senior.
Given that I am planning to start competing in BJJ, I thought that my would-be competitors may think twice, if they only knew somethings about my game and other subjects in BJJ that are not to be discussed.
Such as homosexuality....
Sorry, I will not even go there, but if I did, the first image that comes to mind is Wanderlei Silva in this compromising photo:
Wanderlei Silva had the chance to respond to the photo recently in HDNet's The Voice Versus (@1:07):
Some take it as a point of pride, along the same distorted lines as pride in having cauliflower ear. Others accept it as a novel, always humorous statement of sorts. Female BJJ practitioners may find it awkward as the uke receiver or the deliverer, but I would not know, as the token female (kicks-your-ass-blue-belt) at Dave Trader JJ never farts...never...never, because girls don't fart. Honestly, I should not single her out as she has no context in the subjects of this blog.
For me, making an opponent fart is credited as one of my most momentous achievements in BJJ. Rolling with Black Belt Master Dave Trader, I made a (failed) attempt at a stack pass and, voila, he had a reverberating pontification from down under (which was now pointing up). Although in the direct line of fire, I found my ability to force any undesired physical adjustment on Dave to be worthy of laughter, salute, pride...and then he swepped me and submitted me. But, Dave, you can never belittle my shining moment. The moment, my imposing will forced you to...
Sweating In Your Opponent's Eyes or Mouth
Now, it is time to get serious. BJJ practitioners have many unique skillsets that are specific to their individual attributes:
The egotist (I will never lose (or be put in a situation that I could not win))
The bully (I will spar with my overcoming strength and not care about technique, as I will disappear and take a crap during drills)
The happy-go-lucky (I love BJJ, thanks for choking me)
The staller (wait, that's me...)
For me, my secret weapon is sweating in my opponent's mouth and/or eyes. Its a technique that most just don't have the physical attributes and abilities (i.e., fatness). Although I don't know from the receiving side, I can assume from my uke's responses that there is nothing more disgusting or distractive than having beads of sweat fall in your mouth and eyes when your opponent is on top of you. It may be a kind of a Chinese water torture, but much much worse. Just think of how many terrorist attacks would have been averted, if they used sweat instead of mere water in waterboarding.
I sweat so much that I have started to keep a sweat rag with me throughout class. I keep it tucked into my belt like a football referee. As my days are numbered as a BJJ practitioner, my sweat rag is well-positioned as a new technique for myself as a BJJ referee.... The flag flies and I bark, "illegal toe lock, advantage red, resume from the guard position." But, the sweat rag flag falls on the face of an innocent wife by-stander at mat-side and I am once again, the pariah of all that is disgusting in BJJ.
I wish it was as easy as a religious-based torture to deform defenseless babies where they are most vulnerable. However, I am finding rapid weight loss at age 43 to be impossible. I am planning to enter the IBJJF New York Open on April 16. I started with much fat hovering around 243-246 pounds. I have been on a strict diet for 3 weeks and now hover around 239-241 pounds. I need to get down to about 218 to make the 221 class with gi. In my wrestling days of yesteryear, I could drop 10 pounds by just starting to diet and I had much less fat then. Now, however, the fat sticks to me better than gum under a counter. My diet consists of a berry walnut greek yogurt protein powder almond milk smoothie in the morning, which can tend to look like pink/orange chunky baby poo, if strawberries are used and the nuts are not blended fully. Then, meat, greens, almonds, cottage cheese for the rest of the day. That's it.
I need a tape worm. The dieters friend. Fourteen years ago, I was on Koh Lipe, before it had many tourists and had few boats to the mainland. I was filtering water from an old mini filter and got tape worm. I knew it was tapeworm for two reasons. One, you could see it in your #2s. Secondly, I understood why my dog would scoot across the floor to scratch its anus. Yes, it itched like a mother .......... It turns out that tape worms used to be used as a weight loss treatment back in the days of snake oil. I lost 20 pounds in three weeks on the island (down to 185). Just for kicks, after I got back on the mainland, I decided to test my parasitic pet, before I killed it with medicinal poison. I ate a whole pizza one evening. Stuffed myself to the gills. The next morning. Zero weight gain. My wormy ate it all up.
I am getting desperate with my diet. Its time to blame it on my age. I decided to do some Internet research to find some tips on losing weight for the aged. Here is what Life Mojo said (and my comments):
Take walks in the park... (sweet, I like that)
Try using stairs... (aahhh, man, but I love riding my stair chair)
If you have arthritis that makes some movements painful, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an excellent way for you to get aerobically fit. (I knew it, BJJ is the cure all)
It turns out that medical research shows that "weight loss in old age may signal dementia." Good. That means that I am NOT losing weight AND, thus, I am NOT losing my mind. Yeah. This weight loss problem is a good sign.
If need be, I will just enter in the ultra heavy weight "pesadissimo" division and contend with my other fellow walruses.
I guess that I realize now that I am not just old, I am also a wuss. 400 lb Josh labelled me with, "you are the daintiest big man I have ever rolled with." To my defense, his comment followed after he flopped on me going into side control. The reason for his comment is that I make a lot of sound effects. So much so that I have created a new language:
"uhhhh" translates to "your body weight has pounced on my guts, please proceed to another position"
"oouchhh" translates to "you have trapped my extremity in a submittable position causing pain, please be alerted to my tapping"
"shiiit" translates to "note to self, please keep your elbows and arms inside the vehicle and at your side at all times (or get caught like this once again)"
"eeeeh" translates to "that's my jock strap and not my belt, please remove your hand"
"(sound of rapid panting)" translates to "I'm going to die, please prepare for stalling tactics"
Actually, last Saturday Andrew was sparring with another and asked mockingly if I was alright. I said, "you can hear that (panting)." Sparring partner Josh answered, "the jiu jitsu school in Gainesville can hear you." Gainesville being 6 miles away.
"How long does it take to get past gassing terribly (when you are old and feeble)?" I was wondering that myself, as I was having a lot of trouble getting back going after not taking many BJJ classes at the end of last year. I remember Master Dave saying it takes a week or two. For the Aged, it took about 5 weeks and I am just starting to feel good with sparring, not yet able to go 100% for 15 minutes. When I started, it took 3 months. But, then again, I am the Daintiest Big Man.
I have tried the kick the opp's opposite bicep method with poor results. Today Jay the Judo BB showed me a Judo method, which is very OMJJ Approved. All it requires is falling to your side. Even I can do that.
When you are in position with the arm trapped and about to lean back, the opp has a tight bear hug grip on their own arms. I f I fall back, they may just roll with me and get on top. The trick is to further close your bear hug on their arm and grab your Gi on the elbows. Then, fall sideways and arch your torso to extend their arm above their head. They cant hold their grip when it is extended above their head. With the grip broken, you then need to move back to perpendicular to the opps body and finish the arm bar.
I have not tried it in sparring, but it seems easy, requires little energy (i.e., fall sideways) and stops that problem with my arm bar. I am so slow that any opp can see me broadcasting the transition to arm bar a mile away. They then lock their grip and I am stuck hugging an arm that if I execute the arm bar they roll right with me and on top of me.
This video is similar, but how Jay taught it was to just lean to the side and not change the position to be nearly on top of opp. But, hey look, they are old too.