Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pirate Martial Arts - The Saga Begins

Hello, everybody.

This is my first post. I've decided to start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recently, and I want some form of documentation. This will hopefully be a twice weekly blog, so it'll keep me honest.

I'm new to BJJ (tonight was my second class), but I'm not new to martial arts. I've studied Chito-ryu for years, independently. My instructor is, unfortunately, not able to train anymore. I really miss Chito-Ryu, but there aren't any good karate schools in my town. So I decided on BJJ.

I have some experience grappling, because I'm an army reservist. When I was on active duty, we trained Army Combatives, which is based loosely on BJJ, at least once a week. In fact, somebody once told me that the basic two levels of combatives will take you well into the blue belt arena of BJJ.

I don't know if thats the case, but it certain has helped pick up on what the instructors of the BJJ class are trying to tell me.

Anyways, the place I'm going is taught out of the back of a church. Its cheap though, which is its main appeal. The first lesson I went to did not impress me. The guys seemed kinda unkempt, and the mats seemed somewhat dirty. The lesson was taught by a blue belt who just got back from a seminar. He was talented, but not really the best teacher.

Anyways, less than impressed, I left and contemplated finding another school, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on it. So, I figured that maybe they were just having a rough night, and I'd give it another shot. The money is right, and maybe the class would be better with a more senior instructor.

I'm glad I did, because tonight I actually had a really good time. We had a black belt teaching the class (apparently the normal instructor is a brown belt, who only teaches Tuesdays and Thursdays.) Anyways, he was very good. His methods were easy to follow, concise, and precise. He also offered really good advice when we were drilling the moves he showed. He set them up as a progression. So he's show you the set up for the move, you'd drill that, then stop and add the second part.

Very effective.

Anyways, the last 15 minutes, we rolled. The first person I rolled with was a 40-something female white belt. She's been there about 8 months.

I demolished her.

Not bragging, I'm a 27 year old, reasonably muscled man with past experience. Better technique can only make up for muscle to an extent at lower levels. This is painfully evident in my next match.

The next guy is probably 35, and he's fucking huge. He's literally like 100 lbs heavier than me. He submitted me three times in five minutes simply by lying on my chest. One of the senior blue belts told me that he's hard for most people to roll with because of his size and that he really doesn't have good technique. He doesn't really need it...but I expect that he will as time progresses.

My final bout was with the big's son. He's probably 14, and I'll hand it to the kid; he's tough as shit. He's skinny as a rail and could wiggle out of almost anything I put him in. Honestly, he reminded me of myself at that age. Anyways, he couldn't hold me for anything, but I couldn't get him to tap out, despite getting him in bad positions.

Flexibility is a good thing.

Anyways, I'm totally going to be sore as shit.

I haven't gotten a gi, so if anybody has any recommendations, please let me know. I need something fairly cheap...I'm a working father who goes to school full time. My wife doesn't work (daycare is expensive, yo), so we're a single income family. It appears that all of the white belts wear blue gis, which is weird for my traditional karate sensibilities. In Karate, anything other than white is showboating and self-aggrandizing.

Tomorrow, I'll be continuing my last week of Les Mill's Combat workout DVDs. I'm excited to finish. When I do, I'll post the results, but its been very effective for me.

Anyways, feel free to comment and stuff.


  1. Always interesting to watch the transition from a traditional (for want of a better word) martial arts background to BJJ, so I look forward to following your journey. ;)

  2. Thanks, Slidey!
    You're blog is actually one of the reasons I started this one. Keep rockin' out.