|The Podium for Gi.|
|The Podium for No-Gi.|
|Me and coaches: The Professor (Cristiano) and Jared.|
I thought I knew something about choking people based on my many years of wrestling. Boy was I wrong! I started Brazilian Ju-jitsu this past January and am still a White Belt, but I am progressing. At this rate, my Professor tells me that I will be a Black Belt by the time I'm 67. Wow! I'm not sure I want people strangling me when I'm 67. I might just take up golf or tennis to avoid ruining my delicate health.
I have thoroughly enjoyed Ju-jitsu training. I love the people I'm training with and our Professor at the Gracie Barra club (Cristiano Oliveira) is phenomenal. I genuinely like choking people and love the physicality of the sport. It's crazy though, there are so many ways to lose. One mistake and it's light out. It's like wrestling in many ways, except way more tricky and technical. You have to constantly think ahead and anticipate your opponents attacks. In Ju-jitsu if you guess wrong, you're basically going to be strangled by your opponent.
Today was my first opportunity to compete since joining the club. It was a lot like a wrestling tournament: Making weight and then sitting around in a stinking gym waiting for your weight to be called. The only difference is that once your weight is called, your entire weight class and division goes to a mat and you fight everyone in your bracket with very little breaks. My cardio is good, so this turned out to be a big advantage for me. Because of my background in wrestling, I am basically dominant in the White Belt Division for No-Gi. It's harder to choke your opponent in No-Gi and you score for takedowns. I took down everyone I fought today, including the match I lost. In No-Gi I scored 41 points and only gave up 2. It was a blood letting for sure. In Gi, I was mostly trying to avoid be strangled. I would take my opponent down and score points and then find out I was in a terrible position and would have to scramble just to survive. I don't know if I will ever get good at Gi, but No-Gi is a lot of fun for a wrestler.
So, next time you see me if you notice some heinous red marks on my neck, you can rest assured, it's not a hickey from my wife, but rather the markings of being choked with my own Gi.