Greetings and salutations!
A little bit of history to get us started.
I am a 43 year old blue belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu and I practice at Gracie Barra Springfield in Springfield, Illinois (see the link to my fabulous school on the right). I have been practicing BJJ for going on 4 years and so far it has allowed me to drop about 50 pounds (always room for more), gain a second family of friends that I would do anything for, and almost daily help me survive my job working in the ER of a psych hospital.
Fast forward to last sunday when I was playing around on the internet and watching some jiujitsu videos and talking about it with my wife, when she stated "You are such a happy grappler!" I must add that anyone who knows me will tell you that I seem to ALWAYS have a smile on my face. I reply that the reason I smile so much is that I get to choke others on a daily basis! But truthfully, this practice has provided me with a deep and profound joy and is one of the keys to my serenity. Thus, in that moment, the "Happy Grappler" was born. I posted about it on facebook and after some pondering, I had the idea to create this blog.
I have been around the block when it comes to the martial arts: 11 years in Judo, several years in Japanese and Okinawan Karate, I wrestled in college and played around in Kali/Escrima, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Catch Wrestling and was a defensive tactics instructor when I was a Probation/Parole Officer (I did about 600 hours of instruction in Tony Blauer's SPEAR system and was a SPEAR/PDR Instructor). But nothing has quite provided me the same fulfillment that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has. Yes, those arts have helped contribute to the man that I am today and I am very thankful, but I continue to practice bjj and have settled that this will be the art that I practice for the rest of my life.
I also run and practice Tai Chi and Qigong.
I am not a great writer and not very tech-savvy, so bear with me as I learn by trial and error. I hope to post regularly about things that have really helped me along the way: Jiu jitsu insights, stuff about nutrition, mobility and other training stuff that I do on the side (I have just started running again and have also just begun a Qigong practice) all in the aim to make us all Happy Grapplers. I also want to give a shout out to the blogs and sites I regularly follow which I have also listed on the right. Even if some of those folks and I never meet, if my soul was a clay pot, their influence has created a fingerprint. If there is nothing else to talk about, I will brag about my girls or my wife (the best thing that has ever happened to me) or talk about food or country music or whatever I am thinking about.
Thanks for joining me in this journey and lets have some fun!
Stop by anytime!!