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Welcome to the Happy Grappler. The key to a consistent practice is joy. As an aging athlete, I continue to seek out methods that help to keep a smile on my face, relatively fit and pain free. This is my mental graffiti. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

If your jiujitsu was an animal, what would it be?

When I was a kid (even now as an adult, if I am confessing), I was obsessed with Kung Fu movies. Even though I love the amazing pieces of cinematic achievement today. I loved horrible lip sync translating, fights that take place for 20 minutes in the mid-air, horrible stage and sound effects chop socky kung fu movies. Invariably, pupil of the crane style would take on the master of the tiger style in an ultimate battle and then my mom would turn off the TV  (I know I am ancient...I can remember TV's with NO REMOTE CONTROL!?!?!) and tell me to finish my math homework.

But I was thinking about that at work tonight, and thinking "what if we had totem animals for our jiujitsu?" Like a personal style...

I know I have mentioned my training partner, Bill the Black Belt, who we all call "the supple leopard."

And it fits...Patient, tenacious, fluid and stalking. Waiting for the right time to pounce. Then there are some in my academy stronger and more forceful, not as graceful but with immense pressure like:

Great base, hard to move, very strong and you hate to be under them. Of course there are some that when they touch you, they are holding on and every calculated moment brings you closer to tapping, like:

The Boa. And everytime I feel like I am able to get out of a situation, I end up in another situation that is worse than the one I escaped. There are some in my academy, who are fast, nimble, hard to hold on to, flexible and dangerous like:

Fast, tough, slippery.

You get the picture?

But then I was thinking, where does that leave me? If my jiujitsu were an animal, what would mine be? And then I figured it out:

I am the St. Bernard of grappling: slow, great endurance, resistant to extremes and always having to get out of dangerous spots. My defense is very good, but as an aging athlete I am always operating from a deficit. It is either age, or skill, or speed. I need to figure out a game plan that keeps my good qualities (defensive jiujitsu, choke and armbar defense, bottom game to sweep, and top game to side control-sealing the gaps) and takes me to places that I need to improve desperately: back defense when an opponent has one or both hooks in, finishing from the mount instead of bailing to side control, and not pausing to think instead having smooth transitions.

Anyway, something to ponder...


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