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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, December 20, 2013

2013 in review

Greetings Tribe!

This will more than likely be my last post of the year. So I thought I would take some time and review some of the changes and memorable points of the year and sum them up.

The berimbolo: the year started of with one of the hottest drills in jiujitsu and I couldn't do it to save my life. Uncoordinated, unathletic and for the most part, immobile. Thanks to my training partner, we drilled the position for almost a solid year. While I am far from a Mendes or Miyao, I can pull it off in drilling. I am far from doing it in sparring. But it has turned out to be a very revealing and rewarding drill. It began to teach me the concept of flow (more on that later).

Brown belt: Totally shocking when it happened. This has been the belt of passing the guard (Riberio) and getting mean (Roy Harris). Brown belt has been a period of quantifying the fundamentals and expanding my arsenal. It has been the time of refining the most basic sidemount escape, and the pleasure of training the rolling backtakes. I no longer fear inverting. I no longer stop in half guard or in side mount, I am always attacking mount or back. I have gotten lighter (thank you WW!) but feel heavier. Flowsparring with Bill has helped me move more quickly and react manytimes without thinking. Bill and I are attacking legs, feet and knees with more ferocity and abandon. I have learned better ways of defending kimuras, reverse and mounted triangles, and figured out an entire array of attack from quarter guard. I am watching and dissecting more videos and I am having fun share what I know with others. The prospect of a black belt still scares the shit out of me, but I am reflecting back on my journey with admiration. Professors Marcos and Bill are jiujitsu giants and I am eternally thankful for their guidance and knowledge.

Geezers: I have broadened my passion for bjj, wing chun and the filipino arts, because they are "geezer" methods. They allow a person to age and they get better. Watching Dan Inosanto or Paul DeThouars (RIP) or Renato Paquet (RIP) gives ample insight into how well "old men" can move. It gives us something to strive towards. I cannot wait to get to the point of rolling without any strength, where it is nothing but balance, timing, rhythm and leverage. This year was the realization that I am a martial artist having trained in something for 36 years. I no longer watch youtube for the latest technique, but to watch Rickson or Pedro Sauer spar, to see Paul or Bill DeThouars move, or to watch the influence of Dan Inosanto, Hawkins Cheung or Jin Young. It still has the same fascination for me.

Conditioning: I have utilized programs this year from Pavel, Dan John, Jon Hinds, Eric Goodman, Steve Maxwell, Eric Orton, Tim Anderson and am just now investigating and trying kettlebell sport. I am more mobile, leaner, and stronger than I was last year. I am becoming more efficient.

I was able to go to 4 seminars this year: Marcio Feitosa and Flavio Almeida, Flavio Almeida, Phillip Della Monica and Rener Gracie. Truly amazing and inspirational events. I will never forget: "Bro, your kimura is dope. Daaaannnnnggg!!"

I have secured hopefully the last job of my career. I am truly fortunate to be at a place that I love.

It has been a wonderful year. Here is to 2014!


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