Okay, so now that I have been doing this for about a month and a half, I figured I really should start writing about it. It’s just been burning me up inside.
Remember that post a while back where I said that I had found a nice “exercise” class up in Glastonbury (or I was looking for one anyway)? Well, that exercise class is actually Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you aren’t familiar with what Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is, you can do a quick read-up over here on Wikipedia.
Also, if you forgot what got me all motivated about this in the first place, you can re-read my “How To Develop Stamina” post. That will refresh your memory with how frustrated I get with myself.
Anyway, as I mentioned in that earlier post, I have this never ending quest to get in shape. One of the major problems with this quest is that I am getting older and my body is slowly falling apart. Don’t laugh, you are in the same boat. Ha. The rule book my parents gave me when I was born didn’t mention anything about how I was going to have to work harder and harder at getting fit as I get older and older. I am thinking they decided to keep that one to themselves and are now getting a little chuckle out of it.
Now, let me tell you that by no means am I out of shape. I am actually feeling pretty good. I just want to be able to run a marathon tomorrow and not feel it. Yeah right. Laura keeps reminding me that people actually train for that kind of stuff. Either way, continuing to think that I am out of shape keeps me motivated.
At the time I was writing that “Stamina” post, I was actually looking for a martial arts class to join in on. I had always wanted to learn martial arts and even gave it a try when I was a kid. I think I’ll save that story for another post, because I took my one free class with three of my friends and things didn’t turn out too well. That’s what happens when you put four giggly idiots in a class with a bunch of guys who could damage us. It was actually really funny…to us. Anyway…
I first sat in on a Taekwondo class here in town. It looked really good, but I just didn’t get the vibe I was looking for in it. One of the main factors that dissuaded me was the fact that there were kids in the class. I was looking for something more mature. It looked like everyone in the class was learning a lot, but I just didn’t think I would fit in.
Next, I went up to visit a Karate school in Glastonbury. I had watched a bunch of videos from this school on the internet and was pretty excited. When I got to the school, no one was there. I actually stood in the lobby and called the place on my cell phone. I heard the office phone ringing and I hung up. I took a quick look around and noticed that this school also really targeted kids. I guess this martial arts thing is really popular with the youngsters. Oh well. I left.
To make a long story short, I started looking into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and started liking what I was learning about it. If you look at the Wikipedia page I linked to above and have watched any of the videos that I have posted, I think you’ll know why. To me, it’s challenging, smart, fun, great exercise and a very handy tool to have in your back pocket.
I found a nice school that teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu up in Glastonbury. I called the owner and was invited up to sit in on a class. Now, mind you I have never really been to a Jiu-Jitsu class before, so I didn’t know what to expect. He mentioned that I could wear sweats or something to move around in, but I opted to wear jeans because I didn’t even know if I was going to be interested in what they offered. I just sat on the side and observed.
The night I sat in on the class, I learned that this was actually something I was really eager to get involved with. If you took a really quick glace at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), you might think it looks like high school wrestling. The difference between BJJ and wrestling is that in wrestling, you try to pin your opponent and in BJJ, you go for a submission, such as an arm bar, leg lock or a choke. Also, BJJ has a more practical side and can be used as self defense.
After a month and a half of pretty fast paced training, I would say that I have been bitten by the bug. My instructor actually was laughing about that this morning. As I was laying on the mat sweating, I reminded him that I didn’t even know what BJJ was two months ago.
The school I train at offers three classes a week. I haven’t missed any yet. My instructor and another guy also like to train one to two extra days per week. I go with them any time they ask me. I usually end up going in four times a week and sometimes five, like I did last week. It’s really, really good exercise, but I will admit, my body gets tired. I just need to get used to it.
For the first two weeks, I gotta tell you, I was kind of in pain. I had a few back spasms and my muscles wanted to strangle me for what I was doing to them. I thought I was down and out for a few classes when I had the spasms, but I still went in and worked it out. Believe it or not, practicing BJJ is sort of like going to the chiropractor. You go in with a back problem and come out cured. It’s amazing what someone stacking you will do for your back muscles.
Since then, things have been going rather smoothly. I purchased a new gi, a mouth guard and some knee pads. These things have come in really handy, especially the knee pads and mouth guard. I was watching a video a few weeks ago and the trainer was attempting to express how important mouth guards are. He then pulled out his front teeth to let the point sink in. He told the class that he lost all of his front teeth the very first time he went to train. I bought the mouth guard after I saw that video.
During the month and a half that I have been learning Jiu Jitsu, I have noticed some pretty nice changes. Firstly, I look a bit better muscle-wise. Things look more toned. Also, I can see my abs again. I never thought that would happen. I’m not sure if my stomach muscles have been built up more or if I lost weight. Either way, my good ol’ college six-pack is starting to show again. I think the real secret lies behind the creatine and soy protein though. Those supplements helped a lot in college and continue to help tremendously now.
I really wish you could see me spar with the guys in the class. You would probably get a kick out of it. It’s amazing how much I have learned in just a month and a half, but it definitely shows how much I have to learn. But, like anything else I get myself into, it’s pretty much a life long trip.
I had considered writing all about the different moves I learn here on this blog, but then thought better of it. I can well imagine that most of my readers really don’t know or care what a “Scissor Sweep” is. Well, if you do care what it is, check out this video for a demonstration.
You know, now that I put that video up, I am realizing how I can actually post a video for every move I learn. If I put a video up with some text, you guys won’t get bored and I will be learning something too. Hmmm.
Okay, I am outty. I just thought I would share the reason I haven’t been writing all that much lately. I have been so busy with this and work. Till next time.