15 Aug 2007

...and tonight, on Heroes in the Eyes, I'm gonna be...

I just want to say how much I am enjoying the sci-fi TV series Heroes. Season 1 has just finished on cable in the UK. But the good old Beeb have just begun to show it and word is spreading. I’m risking my neck here, but I have a theory that people, like me, who choose martial arts as a hobby have at one time or another, secretly harboured desires to be superheroes themselves. Maybe not now, but in the beginning, when they were first starting out, they dreamt of gaining amazing new powers to defeat all the bullies and enemies that every slighted them in the past. Yep, silly I know and I suspect I will be getting a kicking from my sparring partners for revealing such limp thoughts. But TV programs like Heroes reminds me of how, a shy, unconfident, awkward, teenage version of Me would begin his martial art journey thinking it would change the world. OK, so 20 years later, I don’t have superpowers, and despite gaining a lot of knowledge, I still get choked and tapped out like everyone else on the mat. And you know what? It’s great not having to dream anymore. I love the humble, normal, everyday things that martial arts (and in particular BJJ) training gives you. It helps keep my superhero wannabe feet on the ground and ego in check. So let the Heroes of TV fiction stay on the screen…for now.

Monday’s BJJ training was pants for me. After the exhilarating high of last week’s show-off spar against Brian, I failed to roll with any conviction this week. I soon found out why as the moment I got home from training, my guts exploded and I came down with a moderate case of food poisoning.

I’ve noticed a number of newbies turn up at BJJ. They stick around for about a couple of months and you see them get better and better, but then, never show up again. These guys are more than the try it a couple of times people. These are ones who are at first really really enthusiastic. But clearly, round after round of ego-sapping, and humbling tapping out to more established members eventually takes their toll and they decide that enough is enough. I know it is hard. We’ve all been there (some would argue I am still there!) But rolling and sparring against better practitioners is the only way to learn. Although it is admittedly the hardest route. But there lies the genius of ground fighting. In the first 6-9 months, I absolutely NEVER EVER thought I could even escape from a position, let alone attempt a submission. I blamed my diminuative size, I blamed my gi, I blamed the mats, it was truly crushing to think I was not making progress. But slowly, very slowly, one or two successes came my way. Now, after almost 3 years, I realise that there is never this massive epiphany where you discover you can sub allcomers. It is more subtle. You spar, you try things out, sometimes you lose, sometimes you force a tap, but most times, you kind of just ‘play’ with techniques. Against a good partner, it ceased a long time ago to be about winning or losing, just learning.

Still, imagine if you really could bend time and space, how awesome if you could spar and use that eh?

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...

As always, thoroughly enjoyable Blog. It also put me in Mind of this Kyle Maynard, who so impressed a gentlemen called Steve Morris www.morrisnoholdsbarred.com. Blimey. Mr Maynard is also featured on Bullshido at the moment. Incredible chap. I also remember you roll with the BJJ BB Leo Wossname, who used no hands in his roll. Crikey but altogether, that's SOME Inspiration.
Best Regards as Always.
Peter McC


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