16 Sept 2008

Special One

I used to think I was a bit different to other martial arts practitioners. No, seriously, I mean being an established instructor from a trad martial art who moonlights in another (almost rival) martial art (BJJ) can't be too common right? And for a short time it probably was the case, since most of the BJJ comrades I met in the early days were people who only trained in BJJ. But recently I have come across quite a wide variety of guys, several of them who are instructors at their own school of martial arts. At Nick's club, one chap I met told me he runs a taekwondo-based MMA school here: http://www.ukblackbelt.com/ As a two stripe blue belt I thought he would be good, and in the two milliseconds it took for him to sink an armbar on me, my thoughts were quickly realised. God forbid I ever engage in a stand-up spar with him if he is this good on the ground. In fact BJJ now seems to attract a lot of guys who also train in other systems, especially trad JJ, like me. And the BJJ instructors and classmates seem to be very cool about this. It speaks volumes about the confidence they/we have in the art. Clearly, the idea that including an effective ground-based strategy into your repertoire is widely agreed to be important. So I am the special one no more, but I’m glad. The more we all learn to appreciate each other’s style, the better the world of martial arts. No secrets I say. Oh yeah, here’s the blooper reel to illustrate just how special I am:

It was grading day for my club students on Sunday. I had quite a few guys grading and all passed, thankfully. But a couple of errors were pointed out by the senior senseis had me cringeing because I was the one that taught them the erroneous techniques. Invigilating gradings is also frustrating for me as I can't help but look on at other students and critically thinking, Nooo, that was wrong, wrong, wrong. But having to perform in front of a judging panel is a nervous thing and nerves can play havoc with your memory, coordination, and ability to do, erm, ju-jitsu.
So thankfully, the senseis grant a large degree of allowance for this.
Speaking of grades, as we all know, BJJ awards grades ad hoc and not on a formal grading like trad JJ. so it was a nice surprise for me to be awarded my third stripe at blue belt by Nick Brooks. I'm quite chuffed as I feel accepted into the fold at what is still a fairly new club for me. I'd better watch my back though. A three stripe blue belt I think makes me technically the most senior non-teaching regular at the club. Gulp!

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

Three stripes? Congratulations! I take it that you're working on that Portuguese accent as we speak?

David T.


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