vendredi 17 juin 2011

fridays are always great days

After spending the week on the road for work, Friday finally showed up on my doorstep. After clearing up some paperwork and administration, I headed over to the club for 11am class. After some light stretching, Steve asked if I could lead the small class through warmups which I was happy to do. I figured today`s class would be nice and light seeing as the people I lead through warmups were all on the newer side...fresh meat. That is until Adam Gignac showed up.

It`s very rare that I`m able to sneak out during working hours for a class. However, it seems that everytime I do, I end up paired up with my buddy Adam. Don`t get me wrong, that`s not a bad thing. It just means I`m going to get crushed at some point. Adam is my size, pretty much the same height and weight. The difference is that he`s a blue belt who really knows how to distribute his weight and make himself feel very heavy. His grips are also becoming somewhat legendary.

To make a long story short, we had a great class. We worked on s-mount, weight distribution and arm locks from mount. I could feel the sweat beading off my freshly shaven head. Working with Adam helps me see how I should be playing the game. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I`ll get there...eventually.

samedi 4 juin 2011

where am i with my bjj?

So I`ve been training BJJ now for just under 2 years. (started August 9th, 2009) I`ve got 3 stripes on my white belt and I`m starting to find my purpose. My combination of health and age brings me to the realization that I`ll never be a real competitor in the sport. I had planned to compete a few times, but my health always had other ideas. (I`m not complaining, I feel great and my condition is under control, just stating the facts.) With that said, I do have a goal of competing next year...maybe just once. We`ll see how it goes and play it by ear.

That`s not to say I don`t have any goals. Nothing could be further from the truth. BJJ is an incredible cardio workout and when things are going your way, it`s a ton of fun! Like many Canadian boys, I grew up loving hockey and wrestling. Back in the early 80`s my Mom`s youngest brother Norm lived in our basement while he attended college. My Saturday mornings consisted of watching International Wrestling with Norm which always led to me kicking his ass like my hero Rick Martel did to Dino Bravo. My point is, I`ve always loved to wrestle and rough house with my friends. With BJJ, I get to keep doing that as an adult. :)

I`m getting sidetracked...back to my point. I`ll be 35 on August 1st and my personal goals are clear. Earn my 4th stripe and work towards earning my blue belt in 2012.

So what will it take to get there? The quick answer is "more time on the mat". That`s a given...but I`ve also got to work on my weak areas and develop a gameplan. You might wonder why I need a gameplan when I`m not planning to become an active competitor. Well, BJJ is a game. When you`re new to it, it looks like a puzzle with many pieces scattered across the floor. As you learn to put some of those pieces together, the puzzle turns into a chess match. You can either spend your time trying to put the pieces together on the mat (which could take an eternity), or develop some type of gameplan. Being strategic in training means focusing on the basics and creating a formula based on your strengths and weaknesses. Once this is figured out, along with the ability to escape basic positions using muscle memory, I think I`ll be ready for that next step. Faixa Azul!

In related news, Noël turned 7 in April and has now moved up to the Kids BJJ class, graduating from the Little Ninja`s program. He`s big enough and certainly smart enough to make the jump, I just need to be sure he continues to enjoy the sport while learning with the bigger kids. I was proud of him today...he did really well.

Ben, being 5, will be in the little ninja`s program for a couple more years. He seems to be taking a bit more of a leadership role in class. He was proud to be the highest ranking student in his class today. That meant he stood at the front of the lineup for opening and closing remarks.

What`s most important for me is that both boys are having fun. So far so good!