Fare thee well

The Jiu-Jitsu Fighter blog has served its purpose well, but has finally run its course. I'm going to leave it up and active for all who want to come and peruse its content, but will no longer be posting. Now that we have our own school and Lincoln Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center has its own website and Facebook page, there's really no need to duplicate.



Random Goings On

Since my last post, "Things I figured Out Today," I haven't figured out anything new. I'm still doing a lot of Jiu-Jitsu in my head when I'm not in class and trying to get better. If you went past 40th & O recently and it looked like there was a big party going on, There was. It was the usual getting all dressed up in special clothes and socializing, followed by a bunch of people fighting...except there was no alcohol involved.

My work schedule so far has really limited my training time. I'm keeping a positive outlook on it though. I've been doing this Jiu-Jitsu business for a while now, so I realize that in the big scheme of things, my current situation of limited training time won't last forever.

On a lighter note, I've been watching a lot of videos of the Worlds that have been posted on YouTube. There were a lot of great fights.

Also, a bunch of us are looking forward to a get together this weekend to watch Metamoris II. The official card so far looks like this:

Shinya Aoki vs. Kron Gracie
Braulio Estima vs. Rodolfo Vieira
Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu vs. Brendan Schaub
Mackenzie Dern vs. Michelle Nicolini
Andre Galvao vs. Rafael Lovato Jr.
Keenan Cornelius vs. Victor Estima



Things I figured out today

Thanks for the awesome matches today, boys and girl. I almost forgot what it was like to have one of those workouts that leaves you utterly exhausted. I was rolling with Gina towards the end of class and about two minutes in she asked if I was okay. I was thinking to myself how strange it was that I could barely move a muscle, but there was nothing else I'd rather be doing than grappling with my homies!

Things I figured out today:

Kawasaki Ninjas are fun to ride. Please don't make a big deal out of this one. I'm going to have a hard enough time explaining this to all of my Harley riding friends.

Grappling with Greg makes me feel like a white belt...hey! I am a white belt now, so it's all good. In all seriousness, I love how challenging it is to roll with him.

We now have a water cooler sitting at the front of the school, but no water jugs yet.



Stuff I Know

I'm still getting used to the new school class schedule. For years I was pretty much in control of my work and class schedule. Now I'm one of the regular folks fighting to work around an unforgiving work schedule and life in general. No Jiu-Jitsu on Sundays. As much as you want to, don't go there. The place is locked up tighter than a drum.

The new sign was put up on Friday. "BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU." Need we say more?

A question came from the peanut gallery. "Why don't you turn on the air conditioner? It's like walking into one of those hot boxes that people die in." I shall look into this. We do not want people dying in our hot box. So I guess this should actually go in the category of stuff I don't know. I'll get to the bottom of this.

Open mat on Friday was awesome! Due to my rib injury, this was my first open mat in about a month. I worked with one of the new guys for most of the time, but I did get in three rolls with Josh and a couple with Jerad. Note to self: Don't let Jerad pass my guard! His aggressive, angry monkey style is very unforgiving. That last part is made up. Jerad never fights angry.



The more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know.

Some of us were sitting around and talking after the advanced class on Thursday night. Among the many topics we discussed, such as a handful of political hot topics, world domination and the benefits of using a back roller after a workout, we did fit in some discussion about Jiu-Jitsu.

I was telling Greg how important his instruction has been to me over the past week. Rolling with him has really highlighted some parts of my game that are in need of improvement. Seemingly small adjustments, such as head position or hand position, add up to a world of difference.

When I roll with an experienced grappler, I have to work at the top of my game, 100% of the time. Going with Greg reminds me of this fact every second of every minute of that match. The problem is that every time I try to sneak something past him, he doesn't let that happen. It is another reminder that sometimes when I roll with others, I "cheat" the technique, or don't follow through completely. I often times can get away with doing things because the person I'm rolling with doesn't know what I'm doing or doesn't know a counter.

Hips just a tad bit too high...Bam! I'm reversed. And then I'm either laying on my back or scrambling for position and I'm thinking to myself, why did I do that? I know better than to do that. It's because I could usually get away with it, but not anymore.

Greg talked about the benefit of being a smaller practitioner. From the beginning, you have to be locked on. You have to learn and be able to execute solid technique, otherwise you won't get it. There's no cheating a technique or being able to get away with things against larger opponents...Hmmm.

The more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know.

Less Than a White Belt Conan "Back to Square One" Schafer



What are you waiting for?

As popular as are the UFC and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there are still a ton of people out there who have little to no real concept of what BJJ is all about. It can be confusing to the uninitiated. Maybe people who train in Jiu-Jitsu are just a bunch of thugs, ready to steal your lunch money.  Maybe we're just a bunch of sweaty jocks, ready to pounce on the new guy when he walks through the door. For the record, this couldn't be further from the truth. The people with whom I've trained Jiu-Jitsu are some of the nicest, well mannered and respectful folks I have ever met, inside and outside the school. The only crassness, criticism and down right rudeness I ever encountered at my first school came from other people outside of my class, mostly from Karate practitioners. Don't take Karate. They will try to beat you up and steal your lunch money. And a couple people from Judo. Stay away from them too. The Kobudo practitioners...top shelf. Never heard a bad word from them, or the Yoga people. The point being, It's not about the discipline. It's about the individual people.

About twelve years ago, I had no idea about any of this Jiu-Jitsu stuff. A friend of mine was into the UFC and he was telling me about Royce Gracie and his brother, Rickson, and how amazing they were. My friend gave me two DVDs to watch. The first was, "The Smashing Machine: The Life and Times of Extreme Fighter Mark Kerr," a documentary about the MMA career and personal life of Mark Kerr.  The second was, "Choke," a documentary about Rickson Gracie and other fighters who were fighting in Tokyo's Vale Tudo 1995.

After watching those two videos, I was hooked! I started searching around town for a school that was teaching this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but none were. There wasn't even anything in Omaha at the time. In the meantime, I stumbled into a martial arts school where I began taking Aikido.  This was definitely not what I was looking for. I then started taking classes in Daitoryu Aikijujitsu. Still, this was not BJJ, but I was learning some awesome wrist locks and other joint locks.

Then one day I was at the dojo and I saw this half sheet of paper taped to the wall near the locker room. It said, "Jiu-Jitsu class, Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00 PM." I thought to myself, could this be what I was looking for? Was it really here, right under my nose this whole time?

It was what I was looking for. Ido Pariente had established a solid training program that mirrored the BJJ community at large. By the time I began training in Jiu-Jitsu, Ido had returned to Israel. He is now a 2nd degree BJJ black belt under Patrick Bittan, and owns seven academies in Israel called MMA Israel. However, his students carried on the traditions that he had established. The format of the class, the techniques that were taught, the drills we performed, all could be seen in any BJJ school around the world.

I struggled for years to learn Jiu-Jitsu, attending bad class times, showing up to find a locked door, holding class as a white belt because an instructor didn't show up. But, I stuck with it.

For me, the opening of Lincoln Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center is a dream come true. To have something like this at your doorstep and not take advantage of it is just unthinkable. For the majority of us who have struggled for years to make the best of a less than desirable situation, we can fully appreciate what a BJJ school like this means to us, the community and to the region.



You're a pain in my side

It's going to be Thursday before I can get back to training. There's a long work week in store for me. It's probably not a bad thing anyway. I've been nursing a sore rib for a couple of weeks now, so the time off is good. I can totally relate to Josh's situation. I've been down that injury road before and have had surgery to reattach a tendon. My current injury is pretty minor at this point, but it's still frustrating. I've had this injury a couple of times before over the course of my Jiu-Jitsu career, and although it's a pain in my side, we're old friends.

It's so difficult to completely back off from training. I keep pushing it as far as I think I can, hoping I won't aggravate it any more than it already is. The problem is that in doing that, I'm pretty sure I'm simply prolonging the healing process.

So, I'm pretty certain the smart choice would be to stop messing around and just let it heal, but I can't really bring myself to do that right now. Such is life and the choices we make.