Monday, 1 February 2010
A layman's journey into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Part 6
It is no coincidence that a two month absence of my Layman's Journey has coincided with a roughly two month enforced break from training. My job (in music) requires that I travel and in the summer months it is generally for extended periods.
I will be honest; it has been a tough two months. Surfing the web in shady internet cafes looking for uploads of missed UFC cards that have slipped through the nets of the copyright police. Waiting for twenty minutes while Marcelo Garcia tutorials are "buffering" on my Blackberry, then being on the receiving end of strange looks as I mime out grips for a particular sweep whilst sipping on a latte in Starbucks. To the passer-by I'm just another 'crazy' playing his own personal game of charades.
I'm like that guy who always wants to talk endlessly about his new girlfriend. Particularly when it's a long distance relationship... talking is all he has. Always checking his e-mail; looking for any way to insert her into the conversation, wondering what's happening while he is away. Will things have changed when he gets back? It's all a bit borderline obsessive.
I mean, I don't know how I did it but I managed to fit BJJ into a conversation about politics the other day. It was an incredibly tenuous analogy on how, with the right system in place, the weak can overcome the strong... True, but desperate. It has just been so long since I have been to training, surrounded by guys that share the same love.
It doesn't help either that my work colleagues have no interest in meeting this new woman in my life. I have trouble getting them to talk about it, never mind the possibility of having a roll.
To be honest, I think they fear me. When we used to go on the road rough housing was commonplace. Now that they know I am training BJJ they have become reluctant to engage in any kind of physical rumpus.
They have a great ole time asking how my "gay-jitsu" is coming along, as well as the hilarious quips about "rolling around on the ground with other men". Truly a funny, funny set of guys. However, when it comes down to it they know I'm a flying arm-bar waiting to happen.
I was hanging out in an artist's green room at a music festival; there were other people there too. It was a fairly relaxed environment: tea, coffee, biscuits, whispered chat. One of my friends, a cocky young reprobate, starts joking around with me, saying how he could take me out.
So, I baited him into headlocking me; I wanted to try out a guillotine escape I had mentally drilled in Costa Coffee earlier that day. So after a bit of a tussle, I manage to successfully escape his headlock. I then, like a knee-jerk reaction, pull an aggressive guard... what ?!? I take him to the floor, sweep him and pass to mount.
All of a sudden I sense a deathly silence in the room. I look up beaming with the pride of a seasoned white belt and everyone in the room is staring at me... mounted on my buddy. People with open mouths, coffee cups paused in mid-air halfway to mouths, a single muffled cough, the sound of a distant train. I sheepishly apologise, dismount my friend and exit the room.
I have a problem. I need to get back to the mats.