Snow Day, Ju-Jitsu, and Abs!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I've got to admit, it's not often that I get a snow day off, but today, with some hellacious "wintery mix" expected in the Northeast with "Winter Storm Janus" (have I been asleep the last few years....when did we start naming snowstorms?), the Virginia Dept of Transportation (VDOT) as well as most of DC has shut down traffic, schools, airline flights, and work for most of Northern VA and DC.

I have a Snow Day off!!!

What was my first thought when I saw this news at 5:30 AM? "Damn, I won't be able to do my deadlifts will I re-flow this week's workout schedule!!!"

I know....I'm sick.

Luckily, I completed all of SWMBO's Honey-do items yesterday, so I decided to spend this morning getting smart (no sarcastic comments from the peanut gallery that this is a full time job for me!) surfing the web and Amazon getting up to speed on my new hobby....

.....Brazilian Ju-Jitsu!!

#2 son and I spent 90 minutes yesterday at our first Brazilian Ju-Jitsu class (see my last blog ). WOW!!

Now I consider myself a fairly fit, if inflexible fellow. The inflexibility was confirmed as we did everything from front rolls to various positioning drills, but man, I didn't think my fitness was going to be challenged like it was!!

The whole purpose of doing this was to give our disabled, 20-year old son an opportunity to exercise at something he recently expressed an interest in. The price was that I have to take classes with him. Sunday, we attended a traditional Korean Tae Kwon Do school, and while it was good, he had a real hard time getting even the basics of kicks and stances down in our short 30 minute intro class.

Last night's Ju-Jitsu class lasted a full 90 minutes and they just incorporated us into the training like we were lifetime members. The owner is an Ex-Navy SEAL and he has a great bunch of instructors and advanced students.

So we practiced some basic techniques for an hour, then they threw us right into the mix for 30 minutes of on the ground grappling! My natural inclination was to stay close to my son and to jump in to help him out if he looked confused, but one of the guys said, "it's OK Dad, we got it. Focus on YOUR training"

I looked the 30-something purple belt in the eye, figuring if it came right down to it, I could take him, even though I'd probably get hurt in the process. Then my frontal lobe took over and I realized that he was just being helpful and was eminently trustworthy. So I trotted over to another instructor and we started 30 minutes of free form grappling.

Holy Jesus, this was tough. I had no idea what I was doing, but every advanced belt I grappled with took time to give me pointers. Here are a few;

- "Dude, your back is tensed up like a vice...relax or your going to burn yourself out, then I'll just take advantage of you"
- "Your strong, but your balance is all off....I can just flip you over like this" WHAM.....I was flat on my back!
- "Don't use strength, use leverage...position is everything"

At first I figured it was the advantage of young guys, but then I paired up with a 110 lb, 20- year old gal, sporting a purple belt.

"What would you like to work on?" she asked

"Well, apparently I have no sense of leverage or balance, so how about we focus on that?" I said.

"Sure, let me get on back and wrap my legs around you to show you how" she said

Did I mention Brazilian Ju-Jitsu was really, really awesome!!!
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So, as I tried to maintain my best Poker Face, she launches into her explanation, and 2 seconds later.....

......WHAM, I am flat on my back!!

OK, I was unprepared for that one, so I tell her, let's try that again. This time, I'm using my full 196 lbs to resist, as well as every muscle I've spent building up with 3 years of squats, deadlifts, and bench presses thinking, "No way am I getting l flipped like that again!"

.....and 2 seconds later....I am flat on my back....AGAIN!!

Then she says, "OK, now get on your back, wrap your legs around my waist, and try to flip me!"

Did I mention Brazilian Ju-Jitsu was really, really awesome!!!
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Now I'm feeling like a real klutz because I can't remember what the hell she did, but she walks me through all the moves, the first of which entails leveraging myself up into a sitting position using my abs and just one arm for support, while my legs are wrapped around her waist.

Holy Jesus, what was wrong with my abs!?!?! I felt like I had never done a sit-up in my life! What the hell was wrong with me.....I can lift a barbell loaded with 355 lbs of weights off the ground using my legs, back, and abs, but I couldn't leverage myself 45 degrees into a sitting position for the life of me!!

Add to that the fact that these grappling sessions lasted only 4-5 minutes each, but I was tuckered out after the first 2-3 minutes (hence the, "relax or your going to burn yourself out" comment above).

The good news was that #2 son loved it as well. He had a nice healthy, pink glow on his cheeks by the end of our class and we talked about it all the way back home.

Wednesday night, we go back for another complimentary class, but I'm pretty sure we're going to sign up with these guys.

So, today, I downloaded up a few beginner's Brazilian Ju-Jitsu books for my Kindle and will spend my Snow Day off getting up to speed.....and maybe grappling with #2 son in the basement for a while as well!

Have a great day Spark friends!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Love your blog! With my Tae Kwon Do training, we took some classes in BJJ and I wasn't a fan. I didn't like the rolls since they made me dizzy and nauseous, so I stopped taking the classes. Good for you! The think people don't know about martial arts is it's a GREAT ab and core workout! You wouldn't think kicks and punches would use your core but if you're doing it correctly, you really do. Great job! Have fun!
    2741 days ago
  • PROT358
    Reading your blogs, you remind me of the Terminator doing all this hard-core stuff the rest of us only think about doing. This sounds like a great challenge for you, and also great that it's working you in new and different ways. And there's the added bonus of bonding time with your son (and the womenfolk too!)
    2745 days ago
    Love that you took your son with you! Must be great fighting in the same training, but working out with different instructors!

    All your energy, enthusiasm, and joy of the training came through your blog! Thanks for sharing!

    I hope next you share a picture too, doing ju-jitsu!
    2747 days ago
    Sounds awesome.

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    2750 days ago
    hohohoho... what a nice story... I am sure you used your snow day well to get better quickly at this new fitness challenge! So great you found a place that you both like! I am sure it won't be long and you will be wrapping your legs around the young girl's waist and flipping her on the back too! Enjoy!
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    2752 days ago
    Does SWMBO know how awesome Brazilian Ju-Jitsu is? LOL I guarantee that Tai Chi never would have found a 20-yr old's legs wrapped around your waist. LOL Better start swapping out those deadlifts for some inclined sit-ups. I know a trainer who just LOVES those! Sounds like the two of you are going to have a blast tossing each other to the floor. Enjoy!
    2752 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    How fantastic for both of you! I am so THRILLED you found something that he likes and can be successful with AND that the both of you can do together! PRICELESS!
    2753 days ago
    Love it! Yay for you doing this with your son. I'm sure it was a thrill for him as well (although maybe not the same kind of thrill that you were getting). Nothing as humbling as getting your butt handed to you by someone you totally don't suspect as capable of doing it!
    2753 days ago
    It is a wickedly awesome feeling isn't it....flipping someone twice your size that is! Oh wait, you were on the receiving end, probably quite a different feeling ( see, no sarcastic comments about your snow day!)

    I got my yellow belt in jui-jitsu but didn't care for it too much (only took it because my son did). I didn't much care for the grappling.
    2753 days ago
    AWESOME! I am loving that you are going to try something new, and you are involving your son in the process.

    That's a win-win in my book!

    Can't wait to hear about your next adventure!

    2753 days ago
    This is such a fun blog. I am so happy that you and your son are doing this together. =)
    2753 days ago
    Yay, Snow Day!

    I guess this is one of those cases when "balance" refers to several different things - physiological balance as well as training balance.
    2753 days ago
  • BILL60
    Brazilian Ju Jitsu is incredibly tough. If you can last, YOU'RE DA MAN!!
    2753 days ago
  • NEPTUNE1939
    Nothing like being humbled by a 20-year old! Hang in there my friend. Just don't relax when you do DL's. emoticon emoticon
    2753 days ago
    I honestly don't have anything of value to say here (except "Yay Dad!"), but I did want to tell you that this was a very entertaining read that actually elicited a verbal laugh from my decaying (due to lack of working out, due to excess pf pain in my back) abs.
    2753 days ago
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