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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Almost Time

So,

There is 48 hours until my first competition, and man there is a knot in my stomach. Training was great last night, we brushed up on some leg locks, which is something that I love very deeply. Mainly because they were the first submissions I ever learned from the likes of the late, great and amazing Sifu Larry Hartsell. Who was also one of Bruce Lee's original students.

During the "rolling" part of last night's session was great, I was on my back about 90 percent of the time, but my defense I noticed has improved very much, though there is something to be said about going up against a man who has many pounds on you, mainly 60-70 pounds.

However, my stamina is very good and I'm hoping that that carries me through each match. The scary part is its a single elimination style competition, meaning you loose once, your done. That scares the daylights out of me because I am so hungry and starving to do good and win my division. How cool would that be if I brought home a bit of gold with me?

However, I am not being foolish and looking passed those who stand in front of me, they don't know me, and I don't know them, but may the best man win. Just now I'm reminding myself that this a "In House" meet up, so it should be fun, but man is there a fire burning inside, maybe I need to calm down and conserve myself ha ha.

I'm taking the next two days off to relax, eat good and keep very well hydrated. My body feels great and I am just about in the best shape I've ever been in, give or take some areas of improvement. I've down all that I can to be ready, including getting my ass handed to me in practice every week, along side that though, I've worked with some amazing talent. Matthew Hester, who is pretty much my wrestling coach, has helped me not be so scared when I'm all fours and someone has my neck, he's a great coach and makes everything very easy to learn.

Derek Stewart- The main coach at 10th Planet Omaha has done a great job at adjusting stuff so that fit my body structure and ability. Ant Lopez, who is a very young talent, is already a world champion, has helped me in a lot of small but major ways, and Courtney "The Assassin" Smith, who is also another young talent and is much like a sister to me has worked closely with me as well. I call her the Assassin, because once she gets a hold of you, your done. Oh, and "Thunder", he is always a joy to practice with because he always has a smile on his face it seems, and makes you enjoy practice and the kid doesn't seem to have an ego at all. Which is great.

I feel like I'm writing a thank you speech right now, maybe I am. Mary Sanchez, though she is not on the mat with us, she plays the role of a Mother and encourager, almost every week she opens the door for me and welcomes me with a smile. Little stuff like that, for me. Allows my nights in the gym to go much smoother.

The only thing I am truly worried about is my ability to lock my hands together when I have some one in some form of choke, due to my condition it makes things so difficult. I had a guy named Justin in a pretty solid one arm choke last night, and he kept on yelling at me to lock my hands together, and the more I tried the longer it was and the longer it took. So I just sank my arm in deeper, put my hips to the the floor, looked to the sky and got the tap.

Afterwards though, I had to explain to him the difficulties that Cerebral Palsy brings to my grappling game, he said: oooh okay!" As if to understand, but fear not, I will finger this out some how, and when I do... Ah, snap! Well, I 'm not sure about a snap, but some one is going to sleep!

The other day, I heard some soft voice within myself say that I had already one just by going out there. I wrote that down in my journal, then my sister told me pretty much the same thing. Then this morning, my friend Kayio leaves me this message:

"Brandon, all your hard work impresses all of us at our gym - you're an amazing athlete - and your tourney is simply a test of where you are in comfort with YOUR automatic reflex and muscle memory. It's not about your opponent, it's all you - and you my friend are amazing and already a champion in my book"

Beautiful huh?

Lets do this! WAR!

-Brandon/The CPwarrior          

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can I just say..

I hate all the politics in Martial Arts, especially when it comes to Grappling and Wrestling based styles. Can't people just shut up and train? Heaven forbid we might all learn something...

-Brandon/THECPGrappler

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Update on training

Sorry guys and gals for the lack of updates. I've been busy training for my tournament on Dec third.
I've been working my butt off, taking private lessons and working hard on my wrestling. My weight, diet and everything is great. My stamina is great. The late Karl Gotch once said that conditioning is your best
friend. I can honestly say this is true, because even though I'm getting whooped in practice when all is said and done I have a few more rounds left in me.

When I first heard about the meet coming up, I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing. So I asked a guy by the name of John Botello for advice, and he said that it just takes heart to go out there, that he respects anyone with the courage to go out and fight and compete. I don't know how I'm gonna do when the day arrives, but I can promise you, I'm all heart. I will give my all.

-Brandon/TheCPWARRIOR

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Train Like Your Training For a Fight

Well Well Well,

training and practice have been going great. I'll be competing in the 135 and under division on Dec 3rd. I've been biking three-five miles every other day and I can really feel it paying off in class. AND! My body is really starting to relax, my breathing is great. Though I'm still having troubling with thinking to much about certain holds and not the position of the rest of my body.

My diet has been great as well. My diet consists of:

Salad
low fat yogurt
fish
chicken
oat meal
and lean beef
lots of veggies too, along with fruit.

I'm drinking a ton of water, along with coconut Juice. I do have some lazy days when I eat some not so good foods. However I drank my last two beers for a solid month until the meet has passed. I know it must seem crazy training and focusing this hard for a "in house" meet consisting of my other classmates. But one of my old Martial Arts instructors/hero's once said: "Train like your training for a fight" (Erik Paulson)

In this way you stay focused, and I want to do good in this, even if I do get my butt handed to me. At least I knew that I worked my butt off, so it can't be that bad right? We shall see! If I do good in this, God only knows how i'll do in other tournaments up ahead. If things don't go my way, I'll scoop my self off the ground a keep going. I know I'm holding my own out there, my stamina is great and with people my own size I'm defending myself very well. Its the offense that needs work.

Right now, I'm a little tired, but I feel great. Right now things are mostly all in the mental game. And as always if you follow this and don't practice the Martial way, consider eating healthy and exercise, because your life is sometimes the greatest fight you'll ever have.

-Brandon/THECPWARRIOR

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Straight Ahead

December 3rd, I'm competing in my first tournament. Though it will be small, and "in house" (meaning students that belong to the gym) my focus is as though this were any other tournament that would happen any other time.

I'm focused, nervous, scared, excited and a whole bunch of other emotions running through me. One month of solid focus. I'm eating very well, staying away from not so healthy foods. If I can do well in this small show-case I can do well anytime.

Lets do this!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Dedication and Over all Health.

Man,

My legs are killing me, before heading to Jui-jitsu tonight. I woke up and had eggs and toast. Then started my morning work out which consisted of a three mile bike ride, chest and back work out. I've been falling in love with biking again, even the its a recumbent bike. In the summer I've also go a three week bike that I take out on the trail. On my recumbent I try and average three to files miles every other day with weight training also.

I'm shaping my diet up with just the basics, protein, fruit and a lot of veggies. And a lot of water too, Gatorade when I'm on the mats, no soda, or if I do its one a day or none at all. Staying away from pasta is a plus too. You get good carbs from fruit and nuts. Another thing with Cerebral Palsy is that it is very important to feed your body a ton of water, it helps fight off spasams as well.

I've noticed that what I put in my body, has either a positive or negative on my performance in the gym.
Or even when I'm at the desk writing. (like now) We get one body, and I want mine to be the best it can be. For me though the trick is then not to compare my self to other people my size who may be a bit more muscular or chizzled than I. You have to work with what you have.

As I always say, even if you are not in martial arts, you still should make every effort to take care of the
body you have. After all it is my firm belief that at the end of the day, we actually don't own our bodies.
we have them but for a breath or season. For me, my aim is to get in competition/fight shape, and that takes dedication, time and effort. But it is possible.

Set your self a goal and go for it!

-Brandon/THECPWARRIOR
 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Believe


Man,

Tonight was such an amazing workout, I think my performance tonight was better then any other. I pulled off one toe crunch submission hold and nice boe-tie lock. One of my teammates is now a national champion. I get the honor of working with him quite a bit.

As always, I want to stress that we keep moving forward. I heard someone say recently say that we need hope, without it we don’t have progress. Without progress of any kind life becomes meaningless. I’m learning to love people each time I step out onto the mat.

And to show compassion to myself, it makes things just a bit easier. There is hope, dreams can be reached. If only we find the strength to move on after our shortcomings.

Perseverance, Character and character hope.

-Brandon/THECPWARRIOR    

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inner Strength.

"Miles and Miles of Heart".

"You might not find anything good about your life, but there's still ice cream. You might night find anything good about your life, bur there's still sunsets". -Erwin Mcmannus

Find the inner strength inside you to carry on, its there. Find the peace within you to keep your head held high. Its possible. You're loved far beyond what you know or understand. There is hope.

You will Succeed, never give up.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is This Worth it Anymore?


I’m asking myself a tough question right now: is this worth it? Getting my butt kicked every single week? Am I getting any better? Is the money going into this worth it? I want to say yes, then again I’d like to say no. Its humiliating getting the crap kicked out of you every week, what am I trying to prove? I’ll probably never be as good as I was when I was younger. Maybe my body is slowing down faster and I don’t want to accept it. I’m not sure what I want to do, if I should walk out the door or keep going…. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Short an Sweet!

Well,

Tonight's practice was much better, I didn't get my butt kicked as bad as last week. I've got some
things I need to work on, like my front headlock choke. Other than that I'm very pleased with my muscle
conditioning and stamina. I'll have a much better update next week, hopefully. I'll be away on a family
emergency.

PS, Gatorade has a great pre-work out drink that works wonders!  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Subject to Change


Tonight's practice wasn't so great, my back got taken several times and I ended up being choked as a result. On top of that I think my left elbow came close to breaking. This guy got me in an arm bar, with my strong arm (my left) I couldn’t push his legs of me with my right arm, I tried fighting it as best I could. But I just started yelling:
Tap! TAP! TAAAP! Until he finally heard me. It wasn’t very fun to say the least. One of the challenges with Cerebral Palsy, is that with damage to the brain, there is a disconnect between what you tell your brain to do, and what your body actually does. For instance, if I want my body to relax, it then wants to stiffen up and become rigid. It’s something that has to be fought through on a regular basis. I sometimes wish my body was bigger and stronger, it’s almost impossible to go up against bigger guys, and they just lay on you the entire time, what annoys me is in doing so, they look around at other people as though their bored and want more of a challenge. Yet its next to impossible to fight a man that has 150 or even close to two hundred pounds on you. I even got to roll with a much larger man than me. I knew in my mind, there was no moving this guy. I felt I was back to practicing Wing Chung, weaving through all he attempts at arms bars. Man… Something has to change. When I was doing Judo still a year or so ago, the rules changed, it became a stand up art, that was more about throwing your challenger through the air, and less about mat work. It annoyed me at first, because well. It was hard for me to stand, but glancing back on it, I’m thankful for it, because it caused people to work for trips and throws. Where as in Jujitsu, you have the option of falling on your back (pulling guard) and working from there. Even as I fight from my knees, I still want to clinch and throw, and sometimes that works, but. People get my back and choke me. Or I attempt the throw and the person pulls guard. All I know is that something has to change, because what I’m doing honestly isn’t working.
-Brandon/TheCPGRAPPLER    

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The easiness of sorrow and courage of victory.


One thing that I’m finding to be a constant battle is self-pity or being down on my self. It’s hard to over come. I wonder how some of the worlds best grapplers and legends felt when they first stepped foot on a wrestling mat. The gut level truth as I’ve probably mentioned before is that people that wrestle with me have full use of all their limbs, and even tonight a guy I was up against held down my weaker arm. There wasn’t much I could do to be honest, but my heart kept fighting. I remember what my coach Derek told me about survival, it’s the goal of a white belt. I did that pretty well tonight, I pulled off a new sweep I learned at least three times, managed to escape a few really bad arm bar attempts. But some of the night was spend with people on my back choking me, though I once again fought my heart out to defend. Again to be painfully honest, with all the knowledge and experience that I have in grappling I think I suck. I am so very rusting and I always go back to how good my skill level once was and if it will ever be there again. I always get compliments from people on my team on how strong my body is, but strength can only get you so far, in terms of the sport of jujitsu, it takes timing and the ability to stay calm. Which is another thing that is a struggle for me, because as I’ve said in previous entries, my mind just goes faster than my body can keep up with. Something that keeps me going is my conditioning, after sparing for nearly an hour straight I’m honestly not tired and feel like I could go an hour more. Once I get through drivers education, I am strongly considering taking me hours in class, but will see, I know my main calling in this short life is to write and share my story and how I’ve found redemption, which will always come first. My advice to my readers, if there is something you want to try, regardless of what sport or activity, give it a try, as long as it builds you as person. Go for it and keep getting back up every time you fall down, because a person who keeps returning with their head held high is sometimes more of a winner than the person who’s know victory their whole life.
Be well,
-Brandon/THECPWARRIOR     

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stretching, Botox, Respect and Love.


Let me tell you, stretching hurts, a lot. However, I’ve been working on stretching my right hip out as much as possible and it has allowed me to move my leg up a lot higher and faster up some ones back when laying on my back. We have a move called the rubber guard and that pretty much means that you pull your leg all the way up to your opponents shoulder, then you start working it across the face and so on.

Now from the video, some of the other maneuvers require the use of both arms, i.e. my right arm, which is my weakest point of my body, I have such a hard time weaving my arm through tight areas, it’s almost Un-nerving. Where I just have to remember to relax and breath.

I am real thankful for my instructor though, Derek, because he’s hell bent on working with me and modifying movies that fit my body, which I honestly haven’t received from a lot of my instructors in the past, besides a few.

When I was very young, Botox injections just came out, (I mentioned this in another post) I remember that besides the pain, my arm was able to move so much more than it is now. What freaked me out was when I discovered from and old friend that it basically was a form of toxin or poison. Which I’d rather not put in my body.
I know of other friends with Cerebral Palsy that still have it done, I just don’t know that I’d like to back down that road again. That said, I really need to stretch my right arm. Even if your not faced with many physical trials, be thankful that you have limbs, you them for good, learn to love people. I think it’s so important when I’m in practice to shake hands with people, look them in the eye, and encourage them. Part of me wants the tradition back in martial arts, and I think it is very well happening, however slow or painful it way be.

So… Yeah, love people, be thankful for the body you have, use it, train it, and condition it. You get one body, respect it. It was given to you.

And, I’d also like to leave you with a one other video from Erik Paulson, talking about respect.
-Brandon/THECPWARRIOR     

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A tired update


I’m not quite sure how to start this entry off…

My body is tired, we rolled for a hour straight tonight, if not more tonight. There is another tournament these weekend, the Cornhusker state games, so in my mind I was apart of helping every one get ready for battle. We did everything based on how matches are scored. Must say though, I got out pointed at ton, got a couple double leg take downs, one throw and a few tap outs. Beyond that, it was me getting tapped out.
I felt myself getting mad early on, every week I get caught in some of the same holds. Weight is always an issue, I’m almost always the smallest one there and as a said last week, most everyone is much stronger.

I can only get better, I will humble myself and learn from those who are better than me.

In the words of DH Lawrence:

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.
  
Until next- I am going to bed… So very tired.
-Brandon/theCPWARRIOR

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Motivation


You ever hear of the little engine that could?


That’s what I feel like sometimes, or the phrase: Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. Some weeks I feel like I’m climbing up the mountain and others I’m quickly losing grip and falling back down.

This week we reviewed the same sweep as I mentioned in the previous entry, the actual name for it is the Homer Simpson Pass, and last week I was nailing it left and right. And tonight it just wasn’t happening for me. No matter how much time I spend in the gym with weights, it always seems that there is always someone, bigger, stronger, faster… Better. And it’s true, there always is. I’m not trying to beat myself down.
My instructors voice rings in my head: Being a white belt is all about survival. And so I keep chugging on, like that little engine. And even when the tank feels empty, will all I got I keep chugging.
I smile and force myself to remember this is practice, and on opposite ends I try to kill the pride inside me. Humility always weighs over pride. I don’t care who you’re, pride will eventually kill the heart if you let it master you. I try and remember that one-day, one day I’ll be teaching people. Kids who will be in my position, and I’ll be there to guide them and give wisdom I can. If it be here or some other place in time.
My main goal is to learn to work with my body, stretch my right arm and hand more, force it to move where I want it too. Erik Paulson once said that you should always train like your training for a fight. That has never left me, so with every session in the weight room or on the mat, I’m visioning a person in front of me, and all time and energy put into practice might pay off with gold in my hands. You may never compete in Martial Arts, or it might even be a different sport or no sports at all. The point is then to keep your self-motivated. As the saying goes, without vision we die. Rest assure though, I want me some gold.

So, are you motivated? What motivates you?

-Brandon/TheCPWarrior

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Do you have joy?


I’m sitting here trying to re-hydrate from tonight’s practice. Want to know a secret? Coconut Juice, it’s great and re-hydrates the body faster than a lot of other sports drinks in my opinion.

Tonight was awesome, for three reasons:

1) I ordered some grip socks from Combat Sports that work very well, if you have really sensitive feet, these are an awesome way to go. The protect most of the top surface of the foot, as well as providing your feet with extra grip when attempting to bridge off your back.
Most people have sensitive skin to began with when it comes to the feet, so taking this extra precaution is a very wise step. Though I must say that these new grip socks need to be battle tested in the washer. But here is a link if you’re so interested:

2) Coach Derek taught some new sweeps off the back, what that means is that, if some one is on top of you. You have the option of fighting and defending, not just laying there, letting the person on top of you eat you alive. I caught on to these sweeps pretty fast, even executed them during free rolling in made me happy

3) Which leads me to the third reason and point of this entry… Joy. I mentioned in a previous entry to smile, even when getting submitted, it’s working. As I said, I managed to pull of the sweeps that coach Derek taught, it made me happy, it gave me joy. It made me excited for the next time I step out on the mat. Ironically, what helps me in keeping joy in my process and journey through 10th Planet, is bowing before I go onto the mat, as a sign of humility and respect. Truthfully, this is not done any more in a lot of Martial Arts, though a class may pay respects to one another after class is over, this is slowly on the out skirts of practice. It’s very important to be humble and care for the people your interacting with.

Lastly, I want to encourage my viewers (which seems to be a good amount) and readers, to find something pure that makes you happy. Try and notice what it does to your heart, and learn to love people,

You are loved.

-Brandon/TheCPGrappler      

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jujitsu and the need of physical touch.


 Hello all,

Tonight’s practice was good; I discovered that a version of the north south choke is becoming a go to move of mine. It mainly comes from Judo; better know as Kuzure Kesa Gatame. In the tenth planet system it’s referred to as twister side control. The main thing that I have to work on is sinking my strong arm (left) deeper around the neck, while trying to connect both my hands together, the challenge then is getting my right arm to flow along with me. Due to my CP, it has a habit of sticking to my body. Several years ago, I had Botox injections in the palm of my right hand and arm. It really was painful, and the doctor was a real nut job… Most doctors wear gloves when handling needles right? He would jab the needle into my palm, and I would scream out in agony, in a small way, I think maybe I know how Jesus felt. Anyway, the particular system of Tenth Plant forces me to be flexible, in terms of working the high guards with my legs. Though to be truly honest, in a tournament I don’t think I’d spend so much time trying to get my leg up that high, I’d much rather do what I do best and go for the kill. There were a few moments during the session where I could feel my self growing angry, due to the fact that a lot of times I get got in what’s called a snap down, what pretty much means the person hanks your head down towards the mat and as able to go for a choke easier. My problem is my lack of control in my trunk, and when my body gets tired, it leaves me open. I’ll tell ya, when I’m out there on the mat I tend to forget about every thing else that’s going on in life. And, it also plays a huge role in physical interaction, I’m actually writing a book about something called Skin Hunger, which has to do with physical touch and so on. Jujitsu really meets that need. Most of us don’t think of it in those terms. Skin hunger is all about the longing of physical touch, and the lack there of it in society. It’s proven that physical touch can boost one’s over all mood and outlook on life. So I find it interesting, what 40 some minutes of wrestling can do for a person, sure, you can get upset, but my over all point is that we sometimes have no idea what are physical interactions could do for someone. Some people don’t get many chances in a day to be around people, either because their reserved, or something else is preventing them such as being able to get out of the house. So maybe if we have these interactions maybe would could stop and think about what were doing. Because maybe some people don’t have even that much interaction, and so for them a body slam or head lock is awesome. Haha!

Lastly, in last weeks post I used a mountain as a way of describing the climb to the top. I thought tonight that, maybe being it the bottom isn’t so bad, because when you get to the top, you have to get back down, and sometimes you have to pull others up along the way.

I was going to compete in a tournament in August, but my coach lovingly said that I needed more time on the mat, and I appreciate that.

Also. I might think about filming a short video of takedowns and throws that can be done on the knees, that most anybody of any condition can do. Hope these thoughts provoke thought into your own mind; lets use our bodies until we no longer can use them.

Until next week.
-Brandon/TheCPWarrior

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reflections on Pride


Well,

Another practice down and more lessons learned. Members of the 10th Planet crew have a meet this Saturday, so a lot of tonight’s session was a lot of rolling and positioning drills. I did what a white belt is meant to do. Survive. I had the privilege to roll with someone by the name of Michelle, she has been practicing for eight months all together, and man she is pretty good. I’m not ashamed to say that a girl tapped me out, via my favorite arm bar .  I tried to fight it as best I could, but things happen, and at the end of the day, its only practice right? Which leads me to what I’d like to talk about today, and that is pride.
Erik Paulson has a great video on pride, which you can watch here:
 His words are very convicting for me because they speak right to me, I admit that I hate being on my back when fighting, or when people pull guard on me, or worse yet people take my back and work for chokes on. Then I’m left defending and fighting to get to a better position. Nearly 98 percent of the time in practice, I’m on my back. And the only things I can think of at the time is that I have got to get this person off of me, but your body is tired and you can hardly move so you have to dig deeper. I think of it as a mountain, every time you climb, you have to start from the bottom and find your grip, along with the strength to pull yourself up, which is hard enough. Even in doing so, sometimes you slip off and you have to fight back up again. Are greatest enemy in terms of personal achievement is only ourselves. Okay, maybe not just ourselves but maybe when we allow the evil voices to get the better than us. Sometimes you just have to tell them to shut the hell up and die. So in the process of scrapping of the rustiness, I want to learn as much as I can. This isn’t just about me, my mission is to prove to people regardless of physical ability, this is possible. Hell, I’d love to see more kids with CP out on the mats choking people out. It’d be awesome!

Goals and things to work on:

Compete in my first Tourney in August.
Work on keeping my defenses up.
Keep a good attitude and smile on my face, even in getting submitted.
Control my breathing, and keep moving and attack in every position.
-Brandon/TheCPWarrior  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How I got started.

(I promise a better picture of me soon.)

The thought came to me to start a blog, when I found myself discouraged and wanting to quit. I was
sitting on the edge of the wrestling mats thinking about walking out of the school I was training in. It
hadn't been long since I signed up to learn the system of Tenth Planet Jui-Jitsu. There had been an
extended period of time since I was on a wrestling Mat, meaning that I didn't show up to my first night
of class like a fish out of water.

Growing up, Martial Arts were my first love, or I should say that Grappling was my first love. I was
first introduced to the art of Shoot Wrestling, by the late Sifu Larry HartSell, who was one of Bruce Lee's original students. Sifu Larry was also a black belt in Judo, as well as JKD instructor. I traveled with my family to attend one of his clinics. My Dad at the time was teaching Martial Arts out of our garage.

This was around the early UFC days where Ken Shamrock along with the Gracie Family would
make grappling become mainstream. I remember sitting in my wheel-chair watching my dad and
Uncle Joel practice leg locks on each other. I was amazed at what I saw. Shoot Wrestling was
a system that covered all the rangers: Kicking, boxing, clinch, standing grappling, throwing and ground
fighting. (I.E. joint locks and chokes on the ground)

It was like discovering a pot of gold, I loved that you could grab someone, throw them to the ground
and make them cry wolf. Sifu Larry was amazing to watch, he was also a very gentle man, despite
teaching such a combative violent art. He would the building blocks toward my passion for the
Martial Arts.

On a lunch break of the seminar, my dad brought me out of my chair and placed me on the purple
wrestling mats, there is where I'd learn my first choke, a figure four choke using the legs. Also known
as a triangle choke in todays age. I remember Sifu standing there with a smile on his face, as I
was learning to use my legs to make someone beg for mercy.

I was hooked. Sifu Larry would not only be my first grappling instuctor, but he would teach me the
art of Kali, which is a form of stick fighting. I'd sit in my chair with a grin on my face as he'd teach
me how to use my new toys.

Fast forward a few years, I was then introduced to the art of Judo, by a close family friend. Judo
is known as a gentle art. Made for the smaller person to toss the bigger man. All of my Judo
throws were done off my knees. My instructor at the time modified every single throw, so that
it could be done from a kneeling position. It was awesome. I'd throw someone on their back
and then go in to either pin them to the mat or make them tap out.

I made it all the way to orange belt, until I had to have a major operation, which would take a year
or more to fully recover. My Judo school had moved and my instructor (Dr. Lee) had retired.

My dad at the time had just opened his first school, teaching JKD concepts and all that he learned
from Sifu Larry. There were other instructors along the way that shaped my life. Sifu Terry Gibson
taught me how to throw elbows and headbuts, all from sitting in my wheel Chair.

Fast forward a few more years, and I would obtain a level of instructorship (in Jeet Kune Do) under
Marc Mcfann. Then, I'd go on to serve as the youth instructor for my dad. which I believed lasted
a good three years. For personal reasons though, we parted ways with Marc and my Martial Arts quest
would come to a stop.

So... Here I am, jumping back into the fire. Part of me was hesitant in writing all that, because it's
never my intention to brag about my history in Martial Arts. My past and up bringing in the arts,
has kept me from never my roots. which I think is something that has been lost, but that is for another
post.

I'm 26 years old, and want to get my black belt, in something, before my time is up. I've tried going
back to Judo, but the rules have changed so much, it makes the game change almost ten fold for me.
Catch wresting, along with Shoot Wresting are all almost not heard of any longer. Which breaks
my heart in ways you will never know. I love the Gi though, putting on the Gi and belt can become
dull over time, especially when you have to depend on someone for help.

Anyway, so I find myself back in the no Gi game. Which I'm no stranger to. The deal is, I'm rusty
after years of not being on the mat. But I'm hungry, and you can't stop someone who's hungry, unless
you put a bullet in their head. When I was coming out of practice a week ago, I was getting into
the car and my dad told me:

"You have to fight harder than most people, you have to learn to work around one strong arm.
You can move forward or you'll just stay where you are."

I know I have Cerebral Palsy, and I can't change it. I have to work with it, or shrivel up and die.
That's all there is to it. Almost every person I wrestle with is bigger and stronger than me, but
I keep getting back up and coming to practice. Even if it's one day a week, I show up. And thats
all that matters.

My instructor told me that being a white belt is all about survival, and at times I do a good job of
it, others, not so much. But I will have my victory, in reaching my goal.

-Brandon/TheCPGrappler.