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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Three Things Jujitsu Teaches us About Life,

Jujitsu, in my opinion is similar to a love-hate relationship. What I mean by that is, in life, we have people that we love and care about deeply, but sometimes (maybe even a lot) they get under our skin and annoy us. Going further with that analogy, we can sometimes throw are arms up in the air and not bother with those who don't rub us the right way. So to speak.

As I have documented on this blog, the times that I've wanted to walk out of the Dojo and hang my head in shame, never to come back. But is that truly how we are to handle life as human beings?

No, it's not. Jujitsu has taught me much about the ability to persevere in life. In our modern context, especially that being the American one. We love instant gratification, everything has to come to our grasp this second, if not then it isn't really worth having. Or so it would seem. Jujitsu does not provide that open, some people who have chosen to partake on the journey have earned their black belts in as little as 4 years. Others, it has taken twenty years, sometimes longer.

The one that takes 4 years, is to be celebrated, because he or she has earned it and put in the many exhausting hours and took their beatings. The one that takes twenty or more is to be celebrated as well. Why? Because they stuck with it, they fought through discouragement, injuries and kept a proper perspective while other team mates earned their belts.

In reality, I will probably be on the twenty year track, and that's okay. Why you ask? Because not only will I work not only will I keep pressing on toward my next goal. I get the joy of helping others along the way. I have the honor of helping kids learn the joy and fun that is Jujitsu. I get the honor to encourage as well.

So, what are the three ways Jujitsu teaches us about life?

1) It teaches us to persevere in tough time.
2) It teaches us to keep our fixed on goals.
3) It teaches us to get the focus off ourselves and onto others.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Always growing and adapting on the journey.


as usual my time for updating the blog has been few, far and in between. I was going to write about the earning of my first gold medal, but the emotions from that has since faded. That is not to say  that the desire to win more has faded too. (it hasn't) but that my knowledge to learn has grown even more.

I haven't been able to train much, (on the mats that is) but I have been keeping my strength and conditioning up, been eating a lot of fruits and veggies, drinking lots of water and even have a few friends here on campus that I can work on basics with.

Fundamentals have become huge for me, I know that the 10th planet system is very detailed one, but not having the time to practice all the details is the problem. The more I train and compete the more I discover what best suits my body.

Perhaps that why Bruce Lee said to accept what is useful, reject what is useless and add specifically what is your own. I am NOT in anyway suggesting that certain techniques in the 10th planet are useless to me, (their not) however with my condition, it will take me much longer to learn and perfect certain techniques. Which is okay.

For me, in tournaments, it comes down to the essentials. Arm-bars and choke,  (maybe leg locks when I get up to different skill levels) I know it's nothing glamorous, I just don't feel very confident in my rubber guard, although I have used it in a match.

When I first learned the electric-chair sweep, I was using the half-guard, rather than the lock down. Why? I'm not very confident in my ability with it. Eddie Bravo saw me doing it with half-guard and he said it was awesome and to do what I could.

That to me meant the world to me, probably because he was affirming me as a grappling artist. As I've mentioned before, my hunger to learn has grown a great bit. Even while being in school, I am thinking about jujitsu and grappling all the time. I'm watching videos and always finding things to add to the bag of tricks.

I want to "master" a handful of techniques and do them well. All this to say, that one can learn, grow and be thankful for the gift with have in jujitsu. Never give on the journey.     

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My gold medal frm today!

I won 2 matches with double wrist lock submissions. I'll write my thoughts out after awhile... I need to let this all sink in.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Days before the tournament.

I am at school, however I am eating well and keeping my stamina up to par. I'm mentally going over my game plan. I'm ready to go!

Weigh in's are friday, and go time is saturday.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Never Out of Options

I weighed myself this morning before my workout, my weight was 126 lbs. I'm feeling super strong and have had a lot of energy. My workout consisted of:

Turkish get ups- five on each side. On the left side a ten pound kettle bell and on my right, a five pound dumb-bell. (these are great for jujitsu in general).

After that- The military press, three sets of ten.

Lastly- bridge ups, another great exercise that is great for the core and legs. It might not seem like much, but if you can do this within a fifth-teen minute time period, your heart will beat pretty fast and you will sweat a great deal.

Ever since I got my blue belt last Saturday, I have felt a great intensity inside. One that wants to hunt for submissions on any angle. Erik Paulson once said that the human body is a submission waiting to happen. I take that to mean that, at any position I am in there is always ways to attack.

I've been working hard on fighting from the bottom, as it's still very easy for people to get passed my guard. So my sweeps and transitions to deep half guard must be legit. Beyond that I've been working my top game a lot as well, mainly improving my posture. The submissions are there. It's about being heavy on top.

That's one of reasons I love the catch style of wrestling so much, because it weighs heavily on dominant position and attacking non stop. For me, I try and merge that same attitude within the practice of Jujitsu. I'm always trying to attack, whether I am on my back or not. Attack,  attack attack.

Lock flows then, are so very important to all grapplers, in the JKD spectrum of grappling one will learn to transfer from submission to submission without having to give it much thought. Personally I feel that that is something that is missing from a lot of grappling arts these days.

Sifu Larry Hartsell pounded this into the mind of his students, for the simple reason that you are never out of options in ways to submit your opponent.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Thoughts on getting my blue belt.

Today was a very special day for me, after the Eddie Bravo seminar today, myself a few other students earned our blue belts. This would be my third Bravo seminar, and it was probably my most favorite one yet. I learned so much, so many new tricks to add to the tool box.

I want to thank you some people, for providing me with rides to class, first off: my Dad, Brian Locke, Matt Hester, Ryan Yamada, Tijae Smith  and anybody else I forgot to mention I'm truly sorry.

Reaching this point in my journey, has taught me so much about  perseverance and my own personal selfishness as a person. Allow me to explain. Within the human condition, it can be so easy to become so wrapped up in our own personal happiness and success, that we totally brush aside the joy of being happy for others who achieve their goals as well.

The single greatest thing anyone can do in life is stay calm and wait for the wave to move toward you.    It's easy to get down on yourself, and be swallowed up in a self-centered attitude. Even in the midst of taking this journey, I forgot my motivations for even doing this.

Fist, it's fun! Some people take the game of Jujitsu so seriously, that in it's self isn't bad, but if it's not fun, if it's not a joy why do it? You'll burn out very quickly and not want to step out onto the mat ever again.

Secondly, I do this for those who would love to do Jujitsu, but physically cannot. It's so important to be humble and understand that Jujitsu is a gift. It could be taken away from you at any moment in practice or in a tournament. Our bodies are a gift, therefore, we must honor them.

As I'm writing this, the emotions are setting in... I need to work on keeping perspective, have more joy, don't worry about winning or loosing just keep working on getting better and better, helping others along the way.

Next Sunday, I move back into school, so my time on the mats will be limited to weekends. But I am not going to let that stop, I will keep moving forward.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chasing the dream.

While on the bike bath yesterday, I realized a dream, or maybe a goal. And that is one day being able to win NAGA (North American Grappling Association) champion. Though, it would be very difficult, and I would have to really adjust my style around points, rather than just submission.

I feel I am still young enough to reach my full grappling potential, I'd love to travel and train with various schools and instructors. But life at the particular season is taking me different places.

But I still want to chase this dream, no matter how hard it may be.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

This is the goal.

A gold medal would be nice...

Weight cuts and progress

Since my last update, I've been enjoying my summer break. Soon I will head back to school for my second year of college. A week ago I was pretty sick, it started off with a cold, but then I began to feel really week. In short, with all the training my body wasn't consuming enough calories.

I would only eat 1 or 2 times a day, for the simple fact that in my next tournament I'd like to compete at 125 pounds. Yet there is risk involved with that, with almost zero body fat I think I'd loose some muscle mass as well.

The fact is, the less I weighed, the less stress my body would have to carry. (That's always a plus with C.P.) The tournament isn't until august 24th, so I might give the weight cut another try. Only I'd be much more smart about it.

I'm learning a ton, and hope to achieve my blue belt soon, if not. I'll just keep on truckin.

take care all.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The inner drive of jujitsu.

Today's practice for was very frustrating to say the least, my brain and body were at odds with one another, as they most always are. During our rolling session I came close to getting a few submissions, but couldn't seem to apply them to completion.

I left class with a friend of mine, and as he was getting closer to my home, I thought "If I only had made a few adjustments here or there, I would have had them!"

It gets really frustrating and taxing at times, my dad reminded me today that, with my condition my body probably uses 3 times the strength of the average person. Also that many others can move a lot faster than I can.

What I've come to realize though, is that same frustrating feeling that comes upon me is really nothing more than an inner drive or resolve to push through things. To keep showing up to class and giving me all each time.

The ability to find your own inner drive ( I believe) means for then our failures and it means more then our ability to win or loose. All that matters is that you keep going, no matter what.  

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ugh.. Wow

Almost a three hour practice tonight, had a great private lesson/beating with my wrestling coach. Then rolled for another hour (or maybe longer). Were finally getting down to what is working for me.

22 days away. And I'm already on weight.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Cottage Cheese, with: Mango, Strawberries and blue-berries .

One Hard-Boiled egg

and Coffee.

Training is going well. I'm ready to rock!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Path of The Humble.

"I learned Jiu-Jitsu by being tapped left and right, up and down. I use to come to class knowing that I was going to get tapped 20, 30, 40 times a night by Helio Gracie's sons.

The only thing I could do was put a smile on my face and come back the next day for another 40 times. I was an expert at getting submitted." -8th Degree Master Pedro Sauer

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reorienting Our Motives and Mind

Like everything in life, you want to do things for the right reasons. Tonight after talking with my coach, it came to be known to me that my purpose in doing Jujitsu had be become twisted up. Instead of doing it for the love of it, I became so focused on proving myself and making rank.

Jujitsu can be very tough on a person if your mind and heart are not in the right place. It has brought me to pits of discouragement and wanting to throw in the towel.

But I'll keep going at it, no matter how sloppy I look at times.

I'm gonna do this! 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

After The Eddie Bravo Seminar

The Eddie Bravo seminar was pretty cool, this being my third one. I continual learn new things to improve my grappling skills. Eddie is a very down to earth guy. A few other of my team mates got their blue belts today, I was proud to witness it, they've earned it.

As for me, I will do the best I can with what i've got.


PS, here is a picture of Eddie and myself. He is holding a copy of my book "The Emotional Struggle".

Friday, February 22, 2013

An Awesome Feeling

Master Eddie Bravo, founder of 10th Planet Jujitsu, told me that I looked great on the mats tonight. That truly gave me a boost.

Seminar tomorrow!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Improvements and the lack there of.


With being in school and being required to work out a few days a week. I've actually been working out everyday this past week. There have been some great changes in my body, the abs are really showing and over all I have been feeling great.

Beyond that I am very tired physically... Let me also say very quickly that in my last tournament I took second place in the Gi division via arm bar victory. And sadly I didn't take home anything in the No-Gi division. But I had some very hard fought matches.

The down side of being a full time college student, is that doesn't allow much time on the mats. But when I am, I have to always to re-adjust myself to the realities of it. It's like my 1st day all over again.

My team mates all seem to be improving, where as I am back at square one all over again. My lower back has a give in it that causes me to lean forward, or my like fall forward. That puts me in bad positions all the time.

It's frustrating, I almost feel like it's not work it to go out there anymore, because of the fact that I look so aweful. But I have the desire to keep fighting, no matter how horrible I look or feel at times.

Here is a photo of me from my last tournament:


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Inner Beast of Jujitsu.

(Wow.. The amount of page views this thing is getting is amazing to say the least, clearly, I do not deserve it because updates are few far and in between).

As I have said in previous posts, grappling has been something I've been involved with most of my entire life. Though, as I have gotten older there has seemed to be more challenges on my body. It's a lot more difficult to move my hips now as quickly as needed. (Though, stretching would help too, I just have to discipline myself more in this area).

And my lower back has a give in it that will only get once as I get older, all that means is that my head allows has a way of leaning forward when moving to attack or execute moves. All this to say, the obstacles in front of me are few but big. Add to that not having full use of my right arm.

Please don't read this as a form of self-pity, it's not my intention. If anything I am trying to make war against self-pity, while still be honest about the challenges that Cerebral Palsy has dealt me.

That is to say then that, with Jujitsu, there has been for me a lot of discouraging thoughts and emotions that come along with it. Last night after practice I wanted to just cry in the shower for a bit but that never happened. Keith Owen, says that he hates quitters. So anytime I think of quitting I think of him saying that, perhaps he is the new Chuck Norris! (That was a joke)

I have learned a lot from him and his videos on YouTube, he seems to be very simplistic in nature. Anyway, quitting Jujitsu has been something that has crossed my mind almost a hand full of times. Why keep going when your constantly getting your ass kicked on daily basis and have yet to actually win a match in competition?

Why keep going when everyone else is climbing up the mountain faster than you? I've heard it said that only way you will ever improve and Jujitsu, is if you're training three times a week. Well, as a full time college student, I can't do that, and not being able to drive sucks too. If, I knew that Jujitsu would put money in my bank account and secure some what a future for me, I'd gladly give all my time to it.

But that obviously is not happening right now, plus I really love people and am pursuing a psychology degree, but I have a very long way to go with that too.

Moral of the story.. Am I going to quit? No, I'm not, I'm going to continue to run my race. And you should too.

Keep at it.