Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ohhh, no you didn't!

Here is the the converstion between me and coworker today:
Him: " Aaron, are you taking jiu jitsu?"
Me: "Yes"
Him:"How Long have you been doing it?"
Me: " About 7 months"
Him: " Oh, I thought you'd be good."

Then he just turned and left me with my mouth wide open and the Ohh, no you didn't look on my face.
Now, I was kind of taken aback by his comment. I wanted to toss him an invite to come roll with me at the gym. I thought about that tonight when I was rolling, and I know I am just 7 months into this. If blackbelts were so easy in BJJ then everyone would have one. I have never claimed to be the best, bragged about being better than someone, or tried to imply that I am better than someone. There are legends in the sport, that train 8 hours a day, why to be better.
I try, I am doing more than most people, I want to be better and I have told several people that BJJ has changed my life and the me now would kill the me 7 months ago. I am faster, stronger, healthier, and my techniques are improving. The good thing about BJJ, it is a changing sport, it is evolutionary and new techniques are getting taught and modified on a daily basis.
So "Mr. I thought you were better," In a way I am better, and 7 more months from now I will be better, and 2 years from now, guess what, I will be better. So yes, I am better.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Survival is an instinct...

Well, I am sure everyone who reads this has had some form of grappling training or is thinking about it. If you train BJJ, the first experiance you have is everyone trying to kill you. Your first classes will be the worst that you have ever had.
Now that I have scared away the feint of heart, the first class is the scariest. All the higher belts have a point to prove, to test your resolve. Will you stay or you will go? My classmates were somewhat nice, they showed me the basics and then proceeded to knee-belly mount me, collar choke me, and arm bar me.
Naturally, I had absolutlely no knowledge of Jiu jitsu and these 180lb guys were throwing this 250lb guy around like a ragdoll. So here I was laid on my back getting dominated and shoving and pushing and hold on for dear life. I would push and then I would have to tap to an arm bar, or I would lay there and get tapped from a choke.
I was dumbfounded at how these guys could do that, granted a lot of them have been training for 2-3 years. I discovered Saulo Ribeiro's Jiu Jitsu University, and I began to study. White belt is the survival stage, and I was not surviving. I was floundering about and trying to use my strength to get out of inferior positions. It is frustrating to get tapped everytime you move or everytime you do not move.
I took a moment at each training session afterwards and started trying to survive instead of escape. Survibality is something that is instinctive. Your body reacts and adapts to the situation to overcome the situation. If you do not train your body to be instinctive and react ,then you will not survive. That is why it is key to drill and have mat time. If you are starting BJJ or anything, it is going to be frustrating, because you have not learned to survive yet. It takes time on the mats and eventually you will learn to tuck your arms, hide your neck, or block the chokes. Just grin and press on, it will get better. How many of you struggled at the beginning and how did you over come? Email me if you have any questions,comments, or feedback to improve the content. Please feel free to post your comments.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The story behind the belt and the blog

I am currently a White Belt at Swamp Fox Jiu Jitsu, and I started Jiu Jitsu with the goal of getting in shape. Here is a short story on how I ended up where I am today. 
I was diagnosed with a kidney disease back about 2 years ago and almost died from a pulmonary embolism because of the disease, then I started my downward spiral of self destruction. I was having some serious depression issues, because my condition was not getting any better, my marriage was not the best it could be and physically I felt like nothing was going the way I wanted and my diet and overall health reflected a lot of what I was going through.
I sat in the doctor’s office one day and was told by my doctor there was no more treatment left for him to do. I immediately set up a 2nd opinion with another specialist. The 2nd doctor told me there is nothing more he could do either, but there was some things I could do to improve my situation. I could change my diet, change my habits, and change my lifestyle.
Well, I had already quit smoking; diet was easy to fix, so that left me with an exercise regiment. I am no gym rat, I hated going to the gym and spending hours banging out sets and repetitions. I decided to try jiu jitsu, I figured I had to be in shape to start, but that was the wrong assumption. You join jiu jitsu to get in shape, not wait to get in shape. This was something different, it centered on submissions and self defense and I have always been intrigued by the skill level it takes to master such a martial art.
That was in November of 2010, now fast forward to current date, after training nearly six months in Jiu Jitsu, and starting Cross Fit and changing my diet, I have seen great improvement in my health and my condition. Someone told me to start a blog to chronicle training and journey through Jiu Jitsu, but the only issue I have yet to overcome is my ability to procrastinate.   
Jiu Jitsu 360 is about surrounding your life with everything jiu jitsu and how jiu jitsu impacts your everday life. You would be suprised how many students of the sport improve their lives to help them in the sport. Please let me know what each of your thoughts are and let me know any feedback on how BJJ  changed your life? Email me at