bjj, competition, improvement, matchups

Mail Day!

It’s Mail Day! Let’s answer some questions.  As always, if you have any questions you want answered, write me at askheavytraining@gmail.com.

Greg from Albany writes:

What is your favorite Mythological Creature and why?

Thanks for writing Greg.  I’m going with Minotaur. Six pack abs, natural sense of rage; it’s the perfect combination of power and sexual charisma.  Here’s a ranking of my top players in the mythological game, from first to worst:

  1. Minotaur
  2. Centaur
  3. Genies
  4. Unicorn
  5. Medusa
  6. Jesus
  7. Pegasus
  8. Bigfoot
  9. Hydra
  10. Giant

Jeff, from West Chester asks:

Two part question. If Hitler’s preserved brain was transfered into a grizzly bear, would you volunteer to fight him to the death?  Do you think you would win?

Thanks for writing, Jeff!  My question to you is when, temporally speaking, would this fight take place?  If it was 1937 I think I would step up to the plate.  In 2014 Hitler’s just fighting for pride, which makes him more dangerous.  I like to think that this fight would take place in 2099 AD, where me and Hitler-Grizzly are fighting to amuse our corporate overlords at their Christmas party.

Anyway, I think I would have a fighting chance.  Because Hitler has the mind of a man, in the body of a bear.  He wouldn’t know how to use the patented bear moves (mauling, biting,  rearing up to terrifying heights, etc) that makes bears so dangerous.  He wouldn’t maximize his built in advantages as a bear.  Conversely, if you put a bear’s mind in Hitler’s body, he’d flail around, not knowing how to use a man’s body.

I think I could conceivably get behind him, take his back and choke him out before he could figure out how to shake me off.  Then it’s bear steaks for everybody.

Troy from Hoboken NJ writes:

My girlfriend says I spend too much time at Jiu Jitsu.  It’s becoming a larger issue than it should be, leaking into other aspects of our relationship.  I’d like to strike up a compromise with her, without losing any mat time.  What should I do.

Thanks for writing Troy.  Troy!  What a name.  Anyway, you’ve got a real problem on your hands.  You can save it though! Here are a few techniques:

Basic:Most arguments in relationships, especially boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, are invisible struggles to seize and maintain the moral high ground.  You’ve already seized this position because your girlfriend is asking you to change something about yourself. All you have to do is hold down the fort. The most basic defense that you can muster is that she should love you for you, and that trying to change you into something you’re not, or  to make you do something you don’t want to do, would violate the most basic of all relationship principals.  Say something to that effect and watch the waves of guilt crash down all around her!

Intermediate:  To try something a little more advanced, let her know that the time spent at the gym is a wholesome, bettering, activity, and it’s not like you are spending your nights and weekends drinking and fucking around with your friends and other women.  You’re an athlete, god damn it.  This really only works if A) you are not currently spending your nights and weekends drinking and fucking around with other women and B) your girlfriend values fitness and comraderie.  If she genuinely wants you around so you can watch her while she watches her 5th episode of Chopped, I would stick to the basics.

Advanced:  Compromise, skip a bunch of classes, and be miserable.  So miserable that she “allows” you to go back to your normal schedule.  This is a shrewd high risk strategy.  It involves you seemingly conceding your moral position to her, only for your girlfriend to realize later that she’s the one who’s wrong.  It’s like a double switch ending to a movie where it turns out she’s Kaiser Soze where all along she thought she was Katherine Heigle in 27 dresses.

The risk is that your girlfriend may not care you’re miserable and it turns out you’re dating a monster.  Or you act too insufferable and she breaks up with you because she thinks you’re a monster.  Or maybe you’re just meant for each other because you are both awful people!  Good luck!

_________________

That’s everything in the mail bag!  If you have a question you want answered, send it in at askheavytraining@gmail.com.

 

 

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adversity, bjj

Independance Day

I work for a very large school district in a major East Coast city.  I go to schools and see things that alternate between gut busting hilarity and heart breaking sadness, and often the two mix together to the point where you can hardly tell the difference.  Which sees to be par for the course when you’re dealing with inner city education.

A couple of days ago I was in school that was hosting  a summer program for high needs special education kids.  I’m sitting at a table auditing payroll when an enormous 350 pound autistic kid rumbles into the bathroom across the hall with his teacher/handler in tow.  Ten minutes later his teacher comes out, with a stricken look on his face.  The kind of look that says “my student shit himself and then smeared fecal matter everywhere.”  While the teacher is talking to the principal and the facilities staff, the kid bolts from the bathroom, covered in his own shit.  He’s non verbal, so what ever he’s trying to communicate comes out as a grunt and he jogs down the hall.  Eventually staff corale him and put him back in the bathroom, because there is no where else to put him.

Of course, there are no spare pants in the building that would fit him, and his guardians didn’t pack a spare set.  Which is surprising because I’m sure this isn’t a rare incident.  So they keep this kid in the bath room, where he would occaisionally burst out of, naked from the waist down, gesturing to no one, or everyone.  Who knows? Staff would gently push him back into the bathroom.

At some point a pair of burgundy lady’s stirrup pants were found that would fit him.  The day continued without incident.

——————–

Sometimes I worry that I don’t go to the gym enough.  Or that I don’t have the time or the passion to reach the goals I set for myself or that others set for me.  It’s easy for me to get caught up in self doubt.

But then I think about that kid.  Shunted off into a bathroom, covered in shit. Stuffed into a pair of stirrup pants. His mind seemingly not his own.  What’s worse is that his every move seems to require supervision from a qualified adult.  A handler, if you will; like some sort of circus bear.  Absolutely zero independence.

It’s certainly a cliche and more than a little reductive to use this kid as a reminder of what’s good in my life, and conversely, what’s bad about his.  But even so, it’s important to remember that I’m a healthy individual who has complete freedom to pursue whatever I choose to do, and not worry about the bull shit.

I’ma let my freak flag fly.

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adversity, bjj, disgusting, fat people

A Brazilian Ways to Die

Here’s a helpful hint-

Just because you do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, do not go to the Brazilian BBQ food cart in South Philadelphia and think your stomach can handle it.  It can’t.  Maybe if you are some kind of hyper intelligent goat who can read, then yes, go ahead and eat at the cart, goat.

But if you are human, take a hard pass.

If this was a role playing game, by consuming “CONSUMING BRAZILIAN BBQ FROM A CART” your character would gain the following attributes:

  • -10 going to work
  • +5 Doo Doo
  • +5 writhing skill
  • -20 Charisma
  • +3 Weird Stomach Noises.
  • +1 Parasites that last the remainder of the game.

I guess I can chalk it up as a cultural experience.

 

 

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adversity, bjj, fat people

Mail Day!

Hey! Let’s answer some reader emails.  If you have a question, write me at askheavytraining@gmail.com

Troy, from Chicago Illinois writes:

What is the acceptable protocol for farting in class?

That’s a great question.  Since you’re from Chicago you probably eat at least a meter of keilbasa before class;it  it may even be part of your warm up.  So I can see why you have farts on the brain.  Usually, I just say let ’em rip and let God sort it out.  We’re all friends here.  Everyone will either ignore it or have a good laugh, so it’s no big deal.

If you really feel some kind of way about it excuse yourself and find a quiet place to air your shame.  But if you’re like me,  your farts come to you like a lightening bolt from the clear blue sky and strike without warning.

So just roll the dice!

Thanks for asking!

-Jenn, from Montana asks:

I think I have a crush on a boy at the gym.  We train a lot together and seem to have really great chemistry.  I’d love to ask him out but I’m afraid if it didn’t work we’d ruin our friendship and make things awkward.  What should I do?

I think you should follow your heart.  Fuck that stupid brain of yours.  Just keep this one rule in mind.  YOU DO NOT LIVE IN A ROMANTIC COMEDY.  Avoid zany shenanigans at all costs.  Most people think about the meet cute that happens in the middle of the movie, not the humiliating failures arising from misunderstandings that happen in the first act.

Just be straight forward and ask him out.  I’m not too sure about how old your are, but you sound young (I GO BY FEEL).  Men (and boys) are idiots and need to be led by the hand point by point.  When it comes to relationships most men would rather just have somebody peel their orange for them.  Women on the other hand turn these things into giant Rube Goldberg machines we’re everything needs to be JUST RIGHT. So skip all that. Say what you feel and don’t make it weird.

But you’re from Montana, so there’s probably only three other eligible men within 4 hours of you, so if things go south, be prepared to move.  Keep a go bag in your Silverado at all times.

Good luck, and thanks for asking!

-Bill, from Tom’s River NJ asks:

What’s the best gi?

Atama Gold Weave. DUUOOOOOOOOOOY.  It is the Platonic Ideal of Gi Quality. Everything else is just faking.

Thanks for asking.

-Jim, from Lancaster Pennsylvania writes:

I started Jiu Jitsu about two months ago, and I don’t think I like it very much.  Is it ok to quit?

Sure.  I quit things all the time.  Marriages, jobs, meals I don’t like, etc.  I HATED Jiu Jitsu because it was so hard, but not because I didn’t like it. Even now after eight years and a brown belt, I have cagey feelings about the sport. But  If you don’t like the instructor, or the contact, or if you got a staff infection on your asshole, then sure, don’t go anymore.

But if you don’t like it because it’s hard, or you feel too tired afterwards, then stick with it.  It’s sort of like when you watch the first month of The Biggest Loser.  It’s not that these 500lb people can’t work out; it’s more that they are so far out of their comfort zone they don’t know which end is up and they panic.  PUSH THROUGH IT FATBODY.

So take some time to really figure out what it is you don’t like, and decide if you can live with it or not.  Just like a marriage.

Thanks for asking!

Got a question?  Ask me at askheavytraining@gmail.com

 

 

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A po-wem, bjj

All My Old Gis (Are Sad and Lonely)

My closet is  Golgotha
A garden of old gis
in a sad forgotten pile
in a too small Rubbermaid bin.

I’m sorry I don’t wear you anymore.
And I’m sorry my cat pissed on a few of you
But you stink too much
And you are too frayed.

So you sit in the dark,
like a pack of cranky hobos
abandoned by the world
and huddled around a flaming barrel.

Do you dream gi dreams?
Of  swimming in the washing machine?
Or is too dark and lonely,
In my spare bedroom where I play video games.

But you were too big on me, white Michado.
And I couldn’t get the smell out of you,
Kimono Fighter and Blue Atama.
So I’ll see  you all in hell, someday.

Until then, sit in my closet.
Your ruined palace of cotton,
Waterloo of canvas pants,
and dream of better days.

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bjj

Obvtavio Sousa

Otavio Sousa was let go as the instructor from Gracie Barra.

Apparently it was over money and Sousa’s alleged unwillingness to stick to a schedule. Outrage ensued.

So let me get this straight…a hot shot Brazilian champion turning out not to be a great instructor along with money issues causes friction in the BJJ community?

Also, in other, less predictable news, the sky is blue, bears are dangerous, cake is good, cigarettes are bad for you, one day you will die, sky scrapers are tall, kittens are cute, grass is green, airline service sucks, shit smells, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are catty, Ferraris go fast, the Pope wears a funny hat, the cup cake fad is rapidly ending, the  Shawshank Redemption makes grown man cry, roses are red, Jews run international banking, the Atomic weight of Colbalt is 58.9, the ocean is salty, turtles are slow, Jamie Curtis is a hermaphridite, beer gets you drunk, and the sun is bright.

 

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adversity, bjj, triumph

Plateaus In Jiu Jitsu: What Gives?

One of the toughest things in BJJ is the dreaded plateau.  As anyone who has trained for long enough knows, plateaus are frustrating because they are so hard to break out of.  To break a slump, the first thing you need to do is gain insight as to why you’re stuck.

I took some time to reflect on my own plateau.  They can seem so unknowable, why your progress and attitude can flatten out for unknown reasons.  So I closed my eyes, and let my brain float up to the top the reasons for my plateau. I then took these issues and made a literal plateau pictogram. I found it to be really therapeutic and insightful. DESTROYING MY DEMONS THROUGH THE UNSTOPPABLE POWER OF MS PAINT.

Observe Figure 1:
PLATEAU

I hope you found this enjoyable, and my wish for those out there struggling with their own plateaus is for you find the same astounding courage I did in overcoming your own fears.

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