adversity, bjj, fat people

Mail Day!

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

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




A Time When I Thought I Broke My Neck, As Illustrated by MS Paint.

A couple of days ago I thought I almost broke my neck.  In reality it probably wasn’t even close, BUT I LOVE DRAMA and want to make it seem like I almost got hurt when actually this is a complete non-story.

I was thrown by a drop seoi nage by someone much, much shorter than me.  Not a child or a midget, but still pretty short.  If you don’t know, a  Drop Seoi Nage looks like this:

It looks cool, and the fall is surprisingly easy to take.  But like I said, my partner was much shorter than me (about a 18 inches) so things go complicated.  Let’s unleash the power of MS Paint. and break it down.

Figure 1

FIGURE 1: The Start. As this shows, my partner has entered in and is underneath me, starting the throw. Both of us are upright, with the arrows showing the orientations of our heads, and the dotted lines to show our trajectory. But as you may notice, the diameter of my opponent is muuuuuch smaller than mine, effectively shortening their turning/throwing radius. This will become important.

Figure 2

Figure 2: My head is now parallel to the ground, and I am being pulled up and over by my opponent. We have yet to enter into the crashing awkwardly phase. But that’s going to happen soon.

Figure 3

Figure 3: This is where things get tricky. My opponent’s tiny body allows them to start torquing me over sharply. However, I’m turning like a gentle wave breaking upon the shores of dreamland. My head is now at a forty five degree angle to the ground as my opponent begins the end game of trying to tuck their elbows in and accelerate me down to the mat.

Figure 4

Figure 4: Unfortunately for me, my gentle arc is cut short by the earth. If I was a little shorter, (or my opponent a little taller) our trajectories would be a little more simpatico and I would completely rotate through the throw into a nice gentle roll over my shoulder. Unfortunately, my partner is finishing up, while I’m still only about 75% done rotating. Thus landing right on my forehead. If I was smart I’d try to figure out the physics of how much force was exerted on my skull, but this is America and science isn’t important or relevant anymore. To put it in modern terms, “Shit hurt real bad and I thought I was fucked up.”

Figure 5

Figure 5: This part never actually happened. But if I died, would you come to my funeral? Do you ever think about who would come to YOUR funeral if you died? Sometimes I want to fake my own death just to find out.





My greatest fear in Jiu Jitsu?

Shitting my pants at practice or a tournament.  Either scenario has its pros and cons. Accidentally shitting yourself in practice means you’ll be forever known to your team mates as the guy who shit himself.  But paradoxically you’d be surrounded by people who would ostensibly support you through your ordeal.  Maybe they’d never bring it up again.  But it would always be lurking in the corner of your mind, a wet turd rotting away at the foundation of your confidence.

If it went down at a tournament, you could take comfort in the fact that you’ll probably never see most of those people again.  But only if you actively avoided competitions for the rest of your life.   Also, it’s a virtually certainty that it was captured on film somehow.  And there’s probably no way to kill that person who filmed it before they upload it to their tumblr, so that’s another mondo bummer.  You’d probably have to wear a wig to avoid getting stopped on the street after that shit winds up on Tosh.0.

I’ve never shit myself in either in those circumstances.  Knock on wood.  Maybe in an alternate universe I shit myself in my first class and never came back.  Maybe in another it happens every day and I’ve learned to deal with it.   I feel like I’ve pulled the best universe when it comes to not defecating all over myself and others in Jiu Jitsu.  So in that respect  I guess I should be thankful.