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- Growing Up Bronx
So…. I finally started training Brazilian Jujitsu again. I know I’ve been saying that I want to start training again for a few years now. I know, I know, there is no need to rub it in. In fact, it’s been over 12-13 years since I regularly trained BJJ. You think I don’t know this? LOL.
Before I left the mats due to a nasty neck injury, and ultimately due to my “home,” The Blitz Center shutting its doors, I was halfway to attaining my blue belt. Marcos Santos and Jucao Ailson Brites had spent the better part of a year with my “group” of newbies and we were well on our way.
Of course, then my stupid ass had to go and start preparing for a mixed martial arts fight with an overzealous judo guy who dropped me on my neck and put me out of commission for months. Thankfully, the injury wasn’t permanent. However, since I wasn’t training, Marcos couldn’t promote me further. I understood and accepted my fate.
In any case, the way some places do it with is with “stripes,” there are 4 stripes before your next belt. I had 2 on my white belt at that time and considering that my wrists are fucked up and don’t bend, considering that I am not flexible at all and have duck feet that can’t properly close a guard, considering that a bone is sticking out of one of my knees, (I’m all sorts of fucked up) I still managed to work around those limitations and got good enough to earn those stripes. When I was promoted to the 2nd stripe, Marcos gave me a new belt. It wasn’t blue, it was white and had a blue stripe running through the middle of it.
Marcos’ ranking structure in NYC was a little different than some places, he also used the green belt to signify being white with four stripes. You can read a bit more about that here. Professor Jucao wasn’t having that though. When I started at his school after he went off on his own, he said that this belt was for women and he would not allow me to wear it in his school. So he took that belt from me and threw a white belt at me. His words were, I will know when you are ready for blue. I love Jucao, that man is a sweetheart. LOL. I really miss him, there are few people who know this BJJ game like he does. His way of teaching just meshed really well with me. I was considering going to LIC and training with the guys over there. Chad, who’s ass I used to kick in sparring, is now the black belt instructor there. So I was going to go and have him kick my ass a bit. LOL. But it’s a bit out of the way so I doubt I’d be consistent.
A few years ago I did a one week trial at a school that was close to me now, but I guess I wasn’t ready to get my shit together yet cause I only went once and then went back to being a fat, lazy beast. I’ve tried for years to get back in the flow of fitness, and it wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I started to find my way back. Now I think I’m ready to commit to BJJ again.
It makes me feel kind of bummed out that most of my friends who started and continued, are mostly all high level brown and black belts. A few weekend warriors are purple, and some who didn’t take as long a break are working towards purple. Many of them have reached the highly coveted black belt, some under Jucao or Marcelo Garcia, so you know they are real black belts, not some mickey mouse shit. Meanwhile, I’m perpetually a white belt.
I’m happy for them, but it kind of bums me out that I stopped training. Considering that I sat on my fat ass for about 12 years doing absolutely nothing with my life in regards to fitness or BJJ, what the hell did I expect to happen though? I’m trying to look at it as a journey and just accept where I am today, I have no choice, it is what it is.
All that brings me to UNABJJ. I finally signed up! You can read all about that here!
Growing Up Bronx