More Than Just a Martial Art | 3J

I’ve always thought about what makes one martial art better than the other. And then I watched UFC 1 and saw what Jiu Jitsu could do. That was one of the factors that convinced me to start BJJ in the first place.

That and I really hate getting punched in the face or punching people in the face.

Anyways, It’s been a while since I wrote on here. And it’s not that I don’t want to, believe me, I’m always pumped to produce a post after every BJJ class. But I’m always way too tired to write anything after class. Especially now that every Thursday is basically just 1 hour 3o minutes of sparring. I can still feel the aches and bruises from last week’s session.

Today I went to a surprisingly crowded class, with some new faces and some old ones that I haven’t seen since I came back from my 2 week mid-term break. One face I didn’t recognise was a caucasian man. He was a purple belt. I thought “aww hell, who’s this guy now? I’m going to get SO OWNED this class”. Needless to say, before the class started, I slightly regreted coming. But I thought, well, I’m here already, might as well get my money’s worth.

We went on and started the class. Warmups then takedowns and drilling a new technique. It was 2 options from a leg drag this class. But that part isn’t so important.

Something unusual happened during sparring today though. I tapped someone out.

Yeah, I TAPPED SOMEONE OUT!

To that someone that I tapped out, If you’re reading this, I’m not boasting it as an achievement or anything. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised. It kinda shows me how far I’ve come from being just that normal guy 2 to 3 months ago who didn’t know jack shit about Jiu Jitsu. Now it’s kind of been like my second school. Hell, I even made a notebook just a few days ago to write my techniques down and whatnot.

After a while, my time came to spar with the purple belt and MAN was he cool. I mean he was real nice, real humble and respectful. He kept teaching me techniques during our roll together and I feel like I’ve gotten some pretty good info that’ll help my game. Sometimes, it’s always nice to just drill a technique but in the style of a live spar and that’s exactly what I got from rolling with that purple belt.

Then I switched partners a couple of times. On one of the rolls, I was just doing my thing and my partner was doing her thing. Just rolling. Slowly and slowly the class got quieter and quieter. Eventually, I stopped rolling, sat up and saw what the entire class was looking at.

It was the same purple belt guy sparring with my instructor. It was pretty cool to see, literally, the whole class just sit down and watch those 2 guys roll with each other. Kind of like watching a competition without all the yelling. It was a calm and just zen-like atmosphere. Long story short, the purlple belt lost by submission. It was a straight arm crush (or whatever the name of the move is called). After they rolled, everybody just started clapping.

And I don’t know why but for some reason, At that moment as I was clapping along, I realised that Jiu Jitsu and martial art isn’t just a fighting style or self-defence system. That purple belt and my instructor had the respect of the whole class. They both were classy, acknowledging each others’s skill in bjj. And that’s really something that you wouldn’t understand if you’ve never done bjj. It makes you feel like you’re part of this special little club that diffrent people from all walks of life attend.

After the roll, we took a group photo — one which I’m still waiting to be uploaded — and I can already see the caption of that photo for my instagram. It’ll be titled “The Jiu Jitsu Family”. It’s corny I know but it was a moment worth capturing.

-Farrel