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All Good Things

August 24, 2010

I’m saying goodbye to this woefully neglected blog of mine.

It’s been more than a year since I’ve had knee surgery, and even longer than that since I’ve step foot on a mat and had a proper class. The whole intention of this blog was mainly to keep track of my training progress. So obviously no training, no writing. No writing, no updates.

Also my attempts at telling stories of my Hawaii days training various martial arts before I came to Japan fell flat. While I did write a few more tales revolving my time in Kaaawa, I really wasn’t satisfied with what I produced. The process was much more difficult than I thought it would be and I felt the remaining Kaaawa Chronicles lacked a clear narrative voice. They weren’t as engaging as I wanted them to be. Truthfully, I didn’t like side tracking the direction of the blog just to keep updating it on a regular basis. Perhaps, one day I’ll return to the stories when I have the skills to tackle them and do them justice.

Then there’s the title. Although I still have a thing for the color murasaki – purple – I think I’ve outgrown the term BJJ. Over the course of this blog, I’ve slowly phased out the term and replaced it using the term jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu felt more inclusive and open to me.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. It will always be the primary form of martial art I’ll train in. I’m never leaving it, but it’s not the only delivery system I want to express. I mean, I’m a firm believer in working on stand up and throws. I’m bias because I took Judo for two years and I miss it. When the time is right and my body is ready, I will take it up again.

Also my interest in other martial arts won’t exactly go away. My passing curiosity in Aikido, for instance, has led to a strong interest in wristlocks and developing that aspect of my game. I found a delightful Aikido book that messes with Judo grips. I can’t wait to properly drill the techniques and apply them.

It all came together for me when I ventured back to Paraestra Hakata the other week to say hi and catch up with everybody. Tomari sensei was there and in good spirits. There were new purple belts hanging around and the guys I knew who previously were white were now newly-minted blue belts. There was one blue belt that caught my eye as he was a third degree blue. I found out he originally trained in Yokohama and was in Fukuoka for business.

Anyway, during the warm ups he couldn’t do sitouts (which are very simple) or the stand-up in base (which was one of the first and basic techniques I learned from Relson, and something we do regularly in Hakapara). His break-falls were terrible (arm post anyone?) and his takedowns were non-existent (the white belt he was paired with had a better double leg).

All I could think was: “Wait? This guy’s a blue belt? He sucks. He can’t even do the simple stuff right.” I was shocked that I knew nothing about him, but found myself so critical of his skillset. To be fair, when it came to grappling and ground work, the guy was clearly a high level blue.

The point is I’ve changed. I know I’m not the same person I was a year ago. I’m at a completely different stage in my life, and I’m ready to express that in my training and in my writing.

Well, then. Here’s to all good things.

My name is Patrick. I am a Jiu-jitsu Practitioner.

This is my final post for Murasaki BJJ, but it’s definitely not my last.


Time is King – Jiu-jitsu Comeback

March 19, 2010

Every great journey must begin with a simple step. This is mine. My Jiu-jitsu Comeback.

Went to Emoto Knee clinic yesterday for my latest knee check-up, which, at the time of writing, is a little under seven months post-op. Wow. Time flies.

Been doing a horrendous amount of rehab leading up to this check-up, part of the reason why I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I should have. Then again, there wasn’t much to write or update on.

The ridiculous rehab I’ve done paid off. Kinda.

Read more…

Obligatory Return from Long Absence Post

March 17, 2010

Hi. I’m Patrick. I’m the writer of this blog, Murasaki BJJ.

Shame on me for having a lull in writing when I’m clearly able to. Well, sort of. Moved from old apartment to new one – much larger than my previous one, but with no furnishings. My money has been going there.

My time is now spent looking at chairs and curtains and reading articles that have nothing to do with jiu-jitsu but provide lots of info on green air purifiers. Literally (coughplantscough). After that I’m busy buying chairs and curtains and slowly turning my apartment into a place with actual liveable conditions.

Inbetween all that I’m doing rehab for my knee. 😛

Still clueless about exactly when I’ll be able to strap on the old gi and shrimp across the matted floors again. Knee’s not 100% yet. Going to a check-up this Thursday so I hope to find out then.

In the meantime, keep on training.


February 25, 2010

In the midst of life happening I forgot to mark the anniversary of my first knee injury which I wrote about here.

As the days went on by and turned into weeks then months and would then lead to several injuries, my approach towards my first injury was sensible but still very careless. Here’s what I did wrong.

  • I went to a crappy doctor and hospital – sports doctors or specialists with current methods of treatment please
  • After getting the “OK” from the crappy doctor I rushed back into training and entered a tournament – my leg was nowhere near “OK” but that’s besides the point. A body part will never be 100% immediately after the injury and “healing”, it will take time to fully recover. The longer time, the better recovery.
  • And after re-injuring my knee, I still didn’t get proper treatment – hey, you, with the light injury, might wanna rest up or get that checked out before it turns into a full blown injury.  A few days or a couple weeks off from jiu-jitsu is fine when compared to MONTHS or YEARS OF NO TRAINING!

Six months after my first knee injury, I have surgery for a busted ACL and menicus. Six months after the surgery, I’m still not back to training. And if I think about that for too long I get really really pissed and have to fight the need to go molotov cocktail a certain crappy hospital but then I know that’s really really stupid and childish and I revert back to happy Patrick.

Sigh.  I’m just venting. I’m still good. 🙂

Of Alpha and Beta Traits

February 22, 2010

Are you an alpha lion or a beta mouse? Why not both?

I am, by default, a beta male.

I care, I nurture. My tendencies are non-agressive. I’m non-confrontational. I go out of my way to make others feel better. I’m social, I’m friendly, and I “get along well with others”. I write a blog on jiu-jitsu sharing my experiences in the hopes that someone somewhere will find my words useful and adjust their game for the better.

In other words, I am a nice guy. 🙂

Read more…

And the Small Steps – Jiu-jitsu Comeback

February 5, 2010

my fitness chart - I lost weight but I'm still a fatty

When I first took a jiu-jitsu class, I realized there’s a ton of stuff I couldn’t do. Like shrimping, a simple upa, getting that sweet spot to choke ’em out, sparring more than once. Ah, the memories. I was coming from several years of training in Kaaawa, I thought I was pretty fit at the time. Jiu-jitsu proved me wrong.

I did that flop around like a fish out of water and, after the 10th tapout, that bewildered look of “what just happened here?”

I had that kind of day at my 6 months post-op check up yesterday. Wait, did I say 6 months? Yup. It’s been that long. Hard to believe huh? What were you doing 6 months ago? If you said jiu-jitsu, I envy you because my answer is surgery.

Read more…

Giant Leap – Jiu-jitsu Comeback

February 3, 2010

Every great journey must begin with a simple step. This is mine. My Jiu-jitsu Comeback.

Here’s the superduperfabuloso news. At home yesterday, doing my rehab exercises, just for the heck of it, I thought what would happen if I tried to jump. Will I get hurt? Re-injured? Pull a muscle? Too much thinking! So I emptied my mind, wasn’t concerned about the act of jumping and just let my body go through the motions…


For someone who has not done so in the past six months that’s HUGE! I’ll admit it’s been a long time coming; my flexibilty and range of motion and strength have taken off like a drag race in slow motion. I’m not really progressing in the manner I’d like to. Very unsadisfied. And, I won’t lie, my recovery pace has caused me to doubt my future in jiu-jitsu.

But that was until yesterday. Dang, wasn’t sure I could pull it off. I’ve been working on my explosive power. Usually I do 50 good old bodyweight squats, take a break and then afterwards do 20 more squats simulating the jumping motion without actually launching off the ground.

Yesterday, on the 20th count, I let loose and flew!

I may have gotten a good inch or two off the ground. Yeah, badness personified. I know I’m not ready to start really training – I have a check up on Thursday, I have a feeling they’ll say I’m close but no cigar – however I’m very, very happy to simply jump off the ground! I plan on doing more for sure!

Aww yeah! Watch out now!