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a small matter

March 18, 2008

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight,
it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

– Mark Twain

Came across this article, made me realize that I’m not that short. Being in Japan I’m normal size, so I haven’t really thought much about my height, unless of course when I’m sparring. Can’t help but think if I was 10 cm taller or 10 kg heavier I’d give everyone that rolled with me a harder time.

There are many good motivational points – which can also be directly related to jiu-jitsu – from the article that anyone regardless of their size or stature can use in any aspect of their lives. Very encouraging. From work to play, and everything in-between.

Here’s a few things I thought gained greater meaning in the physical world of grappling.

“It’s not just about ability; it’s about mindset.”

Before I couldn’t even hold side mount. I’d just get pushed off. So despite knowing an assortment of attacks, I never really tried to develope my top game. Only recently have I been thinking about gaining and securing and holding and attacking from the side mount. And guess what? I still get pushed off. But now I think, “Screw it. Even thought I’m gonna be pushed off like a feather, I’m gonna be one hell of a feather.”

“You’re never without weakness. We grow out of one thing and into another. But weakness only becomes vulnerability if you let it.”

Size really does matter in jiu-jitsu. And it works both ways. See that space? You know, the one where you bring your knee up to the hip to prevent guys your size from pulling guard in side mount? For a mousey guy like me, that’s a damn canyon. Knee comes in, touches elbow, escape and pull guard. Plus having short arms and legs means it’s easier to escape an armbar or a leg lock. That’s what I like to think.

“Instead of dwelling on shortcomings, compensate for them.”

Conditioning, conditioning, conditioning. I’ll be happy the day I spar for ten hard minutes with a bigger guy and find myself not even close to being gassed out while my sparring partner is sucking up an oxygen tank afterwards.

“Adopt an ethic of constant improvement. Be confident in your abilities, but never assume those abilities can’t be improved.”

Keep on training. Keep on drilling. Keep on sparring. Keep on going.

“Success is entirely subjective. If you define what success means to you, you’re not measuring up to anybody’s standards but your own.”

A good sparring session on the mat – even if I get tapped like ghetto booty – where no one gets hurt and everyone learns from it is my measure of success.

“Ambition trumps ability. When it comes to reaching the beachhead of success, passion is a stronger tide than raw talent.”

I love what I do even if it hurts my joints, hurts all over and hurts to breathe. And I’ll keep on training, because jiu-jitsu is a lifelong passion of mine.

And above all…

“Accept who you are.”

I’m the small guy. Wanna roll?

One Comment leave one →
  1. John permalink
    March 19, 2008 1:01 pm

    Good post! I know where you come from, I’m 5′ 7” and 58Kg! Go the small guys!

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