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Tag teams, being stretchy and the puzzle that is Jiu-jitsu

June 16, 2009

Yesterday, at the elementary school I was teaching at for the day, I joined a game of team tag chase – in Japanese it’s called “onigokko”. There’s a group of eight or so “oni” (demons) and they run after the rest of the class to catch them. Kinda like a game of freeze tag on crack.

I told the class that I wasn’t up for it but thought it’d be fun to just walk around the playground to be an extra target/oni to complicate things.

However I got caught up in the pure joy of the game and, to my surprise, began running. Running to catch the faster kids when my oni group couldn’t. Running away to avoid capture. Running to just run.

The Good News – my knee held up. It’s not sore today. Which makes me look forward to really pushing my limits.

The Bad News – on the other hand my legs are tight and on fire. Everytime I walked to class students and teachers stopped me. They were afraid I injured both legs!

The Bad News too – my cardio sucks big time. In mid-sprint I’d be thinking “yeah, you can’t get anywhere near me! Ha ha ha! Take that Yu… Whoa, I’m super tired now.”

I sense that’ll be real close to what’s going to happen when I start training again.


Over the course of the weekend I’ve been butterfly stretching and attempting to sit cross legged. I kinda look like those American Football athletes that try to butterfly stretch but their knees are pointing straight up into the air, their knees nowhere near the ground.

Except that they’ve got these massive legs of power and I’ve got chicken legs that make it seems like I’m ridiculously wimpy and unflexible.


A few posts from across the blogsphere on jiu-jitsu being just as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one.

Lynn over at Lynngineer writes about jiu-jitsu being a “body puzzle.” And being an engineer as well, Lynn’s definitely way more smarter than me. She used the word “nexus” in her post. That’s never gonna happen with me…

And speaking of BJJ women smarter than me…

BJJ Grrl Leslie sees jiu-jitsu in the same way. She’s said that “It’s a puzzle, and while it has consistent rules and methods and logic, I see a different face of the puzzle every night”. And that “BJJ is perfect for geeks”. I have to agree, being a self-proclaimed geek myself.

Here’s Leslie’s highly detailed post on tracking her progress in the art. I’ll definitely borrow her format when I do get back into it.

And, of course, there’s Adam over at Conceptual BJJ. He has held strongly on to the notion that jiu-jitsu is akin to chess. He hasn’t had much “jiu-jitsu puzzle solving” posts providing insights into the training process lately (cause he’s been getting ready for the mudials – GO ADAM GO!!) but his older posts provide some great reads on the subject.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 4:04 am

    There isn’t really much of a format to my post; it’s mostly me thinking out loud about why most of the ways I think of to measure progress don’t work as well as I want them to. 😛 So if you have any real indicators of progress, or can think of how any of those would work or could be defined better, I’m all for it. I’m still muddling through it all, emphasis on the “mud” part.

    • June 18, 2009 2:16 pm

      Reads a lot better than my “My Jiu-jitsu” pages though. Mines reads like if I was fish out of water and had to blog about that experience so I wrote that it was hard to breathe and I flopped around a lot.

      Anyway, I think our search to better track our progress in jiu-jitsu is probably one of the reasons why we blog about it. 😉

      • June 19, 2009 12:49 am

        Reading over your “My Jiu-jitsu” pages, I rather like them. You break it down by position, then by submission, escapes, overall, and then end with comparisons to other players. It’s at least a good personal baseline, which is something I’ve been trying to figure out how to do. So I may be copying that concept soon enough. 🙂

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