All Good Things
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.