Tuesday, August 25, 2009

As If I Didn't Have Enough Blogs

I have a new hobby. Jiu Jitsu. Not many people who read my regular blog will be interested in hearing about my jiu-jitsu journey, so I decided to begin yet another blog.I think I may have a disorder.

Anyway, a couple of the guys in the youth group take Brazilian Jujitsu classes at Summerlin Academy in Bartow and they invited me to go. I went. And now I am hooked. :)

When I first decided to go, I thought it was going to be more like karate. You know, standing up and kicking and punching. The kind of thing you'd see on a Kung-Fu movie. I was surprised to find that Jujitsu is nothing like that. Most of our moves happen on the ground, on top of your opponent or under them. Personal space? There is none. I frequently find myself thinking, "You want me to put my head where?!?!" lol.

Because of the...ahem...close nature of the training, I asked my sister-in-law Stephanie to take the classes with me. Fortunately, she is now just as obsessed as I am.

They work us out hard. I've only taken four classes so far (we have class twice a week on Tues and Sat), but already I am seeing a change in my body. I've lost about five pounds. I can actually feel my abdominal muscles (thought there is still too much cushion there for my taste). After every lesson, I usually wake up the next morning so sore that I can hardly role out of bed. Stephanie and I are enjoying it so much, we've been really motivated to practice outside of class too. We usually walk for 45 min. to an hour every night. And we grapple with each other when we aren't too sore.

I'll give you an idea of what class is like. We walk in and start stretching. Then we have an exhausting warm up that includes but it not limited to: running, knee ups, side-steppers, a weird running things where we hold out our hands behind our back and kick our palms with our feet while we jog, push ups, training with light weights, ab exercises, shrimping, hip-outs, and other various jujitsu specific exercises.

By the time we are done with our warm ups I am already winded.

Then we have our training portion, which takes up the majority of the time. Ever since our first day in class, they've taught us defensive moves we could use right now if someone attacked us. I love that. I walked out of my first class with three new moves I could use if someone knocked me to the ground in a rape situation. They show us submissions--moves that are designed to make your opponent tap out because of the pain. They also teach us how to get out of holds and bad positions. The moves are complicated. It's sort of like chess because you always have to be thinking a step ahead.

At the end of class, we have 2 min grappling sessions with different partners. Basically, I am rolling around on the ground with someone trying to get in a dominant position and maybe pull a submission on them. Since Steph and I are the newbies in the class, what this usually means is I spend two minutes trying not to get folded into a pretzel. I usually fail. ;)But I am seeing improvement.

On Tuesdays, we focus more on boxing. Last night, we put on head gear and our instructors took turns trying to punch us in the face. They weren't hitting hard. And we had on mouth pieces and head gear, so even when they hit us it didn't really hurt. The point of the exercise was for us to defend ourselves, and get out of the bad position--on our backs and vulnerable--and get into an attacking position.

It was actually really fun. Who knew I would want to PAY someone to punch me in the face?

So, I'm going to stick with it. I have to buy a Gi--a jujitsu uniform--but I'm buying a cheap one for now. But, if I stick with it for a year, I am going to buy myself a fancy Gi like this one:

Last but not least here is a video of one of my instructor in competition. He is the one with a shaved head.

Here is another one of him teaching a lesson. He has hair in this one. :)

Last but not least, here is a picture of SOME of the bruises all over my body. lol