Today I was feeling “The Gentle Art.” I’ve recently discussed at length how I feel (sucky) about being muscled in BJJ. And how perhaps I should be flattered that some big, strong dudes feel adequately threatened by me that they must resort to muscle to contain me.
Shaquille O’Neal once described his game as “ . . . the Pythagorean theorem . . . there is no answer.” Although there actually is an answer (C2, dude), musclers make me feel my game is like Shaq’s, and since they can’t come up with C2, their only recourse is muscling. If you’ve forgotten your high school geometry, here’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to remind you.
Actually, if I’m being honest, musclers don’t make me feel good about my game, they make me feel sucky, as I’ve said before, just a few lines ago. But I’m trying to convince myself otherwise. Muscling makes me feel like all my hard work is meaningless. That why the frig am I bothering to roll with them? This is no “Gentle Art.”
But . . . sometimes when I roll, mostly with purple belts and above, I feel the Gentle Art. The movements can be so beautiful and graceful. It’s like dancing. Like my partner is saying, “Here, let me put you down on this mat. Oh, would you mind terribly if I stopped the flow of blood to your head?” Of course, I’m triangled before I can blink. But the beauty and grace is stunning.
I imagine Pythagoras saw the same beauty and grace in his triangles when he realized the connection between their sides. Roughness and brutishness are the domains of the novice; there is art in everything when taken to a certain level.