Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stick with What You Know

 Last year, Shark Girl marveled at how BJJ kept off her “winter coating.” This coating is more accurately called blubber, and it surrounds Shark Girl’s abdomen after the feeding frenzy of winter’s doldrums. This year, Shark Girl’s body has adjusted to jiu jitsu, and the blubber has returned. There it is right now, hanging over my pants.

Last week Shark Girl wondered to herself, “Is that a soft ripple in my shirt, or is it the overflow of my gut?” Then, very scientifically, Shark Girl pressed her finger to her shirt. It was gut.         

It is in this atmosphere, Gentle Reader, that I bring you the following story. I warn you that it is a rather sad testimony to the depths of my terrible eating habits and I hope that you will not think less of Shark Girl for it. Here goes:
In my disguise as Shark Teacher, I was conferencing with a student. It was during lunch so Shark Teacher apologized that I had to eat while working with her.
            “I hope you don’t mind . . . I’m eating salad. I’m trying to be good,” Shark Teacher confessed. (Student’s class is after lunch so she gets to hear all about my dietary transgressions.) Then we continued discussing really intellectual things.
            Suddenly, uh-oh! Some balsamic vinegar escaped down the wrong part of my throat and made a break for my lungs! Shark Teacher started coughing violently.
            “Ack! Ack!” I sputtered, interrupting Student in mid-discussion. “Please continue,” I croaked out.
            Student went on, but in all the excitement, a tiny piece of lettuce had made its way down my trach. In a fit of hacking, I excused myself for a drink of water and apologized to Student.
            “That’s what I get for trying to be healthy,” I opined.
            “Stick with what you know,” Student said. “Brownies and cake.”

I have heard some say that a white belt is about surviving and a blue belt is about figuring out your “game,” what works for you. As a newly-minted blue belt, then, my job is to find out what works for me and stick with it, improving and sharpening those skills that that suit me best. That student basically articulated my Big Blue Belt Goal. Nutritionally, however, I think I have to broaden my horizons. Especially if I want to melt off this undulating blubber. Can I start after I finish eating my sons’ birthday cake?


  1. Hmm... blue is indeed about figuring out what works for you, but also learning how to set up "if I move to this spot, I can do this, that and the other thing - depending on what my opponent does" situations.

    The option tree that you are super-comfortable with is what lets you build your game. It is kind of a bonsai - small tree that is being trimmed or slowly grown as we creep ahead in BJJ knowledge.

    I gotta say... my option tree is one bizarre bonsai right now.

    1. I like that metaphor--the trimming of the bonsai.

      I have a bonsai and I don't know how the f to trim it. It looks horrible and I'm surprised it's still living.

  2. i think my body's gotten too used to my moves because i trained just as often and my belly seemed to grow. to get my belly back I've been starting my rolls from standing and doing more wrestling class to burn more calories. I've also focused on solo drills that work my imaginary abs and it's help some. i haven't lost weight but some of the weight has shifted :)

  3. Personally, I think blue is too early to start worrying about a game. I agree with Saulo in that blue is still a belt to keep on working escapes. Purple is where you start developing more of a personal approach.

    However, I'm saying that as a purple. Entirely possible that when I get to brown, I'll decide that brown is actually the belt for a personal game. ;p

    1. Who can argue with Saulo? I certainly wouldn't.


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