When was the last time I did a post on Jujitsu? Like, two months ago. I must rectify this.
So, a little background. Like many, I started my martial arts journey taking taekwondo lessons when I was pretty young. I don’t care what you say about TKD, it opened up a world to me that I cannot turn my back on. I am TKD for life. Why punch when you can kick, am I right? (Please don’t take that last comment seriously.)
I took my practice seriously and continued long after getting my black belt, whereas black belt was the ultimate goal for a good number of my friends. Now, if I ever held any ideas of being some sort of super ninja my asthma would bring me down a few pegs, and the reason I kept training was because I was trying to overcome my own weakness.
At some point I got to an age where I couldn’t spend an hour jumping around kicking the sky. My roundhouse was getting slower, and my lungs felt like the air was made of knives. Don’t take this to mean that Brazilian jujitsu was my second option, BJJ is not a decision I made lightly, but the time never seemed better for trying out a different direction.
So, that brings us to today. This last week, to be more specific. We were practicing take downs, and I was the odd man out in a group of three. So, I think to myself, what better time to practice something useful, like a kip-up.
And so it occurred that when I came to my feet and looked over to my companions that their mouths did hang open. A kip-up is something fanciful we do in TKD, a leap from the ground to a standing position, almost everyone can do it. My partners acted like I had performed some sort of black magic though.
And earlier that day, a blue belt who knew my heretical beliefs in TKD was playfully throwing some soft kicks to my upper leg. I engaged him in a quick little exchange, and performed one of the more basic kicking combos. Low kick to knee, reset. Act like another low kick, but transition to a high ax kick. I wasn’t even thinking about what I was doing, the most natural thing in the world. The jujitsu blue belt was amazed.
So, if there is a point here, I think I can sell my past experience short. I forget that I put a lot of work into TKD, and that it’s not all dust in the wind. I was never going to be great at any physical activity because of genetics, but I never seriously wanted to be Bruce Lee’s second coming. The skills I developed doing my little forms and playing foot fencing have carried over well into BJJ, and, que cliché music, into life. You can learn how not to be reactionary, and yet how to respond to antagonism.
I am not striving to be a great fighter by taking BJJ, I am striving to be a better man.