Thursday, June 30, 2011
BJJ: You Had Me At BJ
During the 66th session of American Legion Jersey Boys State (a program I have been on staff for since attending myself in 1997), Ricardo Almeida, 3rd Degree BJJ Blackbelt under Renzo Gracie and UFC veteran, stopped by the Rider University campus to give a small seminar to about 30 lucky statesmen, a few state troopers and some staff. Over the course of two hours the attendees were put through basic calisthenics, a small but quick paced run that yours truly bailed on, and 90+ minutes of chokes, guards, sweeps and defenses. It was a wonderful experience for all involved and a great test case for making self-defense a larger part of the program. One can dare to dream it would be a sport in future years, but I think for now, the seminar at least will live on next session. Ricardo even promised to bring some additional BJJ studs with him next year. Frankie Edgar? Who knows?
In the interest of full disclosure I should say it was very cool meeting Ricardo as two of my college friends are students of his and owners of their own schools Brunswick BJJ and Ocean County BJJ respectively. BJJ was something I've always found myself interested in but talked myself out of as the self-defense credo of being pinned on the ground won out. Now that I'm out of shape and in my 30s, I'm more likely to call the police or hide in my car than face an attacker or unruly child. So I figured it couldn't hurt to give BJJ a shot for the sport aspect of it, or the mental. During my first seminar I learned that those moves you see on the UFC are a lot harder to perform than you would think. READ: Don't ever try to put a State Trooper in a Triangle choke.
While I'd love to commute to Ricardo's School in Hamilton, NJ, Haz's in East Brunswick or Tom Deblass's down the shore, that's just not realistic for a burgeoning family man with a leased SUV. So I searched bjj in Piscataway and found a gym a few miles from my house, MMA Combinations. I swung by tonight to give BJJ a shot, and I really liked it. The school is running a 6-week for $75 introductory offer, and I'm going to give it a shot. I could promise that I'll blog about my experiences there here, but realistically I'll just flake off again. Either way, I'll do my best.
As far as a 'Making Weight' update, I am currently down 22 lbs to 230. I expect to crack the 220s by the end of the Holiday weekend (and then to go back to the 230s after I eat at La Familia Pizzeria on the 5th with my Pregnant Wife). If you're keeping track at home I was 252 on 5/16 and am now 230 on 6/30. 22 lbs in 44 days (not too shabby). [(much better than The Lyonhart)]