Sunday, July 22, 2007

Status Update: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

It’s been 4 months since I last posted about my Brazilian Jui Jitsu training. Well, I’m lovin’ it. BJJ is extremely demanding physically and equally so mentally. I’m still only a blue belt, but if I continue training hard, purple may come in another year or so. One thing I’ve learned is the ability to fight hard and think smart, while completely exhausted and in pain is what really separates people. As for myself, I have slight shiner underneath my right eye, the cauliflower ear is almost healed up, and the ribs only hurt when I cough/sneeze/sit-up/laugh/yawn. But it’s all part of BJJ if you expect your game to improve.

My goal is to drop down to 221lbs / 100kilos (from 270lbs / 122.5kilos, originally at 300lbs) so I don't have fight in the unlimited monster weight class. The training regiment consists BJJ (Muay Tai mixed in) 4-5 days a week, circuit training 2-3 days, running 4, and a dash of Aussie Rules Football sprinkled in. Strength is up, stamina way up, and my BJJ/MMA skills are coming along nicely. I’ve lost about 20lbs / 9 kilos and presently hovering around 250lbs / 113kilos. Weight loss has been a little slow due to increased muscle mass, but that’s OK since I’m visibly a lot trimmer. Everything is on track and in 6 more months I should be where I need to be.

The best part is I’m finally starting to hold my own in the academy. Takedowns have improved and I’m submitting people as often as I get submitted. And a couple of huge breakthroughs occurred recently. I tapped a BJJ brown belt from a visiting academy! I didn’t even know he was until someone mentioned it. To me he was just an opponent like any other. And then this weekend my instructor (Tom Cissero) took a couple of us students to a Tae Kwon Do academy because they wanted to be introduced to BJJ. We taught a few moves, performed a sparring demo, and at the end their instructed asked/insisted we role (spar) with some of their students. Two happened to be black belts in TKD, who fought full contact, and one guy obviously had some wrestling background. We took it a little easy on them, but tapped them all just the same.

Also my academy is starting to put up a few moves on YouTube. Cool stuff if your interested.


Anonymous said...

I studied Aikido in my past life and given my recent fascination with MMA and my desire to commit to getting into better shape, I've decided to start my BJJ training next month.

I figure if you can do it... ;)

There's a school within a mile of my house and I like their training approach and style.

While I'm not looking forward to cauliflower ears, I do look forward to learning more BJJ. I used to live a mile from the Gracie school in Torrance, CA, and that was fun to go watch.

Now I get to tap... ;)


Jeremiah Grossman said...

Heya Chris,

Excellent! You know, there are at least half a dozen people I know in infosec that now train BJJ. Its amazing. And I tell you there is no harder training. In 6 months you'll be a whole new person, guaranteed.

Remember when you start training, make sure the instructor and the students are highly professional without a lot of ego. You have to put a lot of trust into your training parters.

Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah -- as a followup I started training in the first week of October. It's been an amazing 2 months and today I got my first stripe on my white belt.

The effort it's taken to get to this point is huge and I'm really thrilled about my progress; I've learned so much and the students and instructors at my school are awesome.

Thanks for inspiring me.

P.S. Losing 25 pounds and gaining a ton of flexibility, muscle and stamina doesn't hurt, either!

Jeremiah Grossman said...

Nice work Hoff! That's a hell of a thing. BJJ is amazingly hard and if you are hanging in there making progress, that says a lot. I should post a status update myself soon. I was hoping when I hit my goal weight, but not quite there yet.