Even though I sometimes complain about being too old for jiu-jitsu, I am far from the oldest person to ever grace the mats of Roseberry’s jiu-jitsu class. I believe that honor goes to Harvey, who is sixty-three years old. To put it in perspective, he is exactly the same age as my dad would be if he were still alive.
Harvey’s son is an MMA fighter who started training jiu-jitsu at the dojo several years ago. Harvey liked what he heard about the art and the school, and he was looking for a way to spend more time with his son, so he decided to come and try it out. He didn’t just sit and watch the class, he joined as a student, and has even competed in a tournament or two. He’s no slouch either, he earned his blue belt, and he has tapped me out a few times!
Now health issues prevent Harvey from training as much as he would like, and I really miss him a lot. From my earliest days on the mat he has always been a welcoming, smiling face, with a big heart and compassion to spare. In the beginning of my training, when the other students would sometimes avoid working with me, I knew I could look to Harvey to gladly be my partner. He was always looking out for me, and his support helped me get through some tough times. He is proof that with the right attitude, anyone can train jiu-jitsu, even if only for awhile, or once in awhile. As far as I’m concerned, even if he’s never able to share the mat with us again, he will always be a part of Team Jiu-Jitsu Fighter and the Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan family. He is a true inspiration, and one of my personal jiu-jitsu heroes.