I remember the exact moment when I decided that I should train Jiu-Jitsu. I was a brown belt in Karate, and I was in one of Sensei Dave Incredible’s Saturday sparring classes. He would periodically have us do real-world type fighting; often with multiple attackers, and/or in enclosed spaces. This particular day he had us starting on the ground, on our knees, trapped in a corner.
My first partner was my husband Joe, who did not hold back. I was quickly mounted, my arms were trapped by his knees, and I became the recipient of multiple elbows to the face (he didn’t actually make contact, but the intent was clear, and I got the message ;) When we went again, I tried everything I could think of to get out of that corner, and then out of his mount, but it ended the exact same way.
Joe is not much bigger than I am, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have 6’+ 200lb+ Dave as my partner that day! I just knew, right then and there, that there was a hole in my training I had to fill. I didn’t really want to train Jiu-Jitsu, but I thought I needed to. I felt helpless on the ground.
Yet, I was still reluctant to actually go to Jiu-Jitsu. It’s because of Sensei Dave that I took my first tentative steps onto the mat, despite my doubts and fears. The first Jiu-Jitsu class I was brave enough to go to was on a Monday night after Karate. I had not intended to go to it, but I decided to go after I saw that Dave and Ken were staying for it. Who would have guessed that in doing so, not only would I find that I did NOT hate it, but that it would become such a big part of me. I haven’t left the mat ever since.
I outrank Dave in Jiu-Jitsu now (but I still can’t submit him, I can’t even rnc him when he doesn’t defend!). It feels weird to stand on the senior side of him when he visits Jiu-Jitsu (but I do rub it in his face every time!). He is someone I met along my path who had a big hand in determining it’s direction. His guidance helped me find love in a place I might have never even looked.