One of the people in our Jiu-Jitsu class whose game I would like to be able to emulate is Maryland Mike. I call him that because he is a college student from Maryland who is in Nebraska studying at UNL. And, um, his name is Mike.
Mike’s been training with us for a little over a year, and before that he trained BJJ in Maryland. He received his blue belt from Roseberry’s shortly after he came here. I believe he’s been training about two years total, and he is technically my junior, but he is light years ahead of me in knowledge and ability.
He weighs about 140-145lbs, and he has said that when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, he considers himself to be a woman. The same kinds of things that apply for female grapplers apply for smaller men. Mike is also predominately a guard player, so our styles are similar. Watching him roll with the big guys, and be so hard to control, inspires me. Fuji once said that Mike was like one of those springs inside a pen; when you try to compress him, he just sproings away!
Mike’s grappling has a high energy level that would be hard for me to maintain (due to my old-age-ness), but otherwise I think I could physically do the things he does, I have the flexibility. If only I had his understanding! It’s nice to have a “little brother” to help give me a vision of what my game could be. I like being Mike’s partner in class, not only because we are similar in size, but because he is patient about helping me with the things I don’t get. Sometimes he will even give up his own reps to let me get a few more in if I need the practice. He also has long hair, so that makes him super cool!