I like to give my Jiu-Jitsu teacher Conan a hard time because, well, it’s fun, and someone has to do it, so he doesn’t get an enormous ego! I’m pretty sure I am the only student who has ever given him the single finger salute while on the mat in front of the class (I am bad!), but the truth of the matter is that I probably would not be training Jiu-Jitsu if not for him. Not only did he personally encourage me to try it out, I also came into Jiu-Jitsu with some serious trust issues, and I would not have stayed if I didn’t feel safe. With someone as trustworthy as Conan at the helm and on my side, I’ve been able to overcome a lot of fear.
Conan also has to take some of the blame for this blog, because he’s partially responsible. He supported my first foray into blogging on The Jiu-Jitsu Fighter, which eventually led to me starting Ginger Snaps. He even reads my drivel sometimes, and helps me with specific problems that I discuss. He himself hasn’t posted anything in about six months, and I really miss reading my blogging mentor’s work.
To me, the quality of an instructor as a person is just as important as the breadth of their knowledge, and I feel very lucky to have a Jiu-Jitsu teacher who truly cares about his students. I know if I have any kind of problem, Conan has my back. He also takes my back a lot, but that’s to be expected.
It shows my trust and respect for Conan that I allowed him to film and upload this video of us rolling three years ago, because I didn’t really want to do it, and I don’t like watching it because I didn’t know anything then, so I think I look stupid. However, I decided to share it because it really lets me see how very far I have come under his tutelage. He has to work much harder than this to submit me now!