Grown-ass man strength

There were only three students besides myself in the no-gi class at Lincoln BJJ yesterday, and when we starting drilling, Conan suggested that I work with someone other than The Doggfather, probably because he was the biggest guy there, and he has about 75 pounds of muscle on me. I guess I took that as a challenge, because I told Conan that I didn’t have a problem working with Ray, and Ray said he was fine with it, so we partnered up.

Most of the time at LBJJC, I partner with Mike, who is the closest to my size (outweighing me by only about 15-20 pounds) but he wasn’t there yesterday, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to mix things up and drill with someone bigger (and by “it wouldn’t hurt”, I mean “it would physically hurt, but I could take it.” ;). However, when I ignored Conan’s advice to choose a smaller partner, I didn’t know we were going to be working on mount escapes, or that I would be doing all of the positional grappling with Ray. So yeah, it hurt a little!

Ray and I actually had a fine time together yesterday, and he helped me with details to make the techniques more effective on someone much bigger. He also taught me to “respect the choke” by submitting me with an ezekiel choke from the bottom when I had him mounted! Then I got to scare him a little bit when he tried to keylock me and my shoulder popped. Ray was afraid he had broken me, but my shoulders are very flexible, and it was just a knuckle-cracking kind of pop, not the bad kind.

When we were drilling and Ray lamented his lack of flexibility, I told him he should just stop lifting, but he didn’t seem to like that idea! I guess that’s an advantage to being one of the weakest people at Lincoln BJJ, I am also flexible. The Hulk has told me on several occasions that he wishes he was as flexible as I am, and I told him I wish I had his strength. I can’t really hurt anyone with my flexibility, it mainly just helps prevent them from hurting me, but strength and size can be formidable weapons! I appreciate that most of the big, strong guys who I train with, like The Doggfather and The Hulk, beat me with technique, not brute force.

“Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.”  -Henry Rollins


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