Harder and Harder

Jiu-Jitsu is hard!When I first moved to Lincoln BJJ Center, the training in the advanced classes was more physically demanding than it had been in Jiu-Jitsu class at the dojo. It was hard for me, but I told myself that eventually I would get used to it, and it would get easier. What I didn’t know at the time is that whenever I start to get used to it and it gets easier, Professor Greg kicks it up a notch! He’ll add in more reps, and additional, more difficult, exercises.

One day when I was helping out in the kids’ class, a student complained about the triangle warm-ups, and Jerad told him they used to be his least favorite, until Greg started making us do flutter kicks in the advanced class. The boy asked “What are flutter kicks?”, and before the words were even out of his mouth, I knew Greg was going to make us do some. Lesson learned: Do not complain, it only makes things worse!

After the advanced classes on Monday and Wednesday this week, I think Jerad’s new least favorite thing might be lunges. Greg said he was going to make us keep doing them until we liked them, so a few of us said “We love lunges, they’re the best!”, but he didn’t fall for it.

Presumably in preparation for the Chicago IBJJF Open in August, lately the training in the advanced classes at Lincoln BJJ has been focusing less on learning techniques, and more on drilling and rolling, which means it’s been even more challenging than normal. Last night’s class featured five eight-minute rolls, and even The Beast was exhausted by the end. He was my final roll, and I could tell he was tired, not only because I could literally wring the sweat out of his gi, but because I was able to stay mounted on him for far longer than I should have!

I actually ended up sitting out the last roll yesterday, because someone else dropped out, leaving us with an odd number, and when Greg asked for a volunteer to step out, he looked directly at me. It’s not like he had to twist my arm or anything, because I was pretty worn out from all of the arm twisting which had already been done to me by Ken, Josh, Henry, and Adam!

It’s been awhile since I rolled with The Professor, and at first I thought “Is he mad at me?”, but then he told me a story about his professor, Mauricio ‘Tinguinha’ Mariano. Greg said that when Tinguinha was preparing to compete, he would roll harder than normal with his students, and some of them they would be so surprised by the total ass-kicking he handed them, that they would ask “Are you mad at me?”, and he would laugh and tell them he was just working on his own game.

I think the reason Greg hasn’t been rolling with me lately is probably because he’s planning to enter the IBJJF Open, and I’m not much of a challenge for him (nor am I competing myself). I guess I’m one of the lucky ones, because the people he is rolling with have probably been suffering greatly!

In case it seems like I’m complaining, I’m not (see “lesson learned” above!), I’ve just come to the realization that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will never be easy or comfortable, and if it was, that would mean Greg wasn’t doing his job right. Sure, it does get easier in many ways, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still hard, and the better I get, the harder the people in the advanced class roll with me!


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