Family Tradition

Skyler, Joe, and GinaYesterday was my husband’s birthday, and in true Ethridge family fashion, it was celebrated by training together! Joe and I had our normal Sunday Jiu-Jitsu class at the dojo, and our daughter Skyler joined us, for the first time in a few years. She hasn’t really been able to train since she went off to college, because during the week she lives on campus, which is an hour away, and she’s usually working when she’s in town on the weekends. Then for the past four months, she was studying abroad in Germany, and she just got back home a couple of weeks ago, so it was great for all of us to be training together again!

At the birthday man’s request, coach Amy started us off with full rolling, starting from standing, and after Joe quickly submitted me, I went against Skyler. At first I thought I should take it easy on her, since she’s been out of practice, but as I went in for a double-leg takedown, I repeated my bad habit of looking down, and she immediately put me in a guillotine, just like in the old days! I was still able to get the takedown, and escape the choke, but then she reversed me, and I got to half-guard before she started attempting a gi choke (which I was close to tapping to), but I managed to escape to full guard, and counter with a gi choke of my own! I was very impressed with how much Skyler remembered, and what she was able to do when she rolled with us. Also, I had almost forgotten how aggressive she is, so I’m lucky I escaped her chokes!

The tradition at the dojo is that if you go to class on your birthday, the other students get to throw you the number of times for how old you’re turning, but Skyler and I didn’t really feel like throwing Joe forty-three times, so we each just threw him once. I had talked our daughter into coming to class with us yesterday as a birthday gift for her dad, and Joe said it was really nice to have her there, but I think that’s mostly because after class when I accused him of bruising my ribs, he said “Skyler did it!”, so I think he was happy to have someone else to take the blame, because normally it’s just the two of us rolling!

The EthridgesEthridge class is typically the only time Joe and I train together these days (except occasionally at home), but he has gone to regular Jiu-Jitsu class with me several times on my birthday, so it’s kind of a family tradition. To be fair, I probably should’ve gone with him to his Daitoryu or Karate class (all of which he does on Sundays), instead of making him grapple with me on his birthday, but he knows that since I started training Jiu-Jitsu, I have a one-track mind!

“When that doctor asked me,
Son, how did you get in this condition?

I said, hey sawbones,
I’m just carrying on an ole family tradition.” -Hank Williams Jr.

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