In the Gracie Tradition  

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

It took three and a half years of hard work and training.

I have been promoted to the rank of Blue Belt in Gracie (Brazilian) Jiujitsu.

What a rough test!

How did I manage?

I’m not exactly sure. My game plan was to work as lightly as I could get away with and not be afraid to tap, since resetting would be allowed. Managing things like triggers and fainting spells when they did occur would have to happen on the fly. I had been under-rested and under-nourished for nearly a week due to unrelated stress, so there were some cards stacked against me there as well. All I could do was my best, and hope it was good enough.

In the end it was, but what a long, hard road! I lost my left arm at one point, and fought through it. What was interesting was that it came back. I continued to work through the fight. The same thing happened with both of my hips – at the same time!. Imagine trying to do jiujitsu with two bum hips! In any ordinary situation, I would have had to stop with that amount of pain, but I have been at this a long time, and I have no idea when the next opportunity to test will be. I fought on. Once the hips came back online, I noticed that my left ankle had locked up, and numbness was spreading up my calves. This was pretty scary, because ankles have always been a bone of contention in my life.

Interestingly, it was during this “crisis” that we were told to stand up. I almost panicked. Would this be seen as a disqualifying injury? I sure hoped not. I stood up in base and leaned towards the other leg, successfully balancing myself with most of my weight back on my right foot. I made it through the rest of the test, of course, and received massive applause when my belt was changed. What a rush it was to have all of those great fighters acknowledging me for such an achievement!

Anyway, I just wanted to check in. Hope all is well for everyone!