"It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream. When you have something like a nightmare, you will wake up and tell yourself that it was only a dream. It is said that the world we live in is not a bit different from this." From The Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai
To motivate myself a little more, I told Blake that he could join me tonight, and watch class from the spectators' area, the glassed-in office at the front of the school, where there are seats and a ping pong table. He'd briefly been in there before; a couple of months back when I was working out the details of the project, I'd stopped by the school with all of the kids while I was on the way to someplace else. Just to make sure he'd be OK for the hour, he brought along his DS and a comic book. When we walked in, Tony and his wife Kathryn were sitting in front, so I introduced Blake again. "I remember this one," Tony laughed, "He's one of your fifteen children!"
It occurred to me after my last entry that I'm sure that people who have trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for any length of time will read my descriptions of what we do in class and cringe at how poorly I describe it. I think I can do a pretty good job with last night's lesson, though. We primarily worked on controlling your opponent's legs and then passing his guard. What was really exciting about last night's class, though, is that I have finally found a technique that I think I am really good at.
I've been sitting here trying to think of how to describe this maneuver, and I can't, so I'll just say that it involves trapping your opponent's legs, moving him into a position that is so uncomfortable that he'll have no choice but to flip into a turtle position, and then rapidly looping your elbow around his neck and dropping your weight to the floor to force him into a submission. It wasn't the only move we practiced last night, but it was the one that I was best at.
Blake came through the gym on his way to the bathroom as this move was being practiced on me by my partner, and gaped in horror for a second. I gave him a smile and a thumbs-up, and he took that as a sign that I wanted him to start a conversation with me. "Daddy! I played ping pong with another boy, and then we took turns playing a game on his dad's phone, and then..." I waved him along, and he got out of the way.
The end of class was approaching, and I knew it would be time to wrestle. My partner last night was pretty skillful, so I replayed the "what's the worst that could happen" talk in my mind in preparation for what the next few minutes held. But then we started to grapple, and before I knew it, I found myself in the position we'd just practiced! I locked down, forced him over, and trapped his head. What's next, what's next? Right, drop your weight to the mat. I did, and he tapped out!
I know that I'm coming dangerously close to sounding like I'm gloating here, and I promise that's not how I mean it. For what it's worth, that was the only fall that I won against him, and he nailed me down pretty quickly on the next two. But I still had a moment of real pride. I had used a thing I learned in class, and it worked! I didn't get choked out! The guy bumped fists with me, and said, "Nice one." I work for a bank, so my life just doesn't have many bro moments, you know? That fist bump made it worth it, and so did looking back at the office and seeing Blake's face excitedly pressed against the glass.