In Martial Arts you have it drilled into you early on, that humility is king. It’s no secret that my view of my own abilities on the mats are low, and even when I do have flashes of brilliance, I’m smart enough to keep it real, knowing that tomorrow is a completely different day. There’s always a queue of people ready to slap me about. There’s scores of people out there, that are far better grapplers than I, and I’m fine with that. I have to be, as does anyone else that does this nonsense. It’s part of what makes Jiu-Jitsu/Submission Wrestling/whatever the fuck you want to call it so god damn special. You’re walking into a hostile environment, ready to have your ego picked up, and smashed all over the fucking shop. You either give up and never do it again, or you accept what’s happened and start a long horrible process of being humbled.
Tonight I went along to Friday night rolling. It’s something I try to do as often as possible, because currently it’s my only NoGi outlet. I like to do two Gi classes a week, and this NoGi rolling night. Sure, I’d love to train more but this is what I can manage, so it’s what I do, almost ritualistically.
Tonight, a fair few showed up. I had really enjoyable rolls with everyone I rolled with. I somehow missed rolling with Patrick, but the next time I get the opportunity to, I will because I’ve heard he’s quite sharp on the mat.
My standout moment tonight was a roll with Kenny. Kenny is a man of God. He’s also what you’d call a catch wrestler. In my book, that’s two strikes. However, no matter how much I’d love to debate the existance of God, it’s not an argument I can easily win with Kenny. He’s too smart (a delicious irony).
So, to best Kenny, I have to out-grapple him. That’s no easy feat, because he’s somewhere in the region of 200-300 kilos in weight. As a result, he sweats like a manatee. Now Kenny’s a long time Martial Artist, focusing primarily on Catch-As-Catch-Can (Jiu-Jitsu’s enemy) and more recently he’s been doing Freestyle Wrestling (Jiu-Jitsu’s other enemy). Fuck this guy. So he’s fat and he’s got skills. The likelihood is, he’s going to put you in a double wrist-lock, without even interrupting his bucket of fried chicken.
Week in, week out, I attack him, fail and then shell up into a defensive blob, whilst he Jabba the Huts all over me.
There was something different about Kenny this evening. He was still bursting out of every seam possible in his clothing, but he had a shiny new haircut.
I don’t know if your mum read you the bible before bed when you were three or four years old, but in it there was a story about a really sexy man called Samson. He battered a lion, and smashed some blokes to bits with the jaw of a donkey or something. That was until he met a temptress that convinced him to cut his hair. That scurvy dog God decided it’d be a great idea to put a distinct flaw in Samson’s super-human strength. If he cut his hair, he was fucking useless. Kenny cut his hair.
Kenny is a complete pain in the arse to tap. Being honest, I don’t remember the last time I tapped him, so it could have been absolutely fucking years ago. I couldn’t be humble in that moment at all. I took his back, and approached the rear naked choke, as I often do, but this time everything fell into place, as it’s supposed to. Something was different. I had him. I just had to wait this time. When he tapped, I felt a bright shining light come down upon me, as if to confirm some divine intervention. Take from that what you will. Kenny, being a man of God took it well, shook my hand and we continued to roll.
Speaking of acts of God… lightning does strike twice. FUCK YEAH. I worked top control, trapping and tangling his arms several times to frustrate him, before taking a reverse armbar for another tap. Smashing.
I know I shouldn’t be rejoicing like I am, but you have no idea how much of a fucking cunt Kenny is to roll with. It’s not that he’s out to hurt you, or does nasty shit, he’s just REALLY, REALLY fucking good. His top control, sweeps, range of submissions, the lot. He’s very much a proponent of Paul Hughes, our Submission Wrestling coach, and it shows so much in his style. So tonight, I’m going to run with this victory.
Now you’ve got to wonder whether God exists at this point. Did he smite Kenny? Did he favour me? Should he have protected Kenny? Who knows? It’s so very hard to digest. I’m sure Kenny will find his answer tonight, before bed if he can fight back the tears.
I’m signing off now. Preach.