Many many moons ago, there was a talented White Belt named John Johnson. He came from a boxing background and began training in ground grappling at Crazy 88 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was always joking during class and during training and one day joked with a surly upper belt nicknamed “Emo”. Young John Johnson got an earful from “Emo” that day and this was how the staff at Crazy 88 came to know this young man who had dared to joke with one-who-can-not-be-joked-with.
Young John Johnson, then known by “Southside”, began training more and more and eventually decided to make a run at the White Belt Competition Team. Entering the tryout at the Camp Springs location, he faltered during the pushup portion of the exam and decided to let the counselors know how he felt about his own inability to do pushups. I believe the phrase was “That’s some Bull!” (a saying that has now become legend at the Academy). After being unceremoniously removed from the premises, Southside vowed he would clean up his act and become a Blue Belt.
Seasons passed. Granite countertops were purchased and installed. Weddings were attended. Toes were shattered. Librarians read many books to unappreciative children. International medals were collected. And Southside, now wiser and more disciplined, decided to go to New York, the great city in the North, to try his hand again at competitive Jiu Jitsu. There, he surprised everyone – perhaps most of all himself – by racking up 20+ plus on all his opponents before finishing them and won the Gold medal. But more important than the medal of Gold (which he later realized was not actually made of Gold) was the lessons he had learned and adopted to win this medal.
Congratulations to John Johnson on his Blue Belt promotion. It has been a long road!