by Timothy Spriggs – How many Olympians have you met in your life? For most people the answer would be zero. Now, have you ever been taught an Olympic sport by an Olympian who specializes in it? I am willing to bet that 99% of the people reading this have never experienced this. Well, this past weekend Team Crazy 88 had the pleasure of learning Judo from the number one ranked Judoka in the United States and 2012 London Olympian Nick Delpopolo. Nick has come to Crazy 88 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before, and every time our competitors’ takedowns and grappling from the feet improves leaps and bounds. This visit from Nick was special because we were treated to two days of specialized instruction. The first day, Nick went over a plethora of foot sweeps meant to catch opponents off guard. The second day was very special to me, because a select few of our medal chasers were given the privilege of having a private session with Nick in which he went over each of our problems with takedowns.
After the seminar we got to hang out with Nick and learn about what it’s like being an Olympian. He told us that he’s going to spend the next few days in the states fine tuning his technique, afterwards it’s off to London he will go. Nick explained to us life living in the Olympic village. We learned that all U.S. athletes must wear Red, White, and Blue at all times. It will be easy to do this since Polo Ralph Lauren will be furnishing the U.S. Olympic Team’s wardrobe. Another interesting tidbit we learned from Nick is that the staff of the Olympic village is on call to suit the athletes’ needs 24/7. You can ask for your favorite snack, or even a late night haircut and they accommodate you. After hearing this I started hoping that the International Olympic Committee will add Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the list of sports in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We have a saying at Crazy 88 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that you should try to get 1% better everyday, and I can honestly say that after training with Nick Delpopolo over the weekend, I got 10% better. Take it from a serious competitor: those percentages add up over time.