My first jiu jitsu class was exactly six months ago. I can honestly say that taking jiu jitsu has been a life changing experience. It has had all kinds of side benefits as well. I’m learning how to cook! Can you believe it? I’ve always been a fan of cooking shows, but never felt like I had the time or energy to try it. Jiu jitsu gave me the energy. Severely cutting back on TV gave me the time. As my wife will attest, not all the recipes have turned out, but a lot of them are actually pretty good. “Mediterranean Cookbook for Dummies” only cost around ten dollars, but I’m pretty sure it will save us a lot of money in the future, since we’re now far less tempted to eat out. This helps us in another way, in that jiu jitsu lessons aren’t exactly cheap, especially for the whole family. To me, though, it’s a no brainer. Eat healthy, exercise, and instill values of discipline and hard work in your children. I can’t see any real downside, other than a tighter budget and a few minor aches and pains. As for tonight’s class, all of my partner’s were tough. However, I scored an advantage against one of the better blue belts. In a jiu jitsu match, you can score an advantage by improving your position. An advantage is not worth any points, but can be used to determine a winner in the case of a tie. What happened was that I finally remembered to get both of my elbows between his legs, so that when he went for an arm bar from closed guard, I was able to slip my head out and pass to side control. In order to score 3 points for the guard pass, I would have had to have held him in side control for three seconds, but he rolled away into turtle. I still consider it to be a major success, since it was against a skilled blue belt. I did get submitted by the other blue belt, but it was from a closed guard cross choke, which I consider to be more of a careless mistake on my part, than technical finesse on his part. I defended his first cross choke, but my arms were spent by the second attempt, so I let him have the submission rather than continue to fight with jello arms. The last guy I went against was a really good white belt, who probably should be a blue belt by now. He didn’t submit me, but he did pass my guard into side control. He’s very strong, which may be why he is still a white belt. In jiu jitsu, you don’t get any brownie points from the coaches for using strength.

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