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    personal update + BJJ question

    This question is for BJJ people. I've only visited official BJJ classes a few times but I plan on finally joining a club this coming summer because I want to earn rank and compete like a legit BJJ person. I haven't been able to yet because I have been taking care of my parents for about three years now (putting in a lot of time) while substitute teaching, editing a few books, and doing part-time graphics work. I also help my dad write a weekly column for the paper. Anyway, I couldn't afford to join a club so I've been concentrating on fitness training, working on the curriculum for 9C (my personal style), breaking down some old kata, and sparring with old friends on some weekends.

    update on my life

    Anyway, now that my parents are doing a lot better I've decided to get a real job again and become a fireman. My brother is a Battalion Chief and my dad was the mayor here for 16 years so I'm pretty sure I can get on the department. I've got three years before the cut-off age. I'm 33. I would have done it when I was younger but I didn't want to be riding on my brother's coat tails. I wanted to make it in life on my own steam. Didn't work out. Now, I need a good job and he's got so much else going for him that I wouldn't feel like I'd be on his turf. Heck, he's got 4 kids. My nephews just started wrestling camp last week. He'll be retired from the department in a few years. He's a city councilman and has a carpet cleaning business. My sister is a teacher with two kids.

    Firemen here work one day on and have two days off so I could still pursue careers in comics, writing, or freelance graphics work. It would be a reliable day job with a great pension. I'd get access to their gym equipment. Most importantly, I'd get to help people for a living doing something physical and honorable. I think it's the right decision and I'm excited about it.

    the question

    What I'm wondering is .. how am I going to compete in BJJ? The club is a good one. The instructor competes on team Megaton. He's a nice guy. The students compete in grappling tournaments and submission wrestling around the state. I want to get involved but .. if I start out grappling white belts in tournaments, wouldn't that be kind of weird? I've studied various arts for 20 some years now. I'd feel like a thief if I won a trophy against some kid. Are tournaments split into age categories? I don't want parents looking at me like, "Thanks a lot you sick freak!" I know the instructor will explain all of this to me but I want to know now. I'm curious. Are there a lot of white belts my age? Are there weight classes? What about submission wrestling?

    Q: How is the BJJ competition circuit organized? .. Are there weight classes and age groups or experience levels in tournaments? Is there a web page I could look at with this info on it?
    Last edited by 9chambers; 2/07/2005 11:49pm, .

    #2
    Different competitions have different divisions. Also, your instructor will promote you to your correct rank, so don't worry about it.

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      #3
      Although I myself have never competed in a grappling tournament, one of my instructors told me a bit about how it would work if I wanted to compete. So from my memory of our conversation it works pretty much as follows: Under 18 - 20 (depending) there are quite a few divisions. Sub divisions for weight and skill. Above 18 - 20 there are weight and skill divisions. There is a fairly broad range of adult divisions, of course all weight and skill based as well, but age can run around 18 - 30. Beyond that there is a 30+ division. I don't know if there is a division for beyond that, but to be quite honest I can't imagine many people beyond their 30's wanting to compete. More power to them if they do though.

      Comment


        #4
        I don't want to compete with a bunch of old guys either. I'm in pretty good shape compared to a lot of guys 10 years younger than I am. I just want to compete for a few years in BJJ for the fun of it. You aren't going to get all beat up from grappling compared to boxing or MMA. Some sadistic guy might try to break my arm but I'm limber and not too stubborn to tap or anything.

        There are a lot of guys older than me in Pride and the UFC, if they can do that then I can handle a grappling tournament. I think the reason most people don't compete after 30 is because they have women and kids and demanding jobs and all that. I don't. Anyway, Chuck Liddel and Randy Couture are both older than I am and they are the top contenders in the UFC. I'm not too old to compete in some regional grappling thing.

        I plan on going to a few throwdowns (along with donating more money) once I get a regular job too.

        I'm not dead yet.
        Last edited by 9chambers; 2/08/2005 10:24pm, .

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          #5
          Your coach will help you decide all of this stuff.

          Comment


            #6
            Yea, I'm just excited about it all. Right now I better concentrate on the fireman thing, drawing, and making progress with my fitness training. The instructor seems really cool. He'll help me get it together.

            Comment


              #7
              Odds on you stealing trophies are pretty damn low going in. You will have people that have been doing that shit for a couple years that are still white belts.
              And that's when I figured out that tears couldn't make somebody who was dead alive again. There's another thing to learn about tears, they can't make somebody who doesn't love you any more love you again. It's the same with prayers. I wonder how much of their lives people waste crying and praying to God. If you ask me, the devil makes more sense than God does. I can at least see why people would want him around. It's good to have somebody to blame for the bad stuff they do. Maybe God's there because people get scared of all the bad stuff they do. They figure that God and the Devil are always playing this game of tug-of-war game with them. And they never know which side they're gonna wind up on. I guess that tug-of-war idea explains how sometimes, even when people try to do something good, it still turns out bad.

              Comment


                #8
                TEAM MEGATON EH!

                Team Megaton is a good group. If they weren't I wouldn't associate with them. :toothy12:
                Attached Files
                ______
                Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!

                RIP SOLDIER

                Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
                -Gene, GODHAND

                You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
                The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
                -Daniel Tosh

                Comment


                  #9
                  9Chambers, is your club in Indy? Maybe be looking for a new instructor when I move here by end of the year. Just curious.
                  Kung fu is translated as "stand around and talk."

                  Comment


                    #10
                    As people have said, many tournaments have age divisions as well as skill divisions. As far as stealing trophies: that should correct itself within the first few tournaments. Skill levels are to some degree a matter of self-assessment. If you go in and wipe out the white belt division (or beginner, or whatever they call it) without breaking a sweat, sign up for blue belt the next time. Repeat if necessary. If you don't win - well then, you're in the right category.
                    There are no wrong threats, only wrong answers. (Strategy game truism)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Fun Fact: Megaton is one of the guys in Royler's submission grappling book.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Which he signed for me!

                        He BEGGED me to take a picture with him. HONEST! :bs:
                        Attached Files
                        ______
                        Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!

                        RIP SOLDIER

                        Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
                        -Gene, GODHAND

                        You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
                        The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
                        -Daniel Tosh

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Asia,

                          The guy in the back in the middle wearing blue is the guy with a school here. Jack McVicker. He teaches at a college in Illinois and lives here in Indiana. My town is near the state line. His school here is pretty cool. The police academy instructors go there now. They just moved out of this fitness club last summer so their prices went down. It's impossible not to join it now .. tractor beam. I just need a reliable income.. which I will soon finally have.

                          My nephews just started wrestling camp. They can come watch my competitions and I can go watch theirs. :P

                          greese,

                          Yea. I guess it's true that a lot of guys take it who have taken other stuff (Judo, wrestling) and guys can be a white belt for a while. True.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            9, how much actual grappling have you done? Not rolling with friends, actual instruction and practice.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              El Tejon,

                              No, not in Indy. About 45 min to an hour NW of Indy. His school here is in Terre Haute on 7th Street by the ISU campus. He also teaches classes in Illinois. Awe heck, here's the web site:

                              http://www.jackmcvicker.com/

                              It's pretty awesome to have a school like that in the area. I think Terre Haute is just located closer to the police academy and universities he teaches at. It's a nice place to live.

                              The only other great teacher in the area was Jason Winkle who left to teach at West Point. He was a Navy Seal trainer under Vunak and taught (BJJ, Judo, JKD,Hapkido) at ISU here. He's gone now. I don't know who is teaching there now. Last I checked it was one of his students. Other than that we have a large TKD "Black Belt Academy," a couple of small Karate/Judo schools, a small private boxing gym, and there's a great wrestling camp at the Rose Hulman campus run by a guy named Archer. My old coach (Lasard) had one for a while but he's moved on. ISU has a wrestling club but no program .. which sucks. You know what REALLY sucks? Bruce Baumgartner (Olympic freestyle legend) went to ISU when he was in college and offered to come back and be the athletic director a few years back if they'd bring back the wrestling program. They passed on it. Argh! .. He's the most decorated wrestler in Olympic history! (tied with Kerelin) Are they nuts! Same school Larry Bird went too.

                              Anyway, I better go get lunch.

                              Dochter,

                              My formal grappling experience is fairly limited. I wrestled in high school and went to Winkle's Hapkido club for a little while at ISU. (It was more of a JKD/Judo club really) Most of the grappling I've done was with lifelong friends who were on the wrestling team and taking martial arts. We got together regularly to spar and practice wrestling for about seven years. We had our own MMA thing going even when we were kids and on into college. Tim, the youngest, made 2nd team All-American wrestling in college. He's a coach over in PA now. Adam is a physical therapist. Paul moved to Oregon. Jeremy and Frank joined the military. My brother became a cop and then a fireman.

                              In college, they had no wrestling program where I went and didn't start their club until later on. I made a new group of friends to spar with there. Brent was in TKD, boxing and "Kyusho" when I met him. He was a bouncer. Mark was into Kung Fu and Muay Thai. My friend Frank came back from the Marines and started a Shotokan/Iaijustu school. The "only Iaijutsu school" in Indiana .. he thought he was going to make a million dollars. He had a Jiu Juitsu guy teaching in his school too. I took Shotokan and kickboxing at his school (learned some Iaijutsu sword kata) and taught classes in my own style (kind of a workshop) twice a week (for free, in trade) to Frank and some of his students. We sparred and worked the bag and did all the drills and broke down kata. It was a good time. I had already studied the Shotokan kata from books back when I was a kid so it was nothing new.

                              Most of what I've done has been self-training and breaking down kata from books with friends. I went through my ninja phase, Kung Fu, JKD, etc. Mostly, I really took it very seriously and put in a lot of time into it because I enjoyed it. I also made my own innovations. I'm not ashamed of the fact that I have no rank and I feel like the way I studied is better than what most people get at your standard dojo. I tried going to a few TKD and Karate schools here back in the day but I wasn't that impressed with the sloppy instruction and half-assed point sparring. The schools here sucked in the 70s and 80s. I decided I'd be better off reading stuff by guys who knew what they were doing. I occasionally visited most every school in the area during high school and college just to see what they were up to but none of them really stood out to me. Why pay them for what I was already getting on my own?

                              Anyway, there's no way I can ask anyone to respect me based on what little credentials I have. I have to show them what I can do. It would be nice to have a rank I could just spout out that satisfied people. That's not why I want to take BJJ though. I don't feel like I have anything to prove and it's not like I want to make money at this. I just spent my life avoiding what I considered to be "the establishment" in martial arts in favor of what I considered "real knowledge" and that has gotten me skills but no real satisfaction. No sense of belonging. It's like painting a mural in your basement and never showing it to people.

                              Right now the only friends I have to spar with are getting married and all that. I'm single so their women don't let them hang out with me so much anymore. I thought about teaching my little cousin but his parents think martial arts are evil or something right now. My martial arts life is soon to be over (aside from just training on my own) unless I join a new school. Why not?

                              I want to be involved in something social and constantly challenging and just.. be a part of a martial arts community. Also, BJJ is the most progressive style out there right now and I want to be involved in that. It's the most eclectic thing going right now and it's the most interesting and challenging thing -- in this town anyway. It's not so I can say, "Look at me, yeeha." -- just because this is where it's at for martial artists. This is what all the best guys are doing. I want to bounce myself off the best guys around and see what I've got while I'm still young enough to do it. Just .. kind of .. to satisfy my curiosity. A quest. I want to test myself in a new way. Do things I haven't done. Have fun and meet new people.

                              Also, .. there's no Baji school here. :/
                              Last edited by 9chambers; 2/09/2005 11:56am, .

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