Thursday, July 16, 2009
I am in my third month or so, dabbling, in MMA with Tupelo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I promised to be honest with you about my feelings and experiences but I hope this post doesn't offend anyone. I will be honest.
Tuesday, I went to boxing class and the only people there were me and Tony Palmer. Chris Gates was the trainer for the day. Need I say more? Note the title above. Tony and I knew we were in for a "treat". We got a great workout and my abs are still aching. Tony told me later that he was really hating me up until I got there because I was late for class and he thought he was about to be pummelled by Chris. I think he was afraid there would be no one to drag him out to the ambulance, but that is just me. Either way, we had a great workout but I remembered on this day why some people either only come to a few classes or just don't ever come at all. This is a very intimidating sport. I was way past intimidated from the very beginning of class and just could not relax. Chris is great at talking you through things though and finally got me to settle down long enough to at least learn a few new boxing tactics. I can't say that I have mastered them, but I know a lot more now than I did on Monday. Chris's patience is unwavering and I am proof of that. Hey, I couldn't remember what punch was which. 3-2-3, 3-2-7, 1-2-3, etc... Heck I am still a little foggy on it. But Chris hung in there with me.
On the intimidation level, today was no different. Today was MMA class and just like Tuesday, it was me and Chris Gates, but instead of Tony Palmer (hmmm, wonder where he was....LOL) Jeremy Kilgore was there. Now if you haven't met Jeremy, you won't know that he is a very well trained young man. Just to look at him made me nervous. To make matters worse, (I think it was his little boy), his son of about 5 or 6 years came walking by me and I thought, "That little booger could probably take me out right now if he wanted to." LOL
Chris got me started on "pummelling" and Jeremy was nice enough to be my dance partner for a bit until I got the general idea. Once I got it down, I got to walk back and forth across the mats practicing the basic move for about 20 minutes while Chris worked with Jeremy on some arm bars and such. I felt like a dufus, but I think my antics and wobbly demeanor kept Jeremy's little boy entertained anyway. My point here is that even the simplest move in MMA takes a great deal of practice and effort. That in itself is very intimidating. Don't get me wrong, I knew I was learning and thanks to Chris and Jeremy, I felt good about just trying to get it down. To cap it off, I learned a lot just from watching them practice.
Not long after we started, Terry Robinson came in and helped Chris and Jeremy, videoed a few moves, and helped Jeremy see a few extra points. I jumped rope and wondered to myself, "What the heck am I doing here?" "These guys are so far out of my league that I am just in the way at best." Again, intimidating.
When we were about done, Terry asked me if I wanted to "roll" some. I said "sure, as long as you don't kill me." He thought I was joking..... I wasn't. He could do it if he wanted to and I know it but I was excited because I know Terry, like Doc, Chris, Lawrence, Jeremy, John, and Jay Bird, knows what he is talking about.
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS PART:
Yes I was intimidated from start to finish. But here is where TBJJ is SOOOOOOO freakin different from the other gyms I have seen. Terry Robinson, (who isn't getting paid) took a lot of time with me today just to show me the very basics. We worked on guard, and passing guard. That was it mostly but you cannot imagine the amount of relief it gave me. I was getting the basis for my future efforts in MMA, at my pace, and until I got it right. Not only did Terry demonstrate it, he talked me through why each part of each move was important while emphasizing the importance of just building on what you know.
After we finished, we sat and talked a bit and Terry shared with me that it really is about building yourself from the ground up. Take what you know and work on it, add to it, and build. He also reassured me that each individual at TBJJ has an important part to play so whenever I begin to think that I am just in the way, I need to adjust my attitude because that is just wrong thinking.
So, this post is dedicated to Chris, Jeremy, and Terry. Thanks guys for helping a guy who would have normally already found something else to do (like sit on the couch) see that it is definitely worth every trip to the TBJJ Gym. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate your efforts.