Martial Arts

Last semester, maybe about four or five months ago I decided to start Danzan Ryu Jiu-Jitsu.

It’s been a lot of fun. I am excited to go to every class. I definitely get excited about learning the techniques. I get enamored with the pain because when it courses through me the dots connect in my head on how the move is performed and how the whole nerve, joint, and muscle matrix comes together.

Doing the holds and getting them right is a masterpiece of pain, or like a computer program that executes beautifully. Whenever I am in a lock or hold feeling pain or doing it to someone else my mind goes crazy and I think I reach a kind of nirvana. I think I am starting to crave the pain like a drug and I need to check myself that I don’t get too lost. I think it might actually be possible to endure it so much that my arm breaks, or I might hurt someone else which I definitely do not want. Man, I sound crazy.

After every class, when I go home I can not fall asleep. It gives me such a rush and I feel so good. I go to class the next day feeling wrecked from lack of sleep but I don’t care. I enjoy it too much. Fuck computers.

It has definitely stirred a great curiosity in myself to explore the realm of martial arts. It’s a journey that is ahead of me.

Every art has its mythos and background. Personally, my favorite stories are the rivalries between Brazil and Japan. I like reading the history of these two countries and I very much love that the rivalry continues to this day. This goes for the stories of Helio Gracie fighting Kimura and getting his arm broken, supposedly in front of 40,000 people. Or how Royce Gracie, or any Gracie for that matter, would go through entire tournaments and not break a sweat or even have an opponent so much as land a punch. My favorite fighter of all-time has to be Sakuraba who is Chaos Incarnate with his miracle wins, crazy unorthodox fighting style, and stupid goofy antics. When he started spanking Royce Gracie and making silly faces at the camera I thought he was nuts and had a deathwish. I kind of fell in love with him. He doesn’t win at all these days, but I still love him.

The rivalry between Brazil and Japan has brought out the best in the two countries fighters. It’s actually kind of beautiful. I would like to learn techniques from both countries. I also enjoy videos of off-duty Brazilian cops kicking ass.

I am still figuring out what I like. I would really like to continue learning Danzan but that really depends on where on planet Earth I find myself. I know that I like doing locks and holds. I found games like “passing the guard” really invigorating and even though it wore the fuck out of me I probably will be back for more sometime. Do I want to stick with a system where the partner is more or less compliant? Or do I want my partner to be a huge pain in my ass and resist everything? How about running in and “shooting” because that looks really cool. I really don’t know.

I don’t expect to learn much punching and kicking. If things go down around me my first recourse is always to run away like a bitch. I don’t care. It’s the most logical and rational course of action.

It would also be good to mention that NJPW wrestlers also have strong backgrounds in martial arts and I love those guys. Minoru Suzuki was able to beat Ken Shamrock in his prime. If you look at their ears, especially people like Tanahashi, you notice that they are all messed up and they have probably had their share of real non-scripted battles. They do what they do to tell a story, and that is another thing entirely.

My favorite wrestler, Kenny Omega, is a purple belt in BJJ. So is Maynard of the band Tool and A Perfect Circle. These are atypical human beings who are probably several standard deviations smarter than the average person. Plus, they are kind of crazy and I love crazy.

I am more concerned with obtaining knowledge than chasing a belt color. I might be an ignoramus saying this but I think the system doesn’t make sense to me. I know the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu system takes something like six years to achieve black-belt while the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu system takes like ten years plus. Would both black-belts be equal? I don’t think so because there’s definitely a huge difference in time it took to get to black-belt between the two. There is also a huge difference in the method of training. The whole belt thing ultimately confuses me.

All I know is that it keeps me interested in life. I am ultimately willing to learn anything from anyone and am grateful for the people who share their knowledge with me. Maybe I can find myself in Russia one day wrestling a bear (not gay burly dude). Who knows? As long as I have fun.