Chapter 12

21 Oct

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Part 7: Mixed Martial Madness

After the tournament, I return like a pavlovian dog for my stripes and/or new belt. I receive neither, and am distraught. I got 2nd place in the Universal Hall of Fame, that has to be worth something. Little did I know, that zany instructor was cooking something else up.

Next class he announces he will be introducing “Kickboxing” Mondays and Wednesdays, and “Vale Tudo” on Fridays. I instantly know I will be attending all of these new classes.

The Kickboxing is being taught by a resident BJJ blue belt; this man is, all bullshit aside, pretty bad ass. He is solid like a rock, yet gentle as if he were handling you like a baby. He is a TKD blackbelt, and the only man I have ever met who made TKD work. I know he made it work, because a friend of his taped him beating the christ out of 3 men. Allow me to explain.

TKD man and two of his buddies were at some form of Mardi Gras, having a good time. 4 other men decide to start some kind of crap. Luckily, one of TKD man’s buddies gets out a camera for evidence and pretends not to know eithet TKD man or the remaining friend. The four men begin their assault. Wasting no time, TKD man kicks one of the men in the stomach with a side kick, and he crumples. He does not move again.

His friend is getting gangbanged by two men at once, but he still has another man to deal with. He roundhouses the guy in the face, and he ragdolls. Sidekicked in the stomach man is still crumpled.

He runs over to the two guys who are molesting his friend. By molesting, I mean kicking him on the ground while he lies in a fetal position. He rear naked chokes one, and his friend gets up and starts to fight with the last. He chokes the man unconscious, then he and his friend finish up the final man. You can choose to believe this or not; I saw it with my own eyes, and was fucking amazed. I learned never, ever to mess with this man.

After seeing this video, it only reaffirmed the fact that I needed to get into the Kickboxing class. I joined it, and it was actually very good. He broke the kicks down into steps which focused on proper body and hip movement. I still have a half decent roundhouse, although my front kick as gone to shit. The man was an excellent teacher. But no one cares about what goes right.

5 months after its inception, TKD man leaves the kickboxing class to be taught by the instructor. The instructor, as far as I know, has had no prior instruction in kickboxing, so how he plans to teach it is beyond me. Every class is the same; jogging warm up, some sit ups, some push ups. Then we split into pairs of two to practice a punch. The final 10 minutes of class is spent hitting the focus mits; do not be confused, only one person is doing work doing this time, while all of the others stand around. His combinations are lackluster at best. He has a six punch combo; L jab, R cross, L hook, R uppercut, L hook, R cross. The mit work consists of picking a number, 1 through 6, and doing that portion of the six hit combo. For instance, if he said 4, we would go jab cross hook uppercut. Five was jab cross hook uppercut hook. You get the idea. It was semi-decent cardio, but the standing around meant that the cardio consisted of a 3 minute focus mit round. Now that I’m at a real boxing school, I feel only sorrow for my past self.

The MMA class is an even greater abomination; Vale Tudo, to him, consists of BJJ without a gi. The techniques are nearly the same; the only difference is, when we’re in the guard, we have to hug their head to keep from getting punched. He does not say how to, per se, sweep when we are in the head hugging position, but only that we hug the head until we figure something out. Sparring is gi-less jiu jitsu, NO PUNCHES ALLOWED. I rest my case.

I continue going to each class for a few more months or so, until I notice the instructor has been promoted to brown. I inquire about his promotion, and he informs me that HIS instructor just came, and gave him the belt. I was a little confused how he could be promoted without actually training, or sparring with Caique. I keep this on the inside, because I assume my instructor to be a total bad ass.

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