Chapter 14

21 Oct

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The end

I was disappointed by the fact I had to wait a year, but I didn’t mind. The fact I could say “I do BJJ and Kickboxing” was awesome, and in my mind, I wasn’t lying. During these days, I transformed into a bigger BJJ promoter than the Gracies. Everyone I met knew about BJJ, how it was superior to striking, and was the only true art. I submitted my neighbors, friends, cousins, anyone who was foolish enough to let me grapple them. These sweet, innocent days turned into weeks, into months. Life was normal.

6 months after the seminar, there was another Smack down at H town. I decided to enter while I still could be in the child division. Maybe I could finally win a Go-cart.

I navigate my way into the finals. I step up to find, you guessed it. Finger breaker. We stare at each other like old firemen drinking buddies; we both know that there will be rough times ahead, but the comraderie still brings a single tear to my eye. We shake hands; we don’t do the stupid slap, but a hearty hand shake. And so it begins.

He goes for a shoot, I sprawl. He tries to arm flip me; he fails again, as he did the previous year. I fail the back mount, and we somehow end up in my guard. I’m relieved to find he didn’t receive takedown points, so it’s even. He tries to pass, but by this time, it’s too late. He’s fallen into the “bear trap guard”, nick named by my training partners. My legs are impervious to the driving elbow guard, and I anaconda squeeze him. He tries the stand-up-and-choke-me-with-my-own-gi pass, but I pull him down to the ground with my legs. After he settles down, I grab one of his arms with both of mine. He instinctively goes for the fore-arm on neck, and tries to push an arm down. I push the elbow across, and go for the arm and neck choke. I squeeze, squeeze like there’s a Go-cart or scooter on the line, because there is.

He desperately struggles, but I only tighten both my guard and my hold. I stretch him out, stretch, streeeeeeeeeetch. There’s less than 20 seconds left. I have to submit him, or he’ll beat me in the tie round with his stamina. Squeeeeeeeeeeze. He won’t tap. Time is running out. Squuuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeeeeeeeezeeeeeeeeee. His resistance is less now, but there’s only 10 seconds left. Squeeeeeee-

The ref comes over and taps me on the shoulder. I was staring at the clock, and I didn’t see that Finger Breaker, raper of worlds, taker of prizes, was tapping.

I had won. I had won first place. The prizes, the trophy, but what’s more, the glory.

In the end, all I got was glory. This year, Smackdown had discontinued the Go-carts or scooters. There were no prizes. On top of that, there weren’t trophies, but medals. I’m pissed off, but to beat the legendary finger breaker? That is victory enough in itself.

I show up super early to the next BJJ class, excited to show off my 1st place medal. I get there, and the door is unlocked. I let myself in, and look around for the instructor. In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t just say “Hey, you here?”. I just kept looking around, silently.

I walked back towards his office, and saw something puzzling. On his computer monitor I see a title of “On the farm”. What?

I slow down my approach.

He’s doing something; I can’t tell what. It looks like he’s scratching or something.

I stop in my tracks.

Horror takes over, and I feel sick. On the screen is a woman being violated by a goat, and I begin to silently back up. My instructor, in his dojo, is masturbating.

I walk as silently as I ever have in my entire life back to the front door, and pretend to open it loudly. I scream “Hey, I got 1st place over the weekend!” I sure as hell don’t want him to know I saw him wacking it. I don’t know why, but I don’t.

It sounds like he knocks over his desk

“Oh, hey, I’ll be out in a second, don’t come back here, I’m getting changed”

That’s horribly disgusting. Or at least I thought it was.

He walks out, and congrats. He hasn’t washed his hands.

He waits, sitting on the mat, warming up. He starts class.

He hasn’t washed his hands.

He wants a volunteer for a move.

He hasn’t washed his hands.

As he demonstrates a collar choke on an unsuspecting friend, all I can think is “Penis hands on your face dude!”

I finish the class without being touched by the instructor. A personal victory. Within the following weeks, he bumps me up to the advanced adult for my success over Finger Breaker. I’m not really as excited about this promotion. All I can do is count the months/weeks/days until I’m 16 for that sweet, sweet blue belt. The instructor reminds me many times during these months/weeks/days about how I will get it. I can’t wait.

Finally, I turn 16. It’s awesome, but now I’m waiting for the next seminar.

Finally, it’s time. The seminar. He shows up like the hobo he usually looks like, but I’m ready. I excitedly greet him.

The techniques he goes over are the exact same as the previous two, but it doesn’t matter. I’m getting promoted.

My little brother and the instructors son get scolded for being too loud in the back room. I don’t care, because I’m getting promoted.

Finally, promotion time. The seminar is over! My friends, one by one, get belts, stripes, whatever. Then the instructor gets his stripe. I take notice that, for some reason, the friends of the instructor get blue belts yet have been training less time than I have, and, well, suck more than I do. But I don’t care, because I’m about to get a blue belt. Then people leave. I laugh, hardy har har. Funny joke. Where’s my promotion?

Seriously, where’s my promotion?

Some of the adults from the adult beginner/advanced also ask me where my belt is. I reply I don’t know, I was supposed to get it, but I didn’t. One of my particularly best buds says, “Hold on, I’ll figure this out.” The instructor walks back out, a little angry.

“Look dude, I’m not going to give you the belt. I think you need to train harder. You just don’t seem blue belt material.”

I’m furious. I go home, and relay this message to my parents. My dad calls him, and asks why I didn’t get one. I hear over the phone “What a fuckin’ baby, look, he isn’t getting one.” This sends my dad into a furious rage, and many words are exchanged.

Days later, the instructor and his wife separate. I’m still undecided as to whether I’ll go back. His wife, who has custody over the son, is letting the son stay over at our house while she is getting ready to move in with her mom. My little brother and the instructors son play for the better part of the day.

The phone rings, and it’s the instructor’s son’s house. I assume it’s his mother, and give it to him. I see his face confused, and suddenly he starts crying. He gives the phone to me; it’s the instructor. “Yea, I don’t think your brother and my son should be friends any more.”

“Whatever dude, I don’t really care. Talk to your wife. Don’t call here again.”

The instructor’s son tells my brother what the instructor said, and they both begin to cry. They were honestly best friends, which sucks for them. Obviously I can never return; not because he called me a baby, or didn’t give me what I deserved. However corny it may sound, my brother is the fucking bomb, and anyone who is a jerk to him is on the stern end of an ass kicking. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m still pissed off about this.

Various things happen; the mom comes back over and picks up the son. The son and my brother say their farewells, which is pretty fucking sad. We did not leave on good terms.

Weeks later I enroll at a branch of elite martial arts, and find it to be the best experience in my life. The instruction is top notch, quality, with what I would now dub high percentage techniques. After about a year, the instructor moves the school further away, and I simply can’t make it to class any more. The travel time combined with the class length is taxing my grades, which will get me raped. School takes top priority, or so I’m told by my parents.

To remedy this, I enroll at a Shaolin kung fu school each Saturday and Sunday for an hour. I am ecstatic; it’s freakin’ shaolin!


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