Monday, October 11, 2010

I Should Be An Ultimate Fighter

Just kidding. That title was only to get people’s attention. I am far too big of a wuss to ever consider competing in MMA. I currently have very little desire to get punched in the face; I’ve heard that you need to do that to be a fighter, so it’s probably not for me.

On the other hand, since moving to Albuquerque, I have started taking submission grappling (submission grappling is best summed up by saying that it is basically MMA (UFC) without any of the striking) classes at Jackson’s MMA. For those of you who are fans of MMA, you’ve probably heard the name Greg Jackson as he’s one of the most well-regarded trainers in the sport. For those of you that don’t know much about the sport, just know, my gym is pretty legit as it is considered one of the best in the world.

One thing I do know is that this gym is a fantastic place for me. When people think MMA training facility, they assume it is nothing but meatheads working to hurt people to show who is the toughest. It’s nearly the complete opposite down here. Yes, there are some meatheads, but they usually don’t last long, as the gym really stresses looking out for training partners and nearly everyone is working to help get everybody better.

Now, I could lie and say that I immediately went in there and started tapping out black belts, but even though really naïve people might believe me, it’s not worth lying about it. When I started out, I got my ass kicked. Early on, I bruised my sternum so bad that I had to lay perfectly still in bed to have any hope for sleep, because rolling over would cause me excruciating pain. I had a rib contusion that took about six weeks to fully heal. And my favorite injury, the one that proves that I’m a grappler is that I developed cauliflower ear that made my ear literally double in size (yet did not give me more advanced hearing). But honestly, shit happens, and my injuries are extremely tame (and my ear eventually reverted back to its normal size).

So, after four months, am I a badass? No, I’m not, but I’m a hell of a lot better than I used to be. Every bit of my grappling has improved. Despite losing weight, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and I’m, without question, in the best shape of my life. Maybe the craziest thing that I learned is that my experience of wrestling in 7th and 8th grade actually made me better than at least 80% of the people in my class at wrestling, so thanks Mr. Medema and Mr. Verdon.

Although I know that I have gotten better, I still wanted to test myself. So I entered the Southwest Grappling Championship this past weekend to see how far I have come. These next few days, I’ll be going over the weight cut (just as fun as it sounds), and how I did in the actual grappling tournament. If you think I’m a loveable asshole, this week will be informative and at least mildly entertaining. If you think I’m an unbearable asshole, stay tuned, because unless I win a championship, this story ends with me getting my ass kicked. Everybody wins (except for probably me).

Tomorrow: Week One of Weight Cutting


P.S. In case anybody was looking for it, I found the epitome of a douchebag on the Internet over the weekend, and lo and behold, he actually showed up on my Facebook news feed:
Most people would just notice the disturbingly large and outrageously flamboyant sunglasses and determine a high level of doucheness for this person, but there is plenty of douche-gold in this picture. Another huge factor is that he dresses like that and he can't even find a person to take a picture of him in his ridiculous outfit so he is forced to hold out the camera and take the picture himself while partially blocking the lens with his thumb. Notice the incredibly small polo that he is still unable to fill the sleeves in. He's also wearing what appear to be pro-America beads, but seeing this representation of America would bring a tear to Ricky Stanzi's eye. My favorite part is the girl in the background who this clown clearly has a crush on but is afraid to talk to. He definitely took this picture so he could add this to his spank bank for later on. What a douche.

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