The Days Before I Knew Ju-jitsu

I remember when I first started practicing jujitsu my instructor made the comment “everyone in their life has done some form of jujitsu whether they knew it or not.” To illustrate his point he refers to two kids rough housing and wrestling with each other. Ah, a wave of nostalgia and memories the middle school days, hanging out with my friends; the days before karate and jujitsu.

I’d go to my buddy’s house and all of us (kids around the block) would end up in wrestling matches in the rec-room. In most cases I would end up on the floor unable to get up off from ground until someone helped me. I want to point out I had a major back operation the year before and was in a Milwaukee Brace. The bar on the front side of the brace made it easy for my friends to drag me around on the ground. However having a brace of any type on your body gives you the upper hand.

I would roll from one side of the room to the other. Several of my friends would leapfrog over me as I got next to them. Occasionally I would reach out and grab a foot and hold them down. With the extra bulkiness of the brace it made it easier to pin down an opponent. I also had a few other tricks up my sleeve that my brother in law taught me.

One of my earlier lessons he taught me: “the body goes where the head goes.” With this knew found knowledge I was unstoppable in the rec-room wrestling matches. I thought I was cool stuff because I knew a little bit of martial arts and was capable of holding down my friends to the ground. Knowledge is power.

I am a firm believer that knowledge is power. However I want to add that if you don’t know something, then don’t waste your time pretending you do and teaching it to other people. One night in karate class the assistant instructor decided he was going to teach us jujitsu. I want to point out that this instructor had never taken a jujitsu class. He even admitted to the class about not having a clue on jujitsu. However he wanted to give it a try because he had seen some moves off of a WCW wrestling match on TV. – Hmm…that may explain why the main instructor was adamant about disconnecting movie karate from real life.

Before I continue with my lessons learned from our attempt at jujitsu, some disturbing mental images may appear as I type this. I am haunted by the flashbacks. The events of that evening from over 12 years ago have been seared into our minds. I still talk to some of the former classmates; apparently they cringe from the images.

Because of that night I am grateful for jujitsu Gi’s and rash guards. I am haunted by the flashbacks of disturbing mental images of the assistant instructor soaking with sweat attempting to demonstrate grappling techniques on the dwarf. I learned that night is that karate Gi’s are very thin and do not retain any sweat. The assistant instructor was 5’8 and 230lbs lying directly on top of me an hour after doing warmups and katas.

…Excuse me while I go back and take another shower…

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