Feb 082012
 

Had a great time at class on Monday. I made it through the entire class, but took it a little easy during sparring. While I’m over the pneumonia for the most part, there’s a lingering cough that the doc said might last for up to a month. And while my wind just isn’t there, the thing that’s killing me is this persistent fatigue. It’s like I’m tired all the time. But better every day. Don’t get me wrong. Every day I wake up, I feel better than the day before. I’d say I’m at about 80% now, which is awesome. I’m ready to get back in and train at least three days per week again.

But I felt really good after class, and am looking forward to getting back on the mats tonight. Woke up yesterday sore, but ready to go.

One of our old buddies, Owen, showed up yesterday. He’s been out of the State for work for the last several months, but was up just for the day. Got to roll with him and remembered just how big he was. At one point, he passed my guard and was just grinding with shoulder pressure in side control. He’s a big dude… like Thor. I could totally see him jumping over the side of a Viking long ship with axe in hand, ready to plunder and pillage some small village off the coast of Ireland. Or maybe not.

I have three gis ordered and am looking forward to making them different colors. While I’m going to leave the detailed reviews to Meerkatsu, I’ll post a short review of each with some pictures once I get them. I have high hopes for them both.


I’m also working to put together a website for my modest venture into small business ownership. “Dye, Steve. Dye!” is coming together. While I’m still working on getting the gallery put together of my projects and such, you can get more information at http://www.stevebjj.com/store.

Feb 022012
 

kellygreen2I made it to class last night and felt… okay.   Last week, by the time Friday rolled around, I finally admitted to myself that I was getting worse, not better.  I was planning on going to the doctor on Saturday if I didn’t feel better, but Friday morning, when I began coughing up a charming combination of phlegm and blood, I figured I’d probably better get some help.

Sure enough, I was diagnosed with pneumonia, given a stern look or two by the doctor, and a couple of prescriptions.  By Friday evening, I was already feeling better. 

kellygreen1Bing had some personal business to take care of, so we worked some basics. I showed a simple scissor sweep along with a couple of variations, including the elevator sweep. Nothing fancy, but we have several white belts, and I figure that you can’t get enough of the basics. I also talked a little about the “dead angle.”

My energy level remains very low and I’ve still got a cough, but I’m feeling so much better.  I just feel like I’m dragging through the day, but I guess it takes a while to get over pneumonia.  I’m just thankful that I’m on the mend and able to get to class, and I’m looking forward to Friday. 

I was really pleased that Brandon was at class last night.  I was able to give him his newly dyed gi and he really seemed pleased.  In the second picture, I made the mistake of looking directly at it.  While it’s not quite as bright as Bing’s Orange Crush, it’s pretty bright. 

Also, after giving it a lot of thought, I’m going to offer my services if anyone is interested in having a gi dyed by me.  While I think that the process of dying a gi is very accessible, I get there are people who want a unique color, but who aren’t interested in DIY. 

The price is something that I gave a lot of thought to, and I’m going to charge $80 for a single colored gi.  Considering the cost of materials, shipping and the time involved with hand dying each gi, one at a time, I think this is a very fair price. 

I’m in the process of putting some actual policies together on a website so that everything is very clear.  But the way I look at it, I’ll help you with information for free. I have made a lot of information available, and I encourage anyone who’s interested to give it a shot.  But, I’m also available to do it for you, if you’d like to pay for the service.  It’s something I enjoy, and I have done enough of them now that I’m confident that I can make your gi look really good.  I’ll also be working on some hand dyed gi patches and shirts using batik.  More to come on this in the near future. 

Jan 302012
 

Pneumonia_cartoonWill need to take it easy.  While I’m definitely on the mend and the doctor says I’m fine to return to normal activities, I didn’t tell him that normal for me involves sparring.  But he also advised me to listen to my body and don’t overdo things. 

Yes.  I went to the doctor.  Probably about three days later than I should have, but I finally decided that my wife was right and I’m sick enough that I need some help getting better.  The diagnosis is pneumonia, and the antibiotics are helping tremendously.  I’m on day four of five right now, and my energy level is much improved.  My head is clear and I can think again.  It’s difficult to describe the feeling of… mushiness that I had, but I’m sure it’s something we’ve all felt at one time or another.

I’m a little concerned about the cough, still.  The doctor said that the cough could persist for several weeks.  Right now, I cough whenever I take a deep breath, so I suspect that when I do go back to class, I’ll need to stick to warm-ups and technique.  Sparring will depend upon how I’m doing at that point, but if anything, it will be light.

I’m REALLY pumped to get back to class. 

Jan 262012
 

I’m really excited to be training regularly again.  I had been diligently making two classes per week and was looking to bump that up to a routing of three classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Then the Snow Storm came, followed by the freezing rain and down went our power.

And now, after all of that, I have this really nasty cold.  I started feeling bad on Sunday and by Monday morning, I gave up at work and went home to bed.  Now, a few days later, I feel worse, if that’s possible.  My head is pounding and I can’t stop coughing.  I’m chugging Theraflu like it’s fruit punch, and I just can’t wait to feel better.

I’m going to give this through tomorrow, and if I don’t feel better by then, I’m going to go see what the doctor has to say.

In the meantime, I’m really enjoying all of the videos that everyone’s posting.  Jason Scully has been killing YouTube with his terrific “8 minutes or less” videos.  Here’s the latest:

There’s also this one I picked up on Facebook.  It’s a compilation of some pretty damned spectacular takedowns from the Russian Nationals.

Enjoy and I’ll hopefully be feeling better and back on the mats soon.

Jan 182012
 

Well, I wouldn’t quite call it the storm of the century, but we did get a good three or so inches here in lovely Covington, WA. My work is closed. Classes at FosterBJJ are also cancelled for the day, and I’m presuming that Phantom BJJ in Maple Valley will follow suit. But as I sit here drinking a cup of coffee, I have a pretty full day ahead of me.

I have a three year old who’s never really played in the snow. She is pretty excited to try building a snow man. So, after the Sun comes up this morning, we’ll get bundled up and head out to play for a while.

After lunch, I’m hoping to get busy dying a gi. Brandon has a white gi he wants to make bright green. After the usual disclaimers, he picked Kelly Green from the Dharma Trading website. I continue to have people ask me about how this is done, so I am going to take some time and try to put together a simple instructional.

Dying the gi is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to clean up an old gi or personalize a new one. It’s not difficult. The way I look at it, if you’re detail oriented enough to train in BJJ, you can tackle dying a gi.

On Monday, my son and I rolled the mats out in the loft. He thought he could take me. Kids are so cute. Having just turned 16, and officially a moose at 6′ tall and about 210 lbs, he’s bigger than me and still growing. But I cheat. Hehe. It was fun. Maybe we’ll do that again this evening.

Jan 162012
 

Two things going on with this post. First, I’m bummed. That’s the amount of snow that it takes to effectively shut down Seattle and the surrounding areas. While it may not seem like much to people in the Midwest or other areas where it snows a lot, when you only see snow once or maybe twice in a year, it’s pretty traumatic.

The other thing was just to play around a bit with the video upload feature in my iPad WordPress application.

So, to recap. No class today (boo). And the video feature seems to function as designed (yay).

Jan 152012
 

http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-0114-blackbelt-20120113,0,1768188.story

After practicing jiu-jitsu for 15 years, Gene Pace is awarded with highest common belt in Brazilian martial arts.”

This is such a terrific story. Not only does this demonstrate once and for all that if you train smart and listen to your body, BJJ is a legitimate life sport.

And whether the author of this article knows it or not, she articulates in just a few sentences several of the 10 Commandments of BJJ:

“He’s Mr. Consistency. He never misses a class, not ever,” said Buckels, who holds a black belt in jiu-jitsu, as well as kru in Muay Thai kickboxing.

In those 15 years, before Pace, Buckels had only awarded one other jiu-jitsu black belt, and it was to another instructor.

“The best way to describe Gene is that he just executes what you teach him to do,” Buckels said. “If you show him a move, he will go after that move.”

Gene Pace earned his black belt in BJJ by being consistent. He trained twice a week and never missed a class.

He earned it by being fearless. When his instructor shows him a move, he “goes after that move.”

He earned it by being patient and he earned it by being humble. The general estimate for earning a black belt in BJJ is 10 years, which is already a very long time compared to most other styles of martial arts. He earned it in 15 years. This epitomizes for me what I’ve said before. I’d rather train for the rest of my life as a purple belt than get my black belt tomorrow and have to give BJJ up forever.

BJJ is a life long journey and a true life sport. Stories like this just make my day.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this really makes me look forward to class tomorrow!