Mar 112008


Oh, it’s the award I was given by Linda over at Brain Cheese. I will cherish it always.

While my overriding goal on this blog is to keep track of my training and progress, post pictures and videos for my family and friends and just generally have fun, I have found that meeting interesting people is an unexpected but welcome side benefit.

One of the most interesting people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through the intarweb is a woman who truly has a heart of gold. Linda, aka Brain-Cheese over on her blog, writes about her experiences living and working while dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. My MIL has been doing the same since the 1980’s, so when I stumbled on her blog many months ago, I was interested in the topic and how she was dealing with it. She got me with her writing, but when she laughed at my fart joke, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. If you have a few minutes, check out her blog.

In other news, it is MS Awareness Week, and so a great time for anyone out there unfamiliar with this disease or how to help find treatments, please check out the National MS Society website.

 Posted by at 7:41 am
Mar 022008

Some observant readers may have noticed that I finally registered the domain. It was hard, because “stevebjj” is very much in demand with the Domain Prospectors out there.

While the old url ( will still forward to the new one, this blog can now be found at

When you get a moment, please update your favorites and any links to this site.

 Posted by at 1:24 pm
Feb 272008

Clearly, there are better ways.  I ran across this video and I think that anyone who is SERIOUS (see, I was so serious, I risked pinky trauma by reaching over to the caps lock) about self defense should watch this video… TWICE!!!1!!1!111!

 Posted by at 11:08 pm
Jan 242008

Or at least, that’s what it sort of looks like right now.

Just had the first ultrasound, and we’re still REALLY early on. But there is definitely a heartbeat and everything is just as it should be right now.

We’re right about 8 weeks now, so a long way to go.

 Posted by at 5:47 pm
Jan 222008

A story came up at class on Sunday in passing about a guy who was competing without arms and legs. Turns out that he’s competing at a high level. His name is Kyle Maynard and while he has difficulty submitting, positionally, he’s pretty darned good.

I admire his tenacity. Recently, Kyle Maynard applied to fight in a sanctioned MMA event and his application was denied.

My question is, what do you guys think? Should Kyle be allowed to compete in MMA? Below is a YouTube clip of Kyle at NAGA, another story from Bryant Gumble’s show on HBO, and you can easily find lots of information on his story from Google.

 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Dec 262007

In the interest of not stealing any thunder from my friend over at Black Belt Mama and her ACL surgery (which seems to have gone well, overall), I will preface this post by saying that I am happy and our family has had a wonderful Christmas… overall. There were some snags, though.

First, on the positive note, Santa brought us Rockband. If you are a fan of the Guitar Hero series, you’re almost surely familiar with this product. The riffs for guitar or bass are not as difficult as those in Guitar Hero. Medium isn’t hard at all. There is also a vocal part, which is actually pretty fun, but difficult for the many songs with which I am not familiar. There are also a lot of songs the lyrics for which I am completely oblivious, so it’s like really bad karaoke. Which is actually fun, in a gong show kind of way.

For me, what makes this so awesome are the drums. If anyone out there has ever entertained fantasies of being the drummer for a rock band, this is the game for you. The “drum set” consists of a group of four drum pads and a pedal. The kit comes with a pair of drumsticks. You really get to bang it, just like a real drum. The rhythms are familiar and even at medium, you really feel like you’re drumming. I’ve been playing off and on as I feel up for it and am pretty comfortable at medium. The jump from medium to hard is a relatively big one, so I’m just going to have to play around in practice mode for a while.

So, that was our big present from Santa for the family. We’ve all had fun playing around with it. We had several things happen that have made this Christmas a bit of a challenge. First, I’ve been sick all week. Moving from one illness to the next over the past few weeks, I felt pressure in my sinuses a few days back and have been running a ~100-101F fever since Sunday morning. I tried to avoid making anyone else sick, but couldn’t stay out of the way completely.

Sunday started off with feeling like crap, but I figured I’d just take it easy in the afternoon and watch football with my MIL’s brother (who stayed with us over the weekend until yesterday.) Earlier that day, I had run out with my wife on a quick errand and she made a comment about the extra car in the driveway and how we’d need to be careful. Truer words were never spoken as just a few short hours later I got a call to come out to the driveway. That’s right. My wife bumped her Uncle’s car. While she was clearly not going very fast, it did sufficient damage that we’re going to need to get our car fixed and he’s already filed a claim against my insurance. On the one hand, it bugs me that my premiums will probably go up, but on the other, that’s what insurance is for and it was an accident.

The weekend wore on… ill, with a fever, medicated and with no appetite, I was the one who cooked Christmas Eve Dinner. That makes sense. Right? My wife was definitely there to help, which was awesome, cause I don’t think I could’ve done it without her. I obsessively washed my hands and avoided working with anything that wasn’t going to get thoroughly cooked, but ultimately, I figured if my MIL and her brother were really intent on staying, they were taking their chances of coming down with whatever I have. It’s not like I tried to conceal it.

We had a ham with honey mustard glaze and a grilled mango and pineapple salsa from a recipe I saw on I’m told it was delicious, although I ate a few bites that I couldn’t really taste.

Later that evening, we tried playing a game of Cranium. That’s a fun game that my wife and I had played before, but never with our kids… or my MIL. Suffice to say that it didn’t go well. She got flustered and after accusing us of cheating and one point and continually insisting that she was terrible at everything (drawing, acting, humming, playing with playdough… pretty much everything that makes the game fun), I couldn’t wait to finish and go to bed. It’s now about 7pm and I’m wiped and tired of trying to fake it.

Christmas morning was awesome. Still feverish, I tried to buck up and have fun with the kids, and it seemed to work for the most part. My son got a Rip Stick, and he’s been out playing with it but has asked me several times to go out with him and I can’t yet.

Today, we sat around playing video games. My fever broke this morning and I’m feeling better, although I still have sinus pressure and congestion. Hopefully, the healing will continue. Both my daughter and I missed class today, but I think I’m on the mend, so maybe Friday.

So, Merry Christmas to everyone, and hope all have a Happy New Year! While this will go down in the books as a good one for me and mine, there will definitely be an asterisk beside it in the record books.

 Posted by at 7:07 pm
Dec 082007

I’ve mentioned before that I kind of backed into this blogging thing. It started as a strict training log and still is primarily just that. It’s also a place to goof off and experiment with some other writing, even some that’s not strictly BJJ related.

But one of the things I hadn’t anticipated was how many people out there blog. Lots of people. I think the latest number is up in the low gazillions. Or something like that. But most don’t actually like to write, and their blogs disappear.

Most of the people who blog do so intentionally, and actually know how to blog along with all the rules of blogging. I often don’t, so I mention them as they come up. You may or may not remember that I posted about memes. I had no idea what they were.

Well, today I officially received my first award. It’s basically positive feedback from other bloggers… sharing the love. And who doesn’t like that? Amy, over at You are a Fly – And You’re Sitting on my Wall, gave me the Friendship Award for being a good buddy on the blogosphere. I, in turn, would like to give it to my blogosphere buddy over at Brain Cheese.

 Posted by at 10:29 am
Nov 172007

Nathan, over at TDA Training posted a link to determine how readable one’s blog is. I dutifully entered my URL and came out like this:

I think that it’s interesting to see how things change over time. After four years working toward an English degree with a minor in Philosophy, my written voice was probably only understandable within the delicate ecosystem of a University.

Having worked in training for the last several years, I’m not surprised at this rating. What’s cool about having this blog is that it has allowed me to try and rekindle my love for creative writing, a skill that I had largely lost in my professional attempts to pare down my written voice to only the essential, most efficient means of communicating information. And they never appreciate a good fart joke. Sad, really. :)

 Posted by at 12:30 pm
Nov 092007

A few years back, when I was at my previous school, the focus was on training kids, and for some reason many of the kids were autistic to varying degrees. Prior to meeting these kids, I really had no idea what autism was. I mean, in a very abstract way, autism was to me something that Rainman had… idiot savante type stuff. Crazy math skills and not much else.
Turns out, lots of kids are autistic and more are being diagnosed all the time. While it’s unclear as to what is causing the dramatic increase in the number of autistic kids, I’ve heard and read many theories. While some will point to over-diagnosis and medical fraud, I just don’t see it. The kids I met were clearly struggling to make his body follow his mind’s instructions. The theory that seems most reasonable to me is the increase in multi-use vaccinations that use what is in theory a safe form of mercury, thimerosal, as a stabilizer/preservative. Some of the theories point to environment, food allergies, but we began using this mercury preservative and multi-use vaccinations in the late 80s and miraculously began seeing an upward trend in diagnosed autism. Now, this could be like the Global Warming/Pirate relationship outlined here. But it just seems reasonable to me.
On martial arts forums, such as or and elsewhere, the topic of other martial artists who have different disabilities comes up. Can a person in a wheelchair become a black belt in karate? Can a guy with one leg do a flying sidekick and make it work? Of course, the answer is, it depends upon the person, the disability and the particular martial arts style. It would be very difficult for someone in a wheelchair to grapple, for example. I have seen a person with only one usable arm do pretty well, however. I think this is an interesting question.
Another question that I find interesting is this. I’m deeply troubled by the entire idea of McDojos, 9 year old black belts and all of the bogus, money grubbing that goes along with it. That said, for kids with learning disabilities such as autism, is learning in a McDojo beneficial? Does anyone have experience working with autistic or disabled people in their schools?
 Posted by at 8:45 am