Monday, February 21, 2011

The LTrain, Choked Out

Greetings BJJ Family,

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front—what else is new? It’s been a crappy winter in Cleveland—again, what else is new? I’ve been training pretty hard, and it looks like, barring no injuries or last minute business that pulls me out of town, I’ll be competing in the Arnolds Classic on March 5. I’m pretty excited about this. It will be my first competition as a purple belt, and I’ve really been working my ass off. I‘m going into this tourney to win; I’m not going for the experience or anything else but to win. If I don’t I will have given my best, and will except the heartbreak.

There’s no need to advertise my gameplan, here. My A. game is being on top; my B. game is my guard which I’ve been working really hard to improve. My C. game is the scramble, and because I’m working with some tough wrestlers, I’m ending up on top a bit more out of the scramble. We’ll see what happens. Physically, I feel great. Mentally, I feel confident, yet realistic about my own holes in my game.

This morning, I had something happen to me for the first time ever; I’m not sure it will be the last, but maybe so. I was rolling some matches with a great friend and training partner of mine, and it was pretty spirited. I got caught in a triangle choke, was defending with the clock winding down, and got choked out cold. I don’t really remember when I lost consciousness, but it really freaked my partner out. I guess I was convulsing, twitching, and making a gurgling noise. He sat me up and got the blood flowing. I didn’t know where I was or who he was at first, but within about 15-20 second, the fog lifted, I walked it off, and we rolled two more matches. It was such a crazy feeling, and I’m able to laugh about the whole thing now; he took an armbar off the triangle, and I honestly don’t remember the armbar; the best way to describe it was like the slow motion scenes in the Rocky movies. I kind of felt like I was coming out of surgery—that kind of disorientation.

In a way, I feel like I got a monkey off my back. I’ve been knocked out on a couple of occasions, and now I’ve been choked out. I’ve always struggled with the concept of tapping out, and still don’t know why I hold out for so long. It’s been so ingrained into me from an early age not to ever quit or give up. But, I realize that the “gentle art” has a way of being not so gentle at times, and I’m getting a bit more balanced about the whole concept of tapping—especially in the room.

I’m none the worse for wear, and will be back after it tomorrow. Again, the experience made for some good laughs after the fact, and I am decreeing February 21, 2011 and each February 21 from this point forward, as international “Choke A Blind Guy Out” Day!

With much Respect,
Larry, the LTrain