Training Diary: Sometimes a Good Roll is Enough


Triangles, man. (Martial Arts Nomad/CC/Flickr)

Hey! So this is actually a post I wrote 90% of a couple weeks ago and never bothered to finish because I’ve been working an actual go-to-it job while also freelancing, and also having an Olympic-calibre summer cold. (I met with a client feeling like my eyeballs were boiling in my skull.)

Anyway, reading the mostly-finished post I decided I was still feeling those feels, so I finished it.

So, my first training back from injury, toe buddy taped and all, wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I struggled tremendously. Not only was I a little [more] out of shape [than usual], but it was all lasso guard and spider guard and triangles.

I have short legs and almost zero hip flexibility and sub-par core strength. Lasso and spider are guards that don’t really work for me as a result. Triangles are a pretty BJJ 101 thing that I should be better at, but I’ll really only try for one if my opponent is just kind of handing it to me, and even then, I probably won’t finish it in time.

It was mega frustrating.

But then at the end of the class, I rolled with a higher belt. He’s an older dude, by the relative standards of the gym—maybe 10 years older than me?—and he’s just started teaching kids and white belts. He has a real mellow demeanour. He immediately puts you at ease. Now, that mellow demeanour doesn’t mean he didn’t arm bar me three times in six minutes or something, but we were laughing while it happened, and he took the time to show me how he was catching me over and over again.

It was really nice. It made struggling through an hour of lasso and spider guard worthwhile. That’s why I do this.

It’s Been a Long Time. Shouldn’t Have Left You…


(Martial Arts Nomad/CC/Flickr)

As the three or four regular readers of this blog know, I started it as a project for a night school class. (This class, if you were wondering. Cannot recommend it highly enough if you’re interested.)

After the class ended, I took a couple weeks to decide if I wanted to keep it going. Because frankly I have a bad history with starting blogs and not keeping them up, and I didn’t know if I wanted to add another one to the Chris Dart Blog Graveyard.

But then I realized that this blog has kind of given me the creative outlet I haven’t had in a long time, so I decided to keep it going. It’s weird, or maybe it’s not, but since I write for a living, I do almost zero writing for myself. Once I’m done work, I don’t actually want to write at all. This is for sure one of the downsides of following your passion. The other big one is unpredictable income. But that is not about BJJ, and another story for another day.

The other thing is, this blog has changed how I train. I’m more aware of what I’m doing and what’s going on. I’m paying closer attention to not only the techniques I’m learning, but also how I’m reacting the learning process. My mindset is different. If I get frustrated or upset or down on myself on the mat, I take the time to think about why that’s happening.

So the blog will continue.

Also, I want to put it out there. What do you, all four of you. want to see here? More Humans of BJJ? More training diaries where I talk about feelings? Do you want me to start talking about gear and gis and rashguards? Do you want BJJ history? Let me know.

Because I have no idea what I’m doing from here on out.