2014 has been a strange year for me in my jiu Jitsu journey full of ups and downs.
It all started in the usually way, training was good… well by good I mean it was ok, coaching and training twice a week, every Wednesday and Sunday in the Gi with some Monday & Friday sessions thrown in randomly but I put those on hold as I was also training for a fun run.
The fun run was in March and had a distance of 8miles(13.1km), a lovely jaunt through the streets of Edinburgh finishing off at the home of Scottish rugby which is Murrayfield stadium. I completed my run in 1:05:04 which I was really impressed with and I also raised a few £’s for the National Autistic Society.
Now because I put BJJ on the back burner for a few months I found it really hard to get back into it and found myself in the dreaded Jiu Jitsu funk, a nasty place to be in not knowing what to do in training and my head not being in the right frame of mind, kinda like being in limbo. It was now that my instructor(Dave ‘Speedy’ Elliott) announced the biannual grading was coming up in May and the format on this day would be an interclub submission only competition with rounds lasting 10 minutes.
This I thought was just the thing I needed to get me out the funk… I was wrong! I went there and under performed coming 3rd, I received my 3rd stripe on my blue belt that day. Speedy spoke to me afterwards and told me to be more aggressive, I took this the wrong way and felt like I was being told off instead of getting advice which put me even deeper into my funk.
A couple of months past and in June I had a visit from my head instructor Marc Walder, now Marc is one of the nicest people you can ever meet and being the 1st British BJJ black belt he has a wealth of knowledge on the mats.
A 2 day seminar with this guy certainly helped a lot with my BJJ demons, his philosophies are 2nd to none but I still wasn’t the happiest with my game so I took some of his advice and started going to yoga.
Now yoga certainly helped me clear my mind and help me focus on my jiu jitsu. I realised I had to give up coaching at the club I was at and concentrate on my game, my goals. So that is what I did!
The next grading was now in October, I had 7 weeks to prepare for this. Same rules as before but this time I made sure I was ready for it with yoga once a week, private training session twice a week consisting of horrendous HIIT workouts and BJJ twice a week.
I went down to Newcastle with fire in my heart determined to perform better than I did before and perform I did, submitting both opponents in my weight class to win my category with a cross choke and kimura. I then entered the absolute division in which I lost the deduction to a much larger stronger opponent who went on to receive his purple belt.
I lost but I was smiling!
I received my 4th stripe on my blue belt that day but much more than that I was out of my dreaded BJJ funk!!!
2015 is going to be a great year!
Happy New Year folks, I hope it brings you joy and happiness.
Love & respect