Black Belt – April-May 2023
English | 86 pages | pdf | 29.97 MB
Welcome at Black Belt Magazine April-May 2023 Issue
It all started with a struggle for control of the TV remote. What unfolded exemplified the value of jiu-jitsu, especially for people like me who have zero chance of engaging an enemy in a Taliban cave (which Tim Kennedy refers to in this issue’s cover story) but a decent chance of having to manage an uppity friend or family member. In this context, “manage” means control without hurting — the polar opposite of slamming a shin kick into someone’s thigh if all I knew was muay Thai. Back to the story …
A friend’s teenage grandson was the person on the other end of the remote. He’s about 10 pounds lighter than I am and about four decades younger. In addition, he’s fueled by the I-can-whoop-any-adult attitude that all teenage boys exude at a certain age. Smiling, the kid said he’d never give up control of the remote, then dove into an on thecouch arm lock that probably came from the WWE. So of course I asked if he wanted to wrestle. Of course he said yes.
He jumped, and I made sure neither of us got hurt as we went to the wood floor. At that point, I vowed that my goal would be to counter and protect — both of us.
He disengaged and charged, causing me to sprawl and roll him onto his back — again, without injury. The teen was using every ounce of energy he had — I could tell by the way he was breathing. I managed to control him with leverage and body weight. When he got frustrated at being unable to escape from a position, I would stop and explain: “Right now, I’m just immobilizing you, but if I put my weight here, you can’t breathe.” He acknowledged, and I let him up, figuring he was tired enough to quit. That was when he leaned forward with his arms swinging like pendulums, then shot in. It reminded of how drunk guys in bars like to resume brawling after getting knocked down. Another soft takedown followed, then more controlling and a short explanation of the value of hooks.
After about five minutes, he saw the light. That’s when I did my duty as a martial artist. “You’re strong and flexible,” I said. “There’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu school not far from here. You would get really good really fast.”
He says he’s still thinking about it. He hasn’t signed up yet, but he did ask for a rematch the next time we’re together. I interpret that as a sign he doesn’t get discouraged easily. When I related this to Lito Angeles, who writes the Battle Plan column, he quipped, “Nice story, Mr. Miyagi!” The take-away, as I hinted at the beginning of this editorial, takes me to Tim. In Kennedy’s cover story, he says, “I think jiu-jitsu is a superpower. There are 7 billion people on this planet. You can go up to 6.999 billion of them and do whatever you want, and they can’t stop you.”
I’m not so concerned with doing whatever I want to other people. I’m more concerned with stopping them from doing whatever they want to me — without hurting them if I don’t want to.