Today I went to OJJ.

OJJ is like a mini club we have at training. It stands for Oyazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is a play on the Japanese word oyaji, which means old man (middle aged man, really), and Brazilian.


Originally it started for all the old farts to get together and train. They sometimes brought their kids and wives. Then we all realised that the old farts are fucking tough blue and purple belts, and we wanted to join in. The old farts realised they needed young nippers around to keep things interesting. Anyway, now it’s basically just this club that meets on Sunday nights and does some really good training. I designed t-shirts for this group a few months ago.

Tonight was the first one of the year and it was great. Some peeps came from another school at least two hours drive away, which was fantastic. They were pretty tough, too. At the end of the class, the don of our group gave a nice little speech about how all BJJ schools in Kyushu are a family and we need to work together to get tougher, so that we can fight in Tokyo with the best of them. I hope this is the sign of things to come; sparring with good students from other schools can only help us all in the long run.

Training was good, although my first roll completely exhausted me. It was with a big, tough white belt from this other school, who completely drained me of my strength. There was some kind of pride thing going on, with both of us wanting to do well for our dojos. I tried not to have that feeling, but it just kind of came. I felt terrible and he was able to pass my guard and hassle me, but not submit me. After that my physical condition was pretty low, so I resigned myself to one of those training sessions where you really have to grind everything out, but you know it will improve your stamina in the end.

To my surprise, things picked up after that and I was able to dominate a blue belt from the other school. This year, I really want to become a monster in jiu jitsu, someone who never stops attacking and never stops moving. To do that, I basically need to build up my strength and stamina to the point where I don’t stop for the whole six minutes. Of course, it really isn’t as easy as that… the first spar killed me, and the second, I felt bad because the guy was smaller than me. From now on, if a guy is smaller than me, I will relax and use technique. If a guy is my weight or above, I will relax and work on refining technique, but also just go as hard as I can, every time. That’s my plan this year.

Then I had a roll with my instructor, who despite weighing about 20 kilos less than me completely kicked my arse all over the room.

I had a good, technical roll with a guy who recently won the blue belt category at the Campeonat Japonais, and got his purple. It was one of those fun rolls where you are not being too aggressive, you can ooh and aah at each other’s moves when you pull off something nice.

The class sparred for over an hour with only a few minutes break, which was pretty tough, but more sessions like that will definitely do wonders for my stamina. Train hard, fight easy.