Fall down, get up

Romaji: Nana korobi, ya oki
Literally: Seven falls, eight getting up
Meaning: Fall down seven times, get up eight times. An encouragement to persevere (ganbaru)
Notes: From the verbs korobu and okiru respectively


Basically, fall down seven times, get up eight.

It’s a saying I hear in judo sometimes, and I really like it.

What is it about sayings that are so great? I think it’s that they let you know that whatever you are going through, someone else has been through it. In fact enough people have been through it that there’s a saying about it. A problem shared is a problem halved, they say, so to know that other people have shared your misery makes you feel better.

Lately I’ve been a little disappointed with my circumstances. I fought off a weird stomach bug. But as soon as that cleared up, I came down with a mega cold, as I am wont to do roughly every three weeks. It fucking sucked!

I had really been on a roll in training. Things were coming along nicely. I could handle all the people who usually gave me problems, almost with ease. I was feeling ready for the comp in March.

Now, though, I’ve missed two weeks of jiu jitsu, haven’t done any weights or BWE, and my rythm is all fucked up. I definitely won’t be able to compete, and it has really pissed me off.

My first ever medal, two years ago… happy days

Luckily I remembered this saying, and decided that I’ve just fallen down, and I need to get back up. So on Saturday morning, when my body is begging me to stay in bed, I’m going to drag myself down to the dojo and get back in the saddle. I’ll be back to square one (or, I don’t know, square ten or something) where I’m having trouble submitting people and squirming around under side control all day long. But I’m sure I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

BJJ thoughts

Training the other night was a strange affair.

First I had loads of trouble handling one guy whose nickname is “the kid” because, um, he’s just a kid. So that wasn’t very good.

Then, I had trouble handling Smoky McDeathlungs (that’s what I call him) — a guy who goes apeshit for about two and a half minutes, and is impossible to control, and then starts gasping for air and pawing weakly at you for the remaining two and a half minutes while you have your merry way with him.

Then I rolled with my sensei. I don’t think our styles match up, or maybe he just wasn’t trying very hard, but I found it easier to roll with him than with old Smoky McBlows-his-wad. My legs and arms are very long, and my sensei is very short. So sometimes we are just incompatible and I can do things I shouldn’t be able to do in order to escape from his attacks.

Well, let me rephrase that. I can use my natural assets and advantages to give me an edge where my technique is lacking. And I don’t feel too great about that.

Having said that, I was unable to mount any kind of offense on him, and he did choke me out twice and armbar me during our roll, so it’s not like I’m on the verge of overtaking him or anything.

Then I had an interesting roll with Shota-san, who spent some time in Brazil. Usuall he beats the crap out of me. But after several lacklustre rolls, I really wanted a scrap, and he is always up for it. So we had a real blast for 5 minutes, rolling from one side of the room to the other, going all out, and not giving each other any respect (in a mutually respectful way, of course.) To my surprise, I kept persisting and eventually managed to pass his guard and get to side control. He normally has an overwhelming pressure that always puts me on the defensive. But once I over came it, I didn’t give up, and I got to side control, I actually felt him physically wilt and the pressure recede. I was then able to mount an attack, stepping over his head and into a kimura, but couldn’t finish it in time.

So the last roll of the day fixed up an otherwise uninspiring training session.